Eating more food to lose weight sounds counterintuitive, but it can be an effective and sustainable strategy when done correctly. No, we are not defying the laws of thermodynamics (calories in / calories out). However, prioritizing protein, focusing on high-volume, low-calorie foods, and minimizing the size of your deficit can significantly impact weight loss.
Creating a Deficit
Firstly, it's important to note that losing weight is all about being in a caloric deficit. This means that you're burning more calories than you're consuming. However, the size of the deficit is what makes all the difference. When you eat too few calories, your body always tries to achieve homeostasis. Your body will slow down your metabolism to match the need of your lower food intake, leading to feelings of fatigue, weakness, and even muscle loss.
This is often why it's harder for those who have been dieting for an extended period to continue losing body fat the leaner they get.
On the other hand, if you eat a moderate amount of calories while staying in a deficit (we generally recommend a 150-300 calorie deficit), you can keep your metabolism revving and energy levels high. This will help you perform better in the gym and have a more active lifestyle overall. So, don't be afraid to eat a little more than you might expect!
Eating the Right Foods
You will want to focus on incorporating high-volume, low-calorie foods into your diet. These foods are low in calories but have a high water or fiber content, making you feel full without consuming too many calories. Some examples of high-volume, low-calorie foods include vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach, as well as fruits like berries and apples.
Another critical factor in this strategy is prioritizing protein. Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass, which is important for a healthy metabolism. Further, protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates and fats, meaning it can help you feel fuller for more extended periods of time. Some great protein sources include lean meat (chicken, fish, beef), eggs, tofu, and Greek yogurt.
So if you are tired of crash dieting and feeling sluggish during your workouts, consider eating more to lose more weight.