’ll break the answer to this question down as best I can. You know the InBody, right? It’s that body composition machine we here at Alloy that is both our favorite and least favorite thing in the gym. On each InBody printout, there is this magical number called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Your BMR is, based on your body composition (body fat and muscle mass), the number of calories your organs need to function while you perform no activity whatsoever – think of it as the amount of energy you’d burn if you stayed in bed all day. We use this for calorie estimation. But, going under your RMR on a regular basis is not ideal because we also burn calories in our every day lives just moving — not to mention when we add in exercise.
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “JUST TELL ME HOW MUCH TO EAT!!!” An easy way to find out is to use MyFitnessPal to find out an estimated daily calorie total based on your size and your goals.
JUST SAY “NO” TO CALORIE-RESTRICTIVE DIETS
Here’s why you shouldn’t significantly decrease your caloric intake: not only do calorie-restrictive nutrition plans rarely work long term, but they are much more difficult to stick to than simply finding a calorie number that satisfies you hunger wise and is greater than your RMR. Think of yourself as a car and your calories as gas. What do you do when you’re running low on gas? You start trying to conserve by doing things like driving slower, accelerating slower, and turning off the AC. Your body will do similar things if it constantly gets too few calories – something will have to be sacrificed to keep the processes that keep you alive going.
INCREASE YOUR CALORIE OUTPUT
Then, increase your calorie output by a little each week instead of constantly decreasing your intake. It takes 3,500 calories to burn 1lb of fat, right? So, if you continue to eat the same amount of calories but you create an addition 500 calorie week deficit via exercise for 7 weeks, you will lose 1lb of fat. How do you burn 500 calories you ask?
- Cycle for 40 minutes
- Jog at a moderate pace for 45 minutes
- Swim for 45 minutes
- Sprint intervals for 20 minutes
- 1 EXTRA Alloy workout
So, to recap: eating enough and adding some more exercise to your weekly routine will help you achieve your fitness goals!