In my last newsletter here we talked about mastering the fundamentals for fat loss with good nutrition. If you have been 100% compliant with the ‘cleaning-up’ of your diet as a starting point, you will have noticed that you have gotten some good fat loss results.
OK, so you have been training in the gym for a few weeks/months now and have been eating clean for a while but your fat loss attempts seems to have slowed down even though you have been 100% compliant with your diet and training?
You have hit a plateau! This is actually not a bad thing but good, as our body is telling us, ok whats next? Our bodies are master adapters’! It will adapt to any new unknowns and stresses placed upon it. This is how we get better, faster, stronger, leaner, more skillfull, or anything for that matter.
Now its time to change up in your training and/or your diet. You are now ready to advance to the next level! Congratulations!
Here are the next simple steps that you can take with your diet to improve your fat loss:
1) Carb Tapering – This is one of the most effective fat loss methods that you can use to lose bodyfat. Frequently used by bodybuilders who are some of the leanest people on earth, to ‘rip up’. Here is an example of what a typical day’s diet could look like:
– Start your breakfast with a combination of carbs, proteins and good fats (i,e oatmeal, eggs, fruits).
– Have a small snack mid morning (i,e small handfull of mixed natural nuts and fruits).
– For lunch, have some form of low GI carbs (i.e, wholewheat pasta/brown rice/sweet potato), with some lean protein (i.e, turkey breast, chicken, tuna/salmon), combined with some form of green veg or garden salad (avoid those with rich dressings!).
– Mid afternoon similar to mid morning.
– For dinner have lean proteins and veg only. (I.e, Salmon/chicken fillets with brocolli/spinach).
2) Calorie deficit – The law of energy balance states that if you burn off more than you eat, you will be in calorie deficit which equals weight loss (but not necessarily fat loss!).
Ideally eat 10-20% less calories from your total daily energy expenditure (this is the amount of energy your body needs fuel your daily activities).
Exercise for 1 hour a day with a combination of weights and cardio.
This combination ensures that your body’s is in approx 800-1000kcal (an average assumption) deficit each day. A surefire way to cause your pounds to drop off! This is safe and a way of ensuring that the weight lost is fat and not muscle.
However, skipping meals in order to achieve a calorie deficit is not the way to go and will sabotage your fat loss attempts. This brings me to the next two important points.
3) Macronutrient balance – Reducing your daily calorie intake alone is not enough. You need to have meals that are nutritionally well balanced to ensure minimal muscle loss. Have meals that are balanced with good sources of lean protein, carbs and veg. This is important not only to ensure that you get balanced nutrients but also will help with fat loss.
4) Frequent eating – As counter intuitive as it may sound, this one has most people fooled. Everytime you eat, the digestion process kickstarts and ‘cost’s’ your body energy in order to digest the food. This is known as the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). So just by sitting and eating you are burning calories but obviously you have to watch the type of food that you eat!
Protein has the highest TEF, carbs second, and fats and refined sugars has the lowest TEF. This is one of the reasons why eating lean protein can help you burn off fat!
Finally I want to bring it home by closing with the following points that you should remember:
– You are what you eat! The fat you eat is the fat you wear.
– ANYONE can shape their bodies regardless of their circumstances (yes, even bad genetics). There is no buts or ifs; only excuses. If you want it bad enough, you can make it happen.
– Do not confuse weight loss with fat loss. They are two very different things. You could lose alot of weight easily in a short period of time and achive your target weight and still be fat. You want to lose as much body fat as possible whilst retaining lean body mass. This is what gives you the lean ‘6 pack’ look and is much more challenging to achieve. Body fat should only be used as a true gauge to ‘weight loss’.
For long term success, healthy eating and a regular exercise habit has to be integrated into your lifestlyle.
Stay Healthy & Strong,
Steven Wong – CPT, Pn1
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