Exercise Calorie Deficits v. Diet Deficits and Diet & Exercise DeficitsA Chapter by Sara Mercury
For those who are trying to trim the fat from those sculpted muscles, the best way to do this without depriving your body of food and causing the body to chisel away at your muscle tissue is to allow yourself to eat your total maintenance level calories per day and only count what you've burned through exercise as your daily calorie deficit.
You can do this many different ways, and you should go with a plan that works best for your body, as everyone's metabolism is different.
However, my #1 plan is this:
Never starve yourself. Your body needs food. If you have eaten too much, simply realise this, and work out a plan not to repeat your error and move on from there. Do not allow guilt to keep you off that horse; be willing to get back on and go the distance! You can achieve anything you set your mind to do! The key is to believe in yourself!
Starving off calories is for the lazy, sick or disabled. If you are healthy, you will not serve your metabolism or your body by starving it to death. Whether or not you exercise whilst you starve yourself makes no difference. A deficit is a deficit, and a diet deficit coupled with exercise may yield results faster, but in the long run it will make you feel deprived, hungry and run down. In extreme circumstances, it will make you ill, underweight and malnourished.
Starving yourself only makes the body start eating itself. That's right " if you do not eat enough calories, your body will begin eating itself for energy. That sounds rather horrifying, doesn't it? IT SHOULD! The scales may go down and you may get smaller, but it won't be fat you're losing " you will be losing valuable muscle tissue that is metabolically active and that will allow you to burn those calories even whilst sleeping. Why would you want to get rid of the very stuff that is going to help you stay lean in the first place? So no … starving is definitely not the way to go.
When you lose muscle, you get weaker and the skinnier you get from there, you will actually become frail. You want your body to be strong … tough enough to endure your workouts, not give up from utter exhaustion within the first five minutes! That's enough to make anyone want to quit their fitness regime instantly and forever, Folks! Who wants to work out if they feel TOO SICK to do it?
Exercise does you no good whatsoever unless you are able to perform and endure. And to do that, your body needs fuel!
My basic plan as a rule would be to create small daily calorie deficits through exercise only for three days in a row, then have a controlled re-feed day where you eat about 150 to 200 controlled calories above maintenance level. Plan to exercise off 50 to 100 calories prior to the breakfast and dinner meals, and then eat only 3 times as many calories than what you've burned.
For example: Burn 100 calories through exercise prior to breakfast and then eat only 400 calories. That would give you a net intake at breakfast of 300 calories. Then prior to dinner, burn off another 100, eating another 400 calories for another net intake of 300 calories. For lunch, plan to eat whatever calories remain to reach your maintenance level.
In this example, let's assume this person is a female, whose daily maintenance calories are 1350. (This means that if she eats 1350 calories per day, she will not gain or lose any weight.) She has eaten 400 calories at breakfast and plans on eating 400 at dinnertime, so her lunch should be a minimum intake of 550 calories. These 550 calories should not be eaten at once, but should be broken up into a noon meal and a small snack mid-afternoon, at least two hours prior to the evening workout where she will burn the other 100 calories prior to the dinner meal.
In this example, she will have eaten her maintenance level calories of 1350, but in exercise will have burned off a total of 200 calories, which gives her a deficit equal to the amount of calories burned off through her workouts that day = 200. If she maintains this activity for about three days, she should then have a re-feed day where she eats about 1500 calories so she can recover and begin again with the next three days on the same plan as above.
Of course, this is only one example, and I'm sure there are other ways to do this that work better for other people. Everyone's metabolism works differently. This is just a plan that I find to be the easiest for me to stick to. (Although, I never said it was EASY … I do still fall off the horse every now and again!)
© 2012 Sara Mercury
Added on June 20, 2012
Last Updated on June 20, 2012
From the Kitchen of Sara Mercury
Lake City, FL
AboutHello, Darlings! I am a published author, and a legal assistant, as well as the mother of a 15-year-old son. In addition to writing novels, I enjoy singing and playing piano, writing poetry and son.. more..