Even as a personal trainer, things are tough folks. Fat loss is not easy for the majority of people out there trying to lose body fat and maintain a lean healthy body. Let me be frank when I tell those out there willing to listen that there is no other way to drop the fat. You must make better nutritional choices than a Pogo and Poutine for lunch, and you have to get off your butt more often than to run up to the corner store to check your Super 7 numbers. (most of us are even lazier, and we use the web for that). This includes me, as I work hard every day to stay in shape, fuel my body with only the best nutritional choices as I also help others achieve their goals.
Sorry folks, there are no magic pills, no magic diets, and no ab blasters will help you and your body lose fat. It's hard to accept sometimes isn't it?
Fat loss is about the ratio of calories in vs. calories out. Plain and simple. But what most magazines and infomercials do not tell us is that in order to achieve our fitness goals the ratio is actually 70% nutritional and 30 % exercise. But that does not mean starve yourself and do as little exercise as possible. It means eat sensibly, have 5-6 smaller meals per day to balance the blood sugars, that will also keep the metabolism stoked, and exercise on a regular basis, which should include strength training to maintain and develop lean muscle mass. This too helps boost your metabolism.
So why am I here? Simple, because I need assistance in losing fat. "But you're a personal fitness trainer for God's Sake!"
Yes, but I was naughty, and I did not keep track of my daily calories like I tell my clients, and lo and behold, I discovered that I was not eating ENOUGH calories!!! YIKES... that is not a good thing folks. Here I was thinking I had it all under control, yet, I could not understand why my body fat percentage did not drop over the course of the past 4 weeks. WHat had happened was I was starting to plateau, so I changed up my exercises and even dropped some calories, but I did not keep a watchful eye on those calories and now I have discovered that I am actually sabatoging my efforts by not eating enough calories.
Folks. Remember to only drop your caloric intake by 500 calories per day via a proper nutritional plan and exercise. If you increase your caloric deficit by over 800 calories per day nature has a way of protecting the body against excessive weight loss. At first you will lose alot of water, a little fat. Then suddenly you stop losing. You've plateaued, because your body now refuses to give up the fat, regardless if you want it off for summer or not.
It is a scientific fact that when your calorie count suddenly drops, your body will compensate for the fact by reducing your metabolic rate. As a result, you'll need fewer calories to maintain your weight. This explains why some people lose weight up to a point and then cannot lose any additional weight, no matter how hard they try. Friends, this is one of the most dangerous myths in the weight loss world. You literally have to eat yourself thin, not starve yourself thin.
Know your BMR, know your activity level and know your caloric needs, and monitor them closely. You will achieve!
The key is really that the number of calories you eat directly affects your metabolism. If you don't eat enough calories, your body goes into "famine" mode. Fooled into believing you cannot find enough to eat, your endocrine glands PURPOSELY slow your metabolism to conserve energy. Slowing the metabolism means burning less fat. Is this really what you wanted to do??? It sure isn't what I wanted to have happen. Counting Calories is an important aspect of fat loss. Thank goodness for such resources as www.Calorie-Count.Com.
So here I am, on board to eat myself thin baby!!! Where's the Tofurkey.....(yuck!)
Reason: 12/11/07: Restored content as agreed with coachdee; 12/30/07: Unstickied
according to the system my burns 1800 calories a day but in order to reach my goal of 127 pounds I need to eat only 1200 calories a day. I am 25 and I way 160 pounds ht 5'3. This is the wrost shape I have ever been in. I just dont understand. If I eat only 1200 calories a day and work out wont working out cause me to drop below 1200 calories? I dont understand this whole calorie intake thing. I want to lose weight how do I do this?
She wrote a really great article that you might want to check out here:
And another interesting article here:
She does have a website, with additional information at:
Or perhaps she can be reached via email at:
I want to say that I totally agree but trying to explain this to a friend when whe came up with this question and I didn't have a good answer.
It works like this. Let's say you eat 1000 calories a day. ANd you lose weight, for a while. And it stops.
So you lower to 950.. and you lose weight for a while.. and then it stops.
So you lower to 900. And you lose weight for a bit. And then it stops.
See where this is going?
It DOES work, but you do MASSIVE internal damage, given enough time and low enough calories.
Thank you for the explanation and I will pass it on. Now to figure out my dilemma.
This whole idea of eating the calories you burn is new to me. I was wondering why I was experiencing the worst plateau...! I was burning 800 a day with sports and eating 1600 - 1700 cals. I guess that my body went into starvation mode, despite my thinking that I knew all there was to know about diet (*blush*).
It's so, so hard to eat more when you want to weigh less. We're so indoctrinated to the contrary!
Thanks so much for that original post.
height: 154 cm
98lbs (looking to maintain)
ok here goes:
using the Harrison Bededict Formula my BMR is calculated at 1,283. this is the number i need just to keep my body ticking over right?
ok so assuming everyone is sedentary in their day to to living i calculate 1,283 and muliplied it by 1.2 (sedentary)
example: 1,283 calories x 0.20 = 256 calories
i then added together my BMR and calories burned by my activity level which then gives me 1,539.
i also factored in calories used during the digestion of food which is normaly 10% for the general population right?
example: 1,539 x 0.10 = 154 calories + 1,539 calories = 1,693 calories.
so therefore i burn an average of 1,693 calories everyday to support my bodys most basic needs, activity level and digestion of food.. right?
(please tell me if this is right)
ok now lets say that im other than sedentary in my normal day to day living and do other activities which burns about 300 - 500 calories. would i then just need to add these (or some) of the calories burned through my activity ontop of my normal calorie expediture of (1,693) to maintain my current weight?
(taking into account calories burned through activity will vary each day but if ive got this sussed i can almost figure out the rest!)
- id rather add my acitvity calories manually to get a more accurate result, which is ok right?
if anyone would be so kind and tell me if this seems about right i'd be very much grateful =]
i was also wondering if anyone could post me the correct formula for a calorie deficit. not that i want one but what would you say a safe deficit would be just to maintain?
I'm new to the forum. I've lost a lot of weight on a low fat vegetarian plan but then I started gaining, etc. So now I'm counting calories.
I just went back to the gym after being away with a broken wrist for several months.
I walk about 1.5 mile, maybe 2 miles a day right now and am pretty active IMO. I go to the gym 3 times a week and do some exercises at home on the other days.
I'm not sure how to figure out calories I burn. My eat meter says 1900 calories (goal). So to lose should I eat 1300? I'd love a little more (sigh).
I'm not sure how the burn meter works. If I type in my height 5'3 and weight 129
as active (and that's stretching it), do I add the other activities ie our 2 mile walk or was that included?
Thanks for your help.
P.S. I am working with a personal trainer at the gym but was very unfit before so I am at a beginner's level even though he says I'm doing well.
I have a question
If I am taking in about 1700 cal from food
and expending about 400 cal /day through exercise
and the burn meter says I burn on average 2200 cal/day
I weigh 181lbs and am 5'5 can I achieve weight loss this way or do I need to cut
my calories more
CoachDee, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't actually hang out on this site much anymore, so she probably won't answer your questions. We just stickied this post because it's so good!
However, to answer your question, nmckeand.. you should probably lose weight that way. Did you assume you were lightly active?
I was lightly active before starting here I have steped it up a bit since then