Many of us today are caught up in the confusion of the crazy jungle of information when it comes to fat loss. Today, I’m here to help out with that. Losing fat is much easier than most people think as long as we understand just a few simple keys.
So, if you’re looking to burn fat and gain/maintain muscle, then this is the article for you.
I want to first point out that you will notice me use the words energy and calories interchangeably in this article. If you see the word calorie or energy, remember you can use them interchangeably here.
Here we go, the secret, or not so secret to how to lose fat.
1. Caloric Deficit (Calories In vs. Calories Out)
The 1st Law of Thermodynamics sates that “energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only transferred.”
This means that in order for our bodies to tap into our fat stores, we need to consume less calories than we expend through the day. Simple as that.
How does one calculate their energy in and energy out?
1A. Calculating Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)
There is plenty of awesome online calculators that will help you better understand how much energy you’re expending during the day. It will calculate your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), which is the amount of calories your body will burn at rest. Then you can input the level of activity you perform throughout the day which will give you your total daily energy expenditure. This number will vary widely for each person based on their height, weight, age, sex, and how active they are during the day.
Here’s a link to one of my favorite online calculator:
1B. Calculate Calorie Intake
Now that you know what you know your daily calorie expenditure, it’s time to measure how many calories you’re taking in. Let me say, calorie counting is not what it used to be. There’s so much tech that’s gone into this area of nutrition that there’s so many apps out there now that makes counting calories so easy.
My personal favorite: My Fitness Pal by Under Armor. With this app, you can literally take a picture of your food and it tells you how many calories are in it.
Okay, so now that you’ve figured out how to calculate your energy in and energy out during the day you’re probably wondering, how much of a calorie deficit should I aim towards per day?
The science shows that 3,500 calories= 1 pound of fat.
I would recommend anyone looking to lose fat to aim at 1-2 lbs. per week. Anything more can lead to hormonal imbalances and possible muscle loss. Maintaining muscle is key during weight loss because muscle is our fat burning machinery. The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn throughout the day.
So, if 3,500 calories = 1 pound of fat
And our goal is to lose 1 pound of fat a week
Take 3,500 / 7 (days of the week) = 500 calories/day
And now you have your daily caloric deficit goal.
If you’re looking to lost 2 pounds of fat per week then the goal would be –1000 calories per day.
–1000 x 7 (days of the week) = 7,000 calories = 2 pounds of fat.
It is as simple as that.
If someone is looking to lose 10 pounds of fat.
10lbs of fat = 35,00 calories
35,000calories/ 3,500 (weekly calorie deficit) = 10 weeks or roughly 2.5 months to lose 10lbs of fat. That’s pretty impressive.
2. Protein Intake
I want to point out again how important it is to maintain sufficient protein intake. 70% of weight loss through traditional calorie restriction comes from muscle. We don’t want that. So, to safeguard our muscle, we need to focus on sufficient protein intake.
I recommend for the average person just looking to maintain muscle to aim at 1.0 – 1.5 gram per kg of body weight per day.
Meaning, if you weigh 150lbs (68kg)
Take 68kg x 1.5 g = 102g/day of Protein
Again, My Fitness Pal counts all of this for you and makes it super easy to track and hit your goals.
Also, research has shown no adverse affects of too much protein intake so don’t be afraid to go heavier on the protein. Not to mention, protein is a fantastic macronutrient to cure hunger and balance your hormones.
If you don’t know the foods that provide for great sources of protein then feel free to google it.
Well, there we have it folks..
The simplest way to lose fat and gain/maintain muscle.
1. Caloric Deficit
2. Protein Intake
It’s as easy as that.
I hope that this helped clarify and confusion you had when it comes to weight loss and especially fat loss.
Feel free to reach out in my contact page for any further coaching advice or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time.