4 Tips to Fat Loss Results
We all have fat loss goals but very few of us know what is involved in fat loss and how this actually occurs. Here are 4 components you need to know for your fat loss journey that will dramatically improve your results.
1. Create an Energy Deficit:
We hear these concepts all the time surrounding a “deficit” or a “surplus” but what actually is this? These are all terms that refer to “energy balance”. Energy balance is the relationship between energy in (calories taken into the body through food or drink) and energy out (calories used for daily energy requirements). Being in a deficit simply means putting yourself in a state of negative energy balance OR a position where you are burning more than you are consuming. This is related back to those sciences classes we all failed to pay attention to and links in with the law of thermodynamics essentially dictating whether or not we lose, gain or maintain body fat. ALL fat loss diet’s are governed by this ONE single principle: In order for you to lose weight you MUST be in a deficit.
2. Match Expenditure with Your Rate of Progress:
As mentioned above energy out simply relates to the calories your body uses for daily energy requirements. However it’s not ever really that simple, fat loss never is. These range from the energy the body needs just for rest (BMR), physical activity and day-to-day movement (NEAT), as well as food digestion, absorption, & transportation. So how do we calculate this? We dont, not unless you want to breathe into a gas mask & tube all day, so at best we need to make recommendations based off YOUR rate of progress to keep you in a deficit.
Food related expenditure is roughly around 10% of calorie intake this is slightly higher in diets that are high in protein due to the increased energy cost to digest protein (20-30%), however pretty universal and unless your changing from meat only to vegetarian or keto every 2 weeks this should also remain fairly consistent within your body (not really a factor to worry about). BMR is also going to vary on an individual basis (genetics, sex, body composition) however again also remains relatively consistent. This leaves the energy cost to physical activity and day-to-day movement, both of which are key variables that can be manipulated as you start on your fat loss journey or notice a plateau somewhere down the line.
3. Move More with NEAT:
You may or may not have heard of the term NEAT. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is essentially the energy used for day to day movement that isn’t formal “exercise” this can include daily steps, fidgeting, even the speed in which we talk and the gestures we make during conversation. An often overlooked component in fat loss however one that holds a lot of power. Think about this, how long would you train for a day? 45mins? 1hr? Some of my crazy clients (won’t name names but you know who you are) 3hrs a day. Then we take into account how many hours we are given in a day. This is literally at most (even for the crazies) 1/8 of your day. This leaves nearly 88% of your day where you have the opportunity to create a larger negative energy balance, leading to a larger deficit and burning more body fat from something as simple as walking a bit more. Either this or taking up miming…
4. Are you Monitoring Everything?
I’m sure by now you can see how complex of a system the body is when you are trying to lose fat. The best thing is you dont need to know most of the science (that’s why we’re here) you just need to know where you are at now and what you are doing in order to make the best informed decision to get you on track. Tracking starts with weight or body composition. This is something all of us do in some regard, but yet never look at it objectively and assess what’s really going on. First point of call is to know are you gaining weight/fat, losing weight/fat, or maintaining doing what you are currently doing. Are you already in a deficit, a surplus, or just at maintenance.
Then you have to figure out WHAT you are doing to establish that. What am I eating and how much am I eating (and not just chicken and rice, but how much and is that a curry, a stirfry or an iskender with 10 different sauces) & drinking (yes, liquid calories count too).
What does my current daily activity look like, am I sendentary, am I active, do I mime? How many steps would I normally do in a day?
What exercise do I partake in, is this weight training, CrossFit, F45, sports, running, walking, all or non of the above and for how long?
Once you know where you are at you can make a plan of attack. Then it’s about monitoring ALL of the variables in energy balance to create an energy deficit you can adhere to for long enough to lose the desired amount body fat.
Keep in mind as said by Layne Norton “the world doesn’t have a weight loss problem, the problem is keeping it off”. Therefore understanding these concepts to lose fat are helpful, however meaningless if we don’t pick up key fundamentals of how to maintain results a long the way.