The Starvation Effect

I used to go through periods of training (4-5 days per week and really watching my calories) with no weight loss. I was at my wits end, but had a feeling something biologically was going on that was not allowing my body to lose weight. After doing some research I found that there is a process called the "Starvation Effect" in which your body slows down the metabolism as a protective mechanism if it is not receiving enough calories.

In the "Tools" section of this website under TDEE Calculator I discuss your BASAL Metabolic requirements. In short, it is the calories that you need just for your body to function (your heart to beat, your lungs to be able to breathe, etc). My BASAL Metabolic requirements are about 1550. On average, I was consuming 1600-1800 calories per day and was burning 300-400 calories through my workouts , which means I was only getting 1300-1400 calories a day. My body wasn't receiving enough calories for my body to literally survive! It now made sense why my body was going into "Starvation Effect" and I was not losing weight.

I have to at least consume 1600 calories for my body to have what it needs. I am in weight loss mode, so my calories are naturally lower. On my workout days I eat 1900 calories because I am burning 300-400 calories. On my off days I keep my calories lower, but never under 1600. Here is a link to a site that better explains the "Starvation Effect".

As soon as I upped my calories I instantly lost weight. It just proves that it is better to be balanced. In the long run, you will find better results if you do it right and give your body the fuel it needs.

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So, you know when you make the decision to exercise and the moment comes and the "naughty" voice says, "Do it later." and the "good" voice says, "No, you promised."? What do you do to make the "naughty" voice dissapear? How do you get yourself up off the couch when you feel someone put your feet in a bucket of cement?

I would like to say you can turn on a switch on a panel in the back of your head that says, "On." and you will get it done, but I know the only answer is being OBEDIENT.

I teach my kids to do what they say and "Let their yes be yes and their no be no" and yet I have allowed myself to fall short because I am an adult and for some reason it is okay. It wasn't until I caught myself giving the excuses of why I could not do it, that I decided I needed to go sit in the corner for a "time out".

I know my tendency is to resist it, so I made the decision that I was not going to give up unless it was physically impossible to exercise. I started out by setting small goals. Exercising one day a week and then two and then three, etc. until I got to where I wanted to be.

I don't promise more than I can give. (Build up to it and you will more likely follow through). If I say I am going to do it, then I make that Yes a Yes. I don't feel sorry for myself but parent the childlike voices in my head that say "No." and as I would with my own kids, make the final responsible decision.

Have you ever had to give yourself a time out?

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Accepting your own "Jeans."

I was working out to an old Tae Boe video and admiring the variety of people in the background. Very fit to 70 years of age. It got me thinking about how we all have different body types that God gave us. I talk a lot about this, but as a trainer I see it so much...the "ideal" body type that so many of us will never have that we all think we SHOULD have. Reality is that we never will because we were not created to look that way and that it is OKAY.  I know you have heard this before, but I think few of us are at peace with our body type. Full hips, muscular frame, tall and skinny, short and stalky we are all beautifully created and yet we are always looking at the girl next to us thinking we should be more like that. A friend once said to me, "I know I am not a pretty girl and never will be." I just thought, "You are gorgeous! What are you talking about?" She is beautiful and full of life and just radiates fun, and love for people. Beauty is so much more than we allow it to be.

One helpful thing I did when I was on the road to accepting my frame is finding pictures of girls who looked like me, but maybe were a bit healthier. I used them as my role model. It gave me confidence and really helped me to set realistic goals.

What is your story? How have you overcome todays pressures to look a certain way? We are real women with a real story. I would love to hear yours.

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