Calories are not the enemy
Lets talk about ‘energy’ AKA ‘calories’ and how you use calories. Your body is made up of living tissue and organs which all require energy to ‘stay alive’ or to function, you eat, sleep, move, your heart beats and your lungs expand and contract, for your body to do these things you require energy and this energy should come from food, these basic bodily functions create something called your basal metabolic rate (BMR). For these basic functions to happen, on average a female requires approximately 1600 calories and a male 2000 calories per day which should consist of 45-55% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 30% fats, this amount of calories will keep your body functioning, healthy and at a stable weight.
So, now I come to the subject of ‘if I don’t eat I will lose weight’, yes you need a calorie deficit to lose weight but this is where it gets tricky, your body still needs to maintain all its bodily functions to stay healthy. So if you consume food regularly throughout the day to your advised BMR for these bodily functions and then begin to move more you will burn more energy from excess fats stores.
To burn more calories you need to move more, become more active, if you are getting up, taking the kids to school, going to work you will burn approximately 100 calories an hour without even breaking a sweat, if you are burning 100 calories an hour from basic day to day tasks how much will you burn if you start to exercise, 1 hour of Body Pump can burn unto 600 calories, 1 hour body combat 740 calories, CXWorks 230 calories and a 30 minute GRIT session 400 calories and thats without the EPOC effect.
To lose weight sensibly you require a calorie deficit of 3500 calories to burn 1 lb of body fat, this needs to come from a combination of exercise/activity and reducing your calorie intake in order for your body to lose body fat sensibly and still continuing to function without reducing calories so much that you burn muscle not fat (this will happen if you don’t eat or starve for hours and then exercise or complete some activity). If you choose to reduce your calories you still need a balanced approach, I wouldn’t advise cutting a food group, keep the balance or carbohydrates, protein and fat (as stated above) reduce your calories to a sensible amount distributing them throughout the day (consuming something every 2-3 hours) and begin to move more and be more active.
Article by Jaime Hibbert in collaboration with Thrive Athletica. Jaime is a owner, head trainer and founder of Jaime Hibbert Personal Training & Fitness Studio. She has over 20 years experience in the fitness industry where she has constantly focused on developing her knowledge and experience. She passes this onto her clients and trainers in order to deliver the best quality training, service and advice through tried and tested methods. Find out more about Jaime here.