Do you know someone who lost weight and then put it all back on?
Maybe they lost about a stone or two and gradually put it back on over time.
You definitely know someone who lost weight using a crash diet.
Maybe its you?
You lose weight, see a change in your bodies shape and start to believe
you’re finally going to lose the weight you’ve wanted to lose for years.
The problem is, you used a crash diet or followed an unsustainable approach.
You restricted too many foods from your diet to lose weight and you cant sustain it.
Good Days / Bad Days and Bingeing
You have your “good days”, where you manage to stick to the plan and you have your
“bad days” where the sugar cravings get too much, so you binged on sweets or whatever.
After losing the weight, you start to relax the restriction a bit.
You start eating carbs again.
You plan to introduce them slowly so you don’t balloon and regain the weight you’ve lost.
But then despite your best intentions, you start to gain weight.
You gain weight twice as fast as you lost it, until you’re heavier than when you started.
In this post Im going to show you how to lose weight and how to avoid weight gain.
Ill show you how to speed up your metabolism so you can lose weight easier than ever before.
This post isn’t a quick fix; its actually the complete opposite.
Its a medium-long term plan to help you maintain the fat you’ve lost, or to lose fat easier in the first place.
If you have experienced a fat loss plateau that you cant get past or want to guarantee you keep
off the fat you lose, then this post is definitely for you.
Calories In VS Calories Out
‘Move more and eat less’
A profound statement that gets thrown around.
While its true, most people need more activity and less calories in their life, i don’t think it applies to everyone.
If it applied to everyone then more activity would solve everyones fat loss plateau.
But it doesn’t.
Stop Eating 1100 Calories a Day
Were seeing a growing trend with the young women (24-30) we take on in our 28 Day Transformation Challenge.
They’re under eating to lose fat.
We’ve seen calorie intakes as low as 600-1100 calories recently.
Unless you weigh 50kg or less, you shouldn’t be eating 1100 calories to lose fat.
Eating less wont help you lose fat faster.
Even more common is the 1000-1400 crew who have been doing 4-6 hours of exercise a week…without losing fat.
How can they be eating so little without losing body fat?
How can they kick start their fat loss?
Suck it up and do more cardio? More running? More classes?
Even less food?
The Role Your Metabolism Plays In Fat Loss
In this post you will learn how maintaining your metabolic health is the key to consistent and reliable fat loss.
Fat loss works by feeding your body less energy than it expends each day.
When you dont feed your body enough energy, its uses stored fat for energy.
Its called being in a calorie deficit.
Can you guess what dictates the level of energy (calories) your body needs each day?
Your metabolism is the key your successful and permanent weight loss.
Meet Sinead – She Doesn’t Exercise and Wants to Lose Fat
Sinead: 30 Years Old | 70kg | 5 foot 6″ | Exercise: None (Sedentary)
Sinead needs 1,750 calories each day to MAINTAIN her weight.
If she eats over that, she will gain weight.
If she eats under that, she will lose weight.
For Sinead to lose about 1-1.5 pounds per week, she needs to create a calorie deficit of about
500 calories, so she needs to cut her calories down to about 1,250.
If Sinead starts resistance training 3-4 times per week, her activity will increase, she will burn more
calories and she can eat more food every day and still lose 1-1.5 pounds of fat per week.
Training 3-4 times per week, she will MAINTAIN her weight eating 2,250 calories per day.
For her to lose fat, she still needs to create a calorie deficit of about 500 calories per day, so she
needs to cut her calories down to about 1,800 to start with.
She does not need to eat 1100 calories to lose weight.
I can understand the false logic in cutting calories so low…the less food, the faster the results right?
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
You can only lose so much fat per week, so cutting calories beyond the levels that support maximum
fat loss is pointless. The main reasons you want to avoid under eating are:
Under-Eating = Food Restrictions and Misery
To create a big calorie deficit, you will generally need to cut out entire food groups.
Carbs are normally first to go.
When fat loss plateaus and panic sets in, fats are normally the next to go.
That basically leaves you eating nothing but chicken and veg.
You Need More Activity and/or Less Food to Overcome a Fat Loss Plateau
If you’re losing fat, you can expect to hit a fat loss plateau every 3-6 weeks.
The only way to overcome the plateau is to create a bigger deficit.
More activity or less food.
An extra 50 calories a day normally does the job.
50 calories is all you need. You don’t need to cut an extra 500 calories from your day.
In the example above, Sinead needs to eat 1800 calories a day to lose fat
(if she lifts weights 3-4 times a week.)
If she decides to eat 1100 calories instead, she will hit a fat loss plateau after about
3-6 weeks. Her only options to get past that plateau are to exercise more or eat less.
She already struggles to find the time to train and her diet is incredibly hard to stick to as it is.
Perhaps now you can see how these young women i mentioned earlier end up doing
6+ hours of cardio per week, while eating less than 1000 calories a day.
The key to your success is to start your diet eating as much as possible, while still losing fat.
Let that sink in for a second.
Why would you want to eat less than the amount needed to achieve the same result?
A more sensible approach for Sinead would be to start her fat loss eating 1800 calories a day
and training 3-4 days a week. She should lose 1-1.5 pounds of fat per week but at some stage
(normally every 3-6 weeks), her fat loss will plateau. When she hits a plateau, she will need to
drop her calories by 50 calories to 1750 and that should get her back on track.
If Sinead wants to lose a dress size, thats about 14 pounds.
Thats very achievable within 10-14 weeks (losing 1-1.5 pounds per week).
She’s likely to hit two plateaus in that period and because she cut her calories by 50 calories
at each plateau, she will achieve her goal, eating 1700 calories a day.
Sinead’s Metabolism Accounts For 78% of Her Fat Loss
Sinead needs 1,750 calories to maintain her weight if she doesn’t exercise.
She needs 2,250 to maintain her weight if she lifts weights 3-4 times per week.
In other words, she needs about an extra 500 calories a day if she trains.
So her training will account for 22% of her daily calorie burn.
(500 calories is 22% of the 2,250 calories she needs each day).
Guess what accounts for the other 78% of her daily calorie burn?
That’s why maintaining your metabolic health is so important with fat loss.
Your replying on your metabolism to stay fired up and to keep burning body fat.
Training will help to increase your calorie burn but, your metabolism is the main driver here.
The slower your metabolism; the less food you’ll be able to eat and the more you’ll have to exercise to lose fat.
The faster your metabolism; the more you can eat and the less you’ll need to exercise.
Pretty straight forward right?
The Cause and Solution to a Slow Metabolism
You may have heard the term metabolic damage thrown around?
It involves dramatically slowing down your metabolic rate.
If you’ve read any of my posts, you’ll know you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat. If you havent and
want to start learning about fat loss nutrition then start here.
The problem is people want results yesterday and want to lose fat as quickly as possible.
Even if that means attempting a massively restrictive eating regime that deep down, they know they wont
be able to stick to for more than 2 weeks.
The common trend these crash diets have is, they put you in a HUGE and unsustainable calorie deficit.
They generally eliminate entire food groups to do so.
Pair that up with a new exercise regime and the calorie deficit gets even bigger.
Very little food and hours of exercise each week.
Of course you’re going to lose fat but ultimately fat loss will come to a grinding halt. Why?
Your metabolism wants to maintain homeostasis and will adapt to the energy levels you’re feeding it.
So if you feed yourself 1000 calories a day for a prolonged period of time, your metabolic rate will start to slow down to that level.
(Not good when fat loss is your goal.)
The faster a more aggressive your calorie deficit – the faster you’ll hit your plateau.
Its your bodies way of keeping you alive and tolerating famine conditions, which is basically what
you’re doing to yourself.
Fortunately, the opposite is true too and there is a simple way out of this vicious cycle.
Fat loss stalls when the calories are cut down to levels that match output.
This is usually followed by further cuts and more exercise.
And so the vicious cycle begins.
What happens after periods of deprivation and under eating?
Will power runs out and we scrap the whole thing and go back to eating as we did before the diet.
Dramatically increasing calories and binging on everything we can get our hands on.
Everything we have deprived ourselves of during our under eating, low calorie diet.
Unfortunately, that’s a perfect recipe for rapid fat gain.
The result is the dieter normally gains more body fat than they lost.
Start By Eating as Much as Possible While Still Losing Fat
Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is an estimate of your total calorie burn each day.
Its calculated based on your age, weight, height and activity levels.
A 21 year old male, active builder will have a totally different TDEE to a 35 year old female office worker.
Start by calculating your TDEE here.
The number you get is about how many calories you need to eat to maintain your weight.
To lose fat, cut 500 calories per day off that.
You should lose 1-1.5 pounds per week.
Keep eating that much until your fat loss plateaus.
When it does, cut 50 calories from your day and keep doing that until it plateaus again.
What to Do If You’re Eating Very Little and Not Losing Fat
If you’re currently eating way less than your TDEE and you’re not losing fat and havent for a while, then calculate the exact calories you’re currently eating by tracking your food with the app MyFitnessPal.
Lets say you’re eating 1000 calories and your TDEE is 2200.
I would recommend increasing your calories in small weekly incrediments from 1000 to 2200.
Once you reach your TDEE, you can take 500 calories from it and start losing fat.
Increase your calories by 3-5% each week and you should keep fat gain to an absolute minimum.
If you want to do it every second week, thats fine. The slower the better really, but weekly is fine.
Heres how that would look:
Current Calorie Intake: 1000
Goal Intake (TDEE): 2200
Week 1 – 1050
Week 2 – 1103
Week 3 – 1158
Week 4 – 1216
Week 5 – 1276
Week 6 – 1340
Week 7 – 1407
Week 8 – 1477
Week 9 – 1551
Week 10 – 1629
Week 11 – 1710
Week 12 – 1796
Week 13 – 1886
Week 14 – 1980
Week 15 – 2079
* 5% increase per week
Protein is your friend.
Although you may feel that food is the energy, protein is not.
Protein is the building blocks of your muscles and helps us build lean muscle to increase your metabolic rate.
We recommend eating 1 gram of protein per pound of lean mass at a minimum.
Your lean mass is your total weight less the weight of your overall fat mass. Get your body fat measured to find out your current body fat percentage. If thats not an option, then just start with a 1 gram per pound of total weight.
Fats are your friend when your metabolism has the pace of a snail.
Dietary fats help to boost testosterone very slightly, which influences your metabolic rate.
Low dietary fat does not equal low body fat.
Almost the opposite.
When we reverse diet clients we generally look to include 30-35% of calories from fat.
When your metabolism is healthy, your weight loss will be much easier.
Make it your priority to eat your TDEE without weight gain before dieting for fat loss.
If you need help putting this all together, chat to me live by clicking the chat icon below.
Personal Trainer Dublin and Body Transformation Gym in Blackrock and Glenageary, Dublin