T Nation

I Think My Trainer Set Me Up to Fail


#1

I’ve been seeing a personal trainer to lose weight for a month now. He originally set me for 2000 calories on workout days and 1800 for non-workout days. Keep in mind I don’t ever it 2000 calories. It’s more like 1700 at the most. I used the same calculator he used to calculate these numbers, but it doesn’t take in to consideration of the activity level. It just says, “Fat loss”. I started watching my sodium and sugars and macros, but only lost less than 1 pound, which I’m pretty sure was water weight and not actual fat. Now I’m starting to think something is up with this calorie calculation. I tried a different calorie calculator and it said I need 1649 calories to lose fat at a rate of 1 pound per week. This calculator does calculate the activity level and gives you different formula methods to try which are close to each other in the result. This calculator said I need 2061 calories for maintenance. WTF! Am I jumping the gun on this or is my calorie calculation actually screwed up?

Here’s my personal info:

Weight: 201 lbs
Height: 5’ 10"
Age: 30 (31 in September)
Sex: Female
Activity: 3 hours per week minimum of cardio and resistance training, 5 hours per week maximum. I work at home so not much activity there.
Goal: Lose fat (approx. 30-40 pounds).


#2

It looks like your trainer set calorie benchmarks for you and you didn’t listen, and decided to do your own calculation. It didn’t work … Why is that the trainer’s fault?


#3

So I’m suppose to eat at maintenance to lose weight? That’s what not making sense to me right now.


#4

I don’t know what your maintenance calories should be … The best barometer for that would be consistent intake measured against changes in your weight. Didn’t you post a few weeks ago that your trainer believe you were underfed and needed to up calories to stimulate weight loss? He or she set a goal for you to hit and you decided to go around that and eat less than what was recommended. Why pay the person to help you and not listen? Then blame them when your own plan doesn’t work?


#5

He did say I was eating less than I should be (1200 calories). Either way, I still increased my calories by approximately 500 calories, but the maximum is 2000 calories he said I should be eating for workout days. What I’m worried about is this trainer may have given me the wrong advice. If you can’t help and just want to be a dick then don’t reply.


#6

Okay then … All I did was give you a straight and honest answer and I’m sure many of our more experienced members will tell you the same thing. In any case if its just validation you’re looking for then I’ll see myself out.


#7

@max13 Your right and just being honest! I get what your saying. @mommymadness He was just giving you honest advice from the facts of your last post. I know your new like me and it’s a bitch to do what the trainer wants but hang in. I’m trying to gain muscle but we both have goals in mind and sometimes need a kick in the ass to remind us of the big picture. Keep a positive mind and try everything to the fullest without cutting corners, if it still isn’t good then you can knock it.


#8

Calories are absolutely the most important part of the equation but we’re not a math equation.

The formulas are not accurate.
The labels/websites are not accurate
The amount you burn moving is likely inaccurate and
Your estimates of what you are eating are likely not accurate

You probably see an issue here - the calculators are to set a starting point and 2000 is as good as any. From there you need to make changes based on what you see.

If you are losing weight, even if it’s a pound, that ia great. If the scales dont move for a couple of weeks, make a small adjustment.


#9

This is what no one is understanding. Using the same calorie calculator that my trainer used it says maintenance is 1883 calories and fat loss is 1694. Even if I did actually hit 2000 calories, wouldn’t I be gaining weight?


#10

@tsantos is right and that might help you better understand. It’s a starting point and if you do that then gauge what needs to be done based on those results. Most importantly communicate it with your trainer and if they see you doing it then they should help. I know personally my weight is up and down a lot but I make adjustments on my own if it gets crazy. I think you posted on this before but do you take protein?


#11

I don’t think it was fat though. The first week I increased my calories as much as I could and gained a couple pounds. Then my trainer said I was eating too much sugar, sodium and carbs so I cut that down. I did lose a little less than a pound over night so I’m sure that was just water weight. The third week I was exactly the same weight as the week prior. It didn’t budge by even a fraction and yes his scale does have fractions on it. This week I gained weight but I think that’s related to time of the month. My trainer originally told me I wasn’t eating enough, which was probably lower than it should have been (1200). Based on the same calculator my trainer used, a 500 calorie deficit would be 1383 calories. What pisses me off the most about this is he knew my goal is to lose weight, but he started me off at above maintenance calories. Even if I had actually hit 2000 calories like he wanted I would have gained weight.


#12

First of all, it’s 100% unreasonable for you to think he’s “setting you up to fail” when, by your own admission, you’ve never followed his advice.

[quote=“mommymadness, post:11, topic:220147”]
What pisses me off the most about this is he knew my goal is to lose weight, but he started me off at above maintenance calories. Even if I had actually hit 2000 calories like he wanted I would have gained weight.[/quote]
Or he understands that someone your size who was only having 1,200 calories has a completely thrashed metabolism so he was trying to undo the metabolic damage you inflicted on yourself. Yep, I vote for that.

Now, I do remember seeing in one of your threads that you were doing some funky workouts with balancing on a ball or something, so that can certainly be a factor. Have you tried simply saying, “Hey trainer guy, isn’t 2,000 calories a lot for me since I want to lose fat? I read that I should be eating fewer than that.” and seeing how he explains his method?

A good trainer, kinda like a good doctor, should have no problem with dialogue. That does not mean he has to do what you say, but he should be able to explain his approach in layman’s terms, not overly-scienced trainer jargon.


#13

Er this is confusing, previously stated hitting 2000 cals and were basically too succesful!??

Also I wouldnt stress too much, at 5’10 2000 calories is really not that much at all especially if training hard and presumably also running around being a mommy


#14

Water weight due to fixing sodium and carb intake.


#15

Why are you using him if you don’t trust his advice?


#16

Can you tell us exactly what you ate yesterday with exact measurements and calorie totals including sodium and water intake? Also can you tell us a little about the workouts your trainer has you doing?

Eating 2000 calories sounds about right if the workouts are somewhat demanding. But some trainers barely make the clients sweat. Also how often do you cheat and miss meals?


#17

What is the mirror telling you? If you are a complete beginner, you’re bound to firm/add muscle if you are working out 5 hours a week and the scales may not change a lot. It’s easy to get caught up in calories and bodyweight when aren’t you ultimately just wanting to look leaner and more athletic?
Your trainer should be able to answer all this for you.


#18

Sorry to pile on, but this ^ is important. If you think the trainer is wrong, fine, then don’t listen to him…but if you’re not actually following the trainer’s advice, then you don’t get to blame him for the results. If I decide to follow (Insert Program Here), but switch the exercises, sets, and reps…I am no longer actually following that program, and I forfeit my right to blame the program for any substandard results.

I also think this…

…is reasonable. Probably makes more sense to ask the trainer for his rationale (which is a good litmus test - the quality of his answer will help determine whether he’s a good trainer or if he’s just full of it) than to ask a bunch of strangers on the Internet.

Others have given you quality advice on this thread, so I’ll leave the specifics to them. But you need to fix this attitude…

…and be more like this…

Look, maybe your trainer sucks and is full of shit. There certainly are some bad trainers out there. But you probably should be communicating with him about this stuff instead of a) not following his advice and b) then asking strangers on the Internet why his advice (which we are presented without context or explanation) is not working for you. If he can’t or won’t explain it to you, then there’s a problem and it’s time to find a new trainer or go it alone.