Some of the most asked questions in fitness are all based around how to lose weight. There are many Myths, “Secrets”, and just plain lies about it. The truth, however, is actually really simple, less than a sentence long and everyone can use it to lose fat without fail!
That’s actually all you need to know for the 101 but read on to go into the details!
In case you didn’t know I have some opinions on some words that are thrown around a lot in the fitness industry, for example “toning”. It implies that you can do exercises to target specific bits of fat in your body… You Can’t, you can only lose fat overall through a calorie deficit. “Diet” Is another one of these words. A Diet is the food that a certain individual or animal will eat. In other words it does not just mean to lose fat. When you hear David Attenborough talking about the diet of a lion he is not talking about it trying to shape up for summer. We should start thinking of diets as lifestyle changes as that is what they are if you want your fat loss to be permanent.
Any “diet” that works will be following the underlying rule of being in a calorie deficit. I will say outright that most “diets” don’t work, and they don’t work because they don’t follow that rule. Now the only “diet”/ way to control Calories I would recommend is a system called IIFYM.
I will keep this quick on IIFYM as this is weight loss 101 and IIFYM is unfortunately not quite 101 but it is too important to leave out of this. IIFYM stands for “If It Fits Your Macros”, and it doesn't cost you a penny. It's the idea that as long as your food matches your macro-nutrient intake for the day, you can eat it. Macro-nutrients are what makes up calories (we will go over these in more detail in another post). You would have heard of some like proteins, fats and carbohydrates (Protein and Carbohydrates have 4 Calories per gram and fats have 9 Calories per gram.) Then all you will have to do is work out how many your body needs to lose fat healthily and you can’t go wrong!
This is probably the question you are asking yourself now and the Answer, thankfully, is actually really simple, type in on google, “macro-nutrient calculator” and let that do all the work. Here is one that I use: Macro-nutrient calculator.. It is important to remember that no matter what calculator you use or if you work it out yourself that it is never going to be 100% accurate, this sounds like a problem but the solution is very easy, can’t go wrong and will be 100% correct after and the solution is..: Trial and Error! When you work out your macro-nutrients, or macros for short, all you have to do is take consistent weigh in’s for a week (preferably in the morning when you wake up before you eat or drink anything) and see; A. if you have lost weight, B. How much have you lost?.
If you have lost about 2 lbs in a week you are pretty much on a daily calorie deficit around 500 - 1000 calories which is exactly where you want to be. If you lose this is also a very good place to be in but you will be more towards the 500 calorie deficit.
If you have lost any more than 2 lbs in a week you need to increase your Calories by how much extra you lost, so if you lost 3 lbs you will want to increase your calories by 250-500 calories.
If you didn't lose weight or you gained weight it's the same thing just the other way around. So if you didn’t loose any weight reduce your calories between 250- 500. If you gained a pound then reduce by 500 -1000 calories.
This takes time so don’t worry if it takes you a couple of weeks to get this right, it’s normal, just keep adjusting until you hit that sweet spot between 1-2 lbs per week.
This is the hardest part, you will eat too much, you will get stuck at one weight and not be able to lose anymore (a plateau), you will feel guilt, you will feel like giving up, you will feel bad and question the very reason why you are losing fat, you will fail! This all part of losing fat, everyone who has ever lost fat has gone through it. It happens to the best of us so all I can say is don’t let it get to you, don’t give up, keep going and you will succeed.
Yes. Just don’t go over the top, you need to relax sometimes and it’s fine when you do, don’t feel guilty as it can actually help you lose fat.
When you have lost fat or are in the process of losing fat you will very quickly come to realise the most annoying part are weight loss plateau’s. They are a pain in the arse to put it nicely, and many people have many different ways to get around them. Some people will actually take a break from losing fat for a week and eat at Maintenance Calories or a slight Caloric surplus, Some will drop their calories, some have a nice big cheat day, or some will cycle their calories (another post). All of these ways work to an extent, but honestly when you reach a plateau, don’t panic. Just play around, try things out and find out what works for you, try lowering your calories, try increasing your calories, try taking a day off, try cycling your calories… the list goes on, be imaginative and don’t worry sometimes it can take weeks for them to go.
Now you know the basics of losing fat the rest will be easy and there are plenty of things that I will introduce to make losing fat nice and easy. Keep checking out the fat loss section as more posts will be coming soon!
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