The truth about calculating calories is frustrating, sadly.
But as sad as it may be, it should also be quite obvious that one calculator cannot completely solve your diet problems… You’re a human being and human beings are complicated as hell!
What do I mean by this??
Well think about it for a second… We have an immune, muscular, skeletal, hormonal, nervous, digestive and many more systems all which are influenced by diet and training.
So how can it even be possible that one calculator can produce a number that tells you exactly how much to eat.
I’m sorry, but it isn’t. It just isn’t possible. There is a lot more to it, but to make it less frustrating and more clearly to you I will be explaining it for you today in this blog.
So lets use an example… ummmm Ann! Ann will be our example because Rebecca came to my mind first, for some odd reason, but that name takes to long to spell and I’m a lazy writer. [ Pun intended for all you grammar junkies who message me about simple grammar mistakes… in which I never fix 😉 ]
So Ann has been on a low carb diet and because it is a low carb diet her overall calorie intake is pretty low as well. Pretty common story right? And guess what, its working for her! She’s been losing weight, awesome.
But Ann hits a plateau… Now what?
Now she implements more training. So on top of her 3x a week strength training and 3x a week HIIT training, she adds some low intensity cardio in. She adds 2-3 days a week of treadmill work.
Boom! Ann starts losing weight again and rightfully so, she’s burning more calories. Again, makes plenty sense and it’s all awesome.
But then Ann hits another wall and weight loss plateaus. Now what??
No way she’s going to let herself train more. She’s already training hard 6x per week and adding morning cardio in as well, all making this “Fit Life” a little time-consuming.
Plus with the amount of training she is doing, she simply cannot add more because she doesn’t have the energy to do so… she probably barely has the energy to do the training she’s currently doing and even if she’s getting it done, it’s probably not at a high intensity level.
So it’s got to come from her diet, but that’s going to be overwhelming as well. Why??
Well because she barely eats carbs, making her hungry all the time, and her calories are at a low point already… any lower and it would be unhealthy, even she knows that.
Her metabolism is slowly getting worse and worse because of the low-calorie diet, which isn’t allowing her to burn any more calories either…
This is an average everyday client that walks into the doors of our gym for the first time. They have been chasing their goals, with a ton of motivation to get there, but no tools or guidance to get there the right way.
The answer to her solution is to get a coach.
Well, the scientific solution is to reverse diet her extremely slow week by week until she reaches a healthy caloric intake, which will increase her metabolism allowing her to not gain any weight during the process. It will also allow higher intensity, more strength and more volume for training also leading into better body composition results.
But only a coach, a good one at that, will be able to help her do this.
How does this all relate to a calorie calculator?? Thought you may be wondering that…
Well it relates because people go online and punch their numbers into a calorie calculator hoping for a new diet approach to help them hit their goals.
But problem with this is, they’ve been crash dieting. So their metabolism is horrible from not consuming enough calories (energy) and performing too much cardio for their body to handle with the amount of calories (energy) they’re supplying it with.
So what is the solution for this issue? An issue that happens very often I must say.
You need to work from point A, where you’re currently at, to point B, where you should be at, extremely slowly. How slow? I am talking months and months.
It is a slow process but it will make you healthier than ever, while attaining the results you’re looking to achieve.
My suggestion is to add 5-10g of carbs and 1-3g of fat, bi-weekly until you hit where your calorie and macro’s should actually be. [ If you need help figuring out what your intake should be, click here for another article of mine where I break it down ]
And as for cardio, I typically suggest different things depending on the situation and the person. Because I will add cardio to achieve weight loss before taking calories away.
But as you go, you may want to remove some cardio and for this I would strip away 5 min at a time bi-weekly until you’re not performing any cardio at all. At this point you will be doing your typical training as is.
And as a coach myself, my opinion on training frequency is that we should train 7 days week straight before adding two a days. And if not, then 6x a week with 1-2 two a days at most.
I like to see my clients training heavy 2-4x a week, performing good conditioning 2-4x a week and performing 1-2 active recovery days per week. This could be fast walks, hikes, mobility circuits, etc.
This post is definitely more of a rant than an article, which is fine because I believe I got my point across. And if I didn’t I will summarize it for you.
-Good dieting is losing weight, consistently, on as many calories as possible. This allows us to be in the healthiest state possible not only from a hormonal standpoint, but a performance standpoint as well.
-If you’re going to use a calorie calculator, which I do believe is a great idea, then make sure you do not just jump right up to those calories. Take the right amount of time to reach your calorie limit, which can seem like forever.
-If you want to train for great results, don’t over do it. Just kill each and every session, rep, set and exercise you do. Train hard and frequent, but not to the point of no return. Extra cardio is something we have as a tool at the last-minute to lose that last little extra weight and if you utilize that tool at the starting gate, the tool is no longer available when you may need it most.
-Dieting and training is a lifestyle, not a temporary fix. It takes time to do it right, but when its done right it CAN and WILL last a lifetime.
As I stated before, a coach is a necessity when it comes to locking down a solid diet that you can sustain for a long period of time successfully. It takes time, manipulation, flexibility and a lot of support. If you feel like you could be that person in need of a coach or guidance to achieve a diet approach that works for you, please click the picture below and find out exactly how you can reach your goals through my coaching support.