I think a HUGE mistake people make when they’re trying to lose weight is to cut back on how much they eat without figuring out how much they SHOULD eat and WHAT they should eat.
I can’t tell you how many times someone has told me they just can’t lose weight and once I ask them what they’re eating, I get something that completely shocks me. For some people, they’re eating as little as 1,000 calories a day and think that will sufficiently fuel their body.
Getting in shape is about so much more than working out. The majority of it is your diet. And that is why I spend the entire first week of my challenge group helping my friends figure out WHAT to eat and how much.
I admit that I, too, was once pretty anti-counting calories, and I kinda still am – just like I could care less what the scale says about my body weight. So during nutrition week, we talk about getting what your body needs without having to count calories. But in order to know which meal plan you should be on, I do first have to figure out your caloric baseline. Figuring that out is SUPER easy.
First, take your current weight and then we’ll figure out your caloric baseline.
- If you have a desk job, watch a lot of TV and never take the stairs, times your current weight by 11.
- If you have a desk job but you try to stay on your feet, you work out sometimes and you take the stairs, times your current weight by 12.
- If you have a very physical job and move constantly, times your current weight by 13.
So if I’m 125 pounds and I have a desk job but I workout and take the stairs, I’m going to take 125 x 12 = 1,500. So my caloric baseline would be 1,500 and I need to drink 62.5 ounces of water each and every single day, or about 3.5 bottles of water.
But we don’t stop there. I take that number, 1,500, and I add either 400 or 700 maintenance calories depending on which workout program you’re going to do with me. I then subtract 750 for those who want to lose weight or I don’t subtract any for those who want to stay their weight but be healthier. And that is how I get the calorie target. And that, my friends, is the last time we’ll count your calories.
Once I have your calorie target, that is when we decide which meal plan you should be on, and we spend the rest of the week going over healthy grocery shopping lists and how to eat the meal plan that is right for you (what foods are approved and which ones you should avoid, what a daily meal plan looks like etc).
Why does all this matter? To put it simply, if you “eat like a bird” and don’t get enough food, your body will eat the muscle and store the fat. That is a very simple, non-scientific way to help you quickly understand the dangers you are putting your body through. My husband has a much better, scientific way, of explaining this and hopefully we can get him to guest post. In the meantime, I need you all to take care of your bodies and treat it nicely – which means fueling it properly!