This year has been odd to say the least, and every plan we had for 2020 seems to have gone out the window, and for a lot of us, that included our plans to get in great shape for summer (did summer even happen?)

Instead, lockdown struck, holidays were cancelled and we’ve had to spend the majority of our long, sunny summer days inside with little more than a resistance band to give our weight lose goals any ray of hope.

But alas, lockdown is starting to ease (hopefully, for the foreseeable) and “normality” is starting to return once again, which means for most of us, gyms are reopening and we can get back into a more familiar routine and start to get back on top of our fitness & nutrition, letting us finish 2020 on a positive note.

Below, we are going to cover the key points of Calories, Training and Supplementation, so you have the know-how on losing weight, not only properly, but safely too – which means not a Fad diet in sight.

Follow the guidelines below , and you won’t only lose weight, you’ll make sure it never finds you again.

Counting Calories

Your body drops fat when the number of calories consumed is lower than the number being burnt – knows as the Law of Thermodynamics.

Everyone has an individual base number of calories they burn each day, known as the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Basically, the number of calories your body burns just to function. Let’s say its 2,000 kcal.

On top of this you have your calories burned through exercise, plus your Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT).

In this case, let’s go with 200 kcal (Exercise) + 800 kcal (NEAT)

Add all the above together and you get the magic number, your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

In this case, its 2,000 (BMR) + 1,000 (NEAT + exercise) = 3,000 calories (TDEE).

And there we have the formula needed for successful fat loss.

Going with the example above, a person would need to eat below 3,000 calories (maintenance calories) to start losing weight.

You can find out your specific calorie needs, simply by using an online calorie calculator.

Managing your Calorie deficit safely

Your aim should be to create the smallest deficit possible whilst still achieving fat loss results. This usually means a deficit of 100-300 below your maintenance calories.

This has two benefits. Firstly, it keeps your food intake higher, which will keep you feeling full and thus making the whole experience a lot more enjoyable.

Secondly, it gives you more room to play with going forward. Start with too  big a deficit and you’ll have no calories to further reduce once your body becomes accustomed and stops dropping the pounds.

Keeping on the right track

Knowing how many calories you burn is only half the battle. Next is the trickier part, tracking your calorie intake.

Using an app such as MyFitnessPal is a great place to start as it lets you input all the food you’re eating into a database, and even better it does all the maths for you. It even gives you a breakdown of your Macronutrient split if you want to get all geeky with your nutrition.

Training

When it comes to training for fat loss you want to focus on being the tortoise, not the hare.

It’s all too common for people to attack their fat loss attempts with a sprint start, only to lose enthusiasm and consistency because they’ve done too much too soon, and in the process, burnt themselves out.

Its cliché, but remember fat loss is a marathon, not sprint. Take your time and enjoy the process of making small but significant changes week-by-week and month-by-month.

When it comes to training, there is no “best way” to go about it per say, but there are couple of points that we think you should follow in order to give yourself the best chance of achieving results.

Incorporate weight training

Stepping foot into the weights area of the gym may seem like something left for those looking to bulk up, but weight training is actually one of the best ways to boost fat loss, not to mention its many other health benefits (1)

Incorporating weight training into your workouts, especially the likes of deadlifts and squats, will have you torching through calories and boosting your metabolism all in one go.

For best calorie burning results, use a combination of both heavy, low rep sets as well as incorporating weightlifting movements into cardio based sessions, such as Tabatas.

Make it enjoyable

The secret to long term fat loss results, is doing a form of exercise that you enjoy. If you hate cycling but decide to sign up to a spinning class to achieve your goal, we’ll you’re only going to be spinning your wheels, until you inevitable drop out.

On the other hand, if you’re a boxercise fanatic and sign up to your weekly class, you’ll be counting down the days until you can get back to class and punch away your waistline.

Choose a form of exercise you enjoy, you’ll not only put in extra effort, but you’ll also stick with it long term.

Supplements

As you read above, calories are the king when it comes to weight loss, however the below  supplements can give us a helping hand.

Protein Powders/bars

Having a protein shake to hand is a quick and easy way to keep your protein intake high when dieting. Great for keeping you feeling fuller for longer (2) and also aiding in maintaining muscle mass, keeping your metabolic rate high – helping burning those extra calories.

Caffeine

By helping boost your metabolism by 3-11%, (3) and increasing fat burning by 29% (4),  a caffeine supplement, such as Pure Performance Caffeine or Thermopro, can be an effective tool in helping aid fat loss.

Research has also shown it to reduce the feeling of fatigue and increase focus, which will help you to keep pushing through workouts. (5)

 

 

References

  1. Westcott WL. Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2012;11(4)
  2. Paddon-Jones D1, Westman E, Mattes RD, Wolfe RR, Astrup A, Westerterp-Plantenga M. Protein, weight management, and satiety. The American Journal of clinical nutrition. 2008 May;87(5)
  3. Dulloo AG, Geissler CA, Horton T, Collins A, Miller DS. Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr. 1989;49(1)
  4. Bracco, J. M. Ferrarra, M. J. Arnaud, E. Jequier, and Y. Schutz, Effects of caffeine on energy metabolism, heart rate, and methylxanthine metabolism in lean and obese women, American journal of physiology, 1995
  5. Penetar D, McCann U et al., Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans, National Academies Press, 1994

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