Hey everyone, Coach Keeks here! I’ve been a Personal Trainer for 17 years, and I’ve helped hundreds of people transform their bodies and their lives. Today, I want to talk to you about one of the most powerful tools in my toolbox: calorie manipulation.
Now, I know there’s a lot of misinformation out there about weight loss. It seems like every day there’s a new diet or exercise regimen that promises quick results with minimal effort. But the truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one person might not work for another, and that’s okay.
Think about it this way: when your dog wants to lose weight, what do you do? Do you put your dog on keto? Paleo? Atkins? No, you simply feed your dog less and walk it more – and humans are no different.
In my experience, the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off is to understand and manipulate your caloric intake. I spent several years bodybuilding, and I learned firsthand how to use the science of nutrition and calorie manipulation to transform my body.
Here’s the deal: Your body needs a certain number of calories to maintain its current weight. This is known as your maintenance calories. If you consume more calories than your body needs, you’ll gain weight. If you consume fewer calories than your body needs, you’ll lose weight. It’s that simple.
But here’s the kicker: Not all calories are created equal. I’ve been vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and pescatarian at various points in my life, and I can tell you that the quality of the calories you consume matters just as much as the quantity.
For example, 500 calories of vegetable stir fry (my go-to comfort food) is going to have a very different effect on your body than 500 calories of fast food. The stir fry is packed with nutrients that will fuel your body and help you feel your best, while the fast food is likely to leave you feeling sluggish and unsatisfied.
The saying goes, when you’re in the jar it’s hard to read the label. In other words, when you’re eating poorly, your cognition is impaired, you feel like shit, and this becomes your new normal. But if you stepped outside yourself, looked at your eating habits, the nutrients, and the calories, you’d be able to read the label and make better food choices.
So, how do you manipulate your calories to lose weight?
1. Determine your maintenance calories
This is the number of calories your body needs to maintain its current weight. This is known as your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate – the amount of calories to sustain your current weight at rest. If you’re active, you can use a multiplier to get your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). There are plenty of online BMR and TDEE calculators that can help you figure this out, or you can consult with a professional like me!
2. Create a calorie deficit
To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body needs. This is known as creating a calorie deficit. A deficit of 500 calories per day will result in a loss of about one pound per week, which is a safe and sustainable rate of weight loss. This calorie deficit will probably make you hungry, and that’s okay, it’s normal but won’t last forever. As you eat less, your stomach shrinks and the hunger pangs disappear. However, choosing satiating foods, like those listed in my Top 10 Most Satiating Foods Blog, will help you feel satiating after each meal.
3. Pay attention to the quality of your calories
As I mentioned earlier, not all calories are created equal. Focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. I love to do an experiment where I take 100 calories worth of broccoli and 100 calories worth of your favourite chips and size them up against eachother – it’s eye opening!
4. Stay active
Exercise is an important part of any weight loss plan. I exercise 5 or 6 days a week and walk daily. Fun fact: walking 10,000 steps a day burns more calories than three hours of spin class a week! When you exercise more, you burn more calories and don’t need to be as drastic with your calorie consumption deficit. More muscle burns more calories, so try to strength train too!
Remember, the goal here is to create a sustainable lifestyle change, not to crash diet or deprive yourself. I eat for hypertrophy, which means I manipulate my calories to create an excess that allows me to pack on lean muscle mass without the fat.
Ultimately, my goal is to teach others the truth about weight loss, weed through all the bullshit, clear up all the myths and misconceptions, and help people feel their best. Weight loss is a journey, and I’m here to help you every step of the way. You are under no obligation to be who you were 5 minutes ago. It’s time to create a new you.
Until next time,