Personal trainers have nightmares sometimes – many of which are recurring fears. There are 2 most popular ones:
1. Clients that lie in their food journals
2. Clients that are scared to eat anything at all
The first category are the ones who are secret bingers or maybe just accomplished liars. They don’t want to let the trainer down and sometimes they’re scared of what the trainer will say. The second category are often those which confuse feeling full with feeling fat.
When you eat a large meal – particularly one heavy in carbohydrates – you naturally retain water and your stomach expands because it’s FULL. Literally full. This doesn’t mean you’re instantly fatter than you were before. Granted, your weight may actually go up as much as 5-10 lbs after a heavy meal and reasonable amounts of fluid, but once your body has had time to process and digest the food, you’ll often find you’re not any heavier than you were.
Of course, if you keep eating more food than is required for your daily activity levels, this will result in weight gain.
So it begs the question: Just how many calories do you need to eat in order to lose weight? Is it as low as 800 in some extreme cases, or can it be done as high as 2500 calories per day?
To answer these questions let’s take a look at the factors at play when determining how many calories one needs to eat in order to achieve their goals.
Factor One – Your BMR
BMR stands for Basal-Metabolic-Rate. In layman’s terms this is the amount of energy you require, or your body requires, to support daily essential functions. This is the amount of calories needed to support the organs and keep all body processes working. Now you may or may not know, but your BMR is assuming you aren’t doing anything other than laying still (vegetating).
Even if you’re the best example of a couch potato I can find, I’m willing to bet you do more in a day than spend 24 hours laying in one position.
Factor Two – Your Activity Level
Someone who works as a removal man and plays American football 4 nights per week after work, is going to need a vast amount of calories over their BMR than someone who is jobless and spends all day watching television. But you knew that already.
Where the problems arise are the miscalculations of just how many calories an active person truly needs. In my most recent post reviewing Emmet Louis’ Modern methods of mobility seminar, I included that he said this was a classic problem; eating low calorie diets while exercising all the time.
Factor Three – The Quality Of The Food You Eat
The composition of the food you eat determines the amount of energy required to process the food itself. Two types of food require the most energy to break down. They are A) Protein and B) Vegetables. In fact many vegetables require more energy to break down than what they actually contain, coupled with their rich micronutrient profile and satiation properties, makes them an amazing choice for fat loss.
While you certainly can find your weight loss range in terms of daily calories and fill them calories with foods considered ‘junk’ such as takeaways, pop tarts, ice cream and chips….such a diet will leave you far less satiated and much more undernourished than a whole foods diet rich in vegetables, protein, fruits and natural carbohydrates.
Use the equations yourself and share them with anyone you know that may benefit from them. Regardless of your background, gender or age, you’ll find the numbers are probably higher than your favourite guru or local magazine suggested. And for those worrying, I’ve seen this to be the case with so many clients in the real world; as soon as they eat a bit more, the results start coming.
Cutting calories too hard doesn’t work. It sets up classic rebound habits…….and n who wants that? Nobody that reads my content.