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Insightful Intern - Eating to Lose Weight

In order to lose weight, we often are told that energy out must be greater than energy in.   In other words, calories taken in must be less than the calories we use in all of our daily activities.  So, to lose weight we cut calories and try to increase activity.  (Granted, there is more to weight loss/maintenance than just an exchange in energy.  What if we cut too many calories or don’t eat enough?

Since I started at Kindred Nutrition, I’ve heard many of Amy’s or Dawn’s clients talk about how they’ve cut back on calories to lose weight but have hit a weight-loss plateau.  Many a time when a client discusses this occurrence, we eventually come to the conclusion that the client is not eating enough.  This probably sounds foreign but you do need to eat in order to lose weight!  If you’re not eating enough your body goes into “starvation mode.”   Then whenever you do eat your body automatically stores those calories as fat because it is worried that it is not going to get enough calories to carry out your daily activities.

In no way am I relaying that you shouldn’t cut back on calories to lose weight, however, there is a limit on how much one should be cutting back.  Something else I find to be prudent to mention since I’ve heard so much about the benefits of cutting out carbohydrates from ones diet in order to achieve weight loss is the fact that your body NEEDS carbohydrates for survival.  Speaking bluntly, if you don’t eat carbohydrates you will die.  In popular media carbohydrates are time and again depicted as the enemy and an obstacle in losing weight when in reality they are absolutely necessary to your overall health and body function.  Carbohydrates and calories are our good friends, in moderation, so that we may fuel our bodies.

If you have any question on what your needs are given your current lifestyle, Kindred Nutrition offers something called a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) test.  All you need to do in order to take this test is breathe into a tube for seven to ten minutes and once completed it will tell you exactly how many calories your body actually burns while you are sedentary or at rest, from there it will calculate how many calories you should be consuming to either lose or maintain your weight.  With this extremely accurate test you will also be provided with a lot of interesting information which could really aid you in either losing or maintaining your weight.  For example, this test also lets you know how many calories you would burn doing thirty minutes of exercise at a moderate level, how many calories you burn performing daily activities, and the fewest amount of calories you could possibly be consuming per day in order to avoid the “starvation mode”.  After completing this test, you could also speak to Amy or Dawn to see what types of food and how much of each type you should be eating to best fuel you in whatever you may be doing or working towards.  The numbers you get from this machine are not set in stone either,  if you are unhappy with the results or long for a better acting metabolism, Amy or Dawn could aid you in that as well. 


My bottom line: even when trying to lose weight, you need to be providing your body with all the nutrients it needs to be given so that it can be best fueled to perform the way we want it to.   If those needs aren’t met, your body will suffer the consequences.  A weight loss journey shouldn’t mean continuing to sacrifice the health of your body; it should be just the opposite.  While cutting back on what you are consuming just keep in mind you still need to be meeting your body’s needs. 

In Good Health,

Katie Wanger

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