Fat Loss 101

5 Fat loss hacks to get lean in 2019

Getting lean/losing weight/cutting whatever you want to call it… for most people, it isn’t an easy process. But it certainly is simple. There’s lots of good information and a whole lot of bad information, out there! This is my attempt to give you some basic principles on how to bring your goals to life.

Calories matter

This is not to say that everyone should be counting every calorie or be scared of food. Calories matter they are a measure of the energy you are putting into your body and the energy your body is using. Fundamentally, if you are wanting to lose weight you need to be consuming fewer calories than you expend. Personally, I like to keep a track of my calories because I like to eat lots of the sweeter things in life and that helps me make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. But there are many ways to achieve the same results and I will explain these later.

Get yo’ protein up!

I’m not about to sell you some magic powder to drink, but protein is definitely your friend during your cut. Why is protein so important? Firstly, because it’s necessary for the maintenance of the muscle mass you’ve been working for in the gym. As well as this, a high protein diet is going to help you feel fuller and this will reduce the urge to binge eat. There is lots of information around how much protein you should consume, if you are cutting I would recommend 1.8 – 2 grams per kilogram of body weight and this should help limit the amount of muscle mass you lose (Phillips and Van Loon, 2011). For some people getting their protein up may mean the use of shakes and supplements. But it’s just as easy to do this with food. Some of my favourites are O% Fat Natural Yogurt, Egg Whites, Chicken, Milk, Black Beans (shout out my vegans). These are just to name a few, if you’re struggling for high protein meal ideas, then check out some of the Flavaful recipes on the blog.

Keep it light…

One easy way to lose weight that doesn’t involve tracking macros or counting calories is to eat food that is less dense in energy. For a lot of foods, this could simply be switching to the light/low fat/less sugar option. Making a few of these switches to things you eat every day could well result in the caloric deficit you need to lose weight without a whole bunch of stress and effort on your part. Obviously, you have to be careful, drinking a diet Coke doesn’t mean you can have that fourth cookie, and for some products, you need to check that it is actually less calorific rather than just impressive marketing. But this is an easy win and while cutting is definitely a journey and there is no magic pill, you want to make it as painless as possible and this helps.

Move more

All the points above largely deal with energy intake but energy expenditure is just as important a part of this equation. If you’re looking to cut you need to move more, there are so many ways you can do this without it being a chore. Go on a  fun a walk in the morning, take the stairs, do the vacuuming, go play sports. Whatever it is, moving more is going to increase your caloric expenditure and help make your cut a little bit easier to maintain.

Not So Fast!

When it comes to losing weight people are very impatient. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked for advice on how to get in shape, I’m like cool what are your goals? and the response I receive is well I’m going on holiday next week, abs got to be poppin’. There are many reasons why this kind of mindset is not the best, it tends to result in a lack of results at best and often times will drive people to try crash diets and whatever other fads Instagram is selling. When it comes to cutting slow and steady, for most people, wins the race. A slower cut allows you to maintain more muscle mass, which will help you gain definition as you lose fat mass. It also means you’ll be able to eat more, which means better training sessions, less chance of getting ill and most importantly less chance of being ‘Hangry’ which your friends and family will appreciate.  The amount of weight you should aim to lose each week is going to vary between individuals depending on training status and where you’re starting from. But Garthe et al., 2011 recommends 0.7% of body mass per week and I think this is a good starting point for most individuals.

I hope this was useful, it’s really just an introduction to a topic that is so interesting and often times so misunderstood. If you happen to like this blog, I’ll come back with part two.

Let’s help each other, share your fitness secrets in the comments, what helps keep you on track with your fitness goals?

Sources/Learn more

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT FOR ATHLETES AND ACTIVE INDIVIDUALS

Phillips, S.M. and Van Loon, L.J., 2011. Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. Journal of sports sciences29(sup1), pp.S29-S38.

Garthe, I., Raastad, T., Refsnes, P.E., Koivisto, A. and Sundgot-Borgen, J., 2011. Effect of two different weight-loss rates on body composition and strength and power-related performance in elite athletes. 
International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism21(2), pp.97-104.

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