If you exercise more and eat less, you’ll lose weight … right?
Not necessarily. Many women erroneously eat too little for their amount of activity, which causes them to lose lean muscle mass instead of stored body fat. When your body works more, you need to eat enough to fuel your body at the appropriate level.
For example, consider the example of a 35-year-old female who weighs 145 lbs. and wants to lose 5-10 lbs. She currently has 30% body fat and her goal is 20% body fat. She has a sedentary job but she exercises 5 times per week, 30 minutes at a time. Her BMR (basal metabolic rate) is 1300 calories. That’s the amount of calories she needs to survive with no extra physical activity. But including her 5 30-minute workouts, her TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) is now approximately 1780 calories per day.
Let’s say she doubles her exercise so that she’s now doing 60 minutes per day, 5 times per week. Her BMR remains 1300, but her TDEE increases to about 2000 calories per day. When you increase your activity level, remember to increase your nutrition to give your body the support it needs to expend that additional energy.
Jose Espinoza describes this relationship in this Blueprint Nutrition video: