Content should be short, snappy, grab peoples attention.
Nobody has time anymore.
We want 15 minute work outs, 15 minute recipes, 6 minute abs, info graphics etc.
I get that, I really do, and this is fundamentally the reason many people fail.
Think of it like this. If you combine the amount of time searching quick fixes, investing is detoxes, 9 day cleanses, rapid weight loss programmes, I guarantee it’s a lot longer and one hell of lot more frustrating (and expensive) than learning the absolute basics to ensure they understand EXACTLY how to drop the fat they’ve been trying to for years.
So this series isn’t short and sharp or a quick fix, its a complete guide to help you understand how to lose body fat and how make the basic principles fit you and your lifestyle.
First we need to address the key principles that are required for successful fat loss.
Number 1 on the list is a Calorie deficit.
Without this your body will not drop fat, period.
We know that over a period of time if we are in a positive energy balance (we consume more calories than we expend) we will gain weight, fat in most cases.
Notice that I’ve said, period of time.
Your body doesn’t want to change, be that gain weight or lose weight.
It is constantly fighting to maintain homeostasis through a number of ways, we’ll not get too deep into this. (basically increasing or decreasing the amount of energy we expend to balance the books).
This is why having the odd day here and there where you over consume doesn’t mean you get fat (eating a large dominos once, doesn’t mean you are fatter the next day, even if you feel it).
Weight creeps on over time.
Weeks, months, years a few pounds at a time.
If weight had crept on then over that time frame you’ve been in a net calorie surplus.
The same works in reverse having the odd day, the odd week in a where you actually consume less than you expend doesn’t mean you’ll drop fat.
It has to be for fairly substantial period of time.
Danny Lennon (www.sigmanutrition.com) puts it well.
‘The imbalance between energy in and energy out is the amount of energy stored, or released from the body.”
“It’s not an exact predictor of changes in body fat, muscle mass or even bodyweight”
Great, so you just told us that the first principle is to ensure we get the energy balance thing nailed and now you say its not an exact predictor of how much fat I’m going to lose.
Don’t give up me just yet.
Anyone who has had successful fat loss has managed to get themselves into a calorie deficit for an extended period of time. Granted it’s often more by luck than judgement.
So as you can see there are many, many methods to create a calorie deficit, thus resulting in fat loss.
Before I tell you how to work out your calorie requirements, notice that there is one thing in common with all of the success stories you’ll ever find.
Actually sticking too it, this is why many people rave about certain diets.
They found it easy enough to stick too, so it works for all right?.
We know this isn’t the case, the failure rate on many diets is extremely high.
We are all unique when it comes to what suits us best (I’m not talking blood type, or body type or any rubbish like that, I’m talking our lifestyle, exercise history, job, if we have kids etc)
The beauty of actually understanding the principles of fat loss is that you can then play around with various methods to find one that you can stick to, and take the luck out of it.
First we need to calculate our BMR (basal metabolic rate).
This is what the body needs to exists, things we don’t really think about that require energy to keep us alive. (Such as organ function)
There are many online calculators and different equations to work this out. (remember this is a guesstimate, we can’t really know exactly. And as mentioned above the body is constantly making little changes in a effort to keep the balance)
My personal preference, is the Harris-Benedict Formula.
I like this because it takes into account your Gender, Height & Age, which all effect your metabolic rate.
(don’t get too overwhelmed it looks complex but I’ve attached a link to an online calculator to help you)
Male BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kilos) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)
Female BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kilos) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)
For example if we have two females, they are both the same height, weight and age.
Their BMR will come out exactly the same using a calorie calculator.
If female A is an office worker who does not exercise, and female B is a PE teacher who also trains 3 times a week they are going to have very different energy requirements.
To help us guesstimate this we must multiply our BMR figure by the correct amount to provide us with a more accurate starting point.
BMR x 1.2 = Sedendary
BMR x 1.4 = Lightly Active (Exercise 1-3 times a week)
BMR x 1.6 = Active (Exercise 3-5 times a week)
BMR x 1.8 = Very Active (Exercise 5-7 times a week)
BMR x 1.9-2 = Extra Active (Very hard exercise 2 x day, Sports person etc)
Once we have this number we then have a pretty good start point for our maintenance calories.
I would then advise attempting to use this number, alongside tracking your food on something like My Fitness Pal.
Use this as your start point for a few weeks (2-4) and see what happens.
The most important thing is you now know where you stand with it so you can make changes accordingly. Then, you can create a deficit.
If you lose weight, I suggest keeping it the same for a few more weeks if you are happy with progress.
If you are losing weight rapidly, you may be wise upping your intake a little to help ensure you can sustain the deficit for long enough to reach your goal. (often the reason people fail is being to aggressive at the start, its your call)
If you gain weight then reduce the number by 15%-20% and go for another 2 weeks.
If you stay the same, and your goal is fat loss, drop the number by 10%-15% and go for another 2 weeks.
In the next part of this series we will take the Calories and break them down into our Macro Nutrients (Protein, Fats & Carbohydrate)
Once we know these we can then create a plan of attack, this series will help you with all of this.
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