Stop Starving Yourself

langley weight loss

If you have a weight loss goal, it’s a common thing to reduce the unhealthy food in your life.

But one thing you absolutely do not want to do is starve yourself.

See, what ends up happening is you’re motivated to lose weight so you drop the calories so low that you’re essentially starving yourself because logically that will help you lose weight faster…

But this has terrible ramifications on your metabolism for the long term!


Give yourself permission to eat as much ‘healthy food’ as you want to eat as it’s actually pretty low in calories.

For example:
If you’re eating chicken rice and broccoli 3 meals per day, you’re only eating 1500 cals/day.

And that’s not enough food long term for anyone unless you weigh less than 120lbs.

Here’s the breakdown of that meal

  • A 6 oz chicken breast typically contains around 231 calories.
  • 1 cup of cooked white rice contains approximately 205 calories.
  • 1 cup of chopped broccoli contains roughly 31 calories.

There’s 60 grams of protein in this meal which equals 180 grams/day if you eat that meal 3x/day.
That’s 467 calories/meal which equals 1400 calories/day if you eat that meal 3x/day.

Now if you cooked that meal in 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil that’s about 100 calories.

So now it’s up to 1700 calories/day…

But if you’ve read any of my content in the past, I’m so against carbs for breakfast for weight loss, so if you just removed the rice from breakfast now you’re at 1500 calories for the day.

And then maybe you added a sauce to one of those meals or some spices and that might be a few extra cals…

Getting to the point of this…

I commonly suggest members looking to lose weight to eat 3 meals per day with no snacks.

This is because I’m trying to help you control the unhealthy food coming in during snacks, but to be honest, many times (when people show me their nutrition), I’m like, that’s all you eat in a day?

You got to get in the mindset of eating as much ‘healthy food’ as you want.

I’m saying this because:
Your body is an adaptation machine.

And the less you eat the more your body reduces the energy it expends.
And the more you exercise the more efficient your body becomes at that exercise (especially cardio).

Take a moment and read that again please.

(I’ll wait)…

This means over time you’ll burn less calories doing the same activity.

And if you cut your calories too far too fast your body will activate its evolutionary starvation survival mechanisms and create weight loss frustration for years to come for you.

This is why people regain weight after big weight losses.

And true, we do have a weight loss challenge starting next Friday, but this can still be done gradually losing 1-2lbs per week.

2lbs of weight lost per week for 12 weeks is 24lbs and over 10% for most people taking this on.

So if you want to lose weight or fat, it’s best if you make it a lifestyle, eating as much ‘healthy food’ as you’d like 90% of the time while partaking in workouts in the gym and an active lifestyle out of the gym.

Here’s a quick way of looking at things:

Know roughly how many calories you’re burning right now

For most people you can multiply your bodyweight in lbs by 15.

This will give you roughly how many calories you’re burning a day.

For example:
A 150lb person burns about 2250 cals per day.
(to lose 1lb a week you would eat 150 x 12 = 1800 cals/day)

A 200lb person burns about 3000 cals per day
(to lose 1lbs a week you would eat 200 x 12 = 2400 cals/day)

To lose 1lb per week you need a deficit of 3500 cals per week.
3500 cals divided by 7 days/week = 500 cals/day

If you want to lose more then be consistent with your exercise and workouts.
Get active and walk more when you’re not working out.
Don’t do it by starving yourself.
I promise you, you’ll never get to the next level, and the next level after that if you do that.

And there you go.

Now you’ve got a plan for losing 2lbs/week.

I’d love to end this post right here right now.

But if you’re not aware of how many calories you’re eating how will you know you need to change anything?


Starting writing down what you’re eating right now.

Don’t change your habits just yet, just keep eating what you’ve been eating.

We need to get your baseline and what’s happening when you’re not thinking about these kinds of things.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want you to count calories, but it’d be nice to know this number for your reference for the future.

So write everything down that you eat and then log it in a food tracker like my fitness pal.

Then do this for one more day.

And then do it for one more day.

And then do it for the following 4 days.

Then you can calculate how many calories you consume on average throughout the week.

Odds are, weekend calories are different than weekday for you (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you find you don’t eat that much during the week like our example above).

Now, once you know how many calories you’re taking in a day, you can take action.

Heck, you could just be more consistent, never miss a workout, and move more and not change your nutrition (other than increasing your protein).

But most of you who want to lose some weight right now, should take your bodyweight x 12 and then track another week eating healthier foods and try to hit that number.

And don’t give me any of this 1300 calories/day shit.

That’s actually less than what they gave participants (1560 cals/day) in the Minnesota Experiment where they actually starved people.

The Minnesota Starvation Experiment was a landmark study conducted during World War II, primarily aimed at understanding the physical and psychological effects of starvation and developing strategies for post-war rehabilitation and underscored the importance of understanding the physiological and psychological implications of food deprivation and informed subsequent research on nutrition, eating disorders, and rehabilitation strategies.
minnesota starvation experiment


I just laid it out for you if you’re ready to take action.

And if you want a bit more accountability and guidance our Biggest Winner weight loss challenge starts next Friday.

We’ll do our best to help you build sustainable habits over the next 12 weeks without starving yourself (just limiting carbs for the first 9 days to help reset your metabolism).

We’ll see you in the gym!

Committed to your success,
Josh Saunders, BS, CSCS

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