I wanted to add to the discussion. I’ll try to keep it as short as possible (but it won’t be!) The Holy Grail is "body comping"; which is losing weight and building strength at the same time. This IS doable, but unfortunately most effective for novice / untrained individuals (folks new to CrossFit or those that have recently completed the CrossFit Wiesbaden Basics Course).
Basically, when you first start training, your body responds so well to the stimulus, that you are able to deficit calories and build muscle simultaneously (rapid changes in the way someone's body looks). Generally, you have three options:
1. Deficit ("cut"): eat fewer calories than you burn, and you will lose weight. It simple as that. It is difficult for trained individuals to build muscle while in a deficit. In-fact, you have to be extra careful with your protein intake to ensure your body doesn't use muscle for energy while cutting! While in a deficit, you will lose weight, but it may not be from where you want to lose it! It will likely be a mix of fat and muscle that are knocking the pounds (kilos) off the scale. Generally, having about a gram of protein for every pound you weigh during a cut will help maintain your muscle mass.
2. Maintain: eat roughly the same amount of calories you burn, and you'll neither lose or gain weight.
3. Surplus ("bulk"): eat more calories than you burn, and you'll gain weight. Ideal for fueling the muscle building process, but not so great if you're trying to maintain a six-pack (or get the six-pack in the first place)!
You need to determine your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE, sometimes shortened to TDE). Your TDEE is comprised of your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and the additional energy burned through activity (e.g., badass workouts at CrossFit Wiesbaden). Your BMR can be calculated through the million online calculators and for the Military folks you can go to the Army Wellness Center on base (shout out to Lisa Cox!), and additional energy can be calculated through heart rate sensors, fitbits, estimating, calculators, etc. So let's say your BMR is 1700. Let's also say that you burned 300 calories that day exercising / training. Then your TDEE is 2000. Simple as that. When we say deficit / maintain / surplus, we are referring to your TDEE. BMR is only one part of the equation. As an example, if your TDEE is 2000 for the day, and you eat 1700 calories, then you’re in a deficit for that day. If you eat 2000, then you maintained. If you eat 2300, then you surplussed. Now, what happens to most people is that they overeat on a regular basis. This in-turn makes them gain weight (despite the exercise, their TDEE is lower than their calorie intake). As you gain more weight, your BMR goes up (direct relationship between your weight and BMR). Eventually what happens is that your body hits a sweet spot (homeostasis) where your calorie intake and TDEE are around the same and you start to hover around this weight. You are now "maintaining" even though you're overweight.
This accounts for majority of the population. Overweight, but neither losing or gaining additional weight. Know that at CrossFit Wiesbaden, we can help you navigate nutrition, gain muscle, lose fat, get healthier, or just meet new people – we have the facility, knowledge, and experience to help you along the way!