In a 2010 LA Times Article by James Fell, the author describes an experiment conducted by Professor Mark Haub of Kansas State University who has been popularized as the “Twinkie Guy.” Professor Haub proved that he, as well as many others who followed suit, could lose weight using a fairly simple concept: consuming fewer calories than you expend. In a 2012 experiment by Dr. Nicholas Finer titled “Low‐Calorie Diets and Sustained Weight Loss,” he confirms the validity of eating lower amounts of calories compared to achieve lower levels of body weight.
Simply cutting off the calories entirely may seem like the go-to move for those who want a quick break from the extra body fat; however, calories are units of energy. Not only that, but your body will go into a state of panic—searching for anything to keep your body working. The diets used in Dr. Finer’s trials only consisted of a 500-600 calorie deficit. This suggests it does not take a huge drop in calories to lose weight. Unlike Professor Haub who only ate desserts to lose weight, athletes and trainees should strive to create a balanced diet of macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. These will fuel your body with the effective resources it requires to perform efficiently.
The NSCA suggests:
- 5-10 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of bodyweight
- 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight
- 30% of your calories as fats (preferably unsaturated fats over saturated fats)
With all this in mind, taking a break from strict dieting, such as micro-managing your macros and calculating your intake to the single calorie, will benefit your mentality and relieve stress towards becoming more fit. Overall, consistency is what will bring you to your goals. But once in a while, having a slice of your favorite piece of cake will not destroy all your progress.