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Episode 17: Nutritional Pyramid of Importance Mini Series: Energy Balance Part 2

by Shaun Kober
June 15th 2020

This episode is an overview of how I structure my nutrition coaching. At the base of the pyramid is energy balance. Our body requires a certain amount of energy, from what we consume, to thrive. Fi... More

Hey guys, before we get started with the intro, I just want to point out that the seven part miniseries on the nutritional pyramid of importance were actually the 1st 7 episodes that I recorded for the podcast. So please bear that in mind when leaving a rating and review. My microphone technique was probably not quite up to scratch and I was still figuring out the process. So please bear that in mind, cheers guys. You know what is up guys, Welcome to the live train perform podcast. I'm your host, Sean cooper of performance functional training. I'm currently the head strength conditioning coach at the world renowned Tiger moisten mm A training camp based in Phuket Thailand. I'm a strength and conditioning coach, nutritional therapist. NLP master practitioner, a former Australian army soldier and combat veteran. This podcast is dedicated to bringing you the tools, knowledge, experience and expertise to allow you to live your life to your fullest, trained to your potential and perform at your best. I'm going to do that by providing three different styles of podcast style one is going to be 3-5 part miniseries, 15-25 min episodes, each covering a numerous topics including nutrition, lifestyle, sleep, stress management and training philosophies style too, is going to be me interviewing people at the top of their game, who they are, how they started out where they got to where they're at and what makes them tick.

Style three is all about you guys. I'm going to be answering your questions, you can find that on my Q and a memes, which I'll be posting on my social media platforms. My social media platforms are at instagram at K. O. B. E. S. Underscore PFT at codes underscore PFT facebook is performance functional training and Youtube is at performance functional training. Make sure you like, subscribe and follow those platforms. Uh I will be referencing my Youtube channel throughout the episodes. So if you want your questions answered, go onto the men to the Q. And a memes that will be posting on my social media platforms, pop in your questions and I will answer them for you on the podcast. Let's get it. Mhm. Yeah. Yo what's up guys Welcome to Part Two of the energy balance episode. The last episode was quite dance. We covered a lot of topics during this episode. I'm going to dive into the nitty gritty numbers uh and explain why it's important to one get a baseline of what your energy in and energy out is.

That is done by tracking then to how we can manipulate those numbers to achieve the goals that we want. Whether we want to gain weight, lose weight or maintain weight. There's a number of other factors that come into play with this, including health and hormone regulation, all that sort of stuff. But for the purpose of this episode, I'm simply going to be talking about gaining weight, losing weight and maintaining weight during the last episode, I gave an example of a male's total daily energy expenditure. So we added up basal metabolic rate, physical activity level and neat and that equated to roughly 2600 calories for today's episode. I'm going to give an example for a female. Now, the majority of the time when I'm working with general population, most of my female clients are looking for weight loss. Now it's very common for them to go through the same thing where they essentially go through a dieting process for long periods of time. Then they hit a plateau and they don't know where to go from there. Then they start reducing food more and adding more and more and more cardio and movement in not a great place to be.

You're just adding more fuel to the fire, creating more damage for the metabolism. The deeper you go down that hold, the harder it is and the longer it's going to take to get out of that place. So today's episode I'm going to actually give you some case studies, some clients that I've actually worked with because for the most part, uh the protocols that I use with them are pretty much the same right across the board is very similar goals, very similar situations. So I'm going to use those as an example and explain how I've got people to one get healthy and then to achieve the goals that they're looking for over the last couple of years of my time in Tasmania working for myself as a personal trainer, I would typically get people contact me wanting to do some work together. Would sit down, have a consultation. I'd ask them what their goals were and then I tell them they need to track their food and then then I'd explain why we need to have a look at what your baseline is. You need to have a look at your your energy expenditure and then we need to close the gap on those numbers, get your body healthy before we can start looking at weight loss.

Now if people weren't willing to do that I teach them how to do that and then after a week if they came back in they hadn't tracked their numbers. I simply said that I couldn't work with them. They're literally asking me to fly blind. They're not giving me any data any information. two then make an educated decision on which direction I need to take them. So tracking is very important. Okay I'll explain this in the first episode. Go back to that. Listen to that. If you haven't done your tracking yet. If people hadn't tracked I would say that I couldn't work with them. If they had tracked then good to go. We had some numbers to see where they're at. This is a real life client but I'm going to change her name and I've seeing this happen time and time and time again particularly with my female clients. So jenny not her real name came to see me after I've been doing some work with her son who was a member of the footy team that I played with. I've been working with him for a while to build muscle, build strength, improved performance, et cetera. She came to me to lose weight. So I sat down, had a consultation with her, asked her what her goals were, what she was willing to do to achieve that.

What her current training regime was, exercise history, injury, history, surgery, medications, et cetera, et cetera. She said that she wanted to lose weight. She wanted to lose body fat in particular. She had a little bit of flab, she's a little bit older, she's a little bit of flab around. Um, you know, the common areas of concern for most women in there, mid fifties, sixties. So I explained to her why it was important to one track of food and then to how to do it. She went away for a week and then came back a week later, we sat down and discussed her numbers. As it turned out she was eating roughly 1400 calories. Now I asked her how long she's been eating, 1400 calories. She gave me an example of her diet on a day to day basis, how much water she was drinking, etcetera. She explained that she had been eating roughly 1400 calories for about six months. She had about three months where she was making some gains. She was losing body fat or at least body weight. Um but then after about three months she plateau and then she wasn't going anywhere.

She didn't really know what to do from there. So that's why she came to me. We had her energy in next. We had to work out her energy out. So I worked out her basal metabolic rate. We looked at roughly. So females were looking at 1400-1800 calories. I went somewhere in the middle, I said about 1500 calories. She wasn't overly muscled, she was a little bit older. So BMW is likely slowed down a little bit. I pushed towards the lower end of that spectrum. So let's say 1500 calories. And then she worked a relatively active job. She's fairly active on her feet throughout the day, taking roughly 25,000 steps. So then I added another 500 calories there that bumped her up to around about 2000. And then she also trained as well. She did some endurance based work. So I added another 4 to 500 calories. There Total daily energy expenditure was roughly 2400 calories. Now the problem was she was only eating 1400 calories. So her body was actually a 1000 calorie deficit because she wasn't getting much energy in the body or the metabolism actually started slowing down its metabolic processes to start conserving energy.

It gets really efficient when there's not much energy coming in. This is a normal thing. Your body is literally supposed to do that so that you can survive. Where do we go from here, jenny? Well, we need to go through a reverse diet. So right now, your body is literally surviving. We need to get it to a place where it's thriving. That means we need to bump your calories up from 1400 calories up to 2400 calories. I know that right now you're focusing on weight loss but you've plateau. Your body is in a state where it's simply surviving. Your metabolism has slowed down. Your body's become efficient with this. So we need to go through reversed. I get your body healthy again. Get into a state where it can thinks it's safe. So then when you go into a calorie deficit, it can start tapping into its fat stores. If you trust me through this process, I'll never have to ask you to trust me again. The whole point of a reverse diet is to get your body to a healthy place where it thinks it's safe so that we can start going into a calorie deficit. How are we going to do that? I know you're concerned about putting on weight, but don't stress.

I'm going to track your numbers. I'm going to track your data, your body fat percentage, wake after week after week and see what's happening now, depending on how long you've been in this heavy calorie deficit for will determine how long it's going to take us to get out of this place and get to a healthy space and how quickly we can bump your number's up. So essentially the reverse diet is looking to gradually increase your calories over time without putting any weight on. However, it may be a side effect that you might gain a little bit of weight here. Okay I'm going to try and minimize that as much as possible but they're potentially might be a little bit of weight gain as long as you're okay with that think long term rather than short term. The fact that you've been on this low calorie diet for only about six months and you played it for the last three months. It's probably a good thing means that we're going to be able to probably bounce your number's up relatively quickly whilst maintaining body weight levels Essentially. Let's look at this first week, adding 100 calories per day Over the course of seven days.

So that's going to bump you up to 1500 calories a day. The following week, I'm gonna check your body fat percentage. If your body fat percentage and your weight is still the same, then we can add another 100 calories per day. So now we're up at 1600 calories. Okay, we're going to continue this process for as long as we can. As long as your body is your body weight staying the same whilst your numbers are increasing. Now, what's going to happen during this time? Your body weight should stay the same. But what you should notice is that your energy levels are better. You're sleeping better. Maybe your sex drive is going to improve a little bit. Your health markers are going to improve, your going to be feeling a little bit sharper. You're going to have more energy throughout the day to play with the kids. Pay attention to your training, you're likely going to be moving a lot better. Your strength is going to gradually increase. You're going to start building muscle. These are all really good signs that you're moving in the right direction and yes, your weight might stay the same, but we're likely going to start changing your body composition, improving muscle mass and decreasing body fat at the same time. And you're just generally going to feel a little bit healthier. I'm going to be checking your weight as we go through this process.

Not only your weight, your body composition levels. So let's say three weeks later, we come back in and you put on one kg. Okay, you're now eating 1700 calories. You put on one kg. I'm going to check your body composition and see where that one kg come from. If that one killers come from muscle sweet, guess what? Now, we're in a little bit of a surplus. We're sending the right signal to the body Now, we're increasing muscle mass, which is going to have an effect on basal metabolic rate and our ability to burn um fat or burn energy at rest. Fuck yeah, that's a good place to be. All right. Cool. Your strength is probably going up as well. You're starting to notice that your energy levels are much better. Maybe sex drives improved. Cool. We're good to go. Now, if that one kg has come from fat, then we might need to stay at 1700 calories for another week. Okay, let your body adapt to that. So it doesn't think that it's in a surplus. That's one option. That's probably going to be the first option that I'm going to take. The next option that I'm going to take is maybe reduce your caloric intake. So. Instead of bumping you up to 1800 calories a day for the next week, I might only bump you up to 1750, but that's probably going to be my second option.

This is going to completely depend on the person that I'm talking to. You know, how they came into this, what their previous experience was, what their mindsets like, et cetera. So Typically going to sit at 1700 calories, come back in the next week, call your weight stable. Let's continue bumping it up. Let's go back up to 1800. Okay, I'm basically going to continue this process as long as I can until we get to a point where you're at roughly 2400 calories. Let's say you get to 2200 calories and you fucking feel like you're forcing food down. Sweet. That's it. We don't need to push any further past that. Okay, We're going to sit there for a couple of weeks. Um See how your body feels, see what's happening with your body weight. We're going to send the right signal through training, make sure we're prioritizing good nutrition. We start playing around with macronutrients, micronutrients, which we'll talk about in the next couple of episodes. Um and really focus on prioritizing training and taking note of how we're feeling. Now, let's go back for a second, let's say after the initial three weeks we come back in 1700 calories, Your body weight stable. And you've only been dieting or you've only hit a plateau for roughly 2 to 3 months.

All right, cool. We might be able to push your numbers up a little bit quicker. So instead of going to 1800 calories, and next week we might bump it up to 18 50. All right. And then the week after that, we're going to bump that up to uh 2000. Right? So going back to what I said earlier, the longer you've been dieting, the more your metabolism has adapted, the longer it's going to take, and the more painful is going to be coming out of that place. So this is what actually happened with Jenny, we increase your calories from 1400 to 1500, and 1600, and 1700. Okay. I because she had only been, uh, plateau hit a plateau for roughly 2 to 3 months. Then I bumped her numbers up a lot quicker. Instead of using seven days, I used 4 to 5 days. So every week we put her on the scales, we tested her body composition and some weeks she might have been up half a kilo. She might have been down half a kilo. I had a look at where that came from and then I made some adjustments. I went, right, you've you've been sitting on 1700 for the last uh, four days.

You've gone up a little bit. Let's just, let's just hold it there for another four days before we start bumping it up. Okay. So it's constantly changing, constantly recommending and adjusting as we went. But it's important to test so then you can have that data to then make an educated decision and adjust, test and adjust. All right. So over two months, what happens? We got jenny up to 2400 calories. Now, I checked her body composition and her weight at the end of that period. She actually lost half a kilo, but she put on kill on behalf of muscle and lost two kg of fat and that's because we got her body moving towards a healthy range metabolism, started firing and we're sending the right signal through resistance training. So now she was essentially a little bit of a mini calorie surplus. So what the brain goes here is there's a little bit of extra energy coming in. Plus I'm sending the signal to build muscle muscles metabolically active. This extra energy is coming in. Let's start pushing that towards building muscles so we can deal with this stress a little bit better next time.

So that was a win. Her body weight actually came down, half a kilo lost two kg of fat, put on 1.5 kg muscle was eating 1000 calories more. That's fucking crazy. So it took us roughly 8 to 10 weeks to get to a point where her body was healthy, everything was firing and we'd optimist the body's metabolic processes. Now, at the end of that 8 to 10 weeks, I actually had to go away to play in rugby tournament. So I gave jenny a protocol for whilst I was away, Essentially what we did was we went from 2400 calories And we dropped her down to, we went into a heavy deficit for a week. Then we went into a moderate deficit for a week. Then we went into a light deficit for a week, then we went into maintenance for a week. So essentially what that looked like was 1800 calories for the first week, Than 2000 calories for the second week, 2200 calories for the third week Back up to 2400 calories for the fourth week.

So what that does, it puts her into a caloric deficit over time. But it doesn't allow the body and the metabolism to adapt to that. I went away for a month. I got back. She lost three kg. All three kg were fat. Perfect. Alright, cool. Let's roll through that same process. Again. Heavy deficit week one moderate deficit week to light deficit. Week three maintenance level, week four boom repeat. We had another three kg all fat gone. So it took about 8 to 10 weeks to get her body healthy. And then over two months she lost six kg all fat. So this is important to note that sometimes you need to play the long, well, most of the time you need to play the long game. If you play the short game, the short games only last so long before it fucks you up and then you have to work a lot harder and a lot longer to get out of that position. Again, it took us probably 4.5 to 5 months to lose six kg. Okay, But those six kg actually came from two months simply because we'd set the scene, we built the prerequisites and we've got the body into a healthy space to allow it to adapt.

Once we actually went through the correct processes. Now let's go back and talk about those numbers for a moment because I wasn't giving her specific numbers to hit, I was just giving them as a guide. So when we hit our heavy deficit, we're hitting 1800 calories. Now. This is where our neat comes into play are non exercise activity. Thermogenesis. So what I said to jenny was you can have 100 and 50 calories either side. So yes, 1800 calories, roughly. That's what you should be averaging throughout the week. When you're not moving as much, you might only here 1650 calories. Okay. The days that you're moving a little bit more, you might bump up with 15 to 20,000 steps. That's when you're probably going to hit 1950 calories. Alright, So you've got 100 and 50 calories either side. It's not so much about the specific numbers, it's about the averages over the week. As long as you're averaging roughly 1800 calories throughout that time, then you're good to go. Following week was 2000 calories again, 150 calories.

Either side not moving as much hit 18 50. If you're moving a lot more. Hit 21 50. And that basically that that protocol followed through week after week after week. So she had her numbers that she was targeting, then she had some leeway and some flexibility to be able to adjust those numbers depending on what she was doing. All right. So let's now talk about what the goal is when we go through a calorie surplus, when we go through a calorie deficit. Okay, So I'm going to keep this very simple when we're going into a calorie surplus. The goal is to maintain body fat levels, Increase muscle mass. Okay, how do we do this? We're looking at a 5-10% increase. So we want to increase the your caloric intake just enough to send the signal to the body that hey, there's some extra energy and resources coming in. Let's start using this for something important, which is typically going to be building muscle muscle provide a service for us. It provides us with stability, Strength and movement.

Think about people that are Think about the 60 year old who does fuck all. Doesn't move, doesn't have any muscle mass is weak and frail and relies on other people to do shit for them. All right now. Think about the eight year old who keeps themselves active and has a little bit of muscle mass and has good quality of life and freedom of movement. Alright, That is literally why muscle is so important to us. It fucking moves our skeleton, how much of a calorie surplus is necessary. Well, again, that depends on the person, how they came into this, what their state of mind is etc. So with Jenny, we were able to bump her calories up 100 calories a day, Every five days. Uh if I had someone else came in and they were eating, say 1400 calories to start with. But they've been dieting for a year and a half to two years, then I might have only been able to bump her calories up 50 calories a day for those five days. Or we might have only been able to bump up 50 calories per day and we might have need to hold that for a week or 10 days or something like that.

So every single person is going to be different. I could get jenny and let's say the other lady is Jessica, Jenny's bumping up 100 calories every five days. Whereas Jessica, she's caused a lot more damage or a lot more metabolic adaptation over that long period of time. So I can only bump her up 50 calories every 10 days. So depending on how you come into this and depending how your body reacts is going to determine what you need to do and how you need to adjust from there to recap a calorie surplus. We're looking to bump up the metabolism, We're looking to improve health. We're looking to improve performance strength gains and also muscle mass without putting on any body fat. So build muscle maintain body fat levels when I go the other way into a calorie deficit. Now, we're looking to minimize muscle loss whilst also maximizing Fat loss. All right, how do we do this. This is typically going to be a 15-25% deficit again, depending on the person, depending on how they came into it.

Depending on their mindset. I could take two people put them both on a 500 calorie deficit, but one person started at 3000 calories And the other person started at 1500 calories. Okay. The person that's taking 3000 calories in I'm only reducing their uh the caloric intake by roughly 18%. Okay, the person that's coming in at 1500 calories, I'm reducing their calories by 33%. Okay. That's why it's important to track, see where you're at. Then make some adjustments even though those two people might be weighing the same, how they come into. This is going to be completely different. So that's going to determine the direction that I need to go. The person that's eating 1500 calories, particularly if it's subdued and they want to lose weight. I'm probably gonna need to go through a reverse diet first Again. This is why it's so important to track the dude that comes in that's eating 3000 calories sweet. I can go straight into a caloric deficit if he wants to lose weight. The dude that's coming in, eating 1500 calories been dying for a fuck load of time. Okay, I can't take him into a calorie deficit. Just remember 1800 to 2400 calories what we're looking at for dudes.

I need to get his body healthy first. So I'm going to need to go through a reverse diet. The more tools that I have, the more options I have on the table and it's very important to see what someone's baseline is before you take them in a direction to round out this episode. The final point that I want to make is that we shouldn't be stuck in a calorie deficit or a calorie surplus for long periods of time. Okay, evolutionary speaking, it doesn't make sense. We evolved to go through stages of of fat loss and fat gain in the cold winter months when there wasn't food abundantly available. Evolutionary speaking, before those fucking grocery stores everywhere, there was no food available. So we would essentially tap into our fat stores would be hibernating not much food available. We'd start tapping into our stores energy through fat that we built up over the summer and spring months when food was more abundantly available. When we caught food when food was growing, then we would eat it. We typically go into a calorie surplus, We'd start gaining body fat. Okay, Winter months, we go into a calorie deficit, we'd start tapping into body fat.

Alright, so evolutionary speaking, that's what we evolved to do. It's important to make sure that we go through those process and we don't stay in one place too long, our bodies going to adapt to it, it's going to make it harder and harder and harder. So even dudes that come to me and they want to build muscle, let's say they're eating 3.5 1000 calories okay. And they've been bumping bumping, bumping, bumping, bumping for six months, right? So what I'm going to do is go you know what, let's actually come back down the other way, let's take you into a deficit for a couple of weeks. Okay, just see your metabolism slows down. We start adapting to that and then we start bumping you back into a calorie surplus. So we might do like three weeks of a calorie deficit and then go back into a six weeks of calorie surplus. So we're kind of manipulating that evolutionary response. We can't fight against biology. We just need to work with it as best we can now. Likewise, if I've got a female who wants to typically lose body fat then I might do the same thing. I might take them into a calorie deficit for maybe six weeks and then I'm going to go through a little bit of a reverse diet where bump their calories back up, put them into a little bit of a surplus for maybe three weeks.

Okay. But I'm going to do all the pre records at work, make sure they're at a healthy space there at that healthy space for a couple of months before we can start using these tools. So once you've got these tools and you've got everything dialed in, then it's about applying the right tool at the right time to work in line with your clients who you've got in front of you, who you're speaking to. These last couple of episodes have been very dense. So if you want to consolidate that information, make sure you go back and listen to that a couple of times. The next episode, we're gonna be diving into macronutrients. What are macronutrients? What are their caloric content? What do they provide for us and how can we manipulate them to live our life to the fullest, trained to our potential and perform at our best. The only thing that I want out of this podcast is to help people cut through the bullshit in the health and fitness industry. There's so many snake oil salesman and magicians that promise everything for barely doing anything. Well, I'm here to tell you that that's bullshit. And if you want to make changes, you need to make changes.

If you enjoy the message that I'm delivering, please help me spread the word and like share, save and subscribe to my social media platforms, instagram is at K O B. E S underscore. Pft at codes underscore pft my facebook is Sean Coba and my business page is at performance functional training. You'll also find performance functional training on Youtube. Go and check that out and please pass this on to your friends, family, Anyone else who would benefit from hearing this message. And if you could also leave me a five star rating and review, that would be much appreciated. Anybody who does leave me a five star rating and review will have precedence when it comes to my Q and A sessions. I'm going to be posting on my social media platforms in the coming weeks of questions and answers you guys ask the questions. I will answer them on a podcast episode. That's it for me today guys, hopefully enjoyed this episode and I look forward to bringing you some awesome content moving forward peace.

Episode 17: Nutritional Pyramid of Importance Mini Series: Energy Balance Part 2
Episode 17: Nutritional Pyramid of Importance Mini Series: Energy Balance Part 2
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