In part one we talked about The Habits Phase. In case you missed it, check it out HERE. Today we are moving into “The Calorie Phase”.
We only move clients into this phase if they have developed all the necessary healthy habits. Like I said in part one. Everyone is different and may move into phase 2 at different times. Some people can move through the habits quickly while others may take years.
What exactly is “The Calorie Phase”?
Now with the proper foundation laid out, eating 3 meals per day, each containing real food such as Meat, veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds etc, we can start to dial in a bit more on numbers. The numbers I am talking about are calories. Calories are the overall factor when it comes to weight loss or weight gain.
If a client’s main goal is to lose weight this is where the magic will happen. The body is very complicated yet it can be quite simple. If we take in more calories than we burn, we gain weight. If we burn more than we take in, we lose weight.
The safest and most effective way to do this, is to find a slight calorie deficit. Somewhere in the range of 100-300 calories. This depends on a few lifestyle factors. What the clients do for a living, how often they workout etc. For example, if a client burns 2000 cal per day, our goal will be to take in anywhere between 1700-1900 cal per day.
Now remember, these 1700 calories are coming from real food (meats, veggies, and fruits). Not processed foods, foods high in sugar, or from McDonalds drive through. 1700 good quality calories is actually quite a bit of food.
We also understand “counting calories” can be quite stressful and overwhelming. This is why we let the nutrition coach worry about that and just guide the client on what they should be eating, how much, and how often. This becomes less stressful than having a client try and figure out how many calories each individual food item has.
Right from the get go, our clients know this is going to be a long journey with lots of ups and downs. Here is one of the main reasons. If a client is staying within the 100 cal deficit it will take 35 days to lose 1 LB. 3500 cal = 1 LB. Now there will be a whole lot of other benefits. Increase in muscle mass, more energy, better sleep, less pain and so on, but the number on the scale will slowly drop.
This is why it’s extremely important to pay attention to the other bright spots, like how you are feeling and how clothes are fitting. Do you have more energy, are you in less pain? That little number on the scale doesn’t tell much of the story.
If we look at the bigger picture and the client stays consistent, that will be 12lbs down in 1 year and a very different body composition (more muscle and less fat). That is an amazing year.
As we find the sweet spot for weight loss it is extremely important to track as accurately as possible. Oftentimes clients do really well on tracking consistently but still can’t figure out why the weight won’t come off. Well a lot of the time small things such as cooking oil (which is high calorie) or condiments such as ketchup and bbq sauce, Mayo and maybe even salad dressing get overlooked. These are all high in calories and can easily put us into a surplus rather than the deficit we are looking for.
Once we see the client has continued to maintain the healthy habits, consistently hits their deficit and understands how to accurately track food, now is a great time to move into Phase 3 “The Macro Phase”. More on that coming soon.