The less I eat, the more weight I will lose
That’s the general thinking and it would be correct. If you take in less energy than your body expends, it will take from excess reserved stores to make up for the shortage and you’ll start to lose those pounds! Yes! You might be thinking…”when do I start?!!” No. The right question is, where to start? Lowering calorific intake excessively results in low energy, low cognitive function, anxiety and temperamental mood changes just to name a few. You have to know what total daily calorific intake to start off with in order to have enough energy to function day to day but also systematically lower it enough to lose fat. It’s a bit of tight rope balance but not impossible.
So what do you do?
Find out what your maintenance calories are, takeaway 200 kcal, start there, keep track of weight once every month and then lower 100 kcal per month there after if need be.
2. Excessive cardio
Cardiovascular training is great as a complementary part of an overall fat loss program. However the main purpose for cardio training which often seems to go a miss is to improve your cardiovascular/respiratory system efficiency. On the downside, excessive cardio training can lead to muscle loss, over-training, hamstring shortening/tightness and eventual injury etc.
So what do you do?
Start off first 2 weeks, 20 minutes of cardio session, ⬆after 4 weeks to 40 minutes per session.
3. Food group elimination
This is my personal favourite. Everybody has an intolerance, everything is going to cause cancer, diabetes, heart attack and the list goes on! Without getting too political most can agree the mainstream media use of hyperbolic language to feed our inherent anxiety and fear for their own selfish agendas by lambasting the latest food threat that can potentially kill you is not only tiresome but outright dangerous for the uninitiated.The latest (that I can keep up with) is gluten is bad, dairy is bad, everybody has a gluten and dairy intolerance, sugar is bad but good carbohydrates are okay (wtf??!). I’m not saying intolerance aren’t real but if you truly believe you may have an intolerance then go speak to your doctor and they may administrator tests to find out. However there are signs that you can look out for that may indicate intolerance, see below:
- Runny nose.
- Feeling under the weather.
- Stomach ache.
- Irritable bowel.
What I advise some of my clients who complain about the above symptoms is to observe how they feel after eating potential “trigger” foods and if they do feel the above when consuming those foods or food type then to take it out of their daily diet completely for 5 days BUT to REPLACE with something of equivalent taste and texture is very important. When the 5 days are up, consume a little amount of that food, if the symptoms return they should then stop consuming them for a whole month. When the month is up try to slowly introduce it back into their diets and see how they feel, if those symptoms come back then it might be a safe bet to ease up on it and take it out of their diet for at least the foreseeable future.
But I must stress please do not take out foods you don’t have too just because some questionable magazine article, or Suzy from yoga read somewhere dairy is bad “too many hormones”. Life is too short and I for one would like to enjoy all the pleasantries as much as I can!
Full disclaimer: The above diseases listed are serious and beyond this post which may have association with certain lifestyle and dietary choices however are neither limited nor conclusive to those factors alone but merely a factor to consider when attempting to minimise the risk of developing said diseases.
4. Minimal weight training
The idea of lifting weights for the sole purpose to build huge “buldgy” muscles instead of a lean sculpted one has shifted from the thought of many who may have otherwise had held the view the latter to only be achievable by running on a treadmill. This is mostly due to diligent, conscientious researchers out there who care enough to find out the truth and in turn have come out with insurmountable evidence that clearly shows what results of consistent well planned weight training can do… that and the Instagram fitness bunny’s doing more than just booty kick-backs with ankle weights, helps.
HOWEVER, there are still those in the mainstream spot light; celebrities/trainers who yet for whatever reason still like to purport light/minimal weight training regime to achieving their
drug free body transformations. Countless times, I’ve heard these enlightened folks mention they hadn’t really done much weight training but lots and lots of cardio but yet somehow put on 20lbs of muscle! Please tell me what YOU’RE ON DOING!! Oh wait they can’t…
Listen you don’t have to spend hours on hours in the gym, battling it out with the iron to achieve a realistic aesthetic look. Anything between 3-4 x week of a full body weight training program, with progressive overload and CONSISTENCY in mind will get you there.
5. Lack of prep
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Please don’t think I’ll now proceed to tell you to go out to your local Robert Dyers, buy 2 dozen tupperware of all shapes and sizes so you can fit all your pre planned
deliciously cooked food for the week, getting you ready and on track to reaching your fat loss goals! Wrong! Most are not willing or necessarily ready to commit to such a task nor do I think it is feasible for the most part!
What would I do, you ask? You have a few options. Let’s assume you are someone who likes to cook, great, I’m sure you have 3-4 go meals which you rustle up without much effort. Here is where you will need to make some initial effort. I want you to measure out exactly how much you use of each and every ingredient, you don’t have to put less than you usually do, just the exact amount but measured. Next, find out the macronutrient (Protein/carbohydrate/fat) content of each ingredients serving size and write them down. You now know how much calories you are consuming with your frequent go-to meals. Dependent on your daily calorific target you can adjust the serving size of some of those ingredients to fit your daily calorie intake and the best part; you decide which ones to adjust.
If you are someone who doesn’t like cooking or you do but your job/life doesn’t give you time to cook often, you are stuck with takeaways or grabbing some microwavable food from your local supermarket then there’s no need to fret.
In regards to food bought at the supermarket:
– Most have macronutrient content on package or website,
– You want to make sure there’s a split 40/40% on protein/carbohydrate, 20% fat on the total amount of food items you buy per meal,
– Stick to 3-4 go to meals so you remember the nutrient split without too much effort.
– Est. 500 – 1000 kcal per meal,-Minimal ingredients (if possible); meat/poultry/fish, veg,
– If goal is fat loss assume 100 kcal more than initial estimate,
– Find calorific intake based on similar foods and serving and add assumption of 100 kcal 60% from fat, 40% from carbohydrate.
Please remember the above is based on your goal being fat loss. You will have to make some effort but it doesn’t have to be life altering, mountain climbing, once in a life time achievement type of crap some try to put it as. Being CONSISTENT, even with 3 out of 5 of the above will make a huge difference with minimal effort! So start today!
Until the next one, stay strong and conquer my fellow ALL STRENGTH athletes!