How to achieve it, how to maintain it and how to enjoy life.
My experience over the last six years of working in the fitness industry has found that 80% of my clients want to achieve body fat reduction, some inspired by the health benefits others motivated by aesthetic goals. There are many health benefits to lowering your body fat - reducing the risk of heart diseases, stroke and potentially alleviate back and joint pain. But how do you achieve fat loss when there are so many products and diets out there leading you to mass confusion? I’m a personal trainer who uses only evidence based information to aid people on the quest to a healthier lifestyle. There is no requirement to over complicate things, a complex plan doesn’t gain you better results. The most successful lifestyle is one that you can stick to. The following information will bring you clarity on how to achieve fat loss, how to maintain it and how to enjoy life. I’d go as far to say this will change your life!
How to achieve Fat Loss
Fat loss scientifically can be simplified. To lose fat you need to be in a calorie deficit.
To implement a calorie deficit you can simply:
Eat less - each food and drink item holds a caloric value. Reducing the amount you consume will contribute to a calorie deficit thus leading to fat loss.
Increase activity - movement and training expends energy (burns calories) by increasing your everyday activity levels this can also contribute to a calorie deficit.
Eat less and increase activity – a collaboration of both options.
We all need calories to survive, calories aid the function of your vital organs and provides energy which is essential – this is called Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) how many calories we burn at rest. The amount is dependent on gender, age and bodyweight. With daily activity this number increases and is called Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) influenced by your lifestyle, job and training. If you stick to this number you will maintain your present bodyweight – we call this maintenance.
You need a starting point to understand the amount of calories you require, grab a pen and paper and we have a little maths to do, I use the Harris-Benedict equation which originates from 1918 it is still used to this day, speaks volumes of its reliability.
Female: 655.1 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age) = BMR
Male: 66.5 + (13.8 x weight in kg) + (5.0 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age) = BMR
BMR x it by the following depending on your activity levels this is your TDEE number
Sedentary (no exercise, desk job) BMR x 1.2
Lightly active (1-3 days a week) BMR x 1.375
Moderately active (3-5 days a week) BMR x 1.55
Very active (6-7 days a week) BMR x 1.725
To achieve a deficit via food consumption apply a 15-20% reduction to your TDEE. This level of reduction is adherable, if your calorie deficit is extreme you will lack energy and your cravings will be excessive. As your bodyweight decreases you need to re-calculate your BMR and TDEE. Your daily TDEE number can be accumulated to weekly to allow flexibility for social occasions or days of higher hunger. Input your daily calorie requirement into MyFitness Pal app and track your food intake EVERYDAY – accountability is what will bring you results, educate yourself on the calorie values of foods the app is an invaluable tool and takes 5 minutes of your day – a small commitment that will help you achieve big results.
Example: Female 68kg 160cm 28years old trains 3x a week
655.1 + (9.6 x 68) + (1.8 x 160) – (4.7 x 28)
655.1 + (653) + (288) – (132) = BMR 1464
BMR 1464 x 1.375 = TDEE of 2013
TDEE 2013 – 20% = 1610 calories daily (11,270 weekly)
Now you have a better understanding of calories and your requirements we can delve deeper into food glorious food! Food is broken down into macronutrients these being protein, carbohydrates and fats. They all have their own benefits, ensure you consume all three for optimum health. There is no requirement to eliminate any macronutrient from your diet even during a fat loss phase.
Protein is four calories per gram, it provides the body with building blocks (amino acids) for muscles, brain function, skin, hair and the nervous system. Protein does a fantastic job at repairing your body and has high satiety levels which is beneficial in a deficit.
Carbohydrates are four calories per gram they are the body’s preferred source of fuel, it is easier for the body to convert carbs into immediate usable energy.
Fats are nine calories per gram, slightly denser in calorie value but essential for the production of hormones.
Life is to be lived therefore no food is off limits just be mindful of everything in moderation.
I am advocate of creating a lifestyle which is sustainable and enjoyable so I recommend finding an activity, exercise or training style which you enjoy. I endorse committing to a routine that is achievable, consider how many sessions can you fit into your schedule per week.
Outside the gym and training aspect I’d recommend increasing your steps aiming for 10,000 per day. Use a fitness watch to track and implement new habits such as a morning walk before your day starts, take the stairs not elevators, park far away from shops in the car park, take the children to the park and use your car less, roughly 1000 steps takes just 10 minutes.
Combining a calorie reduction via food and participating in activity is beneficial to creating a sustainable lifestyle, this approach allows you flexibility and most importantly enjoyment. Your daily habits are the foundation to success. Once you’ve reached your goal you will have the understanding and experience of how to maintain it from the positive changes you’ve implemented.
This is all the information and tools to help you achieve your fat loss goals it just takes a little bit of commitment, consistency and accountability and you CAN do it! For further information or questions please contact at @libertyfitness.qatar