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How to Teach a Client to Count Calories?
Counting calories is necessary for achieving any goal, whether losing weight, maintaining weight, or gaining muscle mass. To achieve any result, athletes need to count calories correctly! Knowing simple ways to calculate calories will be useful for athletes and trainers who care about their clients’ health. But how to teach them to do these calculations? First, you should explain the importance of this procedure.
- The next step is to talk about counting methods by giving examples.
- In conclusion, you and the client calculate the required calories for their special lifestyle.
See below for more information on teaching clients how to count calories. Our article covers every critical aspect step by step, which will help any trainer explain to their clients how and why to count calories.
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How to explain to a client why calory tracking is important?
You can explain to the client that the main task of the calculations is to provide the body with the necessary amount of energy for the whole day. Thus, the trainer can first turn to physics and energy conservation law. It should be explained to a person that energy cannot come from anything. It is especially true for a client’s request to lose weight or gain muscle mass. We are dependent on energy from outside – these are calories from food. In the process of life, from lying on the couch in front of the TV to participating in an ultra-marathon, we spend this energy.
Then you can talk about banal mathematics. If the client ate 100 calories and spent only 75 while lying on the couch, then the difference (15 calories) will be stored in reserve as body fat. If we do the opposite, we will force the body to compensate accordingly for the shortage by partially spending the fat layers. You can also add to the above the following calorie counting tips:
- The client can consume all, even very high-calorie foods. If the clients know their calorie intake and how to calculate incoming energy, then you can easily plan a daily diet, including their favourite foods.
- A person can be in good shape after achieving the desired result (if they have ever lost weight, they should know that this stage is the most difficult in any diet).
- Knowing calories is easy as well as calculating the intensity and volume of their usual “snacks” to achieve their fitness goals.
After this, you can help the client understand the methods of calculating the energy value and how to determine the daily individual needs.
How to track calories
First of all, it is worth explaining that although calorie tracking may look laborious and tedious at first glance, it will soon become a habit and an integral part of the daily routine. Then, the trainer should tell that for this procedure, the client will need two main tools:
- Kitchen scales. Before weighing, you need to find out the weight of the empty plate and subtract it from the final total figure. Next, select the desired type of product and see what calories the device indicates. That’s the whole simple scheme of scale functions with a calorie counter.
- Food calorie tables. Almost all mobile applications have built-in databases with the energy value of food products. However, suppose, for some reason, there is no possibility or desire to use these resources for manual calculations. In that case, you will need a table of product calorie content, such as from this site. For the client’s convenience, you can make copies and print them.
To finally form an understanding of the calories and nutrients tracking (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates), you need to explain its basic work principle and demonstrate how to search for the necessary information:
- Accurate data on proteins, fats, and carbohydrates can be found on the packaging of any product purchased in the store;
- Suppose the purchased product is not accompanied by information about the energy value. In that case, the calorie table of products on the Internet will help. It is enough to enter into a search engine, for example, “Nutritional info of cottage cheese 5%,” and all the data will be available. It is better to look at several sources to form an accurate picture;
- Popular mobile calorie counting apps usually already contain information about the nutrients of the most popular products and also provide the opportunity to enter data on specific components. It saves a lot of time and makes the program unique;
It is necessary to measure each calorie ingredient in food separately in its raw form and then summarize the obtained data to calculate a complex dish consisting of several components. We will discuss the latter method below.
How to Calculate Calories
As you know, the number of calories your body needs per day depends on your daily physical activity, weight, fasting, and age. Therefore, we recommend using the most popular calorie calculation formula:
9.99 x current weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 4.92 x age – 161
You should explain to the client that this is only an average the norm indicator, provided that they remain completely calm throughout the day. Depending on the client’s physical activity, it is necessary to apply one of the following coefficients to the results obtained:
- The result should be multiplied by 1.9 if the person’s work is related to sports or you are alone in housekeeping with newborn twins.
- Multiply by 1.7 if the client goes to the gym every day or is actively engaged in physical labor (for example, repair work with heavy objects being lifted, and so on).
- Multiply by 1.5 if the person leads a normal lifestyle with walks or sports every other day.
- Multiply by 1.4 if the client leads a sedentary lifestyle, only occasionally diluting it with inactive activity (walking to the store instead of ordering groceries online or walking on Sundays).
- Multiply by 1.2 if the person is exclusively sedentary without any physical activity.
Finally, to start losing weight in diet, you should count the required minimum calories. Multiply the average rate by 0.8 – this is the desired figure. Now let’s look at the calorie counting tips.
Example 1. Cottage cheese 1.8%
The package will indicate the parameters we need. If they are not available, the client needs to look for information on the Internet. Nutritional info per 100 g of cottage cheese 1.8%:
- calories: 101 kcal
- proteins: 18 g
- fat: 1.8 g
- carbohydrates: 3.3 g
Suppose your client needs to calculate a serving of 70 g. To do this, they need to multiply each of the available indicators by 0.7:
- calories: 101 * 0.7 = 70.7 kcal
- proteins: 18 * 0.7 = 12.6 g
- fats: 1.8 * 0.7 = 1.26 g
- carbohydrates: 3.3 * 0.7 = 2.31 g
Do not forget to tell your clients that to measure calories in food, they must subtract the weight of the dishes they use when weighing products.
Example 2. Buckwheat
It is considered the most popular carbohydrate among athletes. The specifics of the calculation remain the same, as in the case of cottage cheese. The measured calories in food will be identical for any product.
Buckwheat must be weighed exclusively in dry form, i.e., before cooking or washing. For example, the diet has a portion of 80 g.:
- calories: 340 kcal
- proteins: 13 g
- fat: 3.5 g
- carbohydrates: 64 g
It is planned to eat not 100 g, but only 80 g, so each indicator is multiplied by 0.8:
- calories: 340 * 0.8 = 272 kcal
- proteins: 13 * 0.8 = 10.4 g
- fats: 3.5 * 0.8 = 2.8 g
- carbohydrates: 64 * 0.8 = 51.2 g
The client only needs to enter the amount of dry matter into the calorie count diet program or diary, and no matter how much water is added during cooking, how much liquid boils away, or what the product’s final weight will be.
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