Do you really have to cut on your calories intake to become lean?
We generally join any physical activity to reduce our body weight or waistline. The very first thing a client tells its trainer is that I want to tone my body or how can I reduce my excess body fat and the reply is from the trainer is also very interesting. Do you want to reduce weight?..ok then cut your calories intake by 20% or 500-600 calories to become lean.
You must have heard this from your Gym Trainer or Dietitian. You expect a little more in-depth knowledge from these certified Professionals than this very basic and not so practical advice. (why am I saying not so practical, you will get to know it in the article)
But do you have to cut on to your calorie intake if it’s in the right range or even just above?
Let’s understand it from the basic,
what is a calorie?
A calorie is a unit of energy. In Nutrition, whatever food & drink we consume is referred to as calorie(it is a measuring unit).When we do any physical activity, the energy we burn is also calorie.
It is measured under three sections:
which has approx 9 calories per gram.
Rich source of fats are.
Oils, Butter, Cheese.
which has 4 calories per gram.
Rich source of carbohydrates are
which has 4 calories per gram.
Rich source of Proteins are
But all these three categories have their functionality.
- Calories from Fats
works majorly as stored energy which the body utilizes when it goes into the scarcity. When there is not enough consumption of Calories then the body starts using fats as a source of energy and starts breaking it down to make it available for energy.
- Calories from carbohydrates
works as instant energy. For any physical activity, there is a requirement of instant energy and that comes from Carbohydrates. It is the primary source of energy which gets utilized by the body.
- Calories from Proteins
works majorly for repairing & growth. Whenever there is any sort of physical activity the muscle fibre in the body tends to tear and then comes the role of proteins to repair it and grow it. Protein has a major role in the overall development of the body as well.
Now if you want to lose weight and gain the lean muscle mass then what you have to do is to shift your calories from fats or carbohydrates to proteins.
In simple words, you will have to consume more protein-rich food and a lesser amount of fat & carbohydrate-rich food.
If you were having fat-rich food earlier then focus on protein-rich food and if you were having carbohydrate-rich meals then also focus more on protein-rich meals.
The athletes you see on TV or around you are the fittest examples of human being that is why we get so much inspired from them but you will be shocked to know that their calories consumption is much higher than a normal person and in certain sports it’s more than double of a normal daily diet but they also train very extreme.
Now you can not double up your calories consumption because there is a big difference in physical activity and the body’s metabolic rate but rather what you actually can follow is the % of nutrients.
One thing you will see that they consume higher % of protein and balanced carbohydrates and fats and that’s why they are lean and muscular.
The secret as mentioned above about athletes is the thing which you should follow, which is increasing the % of protein & reduction in fats and carbohydrates but not the number of calories that you consume. It should remain the same if it as per the daily requirement.
So next time when your trainer tells you to drop your calories intake to reduce the percentage of fat in your body then tell him about the top athletes like Michael Phelps or Usain bolt or you can share this article with him and if he still insist on the same thing then it is the right time to change your trainer or Dietitian.
Some other important things which don’t fall under the category of calories but crucial for weight loss are:
-Limit the consumption of sodium-rich food as it absorbs water and can make you look fat.
-Timing of water intake.
- Don’t have water with the meal rather have it half an hour prior or one hour after the meal.
- Having water with food will not let your body to digest it properly.
- Having water half an hour before a meal will help you in eating less because you will feel fuller.
- Having water minimum one hour later after the meal won’t disturb the natural digestion process of the body.