Easier to give than it is to receive
Let’s say someone told me that they recently (as in the past month or so) had started a job at a bakery where they were on their feet and moving for 35 hours every week. For shits and giggles, let’s also say this person told me they lifted weights 3 days per week and did cardio on non-lifting days. And let’s say this person, who was trying to lose weight, had tracked their calories recently and they were eating even a little less than before due to no longer working as a nanny where they were in a home and trying to encourage kids to eat throughout the day. And, totally hypothetically here, let’s say that this person’s weight had been all over the place ( up then down then up – although slowly trending down) for the past month.
What would I tell this person?
I would tell them that since they were probably moving at least an extra 20 hours per week, their energy needs had gone up. I would tell them that since they had been dieting for a while without a break perhaps they needed a break to help normalize hormone levels and avoid too much metabolic slowing. I would suggest, at the very least, they add a few hundred calories to their diet every day. Probably, I would suggest eating at estimated maintenance (which is different from ‘the number of calories I eat where my weight doesn’t change’) for at least a week. I would also tell them to relax a little bit and maybe to retire the scale for a little while.
So why can’t I do it? Each day I think that maybe I’ll start an official diet break where I eat my estimated maintenance calories. I think about adding an extra snack or making one meal larger to compensate for the sudden jump in my activity levels. Instead, I continue to eat at the same deficit I did when I wasn’t on my feet and moving for 7 hours a day.
To be clear, I’m not going around hungry. I’m not punishing myself, but, despite knowing better, I keep avoiding the course of action that is most likely to get the results I’m after.
I hate my brain.