In this two part series I am going to attempt to make nutrition and weight loss as simple as humanly possible and cut through all the bullshit. The first and most important rule regarding weight loss is that you need to be in a calorie deficit, meaning that you need to expend more calories than you consume. This can we done through 3 different means.
- You can simply eat less than you burn.
- You can exercise and move more so you expend way more energy than you consume
- You combine the above and eat a little less and move a little more.
Weight loss is simple mathematics, there really is no magic formula and magic diet which is something I will cover in part two. Now lets dissect the above which is smarter and better.
- Eating less than you burn is not all that easy, its not smart and wont work long term. You can only starve yourself for so long and if you are quite inactive, although you can lose bodyfat through this means, you will also lose muscle mass and reduce your base metabolic rate.
- You can exercise more and more and in theory this will work well but you can never out train a bad diet.
- This is the means which is most achievable, sustainable and most intelligent. By slightly reducing your calorie intake and slightly increase your calorie expenditure you can create a significant deficit resulting in weight loss. This means will also allow you to fuel training and starve of hunger while increasing muscle mass and your metabolic rate through exercise. WIN WIN
So with that established we now know that the BEST means of weight loss is to eat a little less and exercise a little more. But how much should we be eating and how much do I need to move?
- You need to establish a guideline of your calorie needs using a calorie counter which can roughly calculate your net expenditure based on age, sex, weight, height and most importantly activity level such as this one here http://bit.ly/1tUToE2 However, note that most people grossly over estimate their activity level. I accumulate 20,000 steps a day, train 10 x per week and I only classify myself as active.
- Once you know how many calories you need to burn to maintain weight then take 10% from this and that is a safe, healthy and easily sustainable number to hit on a daily / weekly basis.
- Use a calorie counter such as my fitness pal to track and monitor EVERYTHING you eat and drink so you can stick within your caloric intake.
- MOVE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
If you can follow the above, you are GUARANTEED to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable and controlled manner. Finally, there is one very important point I have to add in and that is meal frequency and meal timing. I can say with absolute certainty that it doesn’t matter WHEN you eat or even how OFTEN you eat once you stick inside your caloric maintenance and consume less than you burn. If your maintenance number is 2200 calories and you want a deficit of 10% that means you can eat 2000 calories a day. You can consume this in 1 or 10 meals, you can consume this in one sitting before bed or just upon waking, when it comes to weight loss the only thing that matter is that you consume less than your burn. NOTING ELSE MATTERS. But let commons sense apply, yes it doesnt effect weighloss if you ate a 2000 calorie meal before bed nor will this be automatically turned to fat as the myth would have it but it will effect sleep quality and redicded sleep can effect appetite and make you hungrier !! However, its important to follow a nutrition plan that works for you. If you are busy and 2-3 meals is all you can eat, brilliant, if on the other hand you like many small meals that will work also. Do what works for you, just stick to calories you lifestyle dictates. To conclude part 1 of 2 I want to reiterate the following;
- In order to lose weight, you MUST consume less than you burn
- This is best achieved through consuming slightly less food while increasing your exercise expenditure
- When you eat and how often you eat has absolutely zero baring on weight loss.
In part two we are going to look at how we can further these points to ensure your success while keeping things as simple as possible.