The Myth of Undereating Explained

August 9, 2018

"I was actually undereating!  I started eating more and finally lost weight!"

Not really.

One of the most common things I hear from clients when they start with me is, "Are you sure I'm not overeating? THIS IS SO MUCH FOOD!"

I'll explain how they are actually eating LESS than before.

First, what do I mean when I say "LESS"?  For fat loss what matters most is calories.  Eat less calories than you expend and your body will use its fat stores for energy which means weight loss for you.  So when I say "less", what I actually mean is less calories.  However, they are eating more VOLUME than before which can make it feel like a lot more food.
 

 

What I find is that many people consume much higher dietary Fat than they realize.  This is because Carbs and Protein only have 4 calories per gram, but Fat has 9 calories per gram.  So perhaps volume-wise their diet felt balanced.  When in reality they were likely consuming 60%+ of their total calories via fat.  Fats are a necessary part of our diet and, if you follow my page regularly, you know I never advocate food type or any macronutrient type restriction.  However, most people do tend to eat higher fat, lower protein, and moderate carb.  I instead suggest to moderate protein, carb, and fat across the board.  And if the goal is fat loss, implement a caloric deficit.

Yet many people think they are still eating more than before, why?

It is because almost all fats are lower volume and higher calorie than protein, carbs, and veggies.  My plans emphasize vegetables, provide ideal protein for a fat loss environment, and utilize some fiber-rich carbohydrate sources.  This means clients get lots of healthy fiber and protein, both of which are known to be highly filling!  Yet, they are also lower calorie.

Here's an example of volume compared to calories...
1 cup of broccoli (veggie) = 30 calories.  
1 cup of shredded chicken breast (protein) = 230 calories
1 cup of cooked rice (carb) = 200 calories.
BUT 1 cup of olive oil (fat) = 2000 calories!

So you can see why many people think they were undereating before, changed their diet to "more food", and then lost weight.  This is actually a beneficial strategy I use to prevent hunger and help clients lose weight at the same time!

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