Your body does not decide how many calories it wants - it ADAPTS to how many calories IT’S GETTING
The reason the oversimplification of consistent calorie restriction / 1500 / 1200 cal diets etc doesn’t work past like 4 weeks is because of a BASIC misunderstanding. Your body DOES NOT HAVE a consistent, unchanging calorie requirement that it just NEEDS daily. Your body is a complex machine built for SURVIVAL - it dials different processes up or down to survive on however many calories it HAPPENS TO BE GETTING at the moment. It will adapt. Luckily it takes a couple weeks to adapt to any big changes - and it’s what we do in these weeks that matters.
QUICK KNOWLEDGE: in august 2017 a bunch of poindexters at University of Queensland did a pretty cool study - 50 overweight guys separated into two groups. Group 1 were put on a 30% calorie deficit for 16 weeks straight. Group 2 were put on a 30% calorie deficit for two weeks, then maintenance calories for two weeks, repeating this cycle until they reached the same 16 weeks at a 30% deficit. Even 6 months after the study Group 2 had lost an average of 8kg more than Group 1. For a study like this that number is very significant.
There’s a few things happening with that study but it’s confirming what good coaches already know - your body will adapt to what is being given to it, and this is the MAIN FACTOR which you need to manipulate to get the best fat loss and muscle gain results.
So what can you take away? Remember the main variable you have to always be planning around is how many calories your body is adapted to AT THIS MOMENT - not what a calorie counter says you should be on.
If you’ve been on poverty calories for ages trying to lose fat, then just sticking to those cals or even worse (driving calories lower) is not going to help. Instead if you’ve hit that plateau try increasing cals by around 10% every week until you’re adapted to a reasonable calorie amount (bodyweight in kg x 27 minimum). Slow increases like this shouldn’t result in any fat gain if you’re training properly. Once you’re at a reasonable calorie intake THEN drop cals sharply by 20% and you’ll kickstart some fat loss again.
If you’re going through a muscle building phase remember your body will adapt to constant high calories too - although it might not seem like as big a problem you can still run into issues with insulin resistance and desensitisation to anabolic signalling on muscle tissue if you’re constantly cramming greater and greater amounts of food in - it’s a good idea to take diet breaks through a muscle building phase too - just a lower calorie day through the week OR limit certain nutrients at specific times of the day OR back the calories off for a week every 4-6 weeks.
We’re getting more and more people come to us for help because the simplistic approach by Calculator Coaches doesn’t work. If you need our help just msg us or check us out online. We’ve transformed so many physiques by now we’ve lost count!
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