The Arrow Club

TRAINING | NUTRITION | MENTALITY | EDUCATION

+27 62 885 6291

THE ARROW CLUB’S EXPLANATION OF CALORIES AND HOW THEY AFFECT YOU

WHAT ARE CALORIES:

 

A calorie is a measure of a unit the same as a KG or ML's. It is the energy required to raise the temperature of 1kg of water by 1 degree. This is a hotly discussed topic in the industry and you have sections of the industry saying calories don't necessarily matter. The main focus being the quality of food, macronutrient profile (Keto, carnivore, low fat etc), fasting or anything over calories as being the main driving force behind weight loss and weight gain. 

 

 

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CALORIES:

 

Firstly we believe as trainers that everyone should track their calories at some point in their life for a period of 6 to 12 weeks religiously. The thought process behind this is that statistically, everyone overestimates how much food they really consume on a day to day basis. 

· Tracking your calories will give you an indication on whether you’re eating too many calories or not enough calories. 

· Tracking will show you portion control that will allow you to understand the same sized portions when you are out and about not preparing meals at home. 

· Tracking your calories will give you dietary flexibility as you can learn to add in foods you love (in a controlled portion). This may eliminate binge eating and eventually, you will end up eliminating foods you hate anyway.

· Tracking your calories will enable you to enjoy all your macros meaning you don’t exclude certain ones from your diet, for example carbs and fats. 

· Tracking your calories can help with binge eating, in the sense that if you slip up you can still adjust your targets over the week to come out with a result.

 

The way calories work in an easy to remember principle and it is simple.

CALORIE DEFICIT: Eat fewer calories and you will lose weight.

CALORIE SURPLUS: Eating over your daily calorie target which will lead to weight gain.

 

No one is exempt for this rule, there is no way around the situation. Unless you fancy questioning science?

If you want to lose weight you have to restrict your calories at some point. We are in no means saying you need to do it forever but you just need to do it to the point you can roughly guesstimate portion sizes without weighing them.

 

KETO / FASTING / VEGAN / PALEO DIETS

All these diets and many more are commonly used by the world to lose weight. The success of these diets come down to some form of calorie restriction (

Keto: Restrict carbs.

Vegan: Restrict meat and dairy.

Fasting: Restricting calories all together.

All these methods restrict you from eating the foods you so desperately crave chocolates, chips, burgers and most of the time alcohol. Each method of dieting that is out there, is simply a glorified version of a calorie deficit.

 

Keto

The facts:

Your body uses carbs as energy and when you restrict carbs your body will burn fat for fuel.

In reality:

You are eating no potatoes, rice, bread, pasta, crisps, alcohol so in theory, you are just consuming fewer calories than you would usually.

 

At the end of the day, no dietary approach would be successful without calorie adherence. If you ate 15,000 cals a day as a vegan just from broccoli and bean sprouts you would get fat. (weird huh?) 

 Moving on…

When it comes to managing your calories please think long term. Dropping your calories down really low at the start is never a good idea. We refer to this as crash dieting and very rarely does it succeed.

Massive calorie deficits of 400 or over in our opinion shouldn't be practiced for the long term. We are also firm believers in diet breaks for 7 to 10 days to increase one's chances of adherence every 4 to 8  weeks depending on your level of motivation. 

 A diet break is when you are in a deficit but you bring your calories back up to maintenance allowing you for more flexibility while not affecting your body composition.

 

CALORIES ARE THEY ALL THE SAME?

 

If you look at it from a unit of measure than yes but sadly its more than that when it comes to the composition of those calories. Food quality does play a huge role in your general well being. When possible always try to go for organic, grass-fed, wild caught animal produce as well as fresh produce. Calories from whole foods as opposed to liquid drinks have totally different effects on the body in a physiological way even if they were identical in calories. It is 2019 and we feel everyone knows what is good for them and what are poor dietary choices.

 

It is about cutting down on the calorie-heavy things and starting to incorporate nutrient dense food which has fewer calories so you can eat more of it. Whole foods like: 

 

·     CHICKEN

·     COD

·     TURKEY

·     WHITE POTATO

·     SWEET POTATO

·     BEEF

·     LAMB

·     WHITE RICE

·     BROWN RICE

·     ALL GREEN VEG

·     GAME MEAT

·     FRUIT 

·     OATS

·     PEANUT BUTTER

 

Amongst some other obvious choices, these are your staple food choices, not processed meals, ready-made meals, protein bars, protein balls, detox shakes, herba life, skinny teas and protein shake only diets.

Looking after yourself is a main priority. If you can’t look after you, how will you be able to look after the people you love?

Don’t think now think in 20 years time,

G&M