3 golden rules of fat loss
You might expect some secret forgotten wonder foods you should eat every day, supplement like no other or the one exercise you are not doing that will solve all problems. Unfortunately I am here to only show you 3 science backed components of fat loss which when followed will deliver awesome results! No Gimmicks! If you are still asking the question whether you should go vegan, should you fast for 8 hours a day, should I be on a low fat high carb or the other way around diet? I need you to push all those questions aside for a while! Let’s look at the first and most important component of fat loss.
Yes calories matter! It doesn’t matter how pure, organic and raw your diet is, calories will dictate whether or not you are losing fat. If you’re a beginner and are around 20% body fat then this is what you need to focus on. Don’t get me wrong the pro athlete with 9% body fat will also have to look at his calorie intake but there will be some differences in the calculation formulas. The first thing YOU need to do is find what your Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE is! The easiest way is to find an online calculator where you enter your age, gender, height, weight and activity levels. Hey presto! You got yourself a number of calories that You need to consume every day to be able to sustain your current weight, strength and energy on a daily basis! If you are looking to lose body fat then one of the simplest ways of calculating your calorie deficit is to subtract 500kcal from the TDEE and BOOM! You got yourself a target you need to hit every day! If you think you should be lower than that you’re most likely wrong. Going into too much of a calorie deficit straight away will deliver rapid results for a VERY short period of time! Followed by lack of energy, motivation and imminent failure. Small sustainable steps is the way forward!!
We have all heard about macros by now! Even if you are still not sure what that means. It refers to the MACRONUTRIENTS in food. There are 3 that you should learn a bit about - Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat. These Macros make up your daily calories. It’s basically what all food is made out of. The key here is to get a good ratio of protein to carbs and fat. Especially if you are an active individual which, I am assuming you are! It’s important to remember there are no good or bad macros, the way I like to think about them is that they all have a special role to play: Protein = building blocks, recovery, strength, health. Carbs =performance, energy, happy thoughts. Fat = Health, Essential fatty acids, (if composed from proper sources), anti- inflammation. Each macro nutrient has a calorific value and what that means is in each gram you have a certain amount of calories - Protein: 4kcal, Carbs: 4kcal, Fat: 9kcal.
Protein is the macronutrient you should work out first! A very easy way of calculating your protein intake which should put you in the ball park of your daily needs is simply multiplying your body weight in lbs by 1.2 this number should be sufficient and get you off to a good start! When it comes to the other 2, it really depends on your body type and activity levels. If you train really intensively 4-6 times a week, carbs are your friend. However, your fat intake will have to be slightly lower. The opposite is true if you are not training very intensely e.g. lifting heavy weights, sprinting, playing an intense sport, doing awesome daily workouts at CrossFit Varangian, you won’t need many carbs and therefore you can allow yourself more fat! The ratio of carbs to fat always has to be worked out individually, although from experience I have noticed that you never really want to dip your fat intake bellow 45 grams a day! That is very low and I would always advise clients not to stay that low on fats for too long. Fat has too many health benefits as well as being our main source of Vitamin A, D, E and K which are absolutely essential to our wellbeing!
3.Tracking & Measuring
Obviously in order to stay on track and hit your calories which, are well balanced and divided between protein, carbs and fat, YOU need to be in charge of the amounts of food that you eat. The best way I can describe this is you will need 3 tracking tools: kitchen scales, bathroom scales and a macro tracker. Measuring your food sounds like it’s going to take a lot of time, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to! Everything you cook at home (when you do your food prep, hint, hint) can be portioned out straight away, measured and packed to be stored away and reheated when needed! It only takes a few minutes, even if you want to measure before the meal it still won’t take you more than 3 minutes to get it done. Out and about? Don’t worry, you don’t need to carry your kitchen scales everywhere with you. Just pick things that can be easily tracked. 1 egg, 1 chicken breast (roughly 130g), 1 apple. The more you weigh things the better you become at estimating the weight! Which brings me to my next tool. The macro tracker! We all pretty much have smartphones these days! We can use that technology to simplify the process. I personally use myfitnesspal, I find it works the best with foods available on the local market. There are different ways of filling it in, at the beginning I encourage people to fill in the tracker in advance for the whole day, that way it gives you an idea of how much you will have to eat. As you gain experience it becomes easier and you can start tracking from meal to meal and playing about a bit more with the amounts of foods on the plate, as the more you track the more knowledgeable you become in regards to what it is you are actually eating!
Macro trackers are very easy to work as you can see in real time when entering the foods how much of which nutrient you are actually getting. Then all you need to do is alter the amounts to suit your goals! Third tracking tool is the bathroom scale. It’s not ideal when it comes to interpreting the actual results but it gives you a solid indication of whether or not you’re body weight is decreasing. I advise people to step on the scales every day as it gives you a real view of how your body weight can fluctuate but also it allows you to draw an average from every week showing you whether you made progress or do your numbers need to be altered.
There you go, there are my 3 golden rules for fat loss! Some important notes to remember: CONSISTENCY is the key, none of the rules, even if applied with a 100% accuracy won’t change a thing if you “fall off the wagon” every 3rd day. Try sticking to the macros for 30 days straight, minimum and you will see results! PATIENCE. You cannot reverse a lifetime of bad habits in 4 weeks. You need to think about the bigger picture here. You need to be patient and keep going especially on the days when it feels like you are not making any progress. Fat loss is not constant and will fluctuate. You might lose more one month, you might lose less the next. Chill and be patient it will happen and you will get there if you stay true to the course! IF IN DOUBT, ASK FOR HELP! There is no reason you should have to do this alone, there are plenty of awesome people about who are great at managing clients and diets. When shit gets too confusing again find a professional and ask for help. It’s probably going to be the best investment you will ever make!