I promise this post has no fancy science talk, or gym lingo! It’s just straight talking, simplified education on fat loss for those who want to understand the process.
Fat Loss is actually very straight forward, especially for the everyday person wanting to lose weight and improve health. Let’s dive into the details…
Calories in Vs Calories Out
In order to lose weight you have to create a calorie deficit, there’s absolutely no other way. When your body is burning more calories than it’s consuming it has no choice but to burn stored fuel. A deficit can be achieved through exercise or dieting (ideally both). As you stay in a deficit over time you’ll gradually lose more and more weight.
Losing Weight With Exercise
When you move you expend energy. The more you move the more energy you burn! You burn calories walking up the stairs, when you go running, and when you go to the gym. The more intensive the exercise the more calories you burn. Try this 10 minute Fat Burning Workout
How Many Calories Do I Need To Lose Fat?
There are lots of ways to figure out calorie targets but for most people, if they increase output (3-4 workouts per week) and stay within a calorie range of 1,500 – 2,500 calories per day they will likely lose weight.
Why Extreme Diets Don’t Work
Staying in a deficit can be draining. The more extreme the calorie reduction the faster you’ll lose weight but the worse you’ll feel and the less sustainable it will be in the long run. Successful diets work when the dieter manages to create a small deficit, but still has enough energy to workout and perform daily activities without feeling totally miserable!
Lots of people believe that carbohydrates make you fat but they don’t, only if you eat too much of them, but then that goes for any food (including fat and protein). If you over consume calories you will gain weight, if you under consume you’ll lose weight. Simple.
The issue with carbohydrates is that they’re pretty damn tasty right? It’s easy to devour lots of bread, pasta, pizza, chocolate and sweets (all rich carbohydrate foods) but if you try to over eat on protein and fats (meat, fish, nuts, etc) it’s pretty damn difficult. Carbohydrates make you fat when you over consume them. As with all food (protein, carbs, fats) the devil is in the dose.
One thing that I like to do with clients is cycle calories: higher on training days e.g. 2,200 calories but then less on rest days e.g. 1,900 calories.
If they are training 4x per week that means:
- 4 Training Days @ 2,200 calories = 8,800 cals
- 3 Rest Days @ 1,900 calories = 5,700 cals
Total = 14,500 calories for the week.
Think of the above as putting in more petrol in the tank when you need it. When you train it’s wise to have slightly more calories like in the example above. Then when you are less active pull back on calories.
Single Ingredient Foods
It’s easy to blow all your calories on just one meal, for example you could have a large dominoes Pizza and you’d have blown all your calories for the day. Therefore it’s wiser to pick foods which are dense, nutritious and contain less calories than fast processed foods. Single ingredients foods are foods like: chicken, turkey, steak, salmon, eggs, nuts, vegetables, potatoes, and rice. You’ll get far more bang for your buck and be able to eat more as these foods contain far less calories.
I’ll repeat that the in order to lose weight you have to CREATE A CALORIE DEFICIT. Move your butt, eat less and repeat that process consistently and watch the pounds fall off.
If you’d like help in moving more, eating less and tips on how to lead a happier, and healthier life then please check out my blog, there’s over 350 free articles covering: nutrition, fat loss, motivation, muscle building, free workouts, you name it!