More food for more fat loss!?

Understanding weight loss and a case study example Weight loss in theory is relatively simple it comes down to your energy balance. If you are consuming less calories (energy) than your body requires daily for all its functions and movement you will have to mobilise some stored form of energy, either fat or muscle tissue, to make up the energy deficit.

 

So why has your fat loss stalled if you aren’t eating much?

When my client, Wayne, came to me his goal was to lean up a little then build some muscle tissue. He was already using My Fitness Pal and was consuming 1700 calories per day. Wayne couldn’t understand why he wasn’t losing any more fat when his calories where so low. Firstly, I needed / you need to know if you are actually consuming the number of calories you think you are. Drinks snacks meals out at the weekend and alcohol are just some of the ways extra calories can creep into your diet without you realising!

I spent the first week making sure this wasn’t the case with Wayne, checking his diary entries to make sure they were accurate and he was putting everything in. Everything seemed fine which means we needed to go lower and see if he would lose any fat. For one week I asked Wayne to stick to 1500 per day which is not recommended but it confirmed he was being honest with his intake as he lost 1lb of fat that week.

When you are dieting for a long period of time on low calories, you will initially get quick results, however, in an attempt to make up for the lack of energy coming in, the body will decrease your BMR.

Your Basal metabolic rate is the number of calories your body requires daily to live taking into account no movement. This is calories required for things like maintaining core body temperature, kidney function and maintaining muscle mass. The longer you diet on low calories, especially if protein intake is insufficient you will lose muscle mass which will decrease your BMR. The body will also stop using as many calories to maintain its other functions by down regulating hormone production such as the thyroid.

These are very normal results are reducing calories will is essential for fat loss however being smart with your strategy should minimalize them. If your weight loss has stalled and you are genuinely already on very low calories it may be time to reverse diet you calories higher.

After Wayne lost 1lb on the 1500 calorie week I explained it was time to start increasing calories. Initially we made a big jump to 1800 calories which alongside his new training program which was more intense should be maintenance calories. There was no fat increase this week so we proceeded to increase between 50-100 calories per week making sure his body has time to adjust to the new calorie intake and he wasn’t gaining fat. 14 weeks after Wayne first came to me he was now consuming 2300 calories daily and looked much better for it.

Since this second photo was taken we have been continuing to increase Wayne’s calories now with the new goal of increasing muscle mass. He is currently consuming 4000 daily from a variety of foods he enjoys.

Strength and Size is increasing so well Wayne decided to enter a Men’s Physique completion next June. Plenty of time to continue building muscle before dieting down from his new higher calorie intake which will mean he won’t be ending up on 1500 calories to get stage lean.

 

Summary:

-> Cutting back calories too low, to quickly will only decrease your BMR and decrease your metabolism

-> Look out for those ‘hidden calories’ in your diet you may be miscounting like sugary lattes or condiments like Ketchup

-> If you hit a plateau with your weight loss try gradually increasing your calories back up and increasing intensity of workouts.

 

Posted in Fat Loss, Progress and tagged , , .

4,449 Comments

    • Hello Carly, that is going to be so individualised. The best way to start if your going to do it yourself is just track what you eat normally for a week, measure progress with photo’s and measurements at the start and end oft the week then you can see if the calories you where consuming resulted in fat loss or not.

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