Last week I wrote about how we predict a client's lowest weight of the week and on which day.
A lot of people loved the explanation on how we came up with that but there were two questions that came out of that discussion, I thought were interesting.
One, the “low day” which is a “low carb” day has more FATS because that day often corresponds with lower calories (it’s only two days a week). It’s structured that way to help with hunger signaling. So more fats on those days help.
But the most interesting question said this “it sounds like the plan INTENTIONALLY pushes our weight up a bit and by the end of the week the goal is to fight down even lower?”
People seemed surprised when I said “yes, that is exactly it!”
One of the more basic things about a calorie deficit (I am specifically talking about the deficit stage right now but I will talk about when calories go back to normal also) is that CALORIE AVERAGE is always the most important number in a deficit.
So if you know that then you also know that you can manipulate those days for specific results (I will add the article from the other day to explain the what’s and why’s of that in the comments).
I said this the other day but it’s worth repeating. People want to go down to the lowest number possible, endure as much pain as possible so that they can get back to their normal lives.
The only problem is that’s not how it works.
Not only do you lose less weight over time doing it that way you lose less BODILY FAT and keep less muscle.
Here is why, when you tier calories down combined with a 7 day approach where you AREN’T at your lowest calories all of the time your body is getting more of the energy it needs to survive (we will talk about thriving here in a bit). Not only does this reduce the suffering of eating less but it reduces stress, keeps cortisol away and allows you to go to the gym and have more effective workouts (or run, hike or other activities outdoors).
This, once again KEEPS MORE MUSCLE. Part of getting leaner is to get rid of fat and keep the muscle you have. It’s common for someone considering Eat To Perform to say “I lost 20 pounds but I just look smaller”. That’s usually a sign of a pretty bad system or over doing it with exercise in a deficit.
Which is why the way we do it is MUCH better than just using one number that you eat all SEVEN days of the week.
So while yes, within that week on the higher calorie days your weight might go up a touch the point is to send your body a signal that A. Not every day is going to be like this and B. Doing it this way stretches out the amount of fat you lose so that you don’t just lose weight but you actually see the changes in your body and face as you are losing. (admittedly day to day this is hard to see which is why pictures are important).
But what about when calories go back to normal, what happens then? Does it work similarly?
It does work similar but not the same. The traditional dieting model works something like this (for this example I am talking about a woman), prior to Eat To Perform the client isn’t keeping track and thinks they are eating around 2500 but is probably closer to 3000-3500 on weekends. We then bring them through a deficit cycle and once that is done we normalize calories. What does that mean? Well, what it doesn’t mean is that we go back to consistently having a blowout weekend and go back to our old ways of eating at higher calories that caused you to gain weight in the first place.
So we find a compromise between your lowest and highest and monitor weight so that you can stay weight stable.
In this phase not only will weight go up the fluctuations will be higher also. For instance, in the example above the fluctuation isn’t very high, it’s normally around a pound or two so that the client can fight even lower. When calories are normal the fluctuation rises and the goal really isn’t to lose weight (though many people do). So the lowest weight concept from the last article means that you are really focusing on staying weight stable as food also stabilizes higher.
If you want to know the truth here it is, it’s extremely RARE for someone to gain weight with well monitored macros. That’s not how people gain weight. Most of the weight gain happens because in a deficit they were extremely focused and lasered in on their food and workouts. When they come out of the deficit more food means more effort is required which is fine because it’s hard to put out a lot of energy when you aren’t taking in a lot of energy (this is also the argument for shorter cycles rather than diets to nowhere)
Without that effort and with a few trips to Vegas, girls weekends or a trip to Nana’s all that focus gets lost. When we look at the case where people don’t stay relatively weight stable, it’s the loosening of the grip that is the culprit.
That said, if you lose 20 pounds and you stay within 5 pounds or so that should be viewed as perfectly fine and not an excuse to just say FUCK IT and gain all the weight back. When I look back at all my previous attempts at weight loss this was a big problem for me, ANY weight gain was viewed as failure.
Weight fluctuates a bit when the goal is further weight loss or to stay weight stable so that your metabolism normalizes HAS to be part of your plan, otherwise you won’t reach your body composition goals as easily.
I say this a lot, when calories go lower people often lower their expectations (and rightly so) for their workouts but when food comes back they don’t adjust their effort and push themselves a bit harder. That’s the ironic part, when calories normalize that is ALSO a fat loss stage because the goal is to replace fat with new added muscle. You can’t do that with less effort.
More importantly however is your relationship with food. For each and every human being MORE food should always be the long term goal, said simply, FOOD contains the raw materials that will keep us all alive.
That doesn’t mean you never eat LESS but MORE should always be the goal and it’s that balance that gets harder as we age.
If you need a better approach we can help. Along with One on One coaching, ability to get a handwritten meal plan and weekly challenges to keep you motivated you get a well thought out PLAN that has been proven over the last 10 years to be more effective than cookie cutter models not personalized to you.
To get your EXACT plan and talk to a coach use the link below.
To talk in REAL TIME to an Eat To Perform coach hit the button on the bottom right of that page.
Even the programs that reverse don’t do a good job because they cave to the fear of their clients or they let AI (artificial intelligence) do the work.