There is so much information out there that it can be extremely hard to know what to do in regards to your nutrition and exercise. Sadly, much of the information you read is false. In this article, I am going to go into detail on the principle of fat loss, how it occurs, and how you can set yourself up for success.
Each and every day, you are getting bombarded with fitness advice. Some of it is true, but sadly, a lot of it is not. Fitness marketers manipulate data and use words that make it sound like their “method” is the answer and that all other methods are wrong. This leads people to become misguided with half-truths and sometimes lies. One person says carbohydrates are the issue, another says meat is the problem, another says you have to fast to lose fat, and so forth.
Science has shown time and time again that you must consume fewer calories than you burn each day to lose fat. This is not an opinion, it is a fact. Sadly, some fitness marketers ignore all of the scientific evidence to go against the norm and stand out.
If we look at the calories in vs calories out model, we have to understand that there are many factors that affect the calculation itself. I will provide a list below that will capture just a small portion of those factors.
Things that affect calories burned each day:
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that affect how many calories you burn each day and that is just the start of it!
Things that affect calories consumed and absorbed
All of these factors affect how many calories we eat, but also how many calories we absorb. Some would say that the calories we eat are 100% in our control and I would say I agree for the most part. However, hormones and outside factors do play a role in our decisions over time. We have to understand that this stuff is powerful and plays a huge role in our choices each day.
What about how many calories you absorb? Well, when we diet or when our body is under stress, the body becomes more efficient at absorbing more calories from our food. We don’t absorb all of the calories we eat so this is a major factor that we cannot totally control.
One other thing you must know is that there are 3500 calories in 1 lb of fat. This is important in understanding how to manipulate your nutrition to get the desired rate of fat loss that you want. If you reduce your calories below maintenance(how many calories you burn per day) by 500 calories, you will lose up to 1 lb per week of fat. I say “up to” because as stated before, our bodies do adapt to this. If you want to lose up to 2 lbs per week, you would need to reduce calories by 1000. Sadly, this is unrealistic for many people who are inactive and also for women due to having lower metabolisms. Shoot for .5%-1.0% of your bodyweight per week. For women, I tend to shoot for .5% or .75% per week as 1.0% seems to be pretty aggressive.
To find this, multiply your bodyweight by .005, .0075, and .01. A 200 lb person would lose anywhere from 1-2 lbs per week. Knowing this, you could reduce calories to match the goal.
The reason I am explaining this principle, is that ALL diets work off of a calorie deficit. Keto reduces calories by removing carbohydrates, fasting removes calories by shortening the eating window, etc. The more you know, the better you will be able to decide which plan will work for you. They all work. You just need to pick the right method that fits with your lifestyle!
Once you find the right method, it is so much easier to get great results as your adherence will be at it's best. Adherence to a calorie deficit is the true principle that you need to follow. If you can do that, you will do great.
If you need help figuring out your maintenance calories or have any other questions, feel free to join our private facebook group, Team Pello Fitness!