Perhaps the most concerning misconception in the world of healthy eating is that to get fit, you’ve got to eat less.
We hear harrowing stories of people restricting themselves to ridiculously-low daily calorie intakes, banishing carbs and existing on kale salad.
Madalin Frodsham‘s viral before and after picture is the proof we all need that strict calorie counting can not only be dangerous, but totally ineffective.
Let’s just preface this by saying no, I did not have an ED. When I was eating 800 calories a day, I thought I was healthy. I was eating healthy food, but hardly any macronutrients. I was curious to find out what my macros were like before I actually started counting my macros, so I entered my old foods into @myfitnesspal to find out. I was quiet astonished to see how little protein and carbs I was eating. 800 calories seems absurdly low as now I need minimum 1500 calories to be full, but at the time 800 calories was keeping me full because that’s what my body was used to. After a while though, salad simply wasn’t cutting it, and for all the restrictions I was placing on my diet, I simply wasn’t seeing the results I had anticipated. So I got in touch with a PT and nutritional coach and got my macros sorted. When he first told me to eat 50% carbs I nearly died! I was eating about 10% carbs before and could not fathom how 50% carbs would not make me fat. I also freaked out at all the calories. I’ve been keeping an excel spreadsheet and in the first week of being on macros my average calories for the week was a little over 1000. I remember how hard I struggled to actually eat the size of my meals. I would just put my lunch next to my desk and eat it over the course of 3 hours as I couldn’t eat it in one sitting! Now my stomach can take way more and is much happier! In the second week I was averaging 1600 calories a day! It didn’t take long for my body to catch up. A part of me may always have that mindset that relates not eating with weight loss and “being good today”. Sometimes I may forget to eat lunch just because I got busy and for a second I will revert back to old thinking, and think “ohh, I’ve done really well today and haven’t eaten much at all.” That’s why I love tracking my macros. It will tell me “Maddy, you need to eat more. Go eat 3 potatoes”. And I’ll pat myself on the back for being healthy and doing really good today! If you’re under feeding yourself in an effort to lose weight, don’t do what I did for so long. Don’t waste your time eating salad when you could be eating sweet potatoes and banana pancakes. Eat more and get fit. It actually works ????????
In an Instagram post, Frodsham revealed that she used to consume just 800 calories a day – and considered herself healthy.
“I was eating healthy food, but hardly any macronutrients…. 800 calories seems absurdly low as now I need minimum 1500 calories to be full, but at the time 800 calories was keeping me full because that’s what my body was used to,” she wrote.
“After a while though, salad simply wasn’t cutting it, and for all the restrictions I was placing on my diet, I simply wasn’t seeing the results I had anticipated.”
Watch: A delicious quinoa recipe to try. Post continues after video.
The 27 year old then went to a personal trainer and nutritional coach to learn about macronutrients, the actual make up of calories. Macros are divided into three groups – carbohydrates, fat and protein.
The coach advised a major overhaul of her diet.
“When he first told me to eat 50 per cent carbs I nearly died! I was eating about 10 per cent carbs before and could not fathom how 50 per cent of carbs would not make me fat. I also freaked out at all the calories,” she wrote.
The average recommended break down is usually 20 per cent protein, 50 per cent carbohydrates and 30 per cent fat.