the fitness journal
Gym Myth - Just eat less and move more
Have you ever been told to just eat less and move more?
You will undoubtably have seen it written on blogs, mentioned online or even given it as advice.
Unfortunately, this kind of unstructured approach does not work for the vast majority of people.
Many people struggle to meet their goals because they think all they have to do is try to eat a little less and exercise a bit more. But this balancing act of calories in and calories out is ridiculously hard to guestimate especially if you don’t have a solid understanding of nutrition or rely on fitness trackers for calorie expenditure.
Without tracking calories and following a food plan, most people will struggle to maintain the calorie deficit required for fat loss. Eat too little, and it’s easy to become irritable, fatigued, or binge eat. Eat too much, and you won’t drop fat.
If your goal is to gain muscle, it is very difficult to guess the balance of macros optimal for muscle gain. This means you are likely to gain muscle more slowly than you would have with the right diet.
Getting more active is great for your health, but if you are looking to use your time efficiently, the best approach is to follow a structured training plan, which targets the areas of your body in which you are hoping to see the biggest changes.
Exercise also commonly leads to compensatory eating, where you not only eat more food, but also eat food which is sweeter and fattier, as a reward for exercising. This effect undermines many people’s attempts to improve their fitness and drop fat.
Also, don’t trust your tracker. Fitness trackers often drastically overestimate your calorie expenditure (I have written about this before), this paired with compensatory eating can add up to big problems. Think double whammy.
That is why I recommend that if you want to improve your health and fitness, by far the best approach is to follow a food and exercise plan, tailored to your goals. This takes the guesswork out of getting lean, and streamlines your efforts, helping you maximise your gains.