Fat loss is one of those topics that everyone has an opinion on. With the sheer number of fad diets, extreme workouts and celebrity “detox cleanses” all promising the secret to fat loss, it’s no wonder so many people are confused.
The truth is, fat loss is not that complicated. As with most things in life, there are some basic principles to keep in mind and everything else is just trivial. Keep the following thoughts in mind when putting together a fat loss program:
Calories Matter … But You Don’t Always Have to Count Them
Let’s get one thing clear, if you take away anything from this newsletter regarding fat loss it should be this: Calories matter. If you eat more calories than you expend, you will gain weight, no matter how “clean” or “healthy” the foods are. And generally, if you eat less calories than you expend, you will lose weight.
That said, you don’t always have to obsess about calories or track everything to the gram. You can achieve your fat loss goals by making better choices. For example, if you keep these few rules in mind, you’ll be ahead of the game:
Eat a fist-sized serving of protein (fish, chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef) with every meal
Eat a large handful of fibrous green vegetables 2-3 times a day
Eat a tablespoon-sized serving of healthy fats twice a day
Eat a fist-sized serving of complex carbs (sweet potato, rice, quinoa) before and after your workouts
By following the above guidelines, you’re being mindful of the importance of calories without having to track everything all the time.
Protein is King
One of the most important pieces of the puzzle to help you reach your fat loss goal is protein. Protein is essential for repairing and retaining muscle mass, as well as for overall good health.
During high-intensity training, we are in a state of catabolism (causing muscle protein breakdown). Being in a prolonged/chronic catabolic state results in loss of muscle mass over time. A well-designed fat loss program ensures you retain as much muscle as possible while burning fat. In contrast, starvation diets, while effective in the short term for weight loss, cause you to waste hard-earned muscle loss and lead to negative health consequences.
Meeting your daily protein goal is critical to achieving rapid results. It is recommended an average of 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day, spread out over several meals.
Fat Does Not Make You Fat
Fats are an often-misunderstood macronutrient. The reality is good fats are essential for optimal body composition. We need to eat good fats to lose fat. Some key facts about fats to keep in mind are:
Fat is an essential component of fat loss, balanced blood sugar, healthy adrenals, and optimal hormone function
Our digestion needs fat to help transport nutrients across the cells.
Our body uses fat to activate hormones and strengthen our immune function.
When we are in between meals, our body uses stored fat for energy.
Fat is an integral part of all nervous system functions. Our myelin sheath, the protective lining in our brain, is made up of 80% lipids (fats).
Carbs Are Not Evil
Carbs are the one of the biggest sources of confusion and misinformation in nutrition. Many so called “experts” would have you believe that carbs are evil and the reason for today’s obesity epidemic. Carbs are actually an athlete’s best friend, and play a key role in health and performance. For starters, carbs are the preferred energy source for muscle. High intensity activities such as strength training or sprinting rely on a stored form of carbohydrate known as glycogen. Glycogen is stored in the muscle as well as the liver. When glycogen levels get too low, performance suffers.
Carbs also enhance recovery from training. Consuming fast digesting carbs during or after your workout will replenish your glycogen stores and ensure you’re ready to go before your next training session. If you fail to recover properly, this can negatively impact your fat loss goal.
Just a friendly reminder that we, the coaches of Positive Image Fitness are here to help! Tell us what your goals are and how we can help you achieve them by CLICKING HERE!
Have a great day!