To lose weight one must understand calories in, calories out. When you eat less than you are expending, the body will use it’s reserves to compensate for the energy difference. This is where fat loss takes place. For example if a person needs 2500 calories to sustain their daily activity but they eat only 2000 calories, the body will draw 500 calories from its reserves to be burned off. For every 3500 calories in a deficit, approximately 1lb of fat is lost.
Step 1: So how many calories do YOU need?
This number is different for everybody depending on age, activity level and metabolism. The easiest way is to google ‘maintenance calorie calculator’ and input your stats to get a starting point. Once you have this number, let’s say it is 2500 calories to maintain your weight, you now need to create the calorie deficit through diet and exercise to best achieve fat loss. Generally speaking, a 300-800 deficit is a good range to aim for. In the example of needing 2500 calories a day to maintain one’s weight, eating 1700-2200 calories would be a good range to aim for. Closer to the lower end if you are less active and more towards the higher end if you exercise regularly. Obviously these are just rough numbers, you will need trial and error based to better alter these numbers.
Step 2: Once daily calorie intake is determined, you can optimize those calories to better aid fat loss
After understanding the basic concept of calories in calories out, it is good to know how to optimize those calories to better reach your goal. For example eating 2500 calories of junk food will result differently than eating 2500 calories of nutritious foods. This is where the breakdown of protein carbs and fats is important. From a body composition standpoint, it is a good idea to aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. For example if you are 150 pounds, aim for 150g protein per day. Adequate protein intake ensures the preservation of muscle during a calorie deficit which is helpful for optimizing metabolism and body composition. The remaining calories can be made up of a combination of carbs and fats.
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Step 3: Using calorie control in combination with exercise to achieve the best results
Now that calories and macronutrients are better understood, we need to understand that exercise WILL speed up the process. What type of exercise depends on your personal preference and goal. For general weight loss, any physical activity that gets the heart rate up will aid the process. For a more precise improvement in body composition, a good weight training program will help.
Step 4: Putting it all together in practical terms
Calories, macronutrients and exercise are the key factors to your fat loss journey, with calories (diet) playing the biggest role. What you are eating throughout the day and week is KEY! To help you better keep track, there are calorie counter apps that will aid the process. Simply google ‘calorie counter app’. Eating foods that make you feel fuller for longer but are not dense in calories also helps! Low calorie high protein ice cream like FITYO will let you indulge and still be on track for your fat loss journey.
Information stated in this article acts only as a general guideline for fat loss. For a more detailed and tailor made approach we recommend you do your own further research and/or seek a professional for advice.
Information presented above is based on its' English version.