Before we continue, do something for me…
Forget everything you have learned about fat loss dieting.
We know you have tried every diet under the sun.
The Atkins, Special-k, Low Fat, Low Carb, Paleo, Weight Watchers and even Slimming World.
They have all had rules and restrictions.
Do’s and Don’ts.
They have all left you even more confused.
Nothing has really worked.
Nothing has really stuck.
Nothing has really lasted.
Once or twice you even ended up worse off than when you started.
Despite your best efforts nothing is really lighter besides your wallet.
We want to help – this is a common narrative of our clients before they take part in our 28-Day Challenge.
You see what all of these diets have in common is regulation of your nutrition.
No moderation, no balance.
This begs the question;
Why do diets work, or not work?
All of your diets up to now pushed the restriction of one thing or another.
Claiming a particular food group as the cause of your problems.
This is generally where the inevitable fall-down comes from.
Does this sound familiar?
You start a diet. You drop X-Food-group/use Y-system and you get some results..
You feel good. Tell your friends and family.
Eventually the weekend or another event comes.
‘I was NOT prepared for this.’
You cave, break the ‘rules’.
From there, a sense of failure.
”I may as well just go all out now. I have already failed”
If this connects with you in someway then we are here to help.
To put an end to the confusion.
In this post – I want to share with you The Fundamentals of Fat loss Nutrition.
To open up your eyes to why diets ‘work’.
To show you that the fatloss process is a simple one.
One that requires action and understanding.
One that includes your favourite foods.
No restricting. No eliminating. Just balance.
A sustainable approach to consistent results.
Lets get to it.
1. Energy Balance
So what is Energy Balance?
It is just that. A balance.
The balance of how much energy goes in against how much goes out.
Calories in VS Calories Out.
How much we take in weighed up against how much we put out – that’s it.
If we take in less energy/calories than we burn – we LOSE weight.
A Caloric Deficit
If we take in more energy/calories than we burn – we GAIN weight.
A Caloric Surplus
If they are equal we MAINTAIN our weight.
Our calories in are simply made up of the food(energy) we take in throughout the day.
Essentially, how much energy we are consuming.
Our calories out are how much we burn each day.
Calories out are determined by a number of different factors;
- Basil Metabolic Rate/BMR: This is essentially the energy we require just to stay alive. Think of it as ‘what keeps the lights on’. The bulk of our calories out come from here.
- Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis/ NEAT: The energy we use just going about our day. Think, playing with your phone, blinking, making school lunches – everyday stuff outside of the gym.
- Exercise Activity: Energy expended while actively exercising/training. Simple enough.
- Thermic Effect of Food/TEF: Without getting to Einstein-y this is how much energy our body uses to breakdown food.
All of the above make up our Total Daily Energy Expenditure(TDEE).
TDEE compared to our energy intake will give us our Energy Balance
We can control the balance of energy by increasing output, lowering input or both.
Although energy input is where we have the most control.
This balance is the yes or no of fat loss.
Without a calorie deficit of some form – we CANNOT lose weight.
It is now down to how we manipulate the makeup of these calories that favors our goals of a leaner, stronger and healthier body.
When it comes to how we set up our nutrition we need to put protein at the top of the priorities list.
There are a number of specific reasons for this;
When we want to build a leaner more toned physique we need protein as it powers the building, maintenance and recovery of our muscles.
Without enough protein we will struggle to build our ideal bodies..
Protein will also keep you fuller for longer. Helping you manage hunger. Satiation is a key to long-term adherence.
Protein has the highest TEF of all the macronutrients.
To break down and absorb protein the body will use more energy than any other nutrient.
This means that introducing a caloric deficit where we favour higher protein will boost our TDEE. A key to efficient fatloss.
Sources of protein are usually classified as Lean. Fatty, or Indirect sources dependent on where they come from.
- Lean Beef (95%+)
- Lean Pork
- Egg Whites
- White Fish
- Most Beef/Red Meats
- Whole Eggs
- Nut Butter
- Some Vegetables
- Dairy Products
Your intake of protein is usually determined based off your goals, gender, activity level and weight.
A general rule of thumb to begin is 1.8-2.2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight.
Each gram of protein has a caloric value of 4.
So a chicken breast which usually has about 100-120 calories will have 20-25 grams of Protein.
Fats in the past have been labelled as harmful and a cause of fat gain.
The whole idea is flawed and misdirected.
See, in the 80s people blamed high fat diets for obesity, disease and just about anything you can think of.
(They decided to skip over the constant promotion of smoking and drinking)
What these claims miss is the impact of calories.
Fat has the highest calorie value at 9 calories a gram meaning that foods containing and/or pure fats are easily over-consumed.
These days it has come to light that it is obesity itself due to over-consumption of calories without sufficient activity that was and continues to be a health issue.
Problems like high LDL Cholesterol, Diabetes and Heart Disease all stem from excess calories.
Dietary fats are not just a source of energy;
they function as structural building blocks of the body.
They carry fat-soluble vitamins and are involved in vital hormonal and physiological processes.
Without going too specific, the fats we a concerned with are either whole or indirect.
- Coconut Oil
- Peanut Butter
- Almond Butter
- Olive Oil
- Macadamia Oil
- Organic Butter
- Nuts *
- Red meat*
- Fatty fish*
Fat requirement is usually determined by what is left after allotting Protein and Carbs.
Usually no less than 20% of daily calories is recommended. Fat, as mentioned is 9 calories per gram.
A tablespoon (9-10g) of cooking oil will usually have about 81-90 calories.
Carbs – bread, pasta, fruit, starches.
Probably the most demonised macronutrient of them all.
Carbs are sometimes seen as fat storing, insulin spiking fat-loss killing demon-foods.
But what people do not understand is that it is not Carbohydrates themselves that cause anyone to gain weight.
It is the over-consumption of calories from carbs (or any other nutrient).
Not the carbs themselves.
‘But Ross – my friend gave up Carbs and they lo-’
Let me stop you right there.
Your friend lost weight because the elimination of carbohydrates limited calories.
This is where we see a lack of understanding of the bigger picture.
See carbs are an essential part of sustained energy, brain function and performance.
Plus they generally taste pretty good.
Sources of carbs (at least the ones we are concerned with) are:
- Rice (White or Brown)
- Sweet Potato
- White Potato
- Butternut Squash
They do not need to be eliminated. Just accounted for.
We too base Carbohydrate requirements off of Goal, activity level, intensity and sometimes gender.
Carbs share commonality with protein here in that they contain 4 calories per gram.
‘EAT YOUR VEGETABLES’
Never have truer words been spoken.
Vegetables in this case being our green cruciferous options.
Think Lettuce, Spinach, Asparagus, Broccoli, those guys.
They are made up of vitamins, minerals, fiber and inulin. This makes them incredibly healthy.
Health being the top priority in any diet.
Greens are rarely if ever, over consumed.
How many times have you woken up to binge on what was in the vegetable drawer?
We can give meals far more volume so to control hunger and stay adherent.
all the while providing the essential vitamins and minerals we need.
Greens are rich in fiber.
Fiber, like protein has a high TEF and utilises more energy in its metabolism than other nutrients. Helping us increase our TDEE.
Fiber plays an essential role in digestion. A key player in fat loss.
We recommend smashing green veg to whatever extent you wish!
If you didn’t already have enough reasons to eat your greens – you do now.
The Bigger Picture.
You see when we approach nutrition it is OVERALL calories that will determine whether we lose, maintain or gain weight.
From their it how we manipulate the composition of those total calories into Protein, Carbs and Fats.
It is truly that simple.
It is with this knowledge that we can include the foods we love in our fat loss attempts.
Because we can still adhere to our calorie requirements(even with some sweets in there).
I hope that on reading this you have been enlightened,
You do not need to restrict yourself from what you love.
You just need understanding of the fundamentals.
From there you craft the approach that suits you and your lifestyle!
An approach that is sustainable, maintainable and attainable.
One that leads to fatloss forever.