These side-by-side photos expose a major misconception about dieting

People commonly assume that the easiest way to lose weight is to restrict what you’re eating and switch to a diet of kale and green juice. But eating fewer calories isn’t actually the best way to go about it.

Instagram user Madalin Frodsham decided to post two side-by-side photos of herself to explain why restricting yourself in that way doesn't always work.

After making a New Year's resolution to get fit, she began cutting way down on her calorie intake and also started a high intensity workout plan, but it didn't go the way she expected at all.

In the photo on the left, she had been eating just 800 calories a day and doing those intense workouts. Madalin thought she was healthy, but wasn't seeing the kind of results she thought she would.

The photo on the right was taken after she switched to eating 1,800 calories a day on the advice of a nutritionist.

She explained in an Instagram post:

I thought I was healthy. After a while though… 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 [carbs, proteins, and fats] sorted. 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 carbs would not make me fat.

Madalin also told Self what she had learned from the experience:

Over-restricting calories to lose weight can sometimes backfire. If your body gets less calories than it needs to function, it can go into a conservation mode where it tries to hold on to as much energy as it can.

Offering her advice to others on Instagram, she said:

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.

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