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.
One of the first things I explain to clients is that if they want their body’s to burn calories and become fit they need to take in the right amount of calories. Digestion itself burns calories, and to increase metabolism, a higher amount of calories needs to be taken in to increase workload. The next thing I explain is that these calories have to be broken down to certain percentages according to what you find should be their total intake. Carbs, proteins, and fats need to be shown to the client as specific amounts in percentages of the total (ex: for a 2,000 calorie diet would be how many kcals should be carbs, how many protein, how many fats (specifically healthy fats)) Explain that this will maximize lean muscle growth and provide energy to burn. My most successful clients have proclaimed that they eat more now than they did when they tried some mainstream diets on their own.
Bottom line is that you exert an amount of energy, your calories taken in are nutrient dense and balanced, and you are involved in a healthy workout regime you’re body will conform to a healthy shape. If you’re client feels like he is more advanced or can do w/o the extra calories make sure he is aware of how the body works and performs at peak such as the above comments have illustrated.
Sounds to me like your client needs to cycle out of a fat loss cycle and move into a metabolism repair cycle then go back into fat loss with higher calories.
Explain that the metabolism is damaged (slowed down) because of dieting and it is important to find the metabolic set point then boost it up, without gaining weight.
I just tell everyone that I never want to see them go under 1200kcal-1400kcal as that is the bare essentials for basic metabolic functions (ie nervous system, liver, kidneys…). I, also, explain how the body is a highly adaptive machine. If you are cutting back on your fat intake (as most of society does), your body is going, “Oh NO! I am not getting fat and I need fat. I am going to store every ounce of fat that I can!!” This throws people into the yo-yo-loop.
To Deprive Earns you NO HIGH FIVE! In my book 🙂
Hi Nicole. Any “convincing” has to come from the client themselves. What we as trainers CAN do is give our clients our opinions, our recommendations, and arm them with the facts so that they can then make up their own minds with the best information that we can provide for them.
I hope that this helps.