As we all know, food and fat loss go hand in hand, but without an educated thought as to why we eat the foods we eat, our fat loss journey could take much longer than expected. The aim of this article is to get you to understand why you would ever decide to prepare your own food and track how much you eat.
Diets, nutrition plans and food recommendations are forever changing, at least the adverts are. We start a food regime only to see a week later someone advertising the latest lemon detox diet and we find ourselves sucked into a dream that lemons will be the elixir to our fat loss. Of course, there's a bit more to it than that! One thing we certainly know, is that the amount of food we eat is crucial to eliminating fat. We all have a basal metabolic rate (BMR), of which, if we eat over the amount required, we will generally put on weight. Eating under this amount will usually induce fat loss. However the tricky part is consuming the correct amount of calories to support muscle growth yet, remaining under the metabolic rate so that the end result is fat loss and not weight loss. 'Weight loss' meaning the loss of fat, muscle and water.
In an ideal world a person wanting to lose weight would eat a caloric intake tailored specifically to their daily activities. For example, for someone with a BMR requiring 2100 calories who burned 600 from running, would need to eat 1900 calories in that day to still lose fat without becoming catabolic and lose muscle. You lose muscle when you don't have enough calories in your body to support muscle recovery, putting you in a catabolic state. The body is either in an anabolic state or a catabolic state (growing or destroying muscle tissue). It is never in-between either one. Yet since we don't always know how much energy we have burned in a day, it is hard for us to calculate the right amount of food to eat when we change the meals we have everyday.
The food we eat over the course of a day is part of the method enabling us to reach our end result. If we change our method, i.e. our food intake on a daily basis, we will never know if the method we tried the day before worked, because nothing happens overnight. We need at least a week to confidently say we've seen a difference. I'm not by any means saying you must stick to a simple and boring plan of the same meals 7 days a week for the rest of your life, but limit the food you eat to a couple of different options for each meal you have and be aware of what and how much is in them. That way you know if you have option 1 of 3 for breakfast you have consumed 300 calories and will have 1600 left for the day. If you were to instead grab a takeaway from the cafe on your way to work, that meal will more than likely take you over your BMR for the day. Even if it's the same meal you have at home, there's a reason why cafe food tastes better than home cooking, and that's because it's designed primarily with taste in mind, so is likely to be high in salt, fat and sugar. Nutrition is a secondary consideration, so who really knows what is in it! Depending on the amount of fat you want to lose it might not happen as quickly as you think. But knowing what's in your meals will make for good progress.
Try calculating your own BMR using this method below:
For men: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) - 5 x age (years) + 5 For women: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) - 5 x age (years) - 161
To sum this up, the main points to takeaway from this are:
1. Know how much protein, fats & carbohydrates to eat in a day
2. Plan ahead & adjust if you know you'll be eating out socially
3. Eat as much food from your own kitchen as possible
4. Fat is burnt by 15% Food, 15% exercise & 70% of your own muscle mass
5. Eat 6 small meals to prevent muscle breakdown, ease digestion and promote fat loss
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.