Every year I think back about the efforts that so many club members make in order to compete in the Team Weight Loss Challenge and other programs designed for improved fitness, diet and overall health. The Elite Sports Clubs are fitness facilities, therefore it’s easy to see that most people will look at their time here as primarily fitness-focused, and rightly so. No real study has been done that details what experience new members have had before coming to the clubs, but it would be safe to say that the majority have had good experiences with fitness and want to continue, to learn more and to be even more fit.
But, if you have not kept up with your fitness or diet plans in the past, then you may easily want to do both. It is really important to understand what you can do for a good nutrition plan to compliment fitness; and secondly, if you are looking for weight loss how to accomplish that too.
Members’ goals while at the club tend to vary greatly:
- Many feel that improved physical fitness is what they are after to help improve their health, and to improve one or more sports, like tennis or golf.
- Others want to improve their balance, strength and mobility for everyday life.
- Often, members will also express a need to reduce body weight so that their everyday personal activities and energy levels are at their best.
Let’s focus on to the prospect of losing weight and/or maintaining current body weight. Without a doubt, we need to know and follow the number of calories EVERY DAY that has been suggested by a professional or we have calculated for ourselves. Many professionals will use the time honored Harris Benedict formula for calculating caloric needs as a basis of diet plans. From there you can find out what you need generally on a daily basis to maintain your body weight, and then with a reduction of give or take 500 calories, you can predict your weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week, without much difficulty! Yes, 500 calories is the amount of calorie reduction that can and will trigger a weight loss. It is that easy!
One of the most simple diet plans:
Lastly, and perhaps most important, is to make systematic personal changes in eating style. Healthy food choices can and should happen over a long period of time—no quick fix diet plans here! Clients/members will then go into a time period where food choices are put on a “trial and error” basis. Some things work but some things don’t work. Ultimately, members (with the help of a professional) are able to come up with much improved food choices that fit into any plan and represent healthy clean eating.
How this all can fit into your fitness plan does not need to be difficult. It is recommended that if you are following specific calories and exercising on a regular basis that you keep the calories at the same level, regardless of the impact exercise has on calorie levels. In other words, exercise calories burned can be seen as a “bonus” to overall diet plans while leaving your intake calories stable. But, if you still feel that you need some guidance, contact one of our many experts at any of our Elite Sports Clubs locations for your own personalized plan!
Written by Rita Larsen, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition Educator & Diet Counselor
Rita is certified in Positive Psychology, University of Penn; has a BS in Dietetics from Kansas State University; and an Internship and Masters at the Indiana University Medical Center.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.