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 noticed that you took the WITS course in order to become a personal trainer. I am a former instructor for WITS.
One of the things that I thought was a key point in the WITS course was the section on macronutrients. This section is key as many of our clients really don’t understand why we need four of the five main macronutrients in our diet on a daily basis, and even more so, we need them if we are using our bodies in such a way that the fuel sources for energy (carbs, fat) are being consumed at a greater rate than if we were not physically active.
However, to answer your question, I’d like to share a story with you that transpired between me and one of my clients who had a great amount of weight to lose. She was finding her new healthy way of eating very challenging and posed this question to me:
Joanne, what is the difference between eating 1650 calories of ice cream throughout the day or 1650 calories of eating fruits, grains, lean meats etc? She added, if weight loss is, as you mentioned, all about energy consumed and energy expended, does it really matter what I eat?
Nicole, to this day I thank her for that question as it forced me to think about food, specifically macronutrients, in a different way.
My answer to her was, “Yes. You can eat 1650 calories worth of ice cream throughout the day, engage in physical activity and lose weight. However, because you omitting important macronutrients in your diet, specific metabolic processes that must occur in order to stay alive can not happen at an optimum level as a consequence of the the omission of these macronutrients. It would be a pity for you to have reached your desired health/fitness/weight loss goals t the expense of your health.”
Here is the take home point. Keep it simple. If you don’t know already, learn first for yourself why we need, carbohydrates, fats, water and proteins in our diets and what role they play in carrying out specific metabolic processes related to maintenance of a healthy organism. In this way when our clients eat they see the VALUE of what they are ingesting and how it plays an important part in reaching their health/fitness/wellness goals.
I sure hope this helpful to you and wish you success with your clients.