I have a couple of clients who are under their daily caloric needs for weight loss. The calories were calculated using their body fat %, age, height, weight, and activity level. One client should be around 1900 and after having him keep track of his calories for a week, he fluctuated from 1100 to 1700 per day. I tried to explain how we need to slowly introduce calories into his diet, but he’s so afraid of gaining weight. He’s lost about 20 pounds already and is down 1 pound from last week. Is it better to allow his to continue his eating habits or get his calories up? He really needs the calories to continue building muscle and keep his energy level up to perform better. We train about 3 days a week with various workouts that range from strength training, to endurance training, to power and interval training.
*I should add that we started training in January, so he’s lost 20 pounds in about 7 months. He still need to drop about 12 more pounds of body fat.
I have clients with the same issue, they don’t take in enough calories to build lean muscle and lose fat. They don’t understand the basic concept that having lean muscle will boost BMR, and ultimately burn fat.
However, one client of mine, who didn’t eat enough before the workout, always hit a wall halfway through the workout. They would get dizzy, nauseus and need to cut the workout short at times or take longer breaks in between sets. I always asked them what they had to eat before coming to see me and the answer was usually something like “I had a banana” or “Just some coffee”. I had to explain that their bodies are machines that need fuel to operate, and without fuel the machine can’t work as effective. Then I would tell them, as and experiment, to eat some oatmeal with a banana and a cup of yogurt before our next workout, then eat a protein shake right after the workout and see how they feel. Sure enough, their workouts got more intense and they got the results they were looking for quicker.
Hope this helps.