‘I am struggling to lose stubborn body fat’
This is probably the most common thing I hear in the World of nutrition. This is closely followed by the intention to follow one of many fads, anecdotes, bro-science ‘facts’, stories from magazines or social media ‘professionals’ that do more to confuse people than help them.
In this post I will put into writing some of the key points identified in my recent nutrition talk at the Wolfhouse Gym in Fort William.
What is Health?
When people come to me with a goal in nutrition, be it to lose fat, to gain lean muscle mass, or to just live a little healthier, the first and most important thing to do is to ascertain what level of health the person is at NOW.
In terms of health, I have written about my Three Pillars of Health, which is where I recommend every starts. Here you will understand what health actually is and how the many facets of health will effect your progress in fat loss.
Fat loss boils down to one main principle in exercise and nutrition, this is ‘Calories In vs Calories Out’. Despite how overly simplistic this sounds, it's not entirely that simple.
Firstly, when people record their calories in a food diary (no this is not for everyone) they are usually lying or unaware of their inaccuracies, things are missed, portions are guessed, tracking apps are inaccurate, people end up moving less, the list goes on. Ultimately, the beginning of fat loss is to eat less.
While eating less, if you move more then you will end up making this process a lot easier. If you are largely sedentary in your work, move more in any and every way. Make it social, invite your friends (spread a healthy mindset), get to the gym (a good gym is NOT a scary place to be) or even better, aim or something, make it personal, make it challenging, and tell your friends about it, this gives direction and accountability.
Secondly, if your aim is to lose fat, then instead of heading to google, write down everything you eat for a whole week. Be specific, be detailed, and most of all, be honest. Fat loss is not something you can ‘half do’ and get through easily, it requires work and concentration.
As a task you can take away from this, for the next 7 days, write down everything you eat. By that I mean EVERYTHING…. We all know what you do with that knife or spoon after you have spread that peanut butter, don't lie! Just write it down, it's okay!
After this week, look at what you are eating, are you snacking three or four times a day? Are you eating sporadically? Are you rushed off your feet and missing meals only to hit the vending machine?
These are lifestyle factors as well as diet factors and play the main part in making you feel better, achieve your goals and bring back that confidence that might have left with the weight gain.
What can you do after you have addressed the eating habits?
Work out exactly what your body needs, this is known as your Total Daily Energy Expenditure and is a formula that will work out how many calories need to come IN in preparation to lose fat. You can see the details here in this post I wrote about the various formulas.
Find a goal. Why do you want/need to lose fat? What is your current situation preventing you from achieving? Once you align your fat loss need with a tangible goal that is close to you, you are MUCH MORE LIKELY TO ACHIEVE. Human beings are goal orientated, we see a goal and align ourselves to it, we find the system, make the financial commitment and the accountability, then through progressive steps, we achieve. 'I want to lose fat is too broad and not a tangible goal'. 'I MUST lose fat to fit into the wedding dress' is a tangible goals, its emotive and deeply meaning to the individual.
Get yourself into a calorie deficit, if you then move more as well, you will make the process easier and more enjoyable. This is the not-so secret art.
If you need help, then seek the advice of a nutritionist, have an honest conversation with someone who can help you. This will make your journey specific to you, evidence denotes the principles while experience denotes the methods.
Cookie cutter approaches do not work.
With that in mind, while you are here, why not book onto a 30 minute free call with me, we will discuss your goals and where you are at NOW and how you can go forward. I do NOT do the hard sell for 30 minutes like many others. I will offer you free advice and genuinely try to help. If the glove fits and we can work together,m then yes, I will offer my services, but I will be still be happy to see you walk away of end the call more informed and empowered to go ahead yourself. Click here to get started.