This might be a tough pill to swallow for some, but the notion that burning 3,500 calories will shed a pound of fat might be true in theory but isn’t always true in practice. In the best case scenario, when you eliminate 3,500 from your diet, you should be able to lose one pound of fat, but as evidenced in the majority of people, that is simply not the case.
It takes a lot more to shed off body fat than dealing with numbers. On the contrary, if one were to follow this precise mathematical method for reducing body fat so stubbornly, then trying to cut for a bodybuilding competition would be as simple as entering some numbers into a calculator. Bodybuilders would have it a lot easier then, always striving to cut 3,500 from the diet without paying attention to other factors which have a much bigger role in reducing body fat.
In this article, we list the factors which explain why the method which tells us that cutting 3,500 calories will enable us to lose one pound of fat is oversimplified and the alternatives we should follow to really burn the excess fat.
Your body will adapt to the decreased intake of calories
Let’s presume a bodybuilder decreases his daily calorie intake from 3,500 to 3000 to make himself shredded. That is 3,500 fewer calories on a weekly basis. During the first two weeks, and maybe the 3rd and 4th week, he might shed a pound of body fat per week totaling 4 pounds of body fat decrease.
But, by the time he reaches the 5th or 6th week, he might not be able to lose any additional fat anymore. This is known as reaching a plateau. The main problem is that your body will eventually adapt to the caloric restriction by expending fewer calories. When you start eating less, the body will start to burn a smaller number of calories. This totally disproves the notion that cutting 3,500 calories from your diet will make you lose one pound of body fat per week.
Consuming more protein will maintain your current muscle tissue
When you eat fewer calories, there is always the risk that your body will start using muscle tissue as an energy source. There would be nothing better than to be able to cut calories and shed body fat only, but unfortunately, that is not how our bodies function. Which is why we need to eat more protein if we are to protect our muscles from wasting and being used as fuel.
When you reduce your total daily calories but increase the protein intake you protect the muscle tissue and when you maintain the current muscle mass, you prevent metabolism decline. Generally, a person that consumes 3000 calories per day, or 3500 fewer calories per week than the time they consumed 3500 every day, will save a lot more muscle tissue, which will enable them to maintain a more functional metabolism, by consuming more protein.
In order to optimize his results, a lifter should be eating, as we previously mentioned, at least 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of bodyweight a day, with the upper limit being 1.5 grams. For example, a 200-lbs bodybuilder that eats 3000 calories per day can eat 300 grams of protein, or have 1200 of his daily calories coming from protein every day. This is 40% of the total intake and is excellent for preserving the muscle tissue of a bodybuilder who is in the process of dieting for a bodybuilding contest.
Continues on next page…