So the topic of calories is one that has so many different parts. Calories are the thorn in the side of most people’s fitness journeys, whether they know it or not, and they will rear their ugly head whenever we least expect them but they are an important topic and something that definitely needs discussing.
My relationship with calories hasn’t always been a healthy one. Back in the days before my fitness journey started I had no concept of what calories were or meant and I just shoved anything and everything edible into my mouth then I found slimming world and well… lets just say that didn’t really give me a clue of calories either.
Looking back I do not understand how slimming world gets results… all the “Free” food you want… well for me that is bowls and bowls of pasta, heaven, until you realise that all the pasta is actually over 2000 calories and you’ve already had a heap full of fruit, some Muller lights and your healthy extra choices. However, I lost 3 stone using slimming world so if it works for you then that is fantastic.
After slimming world I joined Project 6 Pack and they advocate a low Sugar and carb diet but they, again, never really explained how calories worked or what I should be doing. On the side of P6P I was doing PT session with Iamthebodyconfidencecoach, this is where my introduction to the world of tracking and Calories began. I had a goal to hit and so she explained that I needed to track my food and hit the goal she had set me, it was all new to me and although I cleaned up my eating to hit my goal (My best friends wedding) I still didn’t have my head or heart around calorie tracking and so eventually my weight fluctuated and I stopped looking at my 1400 calorie target as it was unsustainable long-term.
Once I’d realised that I was back to where I started 6 years ago I decided that I needed to give calorie counting another go however I knew I couldn’t stick to 1400 a day again as it was making me tired and poorly. I decided that google would hold all the answers, boy was I wrong, it is a minefield out there!
BMR this, Macros that. Don’t even get me started on how to work out the right amount of calories, to work out your calorie deficit you need to know your height, weight, how much you move every day, your mothers maiden name, your enemies darkest secret and the blood type of unicorns… even then every site would give me a slightly different calculation and very little explanation of what those numbers actually meant. Some would say that I should be following an all meat diet, other sites said I needed to buy some expensive meal supplements, some said eat no carbs and others said no fats.
How’s a woman meant to lose fat if the whole process was enough to turn anyone towards a life of Cadburys creme eggs?
After about 6 weeks of research I decided to just go with the recommendations of my fitness pal and crack on. MFP recommended that i should be eating 1460 a day so I gave that a go having previously falling off the wagon at 1400. I found that tracking honestly and trying to stick to that goal was becoming unachievable very quickly and more often than not I was either going to bed hungry, with a headache or going over my daily allowance. I decided that I needed some help and so I reached out on Instagram. After sifting through the messages and recommendations about herbalife and other pyramid schemes I came across a recommendation for James Smith PT and the James Smith Academy. I started following James on Instagram and watching his videos on Facebook and after a few hours of watching it became pretty clear that not only was he hilarious, he knew what he was talking about. Conveniently JSA offers a 5 day free trial so I thought, whats the harm and I signed up. (You can sign up too by following the link above)
Upon sign up there were 6 steps to complete and for each step there were videos that explain all the jargon and how best to get results. Part of the process was also a Calorie Calculator so you can accurately work out your daily calories and macro goals. In his video James explained that there was no hard and fast rule to how many calories you need and that some of it is trial and error. His honesty is the main reason I knew this was the site for me.
I can’t say I really understand calories still but it is great to know that there is a no bullshit site out there that I can use for support.
I think the most important thing I’ve taken away from my mission to make my fitness journey uncomplicated is Eat in a calorie deficit, eat lots of protein (I’m becoming quite adventurous with my protein sources), move more (#NEATUP247 – This video will explain) & most importantly… these things take time to work, eating in a calorie deficit for a week will not get you to your goal.
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