KEY NOTES if you don't wanna read it all.
- It’s all about having a healthy calorie deficit if you want to lose weight.
- Work out your TDEE for your calories and be realistic about your activity.
- The times of day/night you eat doesn’t matter.
- You don't have to exercise to lose weight but it helps a hell of a lot
- SCALES ARE NOT THE END ALL AND BE ALL OF THE WEIGHT LOSS!
- Taking body measurements and a photo journal is a must.
- Just move! Whatever exercise that you will do regularly is good exercise.
- This process takes a long time so keep faith in what you’re doing! You don’t get big overnight nor do you get back down either.
I have made this post due to it being the most common question asked on this topic. So, I help it gives you the starting blocks to begin your FAT LOSS journey.
For a little background, I’m a qualified PT and class instructor with a basic nutritional qualification as well. I am by no means a dietitian and never claim to be. That’s a full-blown university thing and if you have questions about the actual food you eat, ask a dietitian, not a nutritionist. And I'm glad to be helping you with the general guide for your weight loss journey.
I apologize for the essay and this is an as simplistic explanation as I can make but it’s basically on the money.
At the end of the day its calories in vs calories out. You eat more than you burn you put on weight. You eat less than what you burn you lose weight. That is literally the end all and be all of it. You can literally sit on your butt all day and if you have eaten the correct number of calories, you will lose weight.
BUT, starving yourself is not the answer. Eating 1000 calories a day won’t make you lose weight super fast but probably just make you ill and cranky as hell. Not to mention is the biggest reason your weight loss stops completely.
A slow weight loss is usually a sign of good weight loss where good habits are being ingrained into your life and you have a healthy calorie deficit.
If you know calories, you're halfway of finishing the general guide for your weight loss journey
Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is an estimation of how many calories you burn per day with exercise is taken into account. It is calculated by first figuring out your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR which is basically the calories your body requires to function healthily), then multiplying that value by an activity multiplier.
Since your BMR represents how many calories your body burns when at rest, it is necessary to adjust the numbers upwards to account for the calories you burn during the day. This is true even for those with a sedentary lifestyle.
Don’t freak out that they are higher than what you expect, remember slow steady weight loss is best.
I would also try to use some common sense here as well. Yes, you may well train 6 times a week but if you have a desk job sitting all day, it may be better to choose moderately active calories instead of heavy active.
Don’t forget this is a free general TDEE calculator. Yes, I think it’s pretty good, but I don’t take it for gospel either. If you have your body fat percentage it will help it be more accurate. The more information you can input in the more accurate your calories will be.
So many people go oh I’ll live off 1000 calories and crash and burn. Too low calories usually make you craving high fat/sugary food and binging off them and ending up eating more than you need and putting more weight on. The most common signs of your calories being too low is Constant hunger, low energy, bad sleep, constipation, irritability and not losing weight.
MyFitnessPal app – to track what you eat.
Log everything you eat and drink I guarantee you its more than what you think you’re consuming. It’s a pain in the ass I know but you like a milky tea or coffee? Milk has calories and it adds up.
Weigh your portions where possible as again you will overestimate your ability to judge the amount of food you’re putting on your plate.
If you have an app that links say a Fitbit tracker it will add those calories to your diet allowance. Or, if you have worked out your TDEE you should not be eating them as your exercise calories have been worked out.
If you used an app like MyFitnessPal to work out your calories they typically don't use a TDEE calculation so the additional calories can be added BUT I find trackers are very fickle and inaccurate. They usually overestimate what you are actually burning. Exercising calories are a crucial part of the general guide for your weight loss journey.
With these, I would always err on the side of caution. The majority of past clients found that only eating a quarter to half of the suggested calories caused better results as their weight was severely hindered when eating the full suggested extra calories.
DIETS DIETS DIETS!
Boy, don’t we love our latest diet trends, don’t we? Want to know the best diet?
The one that you can sustain is the best diet!
Keto, intermittent fasting, weight watchers, slimmer’s world, MacDonald’s diet. It really doesn’t matter, as they are all designed one way or another to cause a calorie deficit.
A healthy balanced diet is preferable but not wholly necessary when it comes to losing weight but again recommended.
I don’t know what to eat for my calorie bracket
https://www.eatthismuch.com – for recipe help.
This will help for food ideas if you want variety in your life (I’m a chicken for life every day 7 days a week guy but I use a plethora of spices to keep things interesting so don't judge the bro-science lol).
Play around and you will eventually figure out what works for you.
Personally I think the best thing for your food is once you have your calories worked out is to use a macro break. That’s the breakdown of how much protein, fats, and carbs you eat (MyFitnessPal can track that for you).
I would go for a 40% Protein, 40% Fats and 20% Carbs as a break. Protein and fats help you feel fuller for longer and generally more satisfied when eaten. Protein also helps keep your muscle mass while losing weight. Especially if exercising regularly.
I, for the most part, make sure I eat my quota of protein and don’t worry too much about the break of fats and carbs as long as I hit my calorie goal.
Admittedly though I always feel the most satisfied when I keep to the macro break stated as I also fast for 19 hours a day and re-feed over 5 hours in the evening.
Do I recommend fasting for 19 hours? Nah not really but with my lifestyle and work it suits me and that’s all that matters. Remember the best diet is the one you can sustain after all. My girlfriend needs 3 meals a day with one snack or she will try to rip my bloody arm off so, let's just say the basic intermittent fasting diet did not work for her.
You might also like: A Comprehensive Step-By-Step Guide to Intermittent Fasting
Hardline is just move. Move more burn more. Do something, anything that you will do regularly.
There is no excuse to not do something. Period. You can work around an injury, time, physical ability, available equipment, etc.
Hate gyms? Don’t go to one. Can’t run? Then walk. Walking hurts? Cycle, swim, row, cross trainer. There are multiple things you can do and say that you can’t isn’t one of them. Just move, be active and try to do something you enjoy as then you will keep doing it.
I think doing a good weight regime with some HIIT training for 15-20 mins after is the most effective thing to do.
But if you cant exercise for whatever reason, check out this post from my old mentor who couldn't exercise anymore due to his condition.
Also, weight lifting will not make you bulky. Especially on a calorie deficit. Worst case scenario your scales don’t move but you get slimmer as muscle is denser than fat. Which leads me to….
SCALES AND WEIGHT LOSS MEASUREMENT
Scales, scales, scales, the equipment that measures your relation to the earth that forever make us cry ourselves to sleep. Guys use them with a pinch of salt, please.
Don’t aim to lose a certain amount each week. Just aim to lose. And accept it’s not a temporary measure it’s a lifestyle change and going to take a long time. Accept that. Plan for the long term and screw beach body ready crap.
Take measurements once a month, weigh yourself and take a photo once a week (I recommend the app FitStitch as you can put a password on it if you desire to save any embarrassment). If the trend is basically downwards, you’re doing great and it’s going the right way.
Gives a good basic idea where to take a measurement but ideally get a trusted friend to do it for you as they are less likely to squeeze an extra inch out of it and it will be more accurate with you in a neutral relaxed position.
Weigh, photo and measure at the same time of day each time. I bet if you weighed yourself multiple times in one day, every one of those times you stood on the scales would be different. If you miss your normal weekly slot just do it the next day and save potential “oh mah gawd I gained like 5 more pounds, but I been soooooo good to help me!!!”
Ladies your natural cycle can affect your weight greatly (you probably already know this) so try not to forget it if the scales mess you around a bit.
Explains this better than a male like me so I will leave the ladies to read up on another trainer I respect.
SPEED OF WEIGHTLOSS
Don’t freak if you’re not losing weight quickly especially if you work out a lot more than you did before and look at past photos and check your measurements at the end of the month. I have had clients get heavier than what they started but look leaner and a hell of a lot more toned up.
When you change your diet and if you don’t get a change in 4 weeks, drop it by 100-200 calories and try again or recalculate them.
Just because it doesn’t drop right away don’t go dropping it down another 500 calories.
At the same time don’t take your calories for the gospel and recalculate them again if you’ve lost 3-6kg/7-14lbs. That’s a lot of weight to lose and your calories will have changed. So, recalculate reasonably regularly but don’t obsess either.
They say losing 0.5% – 1% of your body weight is a generally healthy amount. Again don’t obsess if its more or less and if you are worried if it's over 1% of your bodyweight regularly go see a doctor to talk about it.
BUT I CAN’T DO ANY OF THIS (you can btw) AND I FAIL ALL THE TIME
If you have done all the TDEE stuff and feel like you can’t adhere to it just get in the baby steps.
Drink loads of fizzy drinks? Switch to water or Zero-calorie versions.
Change one meal consistently for 4 weeks. Say start with any snacks you eat for 4 weeks. Got that down to pat? Now do snacks and breakfast for another 4 weeks. Then snacks, breakfast, and lunch for 4 weeks, etc.
The slow eventual change will work out in the end and in say 4-5 months a better eating lifestyle will just feel normal.
If there is anyone meal you struggle on just try doing another one first instead or take more time focusing on that one meal. If it takes you 8 weeks to just change breakfast the chances are lunch will be a hell of a lot easier to get the hang of etc.
Good luck with your general guide for your weight loss journey! And remember that THE MAN WHO MOVES A MOUNTAIN BEGINS BY CARRYING SMALL STONES!