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 am not sure that your scenario is problematic. A 20 lbs. weight loss over a period of 7 months sounds entirely reasonable to me. You are not describing any problems of low energy during the workouts either. It sounds to me that the client has found a proper way of balancing energy in versus energy out.
I am also wondering whether the client, while being ask to keep a food diary for a week, may have during that time self-restricted his caloric intake simply on account of the fact that he was writing it down. I also would consider the fact that self-reported food quantities and calories are usually underestimated.
I would much rather pay attention to the quality of the food; Joanne has made that point beautifully.