Does Eating Less Actually Work?

Scott Braver
7 min readMay 23, 2021
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Short answer- usually no. Typically, for well-conditioned individuals- yes.

There seems to be quite a misconception that eating less will always yield impactful results in the waistline.

Well, that is pretty false. I understand it’s very counterintuitive to think that way, but our bodies are very unique machines.

As soon as we think we know something, it throws us for a loop and we learn something more.

Keep in mind, there are MANY different ways one can lose weight, change their physical appearance, change their metabolic and cardiovascular health, and change their habits.

There is no such thing as ONE way to do anything. There is trial and error and learning from our mistakes. Learning which style best fits your unique situation and how YOUR body responds to the stimuli.

Unfortunately, without correcting the INITIAL problem of undereating and poor quality food choices, we can spin our wheels and shoot ourselves in the foot if we don’t have the fundamentals down first.

Identifying There Is A Problem

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First things first, we need to recognize when we say we are eating “healthy,” that term is very broad and generalized.

That is like saying I have a dog. There are many different breeds and this is a very general statement.

What is marketed as “healthy” couldn’t be farther from the truth. ANY pre-packaged products are not healthy because there is some sort of processing that is involved in manufacturing and obtaining a longer shelf life.

Do not buy into the marketing gimmicks. Real food IS healthy food.

That can be found with foods that have no nutritional labels.

For example, steak, veggies, fruits, seafood, chicken, turkey, etc.

Even then, it can get nuanced because mass-produced meats aren’t exactly the best, but is still better than processed foods in boxes or cans.

We have to be cognizant of antibiotics, hormones, and fillers in meat products. That is why it is best to stick with grass-fed beef products from a local farm, if available.

Beyond that, we have to know that eating out is simply not an option. We have no control over how the food is prepared and many restaurants use industrial seed oils or other chemicals due to the longevity of the product and overhead.

Understanding that eating a salad is not going to help you lose weight. First, people don’t like eating salads because they are bland and not tasty so they add a bunch of crap to make it tasty.

Drowning the lettuce in a dressing that contains seed oils and tons of sugars is not the way to go. Plus adding cheese or other fats is a good way to gain weight.

One rule to follow is not eating a fat and a carb together. Salads are carbs (veggies) and cheese/salad dressings are fats.

There is no nutritional value and leaves us feeling hungry shortly after.

Even adding chicken on top is not going to save the day. Mainly because the ratios are off with the lettuce typically outweighing the maybe two ounces of protein from chicken.

The first step is always the hardest because Big Food has had some pretty clever marketing techniques that have been impactful and transpired through multiple generations.

On top of that, the masses listen to the FDA because they are SUPPOSED to have our best interest in mind.

Contrary to popular belief, they really don’t and are more concerned about balancing their pocketbooks than the general welfare of the population.

Why Eating Less Is Faulted (Sometimes)

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Because of the first incidence where people cannot identify healthy versus unhealthy products, we think if we starve ourselves and continue burning the candle at both ends, we will thrive!

Couldn’t be further from the truth.

We are a highly complex system that needs FUEL to work efficiently. You wouldn’t put diesel fuel in a BMW, would you?

Because that is EXACTLY what people are doing to their bodies!

Our cars (bodies) may run for a little while, but it WILL break down because that is not the intended fuel source and it clogs many important systems.

Understand that there are an INFINITE amount of insults, but a FINITE amount of responses our body can handle.

If we continually eat UNDER our BMR (basal metabolic rate) we are quite literally starving ourselves.

Keep in mind- the BMR is the number of calories our bodies burn to survive just being you. We all have a unique BMR because we are all different like snowflakes:)

Another example, let’s say our BMR is 1500 calories/day. Now we are busy, working, kids, extracurricular activities, etc. We go through the drive-through, as many of us do for convenience, and grab a meal. Then we go, go, go and maybe pasta for dinner. Let’s not forget our Starbucks run with extra sugary crap in there too.

Well, we might be around our caloric intake for the day in crap, but not at all for nutritional foods.

Many of us are even under our caloric intake even if we eat a few meals throughout the day.

The next pattern is what I see most.

People see they are gaining weight. They continue to do the same thing and eat out, but order a salad or cut their portions in smaller amounts.

Following that, they continue to cut portions, or even meals at this point because they’re not seeing any weight loss.

This problem is twofold. First, we are depriving our body of calories- so anything we do eat, our bodies are going to hold onto it like it’s going out of style. AKA we will continue to gain weight.

Second, we aren’t eating nutritionally dense foods.

Then we get stuck in this perpetual mode of suck and get frustrated and go back to eating like how we were and THAT worsens the problem. Not only physically, but it puts our mental health in a bad spot too.

Change the scenario now. Let’s pretend that you are physically fit and are tracking your macros. Your BMR at that point is 1800 because your output is metabolically increased due to increased expenditure of calories and demand for more.

If you want to lose weight, simply put yourself in a 200 calorie a day deficit from 1800. You would be at 1600 and you will lose weight. More output and less input yield results in a positive fashion. Supply and demand at its finest.

It’s very simple in that aspect. Most people forget that they aren’t starting off with a bodybuilder’s physique and need to build up their metabolic input/output to achieve their desired effects.

What Next?

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The next steps are going to be in your court. You need to identify which category you fall into. Are you the bodybuilder that has their food intake dialed in, active, and doesn’t eat out?

Or- are you the overweight individual trying to lose weight and “tone up?”

There is no right or wrong answer here, what is important is honesty.

If you aren’t honest with yourself, you will continue to struggle and demonize people that have studied nutrition, health, and wellness for many years because their approach didn’t work when you tried it.

There is no get-rich-quick scheme. That never works. You have to put in the work and you have to make calculated choices.

If you are at the point where you want to lose weight and change your life for the better, you need to have a serious evaluation and honest realization of the foods you consume.

If you aren’t honest, you are just hurting yourself in the long run.

The system works, we need to be patient and follow the path. Once again, there are many ways one can lose weight, but you want to do it in a healthful way.

A way that is sustainable, encourages longevity, and gets you the results you yearn for. Anything worth having is worth working for.

Eat a nutritious meal 3 times a day. Be active and start walking. Avoid any additional sugary foods like Starbucks fraps or energy drinks.

I have seen 3 people this past week that have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease BECAUSE of excessive energy drink consumption.

Drink your coffee black, or try some tea.

Stop making excuses for your behaviors. We all fall trap to peer pressure and cave when we shouldn’t, myself included.

We have to have the self-recognition and understanding that it is a treat, not a daily reward.

Stick with the basics and they will not steer you wrong.

Be strong. Be brave.