June 08, 2018 0 Comments

1200, 1600, 2000 calories day?…How many calories should you consume and which will give you the most deficit for weight / fat loss? Well, the answer is simple…it depends.

We’ve heard about the 1,200 calorie diets…which leads to short-term weight loss, a plateau, which causes frustration and then the yo-yo weight gain.

We also see the 2,000 number everywhere… Pick up any nutrition label and it says *Percent Daily Values based upon a 2,000 calorie diet… but why? Where did the 2,000 calories come from? Not everyone needs, or should consume 2,000 calories a day, in fact some may even need more than 2k cals/day.

Your calorie intake needs and your caloric burn are not the same as anyone else… so you shouldn’t compare yourself, your diet, your calorie intake to anyone else! A lot of factors play into your caloric needs and caloric burn. Age, weight, gender, height, body fat percentage, BMI, and your overall health (i.e. vitamin deficiencies, activity levels, cholesterol levels, auto immune issues, the list goes on).

Most people understand this logically, but seem to forget it – I constantly hear people say ‘my friend Sam is doing the same diet and she has lost 5 more lbs than me’ – that’s because she is Sam and you are you!!!

The world isn’t fair, we get it. But the good news is, there are ways to boost your caloric burn through training regimen, nutrition and supplementation.


The “afterburn effect” refers to the number of calories your body burns after a workout as it rests and recovers from the stress you placed on your body during exercise.

In other words, when your body recovers from exercise, your oxygen consumption is elevated for up to 24 hours. This is because after exercise your body must work to repair muscle damage and to restore cellular function to their pre-exercise levels. Hence, rest and recovery is just as important as your intense training sessions. That is why we recommend training 3-4 days a week, depending on your physical fitness level, to allow your body proper recovery.

Will I get the same “after burn effect” from every workout?

The simple answer is no. You get out what you put in… There is some degree of after burn, but certain workouts are designed to use more energy and put more stress on the muscles tissues and fibers, joints, and cardiovascular system than others, which in turn requires more energy during the rest and recovery period.

Thus, a 30-minute walk on a treadmill won’t have the same post-workout after burn as a 30-minute high intensity interval training session.

A good training program is specifically designed to increase the after burn effect and leave you burning fat 24-48 hours after a great workout!

The following workout styles, all of which have been proven to leave you burning more calories and fat after are as follows:

  • Strength Training
  • High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Sprint Interval Training (SIT)
  • Circuit Resistance Training

But, as mentioned, rest and recovery is also very important in your training regimen. That is why we incorporate an active recovery workout option for days you are sore and need more of an active recovery workout instead of intense training. Durability is offered 2 days a week and great for active recovery


Calories are calories is a common misconception… therefore, cleaning up your nutrition can make a big difference in the number of calories you burn throughout the day including sitting, driving, walking or sleeping.

You are a calorie burning machine no matter what you’re doing. However, as mentioned before, you are your own person and the number of calories you burn each day depends upon your overall health, your resting metabolic rate (RMR).

What you may not realize is your RMR actually accounts for the greatest number of calories burned each day – typically 60-70% of your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Because muscle is more thermally active than fat, one of the best ways to increase your RMR is to gain muscle mass through regular and consistent strength training…hence the importance of the training styles above 🙂

You can also increase your calorie burn by focusing on pre- and post- workout nutrition. Which is more important? The answer is both. . . for different reasons.

Pre-workout – maximize your workout by fueling your body properly. A good pre-workout meal can provide your body with energy and nutrients it needs to perform optimally during your workout.

By consuming a small mixed meal consisting of easily digested carbohydrates and high-quality proteins about an hour before your workout, you’re providing your body with the fuel it needs to keep you going throughout your routine.

  • Pre workout meal examples
    • Hard boiled egg and fruit (apple, blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
    • Pre-workout protein shake (add greens if needed for carbs)
    • 4-6 oz. Lean protein with ½ yam/sweet potato
    • ½ c. Oatmeal with 1 tbsp. organic, unsalted nut butter
    • All natural protein bar (look for a good amount of protein, but watch the carb and sugar!)
  • Water is SO important here! Consuming 16 oz 1 hour before your workout can really boost performance as you enter into your workout hydrated!! This is important because all cellular functions take place within water, so failing to hydrate appropriately can slow your body’s metabolism. In fact, performance deficits during exercise can be seen with as little as a 3% decrease in hydration.

Post workout – an awesome, intense calorie burn doesn’t mean you can go home and indulge in your favorite ice cream or pasta.  Post workout nutrition is really important to help your body recover and encourage the afterburn.

  • The purpose and importance of a post workout meal is to:
    • replenish glycogen = replenish your energy stores
    • decrease protein breakdown = increase muscle size/quality
    • increase protein synthesis = repair damage done during training

Focus on eating a high-quality meal within the two hours’ post-workout that consists of a mix of readily available carbohydrates, high quality proteins and healthy fat. Your post workout meal should be the most carb dense meal of the day.

  • Post workout meal examples:
    • Chicken bowl – 1 cup cubed chicken breast, 1 cup cubed sweet potato, 1 cup broccoli florets, 2 tsp olive oil and seasoning of choice.
    • Fish, yams and veggies – wild caught salmon, yam/sweet potato, and veggie of choice (sautéed spinach with lemon and EVOO makes a nice bed for the salmon!)
    • Steak salad with a small side of quinoa, sweet potatoes or rice. Add a healthy fat such as avocado and use an olive oil based dressing.
    • Chicken pasta – ½ cup of gluten-free pasta, 4-6 oz chicken breast (cooked with EVOO), 1 cup spinach (cooked into pasta), organic marinara sauce, top with herbs of choice.
    • Post workout shake or drink for on-the-go could be used if you can’t get in a whole food meal.

PS – Post workout meals should be consumed after weight training, interval, and endurance training workouts lasting 45 minutes or more. Walking the dog, moving bricks for grandma or biking for 10 min doesn’t require a post workout meal 🙂


 I strongly believe that you can fuel your body properly through good nutrition, but we also understand there are times a good supplement can help you fill in the gaps as needed. But, this doesn’t mean I recommend strong, unnatural supplements.

I recommend the following:

  • Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) can be used pre or post workout, at any time of the day. As the building blocks of protein, amino acids are necessary for the growth and repair of muscles and tissues. 
  • A Pre-Workout - they're all similar, caffeine based, chug a double shot of expresso and you're good to go!

At the end of the day…

You can learn, read, and ‘know’ all the right things – but if you don’t put it into action ACTION. . . it is useless.


It comes down to you…  making conscious decisions about your priorities and managing your time to make the time to be successful. It doesn’t have to be hard, but it won’t be easy. 

Changing habits takes support and dedication. If you are ready to make a long-term change and learn how to fuel your body properly without diet pills, yo-yo weight loss and weight gain, reduce your stress and get your confidence back.

Consider joining a gym or hiring a coach, or simply, talk to your support system (family, friends, co workers) about your goals and really set your mind to making progress.

If you need a bit of support and are curious about how working with a nutrition coach can help you – simply fill out the form below and we can set up a strategy call to discuss your goals.