Why You’re Count Calories And Still Not Getting Results
Before we start let’s get down to the basics of how calories affect our body weight. Calories are energy. We eat them (energy in) we move (energy out).
So energy in V’s energy out will determine body weight. It’s an oversimplification but for the purposes of this blog let’s go with it.
There are three things you will need to understand:
1. Maintenance calories = The calories you need to maintain your current body weight.
2. Calorie deficit = Anything below maintenance, You will be losing weight/fat in a deficit.
3. Calorie surplus = Anything above maintenance, You will gain weight in a surplus.
How does this all work and look in the real world?
Let’s meet Jane, Jane is a 32-year-old office worker who trains 3-4 days a week, she is 5ft 8inchs and weighs 170lb. Her maintenance is 2000 calories. Jane is getting married in 8 weeks and wants to lose 7lb. For Jane to lose a pound a week she must eat 1500-1600 calories a day and exercise 4-5 days a week.
Jane is in week 5 and hasn’t lost a pound. Her body fat has also gone up slightly. With closer inspection, we figure out what’s happening. Jane has been counting calories Monday to Friday, she forgot that the food she eats on the weekend counts too!
So Monday to Friday she creates a 2500 calories deficit. But from Friday evening through to Sunday evening Jane completely over eats and cancels out her deficit.
What do 2500 calories actually look like you might ask? Here’s what’s been holding Jane back.
A typical weekend for Jane:
Friday: Half a 12-inch pepperoni pizza from dominos = 800 calories.
Saturday: Bottle of red wine and half a 500ml tub of Ben and Jerrys = 1200 calories.
Sunday: Dairy milk and 6 bottles of corona = 1200 calories.
Total = 3200 calories plus most of her typical days eating.
Can you see what’s happening?
Jane is completely overeating on the weekend bringing her back up to maintenance and even into a surplus on occasion.
Counting calories is all well and good but if you are ditching it completely on the weekend and bingeing it’s pointless. If this is you, my advice would be to allow yourself some treats to fit your calories during the week to prevent bingeing on the weekend.
Keep it clean 80% of the time and 20% not so clean. Is there a time and a place to just eat everything in sight, absolutely, but every week will undo your good work from Monday to Friday.
Remember, if you are counting calories it’s because you are looking to get results . Why else would you be weighing everything that passed your lips?
Let’s get it right..