You Have To Understand Calories
You might read the statement above and roll your eyes but you cannot gain weight unless you overeat your calories and you cannot lose weight without eating in a calorie deficit.
Now, do you need to count your calories to lose weight? No. If the food you eat puts you in a calorie deficit then you will lose weight over time. However, think about it like this. If you want to save money it is very useful to find out how much money you are making and how much you are spending.
Calories are similar if you find out how many you need for your goals, then you can decide how you spend them (what you eat and drink).
All foods contain calories, it does not matter if they are named a superfood or a junk food, they all have calories. So be mindful of what you are eating.
If you want to find out the calories in the food you are eating you can use a handy free app like My Fitness Pal.
In short, you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight.
Get Enough Sleep
This seems to be an issue many struggle with. We all hate getting up but put off going to bed. Getting 7 – 8 hours sleep makes all the difference when it comes to weight loss. Not only will it leave you feeling rested and recover so you can be clear-headed for the day ahead it also helps control your appetite.
When you do not get enough sleep your hunger hormone ghrelin is higher than it should be and regulating your appetite for the day ahead can be difficult meaning snacking will probably be more likely. This means it will probably be harder to stay within your calories.
On top of this, you will probably have less injury to exercise and will most likely find excuses to avoid it.
Keep Your Muscle
Your body sadly does not always have the same aim as you. You might want to lose a few KG, your body, however, wants to keep you alive. So while you want to lose some body fat your body might not get the message.
This is where keeping your muscle mass is vital. The fat-free mass in your body is everything that is not fat and apart from your bones, your muscles are the vast majority of this. So when you want that toned look, what you are looking for is a combination of losing body fat and keeping your muscle mass
Now, you may have heard of the phrase “you don’t use it you lose it” and with muscle, it is very true.
You may be aware of your metabolism and the higher your metabolism the more calories you require. So if you are trying to lose fat having a higher metabolism makes it easier and keeping your muscle is what keeps your metabolism high.
So going to the gym or exercising at least three days a week is key to keeping your muscle mass, thus keeping your metabolism high and thus making fat loss easier.
Protein, Protein, Protein.
Eat enough protein, that is the right amount for your body weight and your goals. Studies that have been conducted on which is better higher carb or higher fat have soon neither are better for fat loss if calories and protein is the same in both.
Eating the right amount of protein for your goals has many positive effects. It will help you maintain your muscle mass easier which as previously mentioned is vital.
Protein also suppresses your hunger hormone as your body releases the hormones that tell you to stop eating when you start eating protein. That means you will feel fuller faster, making under eating your calories easier.
The best sources of protein come from meat, fish and poultry, but you can also supplement your diet with protein powders if you are a vegetarian or vegan.
For most, you should aim to eat 0.8 – 1 gram of protein per KG of bodyweight a day.
A simple rule of thumb is to have a portion of protein with each meal.
It Takes Time
Look you did not gain weight over one day and you will not lose weight over one day. It takes time to lose body fat and you have to accept that. Now does not take as long as you think to lose body fat but it can be hard to see the forest for the trees.
Be patient and evaluate what is happening every two weeks. Use different things to see your progress. Use the weighing scale, the measuring tape, the mirror, your clothes and how you feel.
If your clothes are fitting better, you feel good and your weight is staying the same then don’t panic that your weight is not going down.
Over time things change and as you get closer to your goal you will change your diet, calories, training towards your next goal.
So there you go, these fundamentals are what make fat loss are all about.