When I’m working with clients who want to lose weight, the first thing I’ll do is calculate what their Daily Energy requirement is.
To do this I calculate their Basal Metabolic rate ie the calories their body needs to keep everything working if they were to sit still all day . This number is then adjusted to take into account both their activity level, and how much weight they need to lose to get to their optimal racing weight.
I don’t stop there though as counting calories is only one small part of the whole picture. The macronutrient ratio of these calories they eat also needs to be taken into account ie how much carbohydrate: protein: fat. Let’s look at protein first. Protein is the most important macronutrient in a weight-loss diet. It’s very important to increase your protein-intake when you’re trying to lose fat to make sure that you maintain lean muscle mass. If you don’t, you could end up with the skinny look but without the muscle mass you need to power you through your training and racing.
I typically work on 30-35% of their daily calorie intake being protein. If you need 1300 kcals to lose body fat and weight then 30-35% of this would be 390-455 kcals. 1g of protein is 4 kcals so this equates to 97.5g- 113.75g of protein per day ideally spread across 3 meals. The added benefit of protein is that it makes you feel full for longer and the body uses more energy to digest protein compared to carbohydrate and fat.
Fat should make up at least 30% of your calorie intake…you could even go higher although make sure that this comprises the good fats not high levels of just saturated fats. In this example of 1300kcals this equates to 390kcals from fat. 1g of fat is equivalent to 9kcals so that’s 43g of fat.
Finally the remaining calories are made of carbohydrate. This will be 455-520 kcals which is 113-130 g of carbohydrate per day. The daily energy requirement and the macronutrient percentages are a guide and give a good starting point. Once this is put in place, it’s then a question of monitoring and measuring to make sure that you lose the body fat and weight to reach your target optimal weight for race season.
If you want to learn about the top 3 strategies I use with my clients to accelerate fat burning then make sure you register here for my free workshop on October 5th at 8:30pm