How To Lose Weight & Keep It Off | Part 1 - Nutrition
Whether you’re cutting for a special event, or simply looking to shed a few unwanted pounds - the question in your mind should not just be “how do I lose fat;” but “how do I lose fat and keep it off.”
All too often, people search for quick and easy solutions like weight loss pills, or trendy programs with lofty promises.
The truth is that jumping on the latest trends often leads to eating disorders, frustration and loss of motivation - rather than sustainable results.
Your body is a machine and it’s YOUR responsibility to understand how that machine functions and what you can do to maintain it.
In this article, we’ll give you our best nutrition tips to implement in your daily life to start cutting weight (and keeping it off).
The Modern-Day Problem
Humans have existed for hundreds and thousands of years and for most of that time, we as a species have gone through starvation.
Starvation is something the body knows very well and that is the reason why it can go through metabolic adaptations, which allow it to survive on little to no fuel.
And here comes the big but…
BUT…only within the past 30 years of human existence that we’ve had such easy access to a multitude of foods.
Our modern-day foods, many of which are bad, can be delivered right to your door without you having to do anything besides collecting it from your doorstep.
If we follow that train of thought, we can conclude that the modern-day lifestyle is quite literally, fattening vis-à-vis its sedentary nature!
At its very core - while ultra-convenient – it robs you of movement and gives back a ton of hyper-caloric junk food to choose from.
So, what we’re saying here is recognition is the first step – if you find you’re falling into sedentary habits that rely on too much junk for fuel – it might be time to prioritize getting more physical activity in, and re-optimizing your nutrition.
Fat Loss 101
The fundamental principle of weight loss is referred to as “eating in a caloric deficit”.
This essentially means giving the body a lesser amount of energy (food) than it needs to sustain its body weight.
What this means for you is that the primary factor for weight loss is the AMOUNT OF FOOD and not so much the type of food. (Yes, you can technically lose weight with burgers, but keep reading...)
Now, the amount of energy you need daily to maintain your body weight and bodily functions, is referred to as “Total daily energy expenditure (TDEE)”.
Your TDEE is individual and it depends on the following factors:
5. Non-exercise activity
6. Exercise activity
7. Food consumption (digestion uses energy)
Quite simply, if you consume more than your TDEE, you will gain weight.
If you consume less than your TDEE you will lose weight. If you’re around your TDEE, no massive changes in weight will be observed.
You can calculate your own TDEE using this weight loss calculator - https://www.traininginthebay.com/macro-calculator/
NOTE: No TDEE calculator is 100% accurate so take these results as guidelines rather than facts. We suggest you monitor your progress and adjust along the way.
Now, though you can eat any food on a diet and still lose weight, the choice of food sources does matter.
During a period of weight loss, your body loses not only fat, but also lean body mass (LBM).
To avoid a biological disaster, you MUST do everything possible to retain that lean body mass.
As we mentioned above, the first thing to do is establish a moderate caloric deficit. Next, make sure the calories you consume are comprised of complete, nutritious food sources with sufficient amounts of protein and fat. Back to that burger – if it’s made of good quality meat and fresh toppings and it fits into your daily allotment of calories, go for it!
The second thing is to allot enough energy (carbohydrates) for your training sessions (more on this in the second part of this series).
Finally, make sure that your goal rate of weight loss is realistic and healthy. You want to aim for around 1-2 lbs per week - this will ensure that most of the weight you lost is fat (not LBM!)
We can hear you thinking 'but guys, why not just widen the calorie deficit to speed things up?' While a lot of people can handle it mentally, it is not always the most healthy way to trim down. With a more moderate deficit, you sustain the healthy functioning of your body and conserve enough energy for your daily activities.
By eating at a moderate deficit full of nutritious foods along with a consistent training routine, you will be able to retain most of your lean body mass and you’ll enjoy higher energy levels.
What about the Macros?
Glad you asked. In terms of quantities, this is one way you can try to spread your daily macros:
• Protein (4 calories per gram) - 0.8-1g per lb of body weight.
• Fat (9 calories per gram) - 0.35-0.45g per lb of body weight.
• Carbohydrates (4 calories per gram) should make up the remaining caloric intake.
- If your TDEE is 2200 calories, you’d need to consume 1700 calories to burn fat.
- If you’re 180 lbs, that would mean you’d need about 180 grams of protein and 60 grams of fat
- 180 grams of protein are 720 calories and 60 grams of fat are 540 calories, making a total of 1260 calories
- 1700 calories - 1260 calories = 440 calories remaining
- These 440 calories go for carbs and to calculate the exact amount, you simply divide by 4 because carbs have 4 calories per gram (110g of carbs are 480 calories).
Keeping the weight off
Alright, so we now know that a moderate deficit that favors nutrient dense-foods is the best way to sustainable fat loss.
But how do you actually keep the weight off?
The majority of people who go on a diet, re-gain 100% or more of their weight back in twice as less time as it took them to actually lose it...
And this is the EXACT reason why you shouldn’t think of your diet as something that has a start and end date.
It is a healthy habit that you should develop with the intention of maintaining for life. And once you get started, you’ll feel amazing (stay with us on this, it works!)
Once you’ve hit your goals and you want to keep the weight off, try the following:
1. Reverse dieting - Gradually increase caloric intake by 50-80 calories per week
2. Monitor your weight regularly to keep tabs on changes - You shouldn’t gain weight drastically.
3. Continue training - Increase your weights, sets and repetitions
Also, through the period of eating at a caloric deficit, you should consider mixing in diet breaks every 2-3 weeks.
This essentially means going back to maintenance calories which will help keep your metabolism revving, and make the whole process more sustainable. Remember, the goal isn’t to starve – it’s to create a healthy and sustainable way of living that helps you get to your goal physique.
Losing that extra weight and keeping it off starts at the fundamental level of what you put in your body.
To achieve sustainable weight loss, you need to eat at a moderate caloric deficit and fill your your diet with nutrient-dense foods.
Remember this should not be a drastic, quick process but rather a gradual change in time.
In the second part of this article series we’ll go into more depth about training and how to use it to speed up your fat loss, and keep your body healthy!
DISCLAIMER: This article is meant to serve as a general guideline and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult your physician or a medical professional before starting a new diet, fitness or exercise routine.