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.
All good answers. Emphasize to your clients that if calorie intake is insufficient to match calorie expenditure, whether it’s simply resting metabolic rate (RMR) or the combined expenditure associated with activities of daily living and additional exercise, the body will draw on tissues not normally used in metabolic processes. Critically important is that the body uses far more protein than it normally uses for energy production. A primary source is skeletal muscle (some organ tissue). The muscle atrophy that results can lead to a number of health problems. Primary among these is a decrease in RMR since skeletal muscle expends energy even at rest.