You may have heard of this traditional approach to weight loss: “eat less, move more.” Although there is some truth to this approach, there is more to it than you might think! As you will find out, a more doable and healthy strategy is to eat more to lose weight.
The eat more to lose weight approach stems from functional medicine for weight loss for combating the root causes of your health obstacles. Specifically, a balanced diet that helps heal your body from the inside out by stabilizing your blood sugar, for example, will also help you achieve your goal of losing weight! YAY!
Traditional Weight Loss Approaches
There is a HUGE difference between eating in a caloric deficit and eating too few calories that can come from the “eat less, move more” approach. Eating too few calories can cause lowered energy levels, constant hunger, and lowered metabolism, which is the opposite of what you want if you want to lose weight.
In addition, yo-yo dieting, which causes weight fluctuations as a result of starting and stopping various diets, can result in initial weight loss– however, this pattern can unfortunately prevent you from keeping weight off and harm your metabolism in the long run.
Functional Medicine: A Holistic Approach to Weight Loss
The eat more to lose weight approach targets the underlying reasons why you might find it difficult to lose weight, such as an unhealthy gut or inflammation.
For example, an unhealthy gut can signal to other areas of the body like the brain and immune system to be in distress– this causes nasty inflammation that can harm our bodies long term.
In a similar way, less-than-optimal gut health can stem from several factors, which can cause your body to store extra weight and decrease your metabolism over time. These factors include:
- Gut imbalances
- Hormonal imbalances
Specifically targeting these nasty factors will help you improve your gut health and sustainably lose and manage your weight along the way!!
The Importance of Eating More for Weight Loss
As we now know, eating too few calories can cause our metabolism to decrease rather than increase, which can be confusing if you’re embarking on a weight loss journey.
Weight loss is more than just the “calories in, calories out” concept (“calories in” referring to the calories you consume, and “calories out” referring to the energy you burn through essential activities like breathing, digesting food, exercising, and more.) However, your “calories in” and “calories out” can change depending on how physically active you are, any conditions you may have (like PCOS), how different foods make you feel, and more.
Because of this, the main idea of the eat more to lose weight approach is to shift the focus from calorie restriction to eating lots of nutrient-dense foods that your body needs rather than restricting certain foods or whole food groups.
Also, understanding the role of metabolism in weight loss and maintenance is CRUCIAL to achieving your weight goals! Knowing what to eat and why to eat it is key, which makes this approach the best way to lose weight with PCOS!
For example, lean sources of protein (chicken, fish) that are digested and metabolized slowly in your body will make you feel fuller for longer– this will help you eat enough to feel satisfied while keeping caloric levels at bay! WOOHOO!
Strategies for Eating More to Lose Weight
One GREAT strategy to eat more to lose weight is to incorporate foods from different food groups together to make meals satisfying while still within a sustainable calorie window! One way to do so is to pair a source of carbohydrates with a source of protein and (healthy) fat to slow digestion.
Prioritizing whole, unprocessed foods in your diet is another fool-proof strategy! Diets tend to be more sustainable if you incorporate nutritious foods that you genuinely enjoy (instead of scarfing down celery juice every morning if celery isn’t your thing!)
It is also important to know how much of each macronutrient (carbs, protein, and fat) you should consume every day! When it comes to calories, carbohydrates should come in first, then protein, followed by healthy fats. However, protein is your bestie when it comes to healthily losing weight!
For weight loss, how you eat is just as important as what you eat. Incorporating easy mindful eating practices to promote feeling full and satisfied is SO important to prevent overeating! Here are some great examples:
- Eat slowly
- Chew your food thoroughly
- Finish eating when you are satisfied/nearing fullness
- Check in with your hunger levels here and there as you eat your meals
A Comprehensive Solution
Want to lose weight?
Ditch the traditional “eat less, move more” approach and eat more to lose weight! Eating more of the right foods supports your gut health, which will prevent you from holding on to extra weight! Also, knowing how different foods work together to make you feel satisfied throughout the day is ESSENTIAL for weight loss!
Want to promote your overall well-being?
We again want to highlight the importance of functional medicine for weight loss, as it targets the core reasons why you might be feeling crummy instead of slapping a Band-Aid over your problems and calling it a day.
In addition to eating more and getting more nutrients into your diet, getting adequate sleep (7-9 hours), moving your body in ways that YOU enjoy, and finding sustainable methods to manage daily stressors are the essential building blocks to promote your well-being!!
Want to transform your gut health?
Join our Gut Fix program!!
The Gut Fix™ Program is our comprehensive program to maximize your gut health and make you feel your best! This program includes a weekly hour-long session with our lead dietitian Jillian, The Gut Fix online course, a functional stool test, and a three-month individualized regimen! This program is AMAZING for those who want to fix their gut and heal their body from the inside out!!