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.
Although you don’t say so I assume you are monitoring your clients muscle to fat ratio not just their weight. The ultimate goal should be improved body composition rather than just a lower number in lbs on the scale. If your client is not gaining lean muscle mass, or worse, LOSING muscle, explain that muscles need adequate amounts of nutrients to grow, and without enough calories to feed the muscles their progress will stall. I use the analogy of gas in the car, when the tank runs dry you aren’t going ANYWHERE!