There’s SO much information out there, and while each expert will have their favourite workouts and meal plans for fat and weight loss, we asked personal trainer Ash Lane for the four things all of them can agree on.
As a personal trainer and a nutrition expert, I get a lot of questions about the ‘trick’ to losing weight and lowering body fat. While fad diets promise (and likely deliver in the short term) quick results, it’s an unhealthy and unsustainable method that will probably see the weight coming back…and then some.
But while experts in the fitness and diet industry can sometimes differ in their opinions as to what’s the most effective weight loss tactic—to burpee or not to burpee, for example—here are four things we all agree on.
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‘Maintenance calories’ are a great way to keep track of how much you need to eat per day to achieve your weight loss goals. Simply put, this is the number of calories you need to consume to maintain your weight. If you consistently eat more than this number, you’ll gain weight and if you eat less, you’ll lose weight.
To find out your ideal range, track your intake for two weeks. Eat and drink how you normally would, and at the end of that time if you’ve neither gained nor lost weight, that’s your maintenance calories. Aim to eat lower than this number to ensure a calorie deficit and lose weight.
Remember, there’s no magic attached to any diet that will speed up or slow down fat loss. It’s all about calories in vs calories out.
Restriction…it doesn’t work!
It’s true what they say, we want what we can’t have. And this becomes even more apparent when we deny ourselves of our favourite food in the quest to drop a few kilos. Almost always, however, restriction leads us to eat more of what we ‘shouldn’t’.
That’s why it’s so important to pick a sustainable way of eating and align this with a method of training that suits you. Remember, whatever it took to get you to your goal, will be what it takes to stay there. So, if you love chocolate, don’t cut it out! Just find a way to fit it into your calorie budget.
Up your protein intake
Protein is extremely important for muscle growth and even more important for muscle retention during a deficit. As we want to ensure we’re losing fat not muscle, most experts will recommend you consume between 1.4 – 2.2g of protein per kilo of bodyweight per day. If you have a lot of weight to lose, you may find this too high, in that case, use your goal weight for the calculation.
Once you’ve hit your protein for the day, you can fill the rest of your calories with what brings you joy. This is where you would fit in the chocolate!
Wrapping it all up with training
A calorie deficit is key to losing body fat but adding regular exercise can have an even bigger impact. If your goal is fat loss, resistance or strength training will help you get to this result faster. These kinds of workouts are also sustainable to continue once you’ve hit your goal.
As the results from this study suggest, a balanced diet along with exercise is the best approach to take when trying to see changes in your weight.
Ash Lane is certified in nutrition and has completed extensive studies in the Science of Nutrition and Fat Loss. She is also a qualified personal trainer, specialising in showing women how to eat more, train less, build muscle and lose fat.