No matter how hard or how long you work out, if you want to lose weight you have got to get the calories right. We all know too many calories means weight gain… but did you know the wrong type of calories and even too few can also make you fatter? Use these 5 tips as a guideline to finding the caloric range that works for you.
1) Calculate RMR
RMR stands for resting metabolic rate and it’s the number of calories your body needs to perform basic functions. Combine your RMR with your daily activity level and that’s the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. Knowing your RMR +daily activity total will help you stop eating once you’ve hit your calories for the day because you will KNOW FOR SURE that you are getting fat if you eat that next piece of cake!
2) Don’t slash calories~ gradual, consistent deficits get results
Once you know your RMR + daily expenditure, you can create a caloric deficit to lose weight. If you are creating a deficit…BEWARE, too large a deficit can cause your metabolic rate to go way down and will prevent you from losing weight. I recommend a 350 -500 calorie deficit each day. Allow the weight to come off over time instead of trying to create dramatic changes all at once.
3) Learn nutrient breakdowns
Learning the different food categories (protein, carbohydrate, fat) will help you create healthy, balanced meals. Balanced meals promote healthy digestion, more even blood sugar levels, and ensures you are getting the proper foods for your needs. Knowing your nutrient breakdowns keeps you from eating too many bad fats and too much sugar (the dreaded enemy of weight loss!).
4) Eat 5 times a day
Eating regular meals and snacks throughout the day helps keep your blood sugar levels stable, gives you energy throughout the day, and stimulates your metabolism. It also prevents you from eating a huge meal (that will be stored as fat!) because your starving from trying not to eat (impossible for healthy adults).
5) Track your food
Conveniently forgetting about that huge Chipotle burrito you ate with a side of chips last night… you’re right that would never make you gain weight… NOT!!!!! Use one of the many calorie tracking apps to see your eating patterns on paper. This opens the door for you to analyze where you are falling short and see what the real problem is. You can develop new strategies for success once you know the truth about your eating habits. I recommend MY FITNESS PAL to my clients.
Need more help with nutrition planning? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe we can set up a month of nutritional coaching!
1. Web MD Link: http://www.webmd.com/diet/calc-bmi-plus
2. Use Your Brain to Change Your Age: Dr. Amen
3. CalorieCount.About.com: http://caloriecount.about.com/forums/weight-loss/bmr-vs-rmr