How the hell is she eating more food than me and losing weight but I can’t budge?
I’ve been sticking to a strict 1200 calorie diet, sometimes I don’t even eat 1200 calories worth! I have days where I’m lucky to consume 800-900 calories! My best friend eats a minimum of 1600 calories each day and she continues to lose body fat and increase her muscle tone! Her trainer is also starting to increase her calories yet again and she is still smashing her goals.
I can’t work it out! The 1200 calorie diet was working really well for me at the start but now I can’t seem to shift anything and I’m starting to feel really burnt out. At seems like the less I eat, the worse it is?
Well….. You’re right,
The problem with the 1200 calorie restriction is that you’re simply not eating enough to keep your metabolism firing. It will work for around 4-6 weeks because your body is in starvation mode, as well as losing body fat, you also lose a lot of quality muscle tissue in this process. Losing muscle mass is not a good thing! To achieve the so called “toned” look, you need to have muscle!
Otherwise by the time that you lose your body fat, you will just look like a skeleton with skin and bones!
To preserve and build lean muscle mass, you should be aiming to eat at least 2-2.5 x Your bodyweight of protein in grams. (Example, Jane weighs 60 kg, then 2 x 60 = 120; 120g of protein per day! Seems like a lot right? If you are eating 5 meals per day, it’s only 24g of protein per meal.
In terms of calories, we multiply 120 by 4 because 1 gram of protein is equivalent to 4 calories. 120 x 4 = 480.
For Fat intake, we use the same method, except we use .6-.8 as the multiplier. .8 x 60 = 48. 1 gram of fat = 9 calories. 48 x 9 = 432.
So just from Protein and Fats, we are consuming 912 calories to be able to achieve our goal. Keep in mind that we haven’t added in carbohydrates yet or worked out how many calories we actually need per day. This is called your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), which is the amount of calories your body needs per day just to survive and maintain your current fitness level without calculating the expenditure of calories which is where most people go wrong.
In order to work out our carbohydrate intake, we must know what our T.D.E.E (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) is. Find yours here > https://tdeecalculator.net/ Make sure that you have the calculator set to Metric and NOT imperial. For a female aged 25, 60 Kg, 175 cm and exercising 3-5 times per week. Her BMR is 1,408! If she was on a 1200 calorie diet, her body would be going into survival mode! When we add her activity level in, her new caloric intake is increased to 2,182 calories for maintenance.
For Jane to now lose weight, we deduct 500 from 2,182 = 1,682. Remember our Protein & Fat intake in calories? It was 912.
1,682 – 912 = 770. To convert this to carbohydrates, we simply just divide it by 4. 1 gram of carbohydrates is equivalent to 4 calories; all we are doing is reverse engineering the process. 770/4 = 192.5g. Jane can enjoy 192.5g of carbohydrates per day and still lose weight in a healthy process.
If Jane was on the 1200 calorie diet just because her friend was, she would ruin her metabolism and hormone levels. It is crucial for Women to understand this as hormones play a big part in you life, mood, stress level & pregnancy to name a few. So please do not cut your carbs out!
Let’s a paint a picture.
You have a wood fire, you put the kindling in to get it started (Breakfast), you forget to put more wood in after 2-3 hours, the flame dies. Comes to lunch time and we stoke it up again, the flame burns but we forgot to stoke it up again in the afternoon until dinner time. The flame burns again.
By missing meals and not eating enough, your metabolism; the flame, dies. In order to keep your metabolism firing, you should be aiming for 5-6 small meals per day, every 2-3 hours. It’s just like putting wood in the fire, the more you regularly you put wood in, the hotter and more efficient it burns.
This doesn’t mean that we eat high sugar and saturated fats every 2-3 hours, the foods must be whole foods, Low-GI Carbs and must consist of at least 1 serve of protein per meal as per your requirements.
High Gi carbs have their place in your meal planning but should be consumed around training times to increase performance and optimise recovery. If high-GI carbs are taken in at the wrong times of the day, it will store as fat immediately if the energy is not used. This is because your glycogen stores are already full so it spills out and stores on the body as fat to be used to energy for another time. You can see that if you keep doing this, it is a compound effect of excess sugar intake that will make you fat!
Those naughty treats at night time are generally the silent killer. You know, demolishing half a packet of tim tams? By the time you wake up the next day, it’s already stored as fat and is now even harder to burn off.
You can NOT out train a bad diet. Period.