Dr. Braxton Cosby is back to share a final round of good nutrition advice. In the last interview, he shared about the importance of proper hydration. This time, he continues on the subject of balancing nutrition by explaining caloric intake. Here’s what he has to say:
Tamar Hela: What should we know about caloric intake?
Dr. Braxton Cosby: Caloric intake is a tricky subject, because people still think that cutting down calories and increasing calorie burn during the day shed off pounds like a tackler trying to bring down Jerome Bettis. Not! It’s a little more difficult than that.
The reason is because your body needs calories. The brain, heart, lung, and other organs need energy to keep you alive. Not to mention the muscles that you fatigue during workouts, which need energy in calories to repair and build new muscles in preparation for the next bout of exercise.
Therefore, dropping your caloric intake to a level under 1200 is probably not a smart way to go if you are also working out.
Your body will shift into starvation mode and hold on to fat stores in fear that you will begin to feed on muscle because of malnutrition. Nothing comes off at the scale and you will be discouraged.
TH: So how can we avoid that?
BC: The total amount of energy required by individuals depends on their level of activity and body weight. The more active a person is, the more calories they can consume without gaining weight.
The following are the amounts of energy a person weighing 60 kg would expend doing the following activities for 30 minutes:
- Running (10 minutes/mile) – 300 calories
- Running (8 minutes/mile) – 345 calories
- Running (7 minutes/mile) – 405 calories
- Walking – 100 calories
- Tennis (doubles) - 150 calories
- Walking (briskly) - 150 calories
- Cycling – 180 calories
- Aerobics – 190 calories
- Swimming (slow crawl) – 195 calories
- Tennis (singles) – 240 calories
TH: And what should one consume during training?
BC: Well, it depends on what kind of training you are doing; portion size should be based on the specificity of exercise.
- 60-65% carbohydrates
- 20-25% fats
- 15-20% proteins
Anaerobic/resistive training/cross training:
- 30-35% carbohydrates,
- 20-25% fats
- 40-50% proteins
Remember, each substance has a specific energy yield.
- Carbohydrates - 4 calories per gram
- Fats - 9 calories per gram
- Protein - 4 calories per gram
Knowing the grams allows you to manage the caloric intake. Although there are no definitive scientific formulas for people to follow in general, steadily decreasing your intake and increasing your activity is a great place to start. If you are feeling too fatigued the next day, it’s a good guess that you need more energy.
Following these nutrition suggestions should have you well on your way to developing life changes that are both safe and manageable. Finding good nutrition isn’t difficult; it’s just challenging. And whether you’re trying to lose a lot or a little weight, remember that consistency is the key. Be safe and have fun.
TH: Thank you so much, Dr. Cosby, for sharing all this great information on good nutrition!