Our last blog post for 2019 is here!
Dear reader, so you're here because you are interested in losing weight, burning fat, shredding down, cutting, there are plenty of ways we can call it.
First off I want to thank you for taking time out of your day to read what I have to say.
Secondly truly think why you want to lose weight, is it because of health reasons, looking better naked or is there a deeper reason?
"Identifying your goal and understanding your motivation for that goal is key to lots of things! Including losing weight..."
Now that we've got that out of the way let's get deeper into the fundamentals of fat loss.
1. Calorie Deficit
You've heard many people preach this, being in a calorie deficit is in simpler words "Eating less calories than the calories you burn".
Let's say you're a 30-year old, 120lbs woman, training 3 times a week. You would roughly need 2,000 calories daily to remain at 120lbs.
If your goal is to lose weight then you'd have to eat roughly 1,500 calories per day to be in a 500 calorie deficit (2,000 calories - 500 calories = 1,500 calories).
Since 1lb equals 3,500 calories then by being on a daily 500 calorie deficit you would roughly lose 1lb per week (500 calories x7 days). That isn't always the case but we will get into that later on.
Which brings me to my next point that answers the question: "If I eat less food than I normally do, won't I get hungry?"
2. Food Density Matters
Say you have a big bowl of spinach which weights 100g. The total calories in those 100g are 23! Compare that to 100g of cashews, total calories - 553!
You see where I'm getting?
When you're eating for fat/weight loss you want to focus on low calorie foods which offer a lot of volume in your meals. Fortunately for you those foods are super healthy too.
Here are some low-calorie, high volume foods to incorporate more into your daily meals: - Dark leafy greens: spinach, kale, arugula, collard greens
- Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, brussel sprouts
- Low calorie fruit: berries, apples, melon
- Beans & Pulses: chickpeas, black beans, white beans, pinto beans, edamame beans, lentils
- Root vegetables: sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, squash, zucchini, aubergine
By making at least half of your plate comprised of these foods your fat loss will seem like an amateurs game. Add some healthy fats and wholegrains and you're good to go.
Before I move onto point no. 3 here are four low calorie breakfast options, under 500 calories that you can utilize going forward.
3. Protein Intake
Let's talk protein. When we eat less calories during a sustained period of time, we lose weight.
When that happens our bodies turn to protein as a source of fuel in addition to glucose and fat etc. Which means to prevent muscle loss and maintain your current muscle mass it is recommended to increase protein intake up to 1.5g - 1.8g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.
Eating more protein can suppress hunger as well. Consuming protein increases the production of certain hormones that help you feel satiated.
For more useful information on protein as a vegan check out my Vegan Protein 1-0-1 post.
4. Metabolic Adaptation
This is a state that occurs every few weeks/months during a weight loss journey. Simply put, as our body is "shrinking" down and weighs less, the number of calories we need to sustain that weight decrease.
Here's an example:
Mary weighs 120lbs on January 1st. She's been following all the weight loss parameters correctly and has been eating 1,500 calories daily to steadily lose 4lbs per month.
After 3 months of losing weight (4lbs x 3 months = 12lbs weight loss) she is now down to 108lbs on April 1st.
At 120lbs she required 2,000 calories to remain at that weight. But now that she's down to 108lbs her body only requires 1,750 calories to remain at the same weight.
This means that if she keeps eating 1,500 calories she will only be at a 250 calorie deficit, stalling her weight loss and slowing it down from a steady 4lbs loss per month to 2lbs loss per month.
This is what is called a "plateau".
To avoid hitting a plateau it is recommended not staying on a weight loss journey for more than a year in addition to implementing resistance training and a higher protein intake so that you're essentially changing your body's composition.
This means that even if you remain at the same weight, you might go down in bodyfat but build some muscle as well.
5. Type Of Training
We've got the nutrition side of things nailed so let's move onto what kind of training you need to be doing to maximize your chances of losing weight.
Oxygen presence during any cardiovascular activity, (a.k.a. running, walking, cycling, climbing, swimming, rowing) is what essentially burns fat.
That being said, cardiovascular activity does NOT build muscle. Even if you're on a fat loss journey you should incorporate both resistance training and cardiovascular training to get the best of both worlds.
I'm not saying that you can't lose weight by just doing resistance training but:
a) Cardio burns more calories - making it easier to shred that fat off
b) Doing both (cardio & resistance training) ensures that you build a toned and strong body
c) Cardio also improves heart health
Doing only cardio will eventually result in a skinny (yet at a low bodyfat) body. If that's what you want then go ahead :)
But what I advise to all of my clients is a combination of the two so that when the layers of fat disappear from your body, you will be left with a sculpted body of a Greek God/Goddess!