Hello, my name is Carlos M. and I am a member of LA Fitness here in Memphis, TN. I have signed up for the personal training for the next 12 months. I was instructed to email you in order to get direction or coaching on how many calories I should be eating during my journey to lose weight. I am told I need to create a deficit but do not know where to start. I am 270 lbs. and want to lose 100 lbs. in the next 12 months.
Also need to know what foods to eat as far as nutrients are concerned to help facilitate a weight loss. Thanks. – Carlos M.
Yes, you need a deficit to lose weight, though eating “less” and exercising “more” may be a bit vague. The true amount of calories you’ve been eating and burning may dictate a specific range but you can use the following if those are unknown.
Generally overweight men need about 20-25 calories per kilogram per day for maintenance. For you that’s (270 lbs / 2.2) 122 kg x 20 = 2455 calories daily. For weight loss subtract 500 calories, making it 1955 calories. Add 200 more if you are under 30 years old and subtract 200 if you are over 50 years old. Once you’re near your goal weight of 170 pounds, use the 25 calories per kg factor (77.3 kg x 25 = 1932 calories).
The best foods for you are going to be bulky, satisfying and high-nutrient value. That means a lot of roughage, lean protein, healthy plant fats and produce. How about a spinach salad (+ any veggies you wish) topped with salmon, white beans, pine nuts and tossed with an avocado-cilantro dressing? Or consider a hearty soup of reduced-fat clam chowder, potatoes, celery and onions. Perhaps a two-egg omelet with peppers and ham served with salsa and a slice of rye toast? This favorite makes good use of leftovers – a light sauté of chicken, carrots, onion, broccoli and sprouts atop a small scoop of brown rice with a sprinkle of crushed peanuts.
Try taking the foods you already enjoy and modifying them to be more healthy. A three-slice heavily cheesed or stuffed crust pizza can be replaced by two slices of Neapolitan style with a side salad. A large chorizo breakfast burrito can be swapped out in favor of lighter huevos rancheros on baked corn tortillas, hold the sausage and bacon. A dessert of apple pie a la mode can be replaced by a baked apple, scoop of frozen yogurt and topped with a sprinkle of granola.
It’s in such substitutions that you’ll find you are eating less… as long as you’re not adding calories elsewhere! Watch those sports drinks and energy bars now that you’re working out.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
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