Finding the right nutritional path is a challenging one! Each day you can read about a great new diet to help you lose fat fast! But often, when you finish these diets and achieve your goal weight (which as you may know, I HATE the concept of anyway – will touch upon later), it leads back to you rebounding and piling the pounds back on quicker than you lost it, once you return to eating ‘normal’ food! The cycle then gets repeated again and again and again and again.
A commonly seen form of one of these generic lose fat fast ‘diets’ is the simple low/restricted calorie one.
In actual fact, a low calorie diet, or at least forcing your body in to a calorie deficit, is the most efficient way to lose body fat in a short period of time. The overriding problem with this is the provision of this particular way of structuring your nutrition.
Generic advice received from GP’s, things you read in lifestyle magazines and advertisements of food products all combine to formulate the general understanding of ‘low-calorie’ and that for the every day average joe who doesn’t have an advanced understanding of nutrition, to remain ‘healthy’, all they need to do is calculate their daily calorie figure and not go over it. Now this will help you lose WEIGHT yes…… but whether you have 2000 calories worth of carbs, or 2000 calories spread across the different MACRO nutrient groups is often painfully completely disregarded.
Now yes, you may step on the scales and see the little dial swing the way you want it to, but often with just counting calories, the weight lost may actually be coming from muscle atrophy (wastage/reduction) and in fact, you may now be holding more body fat than when you were heavier.
“Now my doctor never told me that”.
Of course not! They have an agenda set by the NHS and that is to reduce obesity rates in the UK. Because;
“The NHS cost attributable to overweight and obesity is estimated at £6.05 billion” (1) IN 2016 ALONE!!!!!!!! So if they can get people to lose weight, regardless of whether that being muscle wastage or not, then that’s a big fat green tick in the box and a pat in the back for them, as you are less likely to develop any obesity related disease.
“OH JUST SHUT UP AND GET ON TO WHAT A FLIPPING MACRO IS!”
Okay, so how do I recommend formulating your calorie controlled diet?
One simple word, MACROS.
Macro nutrients are what the majority of our days calories are made up from. There are three types of macro nutrient:
– Protein- 4kcal per gram
– Carbohydrates- 4kcal per gram
– Fat- 9kcal per gram
What do they do?
Protein– Helps aid in muscle growth and repair. It is ESSENTIAL to have adequate levels of protein within your diet to ensure the prevention of muscle wastage, therefore hopefully enabling them to repair quicker and grow stronger and thicker. This in turn will give off the impression of a lower body fat level. Can also be used as a fuel source.
Carbohydrate– Provides your body with energy in the form of sugars or starch. Due to there being other ways in providing your body with energy (protein and fat), limiting your carbohydrate intake is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if looking to lose body fat.
Don’t restrict your calories, restrict your carb intake. As when the energy formulated from carbohydrates doesn’t get used….. you get chubba chubs!
Fat– As touched upon in a previous article => (Fats vs Fat)
As mentioned; to lose body fat you should use the calorie target specific to you and divide it across the three macro nutrients. So for instance, if looking to drop bodyfat fast, a low carb diet breakdown will look like this if your calorie target is 2000 calories:
Protein: 40% of your days calories= 200g (800kcal)
Carbohydrate: 20% of your days calories= 100g (400kcal)
Fat: 40% of your days calories= 89 (801kcal)
Us westerners naturally have a diet that is high in carbohydrate. We like our potatoes, breads and sugars. So when we are going on our calorie restricted diet set by our GP or trashy crap magazine, aiming to hit the daily 2000 calorie target from whatever food source, it is not uncommon to see 300g (1200kcal) of carbs consumed in a day! As mentioned above, this is energy….. and if this energy is not burnt off, then you’re likely to get chubbier as you are losing weight.
Do you see now why I HATE using an individuals weight as a barometer of health?
If you are interested in calculating what your daily calorie intake should be, hit this link (Calorie Calculator).
Then from this calories per day number formulated, work out/tweak your days macro needs by using this link (Macro Calculator).
This is how I set my clients their nutrition targets (If you need more information or guidance on this, get in contact via emailing email@example.com).
Finally; for all the mums and dads out there that have these concerns……. A tub of protein is NOT illegal and they most definitely are NOT steroids!!! Sounds ridiculous, but I remember taking my first tub of protein home as a wee little 17 year old, walking through the door all proud with my expensive purchase, convinced that it was guaranteed to get me jacked….. Only to find a set of bulging eyes glaring at me enquiring to what this substance what that I was bringing in to the house! CHILL PILL! Your body needs this top up!
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Yours in health.