This topic is quite a hard one to word, and make it understandable without ‘over-complicating’ the information.
When someone new joins the gym, and we get a minute to discuss their goals and talk with them about their personal plans of achieving their goals – a huge percent of the time we hear… “I’m just eating 1000 calories a day”.
THIS ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIES US..
This is so dangerous and you MUST listen to what we have to say below.. please!
The recommended daily amount of calories to consume is between 2000 & 2500 depending on sex, this amount is the requirement for your body to just operate, on a standard daily basis WITHOUT exercise.
So now imagine, a female who should be consuming roughly (as the RDA’s are guidelines) 2000 calories, only consuming 1000 calories AND adding exercise in.
-400 kCals (from exercise)
TOTAL 600 KCals
That’s a ridiculous, and incredibly dangerous -1400 calorie deficit – will you lose weight? Absolutely, will you lose fat? Probably a small amount.. but let’s try and explain the process.
Think of it this way, when you join the gym and you’re looking to ‘tone up’ this essentially means you want to see your lean muscle, in some cases we have to build that lean muscle first.
This can be a scary thought to females, as we hear so many times “I don’t want to look like THAT” as they show us a photo of an obvious, steroid taking female bodybuilding competitor who has a figure to rival most men.
To build muscle, you need to be in a calorie surplus.. this includes calories burnt during exercise too.
This does not mean eating crappy foods, junk foods high in sugar etc (this is a topic for another day) because this gives the body a hormone response that encourages fat storing.
With the under-eating mindset, and lifestyle.. the body has an extremely clever and complex survival system.. for example;
A 60kg female, with 10% body fat reading will require more calories JUST TO MAINTAIN this weight and lean physique.
A 60kg female with a 30% body fat reading will require less calories than the female above, because she has LESS LEAN MUSCLE TO FEED!
Fat on your body doesn’t require ANY calories to stay where it is, however lean muscle requires feeding… so what happens when you’re under eating?
Your body notices that the lean muscle is making your body require more calories than it’s getting..
When not receiving enough calories, your body decides to reduce its muscle amount and NOT its fat amount.. because as said above, the fat doesn’t require calories to remain on the body.
So, of course.. you’re losing weight on the scales, but how come you still look fluffy?
Well now your body has eaten muscle and left the fat there.. because by under-eating on the calories, this is what YOU instructed your body to do.
I’m really sorry this article went on so long, and it could go on even longer if I’m honest as there’s so much to explain surrounding the topic.