With all the different diets that are out there, it can be confusing to know the best way to lose weight and adequately fuel your body for training and exercise!
Losing weight was part of two #STRONG2014 goals:
Drop a minimum of 20lbs and compete in an aquabike even.
I goofed off the 1st half of my 30s and now with 4 years left I entend on getting in shape and breaking my family cycle of bad health.
lose 10kg and swim once a week
Over the last 4 years my body has put up with high stress & (very) low exercise – time to change that!
We know the perfect person to help achieve this goal!
Brad Seng is a professional athlete, triathlon coach, and nutrition coach. Brad has seen dramatic improvements in athletes by simply working on their nutrition plan. There is a science behind the results and Brad shares a little of that with us.
What is the one thing that I need to know that will make the biggest impact?
For individuals looking to lose weight or lean out and add healthy lean muscle mass knowing and understanding one’s BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate) is a critical value as a starting point. In general terms, BMR is the energy expenditure associated to maintain normal/baseline bodily functions. It represents the calories we need to consume to simply exist. It differs from each individual based upon one’s overall health and wellness, size, general activity levels outside of structured training or exercising and it decreases with age. For example, a 25 year-old Open Space & Mountain Parks Worker who does manual labor rebuilding trails will typically have a higher BMR than a 40 year-old software engineer who works at a desk. While there are several apps to help generate a ballpark BMR, the most effective way would be a visit to your local certified sports nutritionist.
Once the BMR is established many people believe eating below that value is the key to shedding pounds. While this may lead to temporary weight loss it is typically unsustainable and may even lead to long-term health issues. When eating below our BMR over an extended period of time we will unknowingly enter a “danger zone” prompting the shut down of vital bodily functions with the kidneys and liver. Remember, BMR is the calories needed to sustain normal functions in our body. If we continue to eat below our BMR our bodies actually go into “survival/starvation” mode in which fat begins to be stored as the body breaks down lean muscle mass. Within this cycle our bodies do not have the necessary calories/energy to function normally prompting a slow down in metabolism and fat’s primary role becomes protection. It will be used for fuel as a last resort with carbohydrate stores (glycogen) being used first then muscle tissue. Some common symptoms in this state include feeling tired, lethargic and sloth-like. This physiological process is the exact opposite of what we want to occur with weight loss and is kind of like swimming upstream!
How do I factor in training/exercise with my BMR?
A more effective and healthier approach would be to work from one’s total energy expenditure which includes the BMR, training/exercising needs and the thermic effect of foods (energy expenditure your body has when digesting food). Generally speaking eating below 1200cal per day can be dangerous. Even when eating below one’s total energy expenditure the focus should be one nutrient dense foods versus calorie dense foods. A consistent intake of nutrient dense carbs (whole grains, brown rice, quinoa, couscous, potatoes, fruits, veggies), lean protein and healthy fats with proper timing throughout the day will help regulate blood sugar levels and keep one’s metabolism running efficiently as possible.
What are the key things to remember?
Get assessed, don’t guess
Eat 200-500 calories above your BMR
Eat every 3-4 hours throughout the day (approx. 45-60% carbs, 15-35% pro & 20-35% fat for total calories)
Avoid processed foods/refined sugars
Get plenty of sleep (7-8 hours/day for most adults)
Jason and Heather, we hope that helps you as you work your way to your #STRONG2014 goals!
We are grateful to have Brad as part of our #STRONG2014 crew!
race my first 100 mile ultra marathon!
there are mountains to run & wanting to embrace a new athletic challenge on the trails!