In this post, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to get started on fat loss…
So get comfy..
Note: I will not go super technical, this will be straight forward and give you a place to start.
But before we start.
Cut out all the shit I don’t need to tell you to cut out…
There is no way you can honestly believe you can lose fat while still eating those little things we consider treats on a daily basis. Consider that latte and muffin you grab at break time…
Bare in mind that your typical hour long gym session you will burn anywhere from 300 – 500 calories…
To put this in perspective, for the average sized female, your latte and muffin just took up over 25% of your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) or recommended calories.
1lb of body fat equals 3500 calories.
It’s gonna take a good few gym sessions to work that off…(1kg = 2.2lb)
So to get real about fat loss, keep treat meals to 2-3 per week.
- You go out for a meal with your partner during the week.
- Your latte and a muffin for your Friday lunchtime treat.
- You stop off at the chippy on the way home from a few drinks on a Saturday night.
Boom, there you go. Eat clean and track food the rest of the week…
So, now we can begin..
The following will be very simple.
The short version:
- Track and monitor your food intake…
- Quality of food matters… (Unlucky IFFYM peeps)
- Monitor carb levels.
- Eat fat.
- Proper training.
- Track and record your food.
“What!? I gotta track everything??”
Yep, the whole lot. I said it was simple, not easy.
This can take a bit of time to get used to and is not something you will have to do forever. However, if done for 1-2 weeks it will train you to be able to gauge meals in the future and know what you are eating on a daily basis…
Now that is good.
So, take out your phone, download an app called MyFitnessPal
This makes it super easy to track. You can scan your foods barcode and it inputs all macronutrient, (proteins, fats, carbs) micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and calorie content. It will also let you save meals which leaves it super handy as we tend to cycle through the same meals anyway.
Get on it!
How many calories do you need to eat per day?
Go here to calculate that. It will take you 2 minutes.
I said “track your food” not “tractor food”
2. Quality of food matters.
The nuts and bolts of “weight” loss comes down to simple maths.
*No long division needed here…
Equation: calories in – calories out = weight gain or weight loss or weight maintenance.
If you are hypo-caloric (eating less calories than you use) then you lose weight…
(Lets pretend it’s that simple)
Well it’s not that straight forward.
Here comes the science…
Take these examples.
Adam and Paul. Both have a TDEE (see above) of 3000 calories.
They both eat 2700 calories fro a week and both lose weight.
- Adam eats 2700 cals made up of junk food. (fast food/sports drinks/refined carbs/hydrogenated fats and not monitoring macro nutrient intake)
- Paul eats 2700 cals made up of real foods. (meat/veg/fruit/starchy carbs/saturated fats and monitoring correct macro nutrient ratios)
Ask yourself which one:
- Is healthier?
- Has better skin and hair?
- Is sleeping better?
- Is getting food cravings?
- Feels fuller after each meal?
- Has a greater chance of dropping fat alone, as opposed to fat and muscle?
Answers on the back of a €100 note addressed to Fusion Training Centre Athlone please..
3. Track carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are friends not food… Little Finding Nemo reference there..
They are in fact a vital macronutrient and have been vilified by mass media of late.
They are our fuel. They are not the devil!
So after reading point 2 about food quality, I am now taking it that our primary sources of carbs will be from fruit and veg. (I will do another blog on what foods to eat at a later date.)
Your body composition (% body-fat) and activity levels will determine carbohydrate levels initially.
Charles Poliquin’s bio-signature looks at site’s on the body that hold more body fat and how it can point to hormonal imbalances within the body.
High readings of the sub-scapular (below shoulder blade) and suprailliac (love handles) regions in relation to other parts of the body can indicate high insulin levels. If this is you then reducing carbohydrate levels may help you.
Have a read. (Not his personal site but a good breakdown of what it involves)
If you have an active job such as construction worker or cycling postman you will require a certain amount on carbs just to fuel your day. The majority of us don’t require huge amounts of carbs throughout the day however and it can be beneficial to time your carb intake to around your training times, before of after depending on personal preference. Also if sleep is an issue, having starchy carbs before we go to bed can help increase sleep quality.
(Little nugget of info for you)
If you are going to drop carbs, then the calories have to come from somewhere else. Proteins tend to be fairly fixed so you will most likely get them from fats.
Which leads us to our next point..
4. Eat fat (and enjoy it)
“Fats!? I thought they were worse than carbs…?”
Nope, once again fats are essential.
If you listened to the media, we should be eating low fat, low carb… So what’s left??
A high protein diet? We can’t just eat meat, fish and eggs!!
Side note: I personally aim for 160g of protein per day. (equivalent of 8 chicken fillets)
My daily protein intake is only 20% of my TDEE.
You now see how carbs and fats must play a HUGE role.
Back to point 4…
The good ones. Fish, avocados, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds etc. Even that strip of fat on the edge of your bacon, get it into you! I won’t go into it but I will do a blog in fats in the future. There are also good fats in meat, dairy and eggs. Eat them and enjoy them.
Be aware though:
1g fat: 9 calories
1g protein: 4 calories
1g carbohydrates: 4 calories
So watch overall calorie intake as you enjoy those fats. (As calculated during point 1)
Oh, avoid hydrogenated and trans fats like the plague. They are getting very sneaky at hiding these lately and should be avoided at all costs.
5. Consistent and structured training
See the word consistent…?
Training for 30 minutes 5-6 times a week is going to be more beneficial than training for 90 minutes 3 times a week.
And I say training. Not “working out.” Training is specific. Its the acquisition of a skill.
Be that learning a new sport, a handstand, to squat, sprint etc.
Working out for working out’s sake can become boring and monotonous.
Learning a new skill though is a constant challenge, it helps you to stay motivated and excited every time you go to a session.
So, in summary.
- Track your food.
- Make sure the food is quality.
- Play with carb intake.
- Enjoy your good fats
- Learn a new skill from a quality coach who practices what they preach.
If you are in the Athlone area, get in touch.
If you are not, and need a recommendation for someone in your area, get in touch.
086 34 800 38
Note: Cause vs method.
If you are currently overweight and carrying excess body fat then the method by which you got there is from consuming more calories than you expended. But it wasn’t the cause. Something caused you to over eat.. Be that lifestyle, bad habits, low self esteem etc. These causes must also be addresses or there is no guarantee of success.
Fat loss is not easy, but it’s simple.
I am not a dietician. I am imparting on you knowledge I have acquired from studying, reading, listening to podcasts and experimenting with my own diet. Take it or leave it.
Danny Lennon over at Sigma Nutrition
Robb Wolf over at The Paleo Solution Podcast
Dominic Munnelly, a kick ass personal trainer based in Sandyford, Dublin.
He has helped me out a lot and is a guy who practices what he preaches…
Become your Anomaly