HOW CALORIES AFFECT RESULTS
Calories are KEY for losing bodyfat, people focus so much on quality that they tend to forget that QUANTITY is major. We don’t realise that quantity is most important when your aim is to LOSE FAT.
If you are just beginning your journey, then it may be tempting to jump straight in and make drastic changes, however, that is definitely not advised. Similarly to training, changing your routine drastically will cause some discomfort with your body. For example, if your goal is fat-loss you will need to be in a deficit. The problem many people face is that they will drastically drop their calories to well below maintenance. Why is this a problem?
Firstly because your body will get SUPER fatigued and will adapt very quickly to the deficit, your energy will decrease as the weeks pass by. You want your body to have the ability to recover from your workouts faster and stronger for next time, this is how we progress. The other issue faced with drastic changes is that it leaves you with nowhere to go next. If you instantly halve your calories at the very beginning, your body is going to adapt to that food intake and you will need to drop the calories once again. So what if you dropped them drastically to begin with and now you have hit a plateau (no progress being made). This is going to be very difficult for you to drop the calories further, if you’re already really struggling.
By finding your maintenance calories and setting a small 10-20% deficit, you will still have enough energy to train like a beast, recover and live your day to day life. When your body adjusts to this, you can lower by another 10% small adjustments, which means you will be on far higher calories while still seeing the results! You do not want to be drastic in the beginning, it’s not sustainable long term and you will gradually feel more demotivated and weak, less attached to your goal.
If your goal is muscle gain, it is a similar process. At least maintenance calories, or preferably a surplus, is needed to build muscle as your body needs the extra energy to not only recover but grow! Start small with your surplus, as you will likely want to be minimising fat gain, try 5-10%.
Monitoring your surplus and starting with a conservative approach is very important, for the same reason as fat-loss. Your body will adapt to these calories and you will then increase again, therefore you should keep track of your consumption so you can strategize the increases!
When training specifically for strength and performance, some may think that calorie consumption is not as important as there is no specific physique goal set, however, this is far from the truth! We are putting our bodies under very heavy loads when training for strength, therefore tearing down a lot of muscles. These muscles need to recover to become stronger, and eating enough will greatly assist recovery.