I am often asked do I need to count calories? My immediate answer is no.
However most clients under eat, over train, or both, so a few days of calorie tracking proves to be a valid exercise in disguise.
Lets take a look at these very two different scenarios.
My client “A” has just joined F45 and is training for 45mins, 5 days a week; she understands she needs balanced eating for strength and fat loss.
Prior to joining the gym client “A” restricted carbs, never ate breakfast, was low in iron, exhausted by the afternoon and insulin resistant. Her doctor told her to do some exercise and change her diet to avoid medications.
Client “A” 4 weeks in and with no calorie counting has lost 4% body fat, 1.5kg and has enjoyed more treats than ever before!
She counts no calories, has 5 meals a day from a list of suggested foods with relaxed eating on weekends.
My client “B” uses my fitness pal and counts calories on a daily basis. Most of her calories are coming from snacks high in sugar, not macronutrients.
She exercises 6 days at the gym for an hour on cardio equipment.
She limits herself to 1200 calories and has only three meals, however finds herself cheating in between meals or binge eating at night, often.
After 8 weeks of this and 1kg gain since joining the gym she gave me a call.
The following changes were made;
3 meals went to 5.
6 days training went to 4.
Calories are now around 1600 on a training day and 1400 on a rest day.
Calories are coming from carbs, protein and fat, instead of muesli bars/protein bars and sugar.
Client “B” is no longer using calorie-counting apps and is choosing from my suggested food list.
3 weeks in with the changes, client “B” is 2kg down with a reduction of 3% body fat. No more binge eating or snacking in between meals. Client “B” is enjoying rice, sweet potato and occasionally bread, which was a NEVER food choice!
My fat loss advice;
- Fat loss is hard; it takes time, discipline and persistence.
- Changes need to be made, often.
- You need to eat.
- Calorie cycle to drop body fat and preserve muscle.
- Eat less on your rest days.
- Give your body more calories and carbs for a week with restricted cardio.
- Repeat calorie cycling with restrictions on your rest day. This process usually consists of three phases and is a great stimulant for fat loss.
- Be honest with yourself as to why it is not working for you. A glass of wine here and there does make a difference!
- Be patient, as stress will just elevate those cortisol levels.
Are you a calorie counter or just eat real food person?
Do you even track or plan your meals?
All food for thought!
We are all different and all motivated by different means.
Experiment, find what works for you, or invest in someone to do it for you.
Your health is your wealth, so invest wisely!