Correct Manipulation Of Calories In A Fat Loss Phase
Now that we know a little more about calories, macros, and how our bodies use those macros, we will discuss fat loss phases and how to maneuver your way through them successfully. Given that most clients seeking help from a personal trainer are either directly or indirectly looking to lose body fat, I think this is an appropriate place to start as we dive into the world of goal setting.
First, we will want to do as coaches determine the number of calories the client has been consuming in the previous month(s) and gauge their macros; this is why total transparency with your coach is vital. To properly set a starting point, we need to know what’s going on in their bodies.
Do they have tendencies that need fixing?
Are they consuming too much fat through the likes of sauces, cooking oils etc, that many people seem to leave out in their food tracking.
Once we understand their habits, we can then start to set them on the right path. This will look like increasing protein, regulating fat intake and allocating an appropriate amount of carbs based on their lifestyle.
This is often why fat loss phases may take time to begin; we need compliance, transparency, and consistency for a successful phase. If a client can achieve these things early on, the earlier the fat loss begins. We will then work towards a base amount of calories that may seem a little high for the client; it is important to understand that this brings down calories in the coming weeks.
Our last blog touched on homeostasis, which is again what we are dealing with here. Putting calories above what they usually give the body a chance to adjust to this caloric intake before reducing them at a rate that will maximize results and retain high-level health markers like sleep quality, energy levels, mood etc.
For example, Let’s say Brian is starting a fat loss phase; within weeks 1-3, he is slowly increasing calories to get to 1,800 after eating 1,200 for the previous three months. Ask yourself why is he not losing weight at 1,200 calories?
Why would we INCREASE calories if he is looking to lose?
The reason being the 1,200 calories he was consuming was simply not enough to keep his body and different systems working efficiently, perhaps running into hormonal issues to do with insulin or stress, for example. Now that Brian has reached 1,800 calories, he is starting to feel more energetic, having a better sleep, increased mood, better digestion and better performance in his workouts, and guess what? He may have even lost some body fat in the process. Who would have thought it? Your coach. Your coach would have thought it.
From here, we will decrease Brian’s calories at a rate that is manageable and sustainable. 150 calories at a time, let’s say, these calories will likely come from carbohydrates & fats if necessary. Give his body time to adapt, spend 2-3 weeks minimum at each caloric intake, and closely monitor the data. Sticking to the plan is essential; once Brian begins to see notable drops in scale weight, it is best to stay proactive with the decreases. It was timing them correctly to maintain the fat loss and not wait around for a plateau.
As we mentioned above, there is such thing as too low calories. It may vary from person to person; this is where data collection is critical. If energy levels, sleep quality, training performance etc decrease, this is likely a sign that you need to begin the cycle again. Increase calories to where we started, or even more – to revamp our body’s pathways and systems. Reset the deficit clock and restart the process as mentioned above; it is rinsed and repeated.
So listen to your coach; they know best.
About Turnfit Personal Trainers
TurnFit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.
With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019,2020 & 2021 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver.
Heath is essential to living an optimal life with the most positive experiences you can have. TurnFit helps you extract your true why from your goals. By asking the right questions, we learn as much as we can from our clients. We understand the genuine need, not just the wants. We create a total wellness program that includes the days when you meet with us and homework on your own time. The key to success is proper programming and consistency. It’s easy for us to keep our clients consistent when we know their deep motivation for their goals. We know their is so much misinformation on health and fitness that it can be overwhelming when trying to level up your health that some people don’t know where to start. We will not only empower you to start but give you all the tools and knowledge that you can do it on your own anytime you choose. We love to laugh and have fun with our clients feel their workouts are the highlight of their day. You will look forward to every workout.
We look forward to hearing from you!