Healthy Eating: Why Eating Less is Not Always Better
Updated: Feb 6
There are many different ideas that have circulated in our society over the last few decades about how to eat healthy and lose weight. A very popular opinion that is commonly accepted is that eating less food than you would normally eat is the most effective way of losing weight. However, as more research is done on the topic, many dissenting voices have arisen to combat this theory. There is a substantial argument for why eating less could actually cause your body more harm than good. In this blog, we will explore the damaging effects that eating less food may have on your body and give you a healthy alternative to implement instead.
Your body needs to gain a certain amount of nutrients every single day. Normally, the amount that we eat in a day is dependent upon how often we get hungry. When dieting, people will ignore their hunger pains or skip meals in order to cut down on the number of calories they intake. Counting calories may seem to make a great deal of sense logically, however, you may actually be causing malnutrition and other health problems for yourself over time by doing it.
What Happens When You Eat Less
When you begin to eat less, the brain recognizes this and adjusts to prepare the body for the worst possible scenario. In order to prevent starvation, it triggers a process to rid your body of the cells that burn the most calories the quickest: your muscle tissue. When you are not in taking the amount of nutrition your body needs to sustain itself normally, your brain prioritizes body fat as something necessary to keep you alive. Over time, should you continue to eat less your body will start to burn the unwanted body fat, but it will come at the expense of your lean muscle tissue. This is why the results of eating less are not always visible right away in the areas of your body that you are hoping to skim down.
You may experience a loss of energy when you eat less food then you are accustomed to eating because you now have less of the muscle tissue that you use when moving. While you may begin to see the fat trimming results you are looking for after some time, in the long term the loss of this tissue will actually trigger the accumulation of additional body fat as your body tries to prepare for the next possible round of malnutrition. Unfortunately, you cannot trick your brain, which controls your metabolism, into burning only your body fat. Instead what you can do is focus on what you are eating instead of how much.
What You Should Do Instead
Instead of cutting back on food, try to avoid refined grains, processed sugar, and foods high in preservatives. Pay attention to the food that you are eating throughout the day and start to read ingredient labels so that you can ensure you are consuming the right kind of nutrients. Your body needs a healthy balance of food in every box of the pyramid, so instead of cutting out a food group try to find the very best ingredients.
Eating food that is made and sold locally can contain a much lower amount of preservatives because the food is not required to sit on the shelf for the length of time it would be in a grocery store or large chain. The longer an item stays on a shelf, the more preservatives such as salt and other chemicals are required to keep it tasting good. Local fruit and vegetable stands or meat markets are an excellent place to find quality products that may taste even better than what you find on a shelf - Plus there are many benefits to eating and shopping locally!
Refined grains and processed foods are normally those that are found in a box or container and have a great deal of sugar. While these foods can be simple and cheap options, they are not the kind of food that you should consume on a normal basis. They usually contain very little to almost no nutrients and do not help your body perform all of its normal functions. Cutting out these foods and finding healthier alternatives will really help you to trim back in the areas that you are targeting, but in addition, it will help you to feel better and have more energy throughout your day.
Tip: Sometimes eating healthy can be difficult, it can be harder to prepare a healthy meal rather than stop at a fast-food restaurant instead. Meal prep, however, is a great way to save time, make things easier, and stay healthy.
As you pursue a healthy way of eating better, we hope that you take these thoughts into consideration. Eating healthy is so important for maintaining energy, fighting disease, and keeping you feeling like your best self.