How Many Calories Should You Eat To Lose Weight?

Copyright © 2013 Karie Hamilton

One of the top questions that many of my clients ask me about is in regards to nutrition. More specifically they would like to know how many calories they should eat per day, where those calories should come from, and how many times per day they should eat. We hear so many different things on T.V., radio, and in magazines but what is the truth? Let me break things down for you to make things easier to understand and more beneficial to your fitness goals.

Most of my clients want to lose weight. To be more specific, they want to know how to lose unwanted body fat. There are 3 ways you can lose weight. They are dehydration, muscle loss, and fat loss.

Obviously the first 2 are not good. Fat loss is what the majority of people are looking for or a combination of lean muscle increase and fat loss.

Muscle loss comes from eating too few calories and/or not eating frequently enough during the course of the day. Cutting your calories to below your daily activity level will enable you to lose weight. However if you cut them too much you will shut your metabolism down. This is your body’s safety feature to prevent starvation.

You can live without food for over a week and that is because your body realizes no calories in (or not enough), so your body will hold on to the calories because you are not consuming enough for you body to function properly. This means you will actually store fat!

When you lose more than 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per week, then you have probably lost muscle. If you lose weight faster, it is coming from water or muscle or a combination of both. This is also why people put weight back on after following a low-calorie diet. They lose muscle.

Muscle is live tissue and the body’s most metabolically active tissue. When you lose muscle it slows down your metabolism and you actually burn fewer calories than before!

Cutting calories can also affect you in other ways too. Less energy from food is used as body heat and turned into weight instead. This can also suppress the activity of certain thyroid hormones which will slow down your metabolism even more.

It is recommended that we eat 5-6 small meals or snacks per day. The 5 to 6 meals you should be eating a day should include the proper combination of proteins, high starch and fibrous carbohydrates, and healthy fats. When you combine your carbs with your protein and fat you will actually slow down the digestive system. This will slow the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream which will prevent the overproduction of insulin.

Don’t try to get too lean too quick by dropping your carbs down to an extremely low amount. When you don’t have enough carbs in your system it is almost impossible to build muscle.

If there is not enough insulin available to transport amino acids (the building blocks of life) into muscle cells the body will break down its own protein into amino acids for fuel. This means you are using the nutrients your body needs for muscle development as energy.

Your nutrition counts for approximately 70% of the results that you will receive in the body transformation process. Proper nutrition allows you to avoid mood swings and make clearer decisions. When your body is getting the proper ratio of nutrients it enables you to deal with the day to day stresses of life.

If you are unsure as to what your daily caloric intake and the breakdown of protein, carbohydrates, and fat should be based on your personal goals, please call me or email me as soon as possible and I will help you with whatever you need. This will save you time and frustration and at the same time enable you to reach your fitness goals. You will then be able to enjoy life to its fullest!

My name is Karie Hamilton, and I’m Toronto’s Fat Loss Queen! Be sure to visit my website and register for my FREE 5-day email fast fat loss course. Get Out-of-the-Box exercise tips from a Toronto Personal Trainer.

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