'WEIGHT LOSS' is a growing, multi-billion dollar industry that thrives on misinformation being fed to consumers — targeting women. They don’t want you to know diets don’t work and lasting results aren’t fast.
My clients don’t need
Sustainable training and sensible eating are the cornerstone of results. I want to clarify that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to change your body shape or improve your fitness if that’s what you want to do. Health and fitness are vital. But there is a whole
It‘s your body so you need to understand how your body works. If you want to change the way your body looks or to improve your base fitness, do it. But do it safely and with your long-term health in mind — not to
There’s no shortage of misinformation on the market. Always check claims — and the first step is to check what the person making the statement is selling.
The most common issue I see when people want to ‘lose weight’ is that they don’t know what a calorie or kilojoule is and they think the fewer you eat, the better. That's only partially true. You
1. What is a calorie?
We’re always fed (pardon the pun) information regarding calorie content, so we see this term every day, but what does it mean?
A calorie is a measure of energy: “1 calorie is the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius.”
The official measure of energy is Joule. One calorie equals 4.184 joules. What we usually refer to as “calories” is kilocalories (kcal). One kilocalorie, or one dietary Calorie (with a capital “C”) is the energy required to heat one kilojoule of water by one degree Celsius. One dietary Calorie (kilocalorie) is 4184 joules. When we discuss calories, we are looking at how much energy is being put into your body.
2. What Does ‘Energy’ Mean?
“Energy is the capacity of your system to
The human body requires energy to be capable of life — from basic conscious movements, breathing, thinking through to unconscious requirements
On a molecular level, the body functions with a complex set of chemical reactions that form your metabolism. These chemical reactions require ‘energy,’ which is where calories step in.
Bottom Line: The body uses energy (calories or kilojoules) to drive all the chemical reactions in your body. This is your basal metabolic rate.
3. Calories in VS Calories Out — CICO for weight loss
According to the “Calories In, Calories Out” (CICO) principle, obesity or additional body fat results from eating too many calories. This is true to a certain extent.
Proponents of this method focus on the sum of calories ingested. You’re not taught that the foods you eat are important. The theory is that the caloric contribution of foods is the key.
Even though you will have more body fat if you ingest excess calories and you will have weight loss with a calorie deficit, this is still a drastic oversimplification.
The three macronutrients your body requires are different — protein, carbohydrates, and fats. They each have different functions within your body and go through various metabolic pathways before they’re turned into energy. If you focus only on the calorie content of foods and disregard the metabolic effects, you may end up with some short-term results. But not long term fat loss.
Focusing on dieting and relying upon deprivation by reducing calories and the amount you eat, irrespective of the program you subscribe to, any 'weight loss' plan that has you cutting down and cutting out foods will set you up for failure.
4. Your body will make a choice when faced with calorie restriction: lose body fat or lose muscle.
Diets don’t work. Your body will drop calorie-burning muscle rather than fat when it’s being starved.
Dieting causes an excessive loss of lean muscle mass with no improvement to your body composition or health. And it will leave you frustrated and ever-battling your weight because you’ve just lowered your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This means you use fewer calories every day and your body composition has changed — leaving you with more body fat and less metabolically active lean muscle.
Having a problem controlling your weight? It may not be because you aren’t making good food choices. The reason your weight loss has stagnated could be that you’re not eating enough calories to lose fat.
If you don’t eat enough calories, this causes metabolic changes.
Your body is amazing. It can sense a large decrease in dietary energy. And for a short while, you’ll get away with eating less. But eventually (and you don’t know when), your body wakes up and sounds the alarm it needs to save calories because you’re starving. It needs that energy (specifically fat) to survive and thrive.
Your brain, for example, is 2% of your body weight yet it uses 20% of your total daily energy. When you starve, you affect the basic functioning of many of your vital systems.
Your body responds to too few calories by increasing your appetite and lowering your satiety to prevent starvation. Your body doesn’t know you’re trying to reduce your body fat — it does what it can to save you from hunger.
How realistic is it to
So, don’t diet. Instead, create an eating plan to control your calories, meet your basal metabolic demands and to ensure you’re eating a range of balanced meals and snacks. Eating regularly will help to control your energy level, appetite, cravings, blood glucose and insulin levels. Why would you ever
5. Eat More to Consume Less
People eat the same quantity of food–regardless of calorie density. And this is where it gets tricky. How do you nourish your body with quality foods you can eat more of and still get lean? I get clients to incorporate foods high in volume, but low in calories. We call these High-Nutrient
Vegetables and Fruits: A huge variety to choose from here. Remember: how you prepare them matters — so don’t fry, batter or cover with creamy dressings.
Carbohydrates: When selecting starches and carbohydrates with low-calorie density, think airy. Air popped
Proteins: Eating eggs, lean meats like
By incorporating these foods into each meal, you can eat a normal amount of food instead of reducing how much you eat so you feel more satisfied. But the bonus is you'll ingest fewer calories. Learn to fill your plate and stomach without overdoing the calories. Load half of your plate with colourful vegetables and fruits; one-quarter of your plate with whole grains, starchy veggies or legumes; and the remaining quarter with the correct portion of protein-rich foods — but be careful, they are also higher in calories.
Use this concept to cut calories and create balanced meals
minestroneor 1–2 cups of salad to a half chicken sandwich at lunch.
- Add a sliced apple and plain yoghurt with a teaspoon of honey to your afternoon snack.
- Add a 1–2 cups of large colourful salad to dinner and eat that first.
Your takeaway (pardon the pun - again)
Focus on eating as many calories as possible and still lose fat (not weight).
You always want to start higher with your caloric intake and then come down depending on your body’s requirements. It’s much easier to reduce than increase calories after your weight loss has stalled and you’ve lost all your motivation.
Fat loss requires patience and planning. It takes time and consistency to make it work — but the outcome is great! Imagine 12 months from now — do you want to be doing the next diet again next month or
6. Losing a maximum 1% of your body mass each week is the most I would recommend that you aim for. And as your fat loss journey progresses, that means the loss you’d see on a scale will decrease
At this controlled pace, it will ensure that
Eating leads to fat loss! It is crucial to remember to revisit your calorie intake.
If your progress stalls, but you think you’re eating the right foods and training, more than likely your problem is that you’re not eating enough calories to lose weight.
Eat as much as you can, get in as many nutrients as possible, and your weight loss will move forward again.