Weight loss. Are you your own worst enemy?

Have you ever cut back on what you’re eating for some time, really ‘tried to eat good’ and shed a few pounds to slide a little in that new habit only to have the lost pounds return and bring a few ‘friends’ with them?

If so, you’re not alone. 

This type of ‘dieting’ is referred to as ‘weight cycling’ or ‘yo-yo dieting,’ and here’s what could be going on.

You restrict your calorie intake, often significantly, and see an initial decrease in body weight. You think ‘great’ I’m on the right track! Soon, you realize that eating so little is not sustainable; maybe people on severe caloric restriction experience depression or fatigue.

These emotions can often lead to eating more than you did before beginning the new diet causing a rapid increase in weight—possibly more than when you started.

Worse yet – regaining weight this way is often more fat than muscle.

Fat deposition is the most efficient way for the body to store energy. This energy store replenishment is referred to as preferential catch-up fat. Not good.

Another issue is the high metabolic plasticity of skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle will reduce its energy expenditure during long periods of dieting. Simply put, if you undereat for an extended period, your body will reduce the number of calories it needs.

Combine your slowed metabolic rate with preferential catch-up fat effect, and you’ll soon find yourself on a downward spiral of muscle loss and fat gain. NOT GOOD.

So how do you avoid this?

It’s pretty simple; you need a plan to build muscle AND burn fat simultaneously.

The first thing we want to do is establish your daily calorie needs. For that, we’ll need your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and activity levels.  

For BMR, we like to use our InBody system. The InBody system calculates your BMR based on your skeletal muscle mass (SMM). As your SMM goes up, your daily caloric need goes up as well, so we like to do these scans monthly. 

Once we have that, your coach will design a combination of strength training balanced with metabolic conditioning (MetCons) workouts that are in line with your goals and eating habits

The strength training helps preserve and even build SMM while the MetCons keep your metabolism firing on all cylinders. 

Once these new habits are in place, it is not a matter of tweaking your daily food habit slightly and see that downward spiral becoming an upward climb towards your goals.  

Got questions? Hit me up at joe@crossfitmass.com