We live in a image obsessed culture, were a person body weight/composition is scrutinised through a number of forms of media whether it be celebrities in a newspaper or a friend on social media. This ISSUE is the cause for extreme dieting, extreme calorie restriction and fad weight loss solutions such as the waist trainer (a corset not to dissimilar to that worn by Victorian women). The damage that is caused from these methods can be not only detrimental to your physique but your health.
The key to long term weight loss or maintenance, is to make it LONG TERM, the definition of diet has changed over time, it was once the statement in the above picture but now to most it means restriction of food, which is usually carried out quite drastically.
Sticking yourself on a low calorie weight loss diet, generally low carb diet, which is the method most dieters use is certainly not a LONG TERM solution, and if you don’t understand the processes and strain your body goes through without carbohydrates and program refeeds etc. accordingly your probably not going to see results and your likely to gain more weight upon returning to a ‘normal’ diet. Which you will eventually because nobody enjoys eating lean meats and veg for every meal, and carbs taste great, meaning a low carb diet isn’t sustainable for most.
We all get pleasure from the foods we eat, why would you want to take that away by eating bland foods with no taste?
Look at the image of the nutritional pyramid above, the base and most important aspect of food intake is energy balance which is controlled by caloric intake.
IF YOU ARE NOT GIVING YOUR BODY ENOUGH ENERGY TO SUPPORT VITAL FUNCTIONS AT REST YOU WILL NOT LOSE WEIGHT OR MAINTAIN WEIGHT.
After long periods of low calorie dieting your body is going to hold onto calories and store them as body fat in order for it to survive, vital hormones for weight management and appetite regulation will drop and you will most likely find you are fatter, hungrier, binge more, tired constantly, sex drive will drop and overall mood will be bad.
Finding your caloric needs
If you want to make the necessary changes which will allow you to eat more of the foods you want whilst still losing weight and improve your general health then you need to keep things simple to begin with and get stage one of ‘The Nutrition Pyramid’ pictured below in order.
Looking at the rank of importance running down the left hand side of the pyramid, you can see that the base of any good diet is energy balance and CALORIC INTAKE. Once you have your calorie intake set, you can look to improve the rest of the pyramid, following the rank of importance.
Here’s how to figure out how many calories your body needs to function at rest, this is called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR):
BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in KG) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age)
BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in KG) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)
Once you have figured out your BMR you need to multiply that figure according to your lifestyle and exercise:
No exercise = BMR x 1.2
Light exercise (1-3 days a week) = BMR x 1.375
Moderate exercise (3-5 days a week) = BMR x 1.55
Heavy exercise (5-7 days a week) = BMR X 1.725
Very heavy exercise (train twice a day) = BMR x 1.9
The above equation leaves you with a figure, this is your maintenance calories, and you could now manipulate these for fat loss, without you under eating and causing further damage.
Using myself as an example:
Training: 4 days per week
BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x 77) + (4.799 x 169) – (5.677 x 22) = 1807
Now we have to factor lifestyle in, so as I train 4 times a week I will multiply my BMR by 1.55
Maintenance calories = BMR x 1.55 = 2800 calories
What to do now
If you have been under eating I’d suggest eating maintenance calories for a minimum of 2 weeks without looking at the scale, after the 2 weeks check your weight, from my experience your weight will have dropped, in some cases it may stay the same and rarely will it go up.
After the initial 2 weeks:
If weight has dropped: Keep eating the same calories
If weight is the same: Drop calories by 10%
If weight has increased: Drop calories by 10%
And weigh yourself weekly from this point onwards.
for more information on calories read my previous blog https://joeneillfitness.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/calories-what-are-they/
If you need help setting up a diet and exercise plan or need weekly support feel free to contact the No Limits team for help or information on our online training service firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal trainer @ No Limits Strength and Conditioning Centre Liverpool
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