Here are some of things that happen and why it’s not a simple thing to implement.

A Calorie Deficit

You lose weight – if you stick to things over time you’ll drop weight, and specifically fat. Amazing.

But….

You’ll have less energy. There literally is less energy than you need coming in to the body so over time you may find that you feel more lethargic and less motivated to train/stick to the food guidelines/get 10k steps.

If there is less energy coming in then you’re not getting the vitamins and minerals needed to full thrive, along with not enough energy to thrive either. Everybody wants to look their best ….but this isn’t the best way to do it. It’s just the best way to lose weight.

Less nutrients coming in may mean you’re more likely to pick up any cold/flu viruses going as again it’s probably not the best conditions for your immune system to be functioning at it’s best.

Less energy and less opportunity to eat some of your favourite foods can make it difficult to stay motivated. We live in a time of comfort so the easier option is to always check out.

Dieting and performance are two conflicting goals. If I had a shilling for every time I said this I’d be a rich man. Be prepared to just survive in your training especially as you get leaner.

It’s important if you’re trying to lose weight to commit a period of time to stick to (usually 8-12 weeks) and once this is up move away from dieting as it’s a stress on the body and that’s usually the end of the line for someone mentally as well.

Maintain your new weight and let your body readapt. A rule of thumb would be to do this for at least the same amount of time you spent dieting (8-12 weeks).

If you feel like there is more weight to shift then organise a plan with your coach.

I’d just like to note that the guidelines here aren’t a case of ‘these are the only rules’, but for most cases they are apt.

Calorie Maintenance

This is where you want to spend most of your time. Your weight will stay stable on average over time.

Some of the advantages are…

You won’t put weight back on. Many times the actual failure with weight loss isn’t the inability to lose weight, it’s the inability to keep it off.

Consuming your maintenance level calories helps you settle at your new weight and is also practice at ‘how to live there’. You build habits and it becomes counter intuitive to go back to constantly eating in a surplus if that was the case previously.

You have enough energy coming in to match your needs with life and exercise. Good times!

Hair, nails, skin will all thrive with enough vitamins, minerals and energy in your body. (Sleep, hydration, stress all play a role here too though).

Nutrient intake jumps back up and this is obviously ideal for whole body, but immune system specific as well.

Motivation bumps up. I look great and now I can eat more food again. Good times part 2!

Living at maintenance (and sometimes in a small surplus depending on the goal) is where you make your major gains with performance.

There is enough energy coming in to fuel workouts and it’s a great chance to progress in the gym, on the road, on the water or wherever you train.

I hope this helps and provides food for thought on goal setting.

Everybody wants to lose weight and look lean but it comes at a cost.

Final thought on this – please, please be kind to yourself.

If you’re a healthy weight and don’t have any medical issues there are so many ways you can work on yourself and you happiness without plunging yourself into a vicious cycle of dieting all the time.