Hi Guys, Aarvi here
This is a blog post on what I have learnt over the years on how to lose weight. Before I get started this is only a guideline and if you require further personalised information, I would highly recommend seeing a nutritionist or dietician.
It can be very hard to lose weight sometimes and you always feel like you are not making any progress even though you have cut out all the sugary foods. Well there might be a reason for this and that is that you are still overeating your recommended maintenance or there is inconsistency between the days.
So I highly recommend before you start any kind of diet or weight loss journey is to start by having some consistency and try to track what your current diet is like. This can be done simply via the Myfitnesspal app on your device. I personally use this app myself and it is very easy to use. Doing this can give you an idea of what your daily intake looks like and how much macronutrients you are having i.e.. Protein, fats, carbohydrates.
(On a side note do not worry about the specific calorie and macronutrient goals when you start the app just fill it out without stressing too much as this part is to only track your current calorie intake).
You may notice an inconsistency with your daily intake as some days you eat a lot and some days you eat next to nothing therefore this can have a negative impact on your weight loss goal. Or you may notice your calorie intake is very low therefore the energy and nutrients your body needs to get on with the day is not being consumed. This can lead to your body’s metabolism slowing down so that your body can conserve energy. In the long run, this slowing metabolism leads to increased chance of weight gain
So before I dig deeper into this post let’s get understanding of what calories and macronutrients are
What are calories?
Calorie is a unit of energy widely used in nutrition. It mainly comes from food. Food is what gives the body its fuel to continue functioning
What are macronutrients (macros)?
Macronutrients are the main nutrients that make up the foods we eat. They consist of proteins, carbs and fats. All foods contain at least one main source of macronutrient or more. Below is a short description on how each macro plays a role in our fitness goals.
Proteins are broken down into amino acids and is what our body needs to maintain and build muscle. Proteins are 4cals per gram.
Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred energy source as it’s easily broken down to glucose and supplied to your muscles as well as assisting with muscle repair. There are two groups of carbs being simple and complex with simple being the quicker digesting carbs and complex the slower. Carbs are 4cals per gram.
Fats are also an energy source and are highly important to maintain a healthy immune system and hormone balance. Fats are 9cals per gram.
Other than the macronutrients food is also broken down into micronutrients.
What are micronutrients?
Micronutrients are one of the major groups of nutrients your body needs. They include your vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are necessary for energy production, immune function, blood clotting and other functions. Meanwhile, minerals play an important role in growth, bone health, fluid balance and several other processes.
Now you have an understanding of what calories and macronutrients are, we can dig deeper into the gold standard of losing weight.
CALCULATING YOUR CALORIE AND MACRONUTRIENT
1. First thing is to calculate your Maintenance Calories
What is maintenance?
This is your caloric intake at which you maintain your consistent weight, you neither gain or lose weight. Meaning, “calories in EQUALS calories out”.
To determine your required daily caloric intake, you need to work out how much calories per day your body requires to perform everything you do including energy spent exercising. A good way is by seeing your tracked calories previously and if your tracking was consistent and you keep the same weight at those calories then use that as your maintenance.
Otherwise a calculator can be used or even in conjunction. A good simple calculator to use is https://www.freedieting.com/calorie-calculator.
Enter all the parameters and this will give you your ‘maintenance’ calories. Now remember, this is only a guide and something to start off with so I would advise eating at this figure for a couple weeks to assess your weight. It may or may not be the right figure so do some trial and error until your weight stabilizes. Under the ‘advanced’ tab there are several formulas to calculate your maintenance so run each option to get an average if you wish.
2. Determine your caloric intake
Losing weight: You want to be in a deficit so where you eat fewer calories than maintenance figure “calories in LESS THAN calories out”
Always begin with 0.5kg of fat = 3.500calories so to lose 0.5kg of fat per week you need to create a ‘deficit’ of 3,500cals. Therefore, that’s a required deficit of 500cal per day. So simply, subtract 500cal from your maintenance value and that’s the calories to eat per day.
If you wish to speed up fat loss you can create a higher deficit but remember, the greater the deficit, the more risk of losing muscle mass and affecting your energy levels, so DO NOT OVER DO IT! 0.5kg per week is a good rate.
You may shoot for more depending on how much fat you are carrying. Obviously if you have more to lose, you could aim for 1-2kg/week,
If you are fairly lean with less fat to lose, shoot for the safer rate of 0.5kg/week.
But remember dropping too low too fast gives no room for movement as our body adapts and gets used to the intake. Also if you were undereating before this then you will need to start with your maintenance calories or build up to your maintenance depending how low your calorie intake was prior. This may be a few weeks or months
What will this do?
This will help with boosting your metabolism and help your body burn more calories throughout the day. A faster metabolism is the main goal for weight loss as you are able to eat more whilst still losing weight because your body will burn more calories at rest and during activity.
3. Determine your Macros
Once you’ve figured out your caloric intake, the next step is determine how much protein, carbs and fats to eat per day.
Goal is to maintain as much muscle as possible so you must ensure there is plenty of protein available to the body. A rule of thumb is anywhere between 1.5g per kilogram of bodyweight to 3g per kg per day. I would personally shoot for 2.0-2.4g/kg during weight loss. So if you are 70kg you would have around 140-185g max during a cut if you are very lean.
This is dependent if your body or you personally prefer to eat more fats or not. Ideally the fat source should be coming from good fats. But as a rule of thumb you need a minimum of 0.5g per kg of bodyweight. I would personally shoot for 1.0-1.2g per kg
This is the variable and you will fill up the remaining calories after you have determined your protein and fat requirements. But if you want to calculate it can be a bit difficult as it has a wide range as each person reacts differently to carbs This range can vary from 1g-8g per kg. I personally leave the rest of the calories to be filled with carbohydrates. I decrease carbohydrates slowly if I notice minimal change in weight loss to see how that changes my body. But remember carbohydrates is the main source of energy for your body
Example of calorie/macros looks like this. Reminder this is just an example and adjust yours accordingly. Remember for a more personalised diet regime I would encourage seeing a dietician or nutritionist to help in assisting to see what foods or diets work best for you.
- Person A (70kg wanting to lose weight with 2,500cal maintenance) –
- To start the weight loss journey, he needs to eat 2500-500deficit=2000cals per day.
- His protein is set at 230g (230gx4cal=920cal)
- Fats set at say 70g per day (70gx9cal=630cal).
- Therefore, leaving the remaining calories to be filled of 2000-920-630=450cals.
- Carbs allowed is 450cal/4cal=122grams of carbs per day.
4. Determine your Micros
This is where eating healthy plays a huge role compared to eating too much junk food. Healthy foods such as fruits and veggies provide plenty of vitamins and minerals whereas most junk foods have poor nutritional values.
All the above are just examples and guides and you don’t have to use the EXACT values. The most important thing is getting the right caloric intake first followed by macros and increasing your water intake. Macros can always be adjusted to suit your body and lifestyle. What I discussed is just a conventional approach. You can choose track cals and macros daily but if you have a solid diet plan, where you have a set structure of foods you eat daily. Which is generally the same meals day in day out, you can calculate your calories and macros once to see if you are in the right ballpark figure and never count again.
Hope this helps you guys, I know it was a lot of information but the main goal is to be in a calorie deficit and to eat less processed foods. A higher water intake is something that adds great value not only in weight loss but for a whole number of things.
And Remember as always, #MakingHealthySimple