Brides, sometimes it is tempting to try to overtrain to make up for those extra calories you ate yesterday, or maybe you want to undereat today to balance your calories out for the week, but these habits are HIGHLY problematic. In fact, they cause far more damage and slow your progress down much more than occasionally overeating or skipping a workout.
Even when trying to quickly lose weight, overtraining and undereating are dangerous to your health, and it isn’t a sustainable long-term solution. So, what should you expect if you’re self-sabotaging with these unhealthy habits?
In controlled studies conducted on lean and overweight people, it was confirmed that consuming fewer than 1,000 calories daily can result in a significantly lower metabolic rate. This means that even though you may start to lose weight because you are burning more calories than you are consuming, your body will begin to burn less during resting periods as well.
You will likely experience more cravings, fatigue, illness, and other side effects when undereating. This is because your body needs a mild decrease in calorie intake to adjust to your new lower weight. If you drop weight too fast, your metabolism will slow, and you will only gain that weight back in the long run.
When you deny your body the necessary amount of fuel (aka calories), or you overtrain and burn more energy than you take in, you will experience the effects of burnout. Once your energy levels drop, you will no longer be able to maintain your current exercise routine and will ultimately plateau in your weight loss journey or, more likely, gain the weight back.
Remember, when you are on a fitness journey and attempting to achieve goals, you should consider sustainability. A balanced and controlled plan is the only way to maintain your progress long-term.
Another risk of undereating is nutrient deficiencies. If you aren’t eating enough calories, you are likely not consuming enough nutrients, such as vital vitamins and minerals. Without these essential components, our bodies struggle to function correctly. If you experience a nutrient deficiency, you will be at an increased risk for developing anemia, infertility, bone loss, dental problems, or a decrease in thyroid function.
The last consequence of undereating and overtraining we will discuss today is the increased risk of injury. Without enough calories or time to rest, you will actually weaken your body, putting yourself at higher risk for strains, sprains, and even breaks. One of the reasons for this increased risk of injury is that when we eat less, our bodies begin to use our muscle tissue as fuel.
That all said, it is important to note that when you are not consuming enough calories, your body will choose to deplete a significant amount of muscle mass before eating away at fat. Over time, this weakens your body by reducing your overall strength and can cause a higher risk of injuries.
Now you may be wondering if you are eating enough calories or how you even know if you are undereating or not. Fortunately, the internet supplies many resources to calculate how many calories we should eat based on our BMR’s (Basil Metabolic Rate).
You can use this online calculator to see how many calories you should be eating based on your height, weight, gender, age, and activity level: Calorie Calculator
Being in a significant calorie deficiency or overtraining to burn extra calories may seem like the easiest and fastest way to meet your weight loss goals. However, these methods are not sustainable in the long term and can cause more damage than good. So, treat your body with care and love, be patient and utilize healthy habits to help you reach your fitness goals!
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