The number of ‘net’ calories a person needs to consume depends on a number of factors such as their age (are they developing as an adolescent for example), their activity level, their fitness goals etc. As with anything in our industry of fitness, there is no one size fits all answer to this question. One of the key attributes of a good trainer is to explore the details that are important to the specific client and then adjust our answer to THAT PERSON. I would highly recommend when it comes to dietary assistance that any trainer work with or refer to a registered dietitian.
I hope that this helps.
I do not have much to add to the others in their recommendation that you confer with a nutritionist.
One thing that struck me was you calculation of her Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) of 1741. No matter what formula you use to determine RMR, she would have to be over 7 feet tall to have such a high rate. If you google ‘Calculate RMR’ you will get several options to get a more accurate approximation.
Thank you everyone for your input. Karin, you are correct. I calculated incorrectly. LaRue, I agree. This individual’s goal is to reduce her weight by 20-25 pounds at a healthy rate of 1-2 pounds/week. She is aware that this may not be realistic the more her body reduces down. She is involved in aerobic activity 3-5 times a week. I have not been one that has been concerned so much about net calories clients consume but rather in maintaining energy exerted to be in excess of energy taken in. There are several schools of thought on net calories which is why I approached you all.
people are often so concerned about reducing calories that they forget that you NEED a certain amount if only to be a carrier for the micro-nutrients a body needs. They end up under-eating and overexercising and find themselves in a cycle of messed up metabolism in conjunction with injury. I would suggest that you talk to your client also about body fat and make that part of the goal. You mention only aerobic activity. Some strength training would be a great addition.
I wish you and her best of success.
I concur with Karin and LaRue. Once you correctly calculate her RMR, add in calories based on her activity level. Then subtract out 250 – 500 calories per day to help her achieve her weight loss goal.
However, like you pointed out before and Karin as well, there also needs to be an education of the client regarding the quality of the calories she’s consuming, that she needs to eat to her activity level, that reducing calories too low will slow her metabolism and that she needs to add in a full exercise routine (cardio, strength training and flexibility).
I often have clients judge their health not just by a number on a scale, but also by waist measurement, body fat % and how their clothing feels. They can sometimes see these numbers improve before the number on the scale changes.