Many people come to me wanting to lose 5-10 lbs, some maybe only 3 pounds. And, for some reason, it has taken these individuals’ years of trying different methods only to stay where they are or to gain it all back shortly after a program.
Here is the problem…
Diets that aim for you to lose fat quick are only setting you up for binge eating later on, or continuing on the yo-yo dieting path. If you are one of those people who would like the quick fix, then do not expect for the fat to stay off long term, and expect potentially unhealthy effects. The other issue is that there is no diet that can suit everyone.
If you followed the exact same training and diet as another person, you would still look completely different. This is due to the activities or sports prior to adulthood, genetics, metabolism, where body fat is stored, how an individual processes and digests certain foods, height, body type, age, years of training, health issues, etc. There are so many factors that make you…well, YOU. This is why your diet and nutrition has to be specific to YOU.
So let’s begin…What is the quickest way to lose fat?
First, we want to know how many calories you are burning throughout the day. With exercise and without. The best way to do this is to wear a heart rate monitor watch to track your calorie burn. My favorite watch brands are the Apple Watch or if you want a cheaper option, the Garmin Forerunner.
The reason for you to track your calories on days in the gym and days out is to give you a better understanding of how much to intake on days that you cannot work out, so that your diet remains in check. Once you do this, a good rule of thumb is to subtract maybe 300-500 calories from your total burn and intake that amount. This is where patience comes in. You will have to test this and see how your body is responding, and may need to cut back or increase workout intensity.
Although calories do matter most, it is very important that you are in taking the correct amount of protein, carbs, and fats for your body, and the correct ratios.
The best way to do this is to track your macros! My favorite way is using MyFitnessPal App, but there are several others that will suffice.
Protein is fairly constant and will be about 0.8-1.2grams x bodyweight. Then, simply fill out the rest of the calories with your carbs and fats. This is tricky to play with, so you may choose to hire a coach when the going gets tough!
If you do not wish to track your macros, then the best way to make progress is by eating whole, real foods. These are foods such as fruits, produce, nuts, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Next, do NOT drink your calories!
This means Gatorades, sodas, sugary alcohol drinks and more! Most of the time, these are full of sugar which will not fill you up at the end of the day. Go for flavored BCAA’s, flavored seltzer water, and all natural 0 calorie drinks.
So, the next thing is to DRINK MORE WATER! Most hunger cues can be mistaken for thirst. And, as we all know, once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Now, you do not have to drink 1 gallon per day, but if you are someone who sweats a lot during workouts, or who lives in a warm climate, then a gallon per day or close to it might be a good idea. This will instantly fill you up as well and ward off some hunger!
GET SOME SLEEP!
When you do not sleep enough, your cortisol may rise causing you to hold onto some water weight making you appear heavier than you actually are. Not to mention, not getting enough sleep will give you the “munchies” the next day, you’ll notice. Also, you are awake for more hours causing you to want to eat more often. In many cases you will not want to cook causing you to opt for easy fixes aka eating out or packaged snacks which are a no-no when it comes to fat loss.
DON’T STRESS IT!
Stress can make things even worse! So, just relax, and be good to your body!
Last but certainly not least, if yo
u are doing all of these things and they are still not working. Ask yourself, are you working out hard enough? Do you feel like your workouts are pushing you hard enough, or could you do more? Are you doing enough cardio? Could you do more or could you switch up your routine to make it harder or more fun?
Exercise should be enjoyable and make you feel good afterwards! If you are not enjoying your meal and workout routine, then it will not be sustainable anyways. Find what works and stick to it! YOU GOT THIS!