Body fat? Skinny with alot of bodyfat? Thinking…”but I only had a salad today?” This is a classic sign of undereating and lack of calories. We all have a certain amount of calories we burn while at rest. This can be “averaged” by the amount of activity you do, your genetics, metabolism…things like that. Some are “lucky, some not so much.
The same goes with “how many calories do I need a day?” There are different sites that will give you youre avage to maintain your current weight depending on the amount of activity you do every day and your sex and age. None of this is more than a generalized guide. So the true answer is you have to find what is right for you.
It certainly get confusing and many times I try to put things into simple terms for those who dont want to get involved with weighing, micros ,macros, glycemic indexes andf so forth. Even I get brain burnout reading that stuff. You will need to experiment to see what works for you.
As for undereating and not having anough calories, well you may have just as much bodyfat as a visually thin person than that an overweight in appearance person. Larger people have more muscle mass from being larger as well, so what you see may not be “fat”.
Now if you undereat, you in fact put yourself into starvation survival mode. The human body has some amazing properties and goes into automatic pilot mode to prevent death….this includes fat storage for use at a later crucial point….or severe starvation. It knows if you only ate once a day, it will slow your metabolism and store your fat…caloric intake has zero to do with weight loss and fat loss once this point is reached. The same with water. A dehydrated person will get swollen calves and ankles….STORAGE mode again. Human survival. In extreme anorexic cases, yes you will lose weight with lack of food, but its not pretty and you lose muscle, evergy, your hair and you get peach fuzz all over your body. Not to mention…organ failure, electrolye imbalance in the heart and future permananet heart damage. There is more of course….do not do this 🙂
So now what? Confused? Rule of thumb that keeps you within you calorie range is fist sized meals conatining a protein, clean whole grain type of carbohydrates and vegetables. You can eat a cup of vegetables 6 times a day with your protein and carbs. They are low cal, full of nutrition and guilt free…oh plus filling of course.
You can do three of these type meals a day and 3 protein shakes or a couple boiled aggs, chunk of chicken breast…but something substansial to quench hunger and keep the metabolism at optimum levels. I sometimes refer to it as “grazing”.
Now, if you gain some weight from this, give it a couple weeks to balance out before changing it a bit, then eat the same, yet trim the portion if you want. At the end of 6 weeks, see what happens and add a couple weeks of more cabohydrates…assess how you feel, how you look etc. Do NOT rely on the scale. if you have more energy and feel great and are training harder, then the weight could be attributed to increase in muscle density or a little water weight, which may not be a bad thing. A 32 oz bottle of water adds 2 lbs ….did you drink alot? Take your weight at a different time of day? It ALL matters in that, but the numbers wont matter if your pants button up or are looser…do they?
Im 5’2″ and 3/4 and currently weigh about 127. I say ABOUT because I dont know. I weighed in around 121 at my last competition, perhaps less 3 weeks ago. After competing in 4 shows this year I finally finished for the season and went nuts on everything I felt I had been deprived of the last 9 months. I ballooooooned up!!! My rebound wasnt pretty. My stomach swelled and I could even suck it in to save my liffe. My abs were gone and I was smooth all over. Turns out I wasnt missing too much in the ways of bad food, but I was missing calories and strength. After leg pressing about 100 lbs at a sitting I am now pressing 500 easily. Food is strength…our fuel.
One last thing is about calories that I forgot to mention…all calories are not created equal!!!! If you were told you needed to take it 2500 calories a day, this does not mean a cupcake or a slice of pizza is allowed in the configuration. It means clean calories and clean eating. Look up the terms for clean eating and it means what it says…clean. Pure, God or Mother Nature made (doesnt have to be organic or fresh as thats expensive) but it shouldnt be coated, soaked in or covered and rolled in anything. Seasoned is fine, salsa is fine (10 cals in 2 tablespoons :)) and even some dressings are fine sometimes. What isnt fine is “low fat”. Take in some fats, it wont kill you and low fat is often “high sugar” in disguise. A tablespoon of mayo, a smidge of dressing , some olive oil…isn’t going to ruin you.
I know even in laymans terms, this is potentially confusing still. I am working on getting my own book and more so my cooking and prepping videos out. Im in the “business” and some of the stuff out there makes my brain hurt, so I wouldnt expect people to understand them and who wants tyo be made to feel stupid? My mission is to help you, set off a lightbulb of understanding and make it easy for you. Ive put myself into this for 6 years, heart and soul to make a difference in people’s lives and to share the gift of wellness.
Take care and keep trying


About Fern Assard

44 year old Professional Fitness Model, National Womens Physique Competitor, Mother or four...crazy food advocate fighting for a fitter, healthier America. Im passionate because I care :)

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