Everybody wants to lose fat… and they want to do it FAST!
But with all the conflicting and confusing information out there, most people don’t know where to start.
Today, I’ll clue you in on what is without a doubt, the MOST important factor when it comes to fat loss. Even if you want that fat loss to be quick (1-2kgs per week).
What’s the secret? It’s ALL about calories!
I don’t care what diet you follow…. It could be Atkins, Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, NutriSystems, etc.
What they all have in common is a calorie deficit. That means that whatever “rules” they’ve got set up for you, the end result is to make you eat less calories than you burn during your day.
And if you want to lose unsightly fat, you ABOSLUTELY MUST have a caloric deficit. This is the most important thing that needs to be in place for fat loss (the bigger the deficit in a given week, the faster the weight loss).
Recent research proves it. Kansas State University nutrition professor Mark Haub decided to use his own body for an experiment.
He knew he needed to lose weight and had been eating fairly healthy, with an occasional treat like pizza. Despite his best efforts, he wasn’t losing weight (he weighed 91 kilos and was at 33.4 percent body fat). So he set up this experiment to find out if calories really do matter. So for 10 weeks, he ate mostly convenience store food.
Things like soft drink, doughnuts, chips etc. But – he made sure to keep track of his calories and eat no more than 1,800 in a single day. The result? He lost 12 and a half kilos once his 10-week experiment ended.
What’s more, his body fat dropped to 24.9 percent…and amazingly, his cholesterol (including good, HDL cholesterol) improved and got into very healthy levels).
While the goal of this experiment isn’t to encourage eating junk food, it proves that when it comes to fat loss, calories DO matter.
So if you want to lose fat, make sure you keep track of your calories and eat BELOW your “maintenance” level. Some tips to help you do that:
Measure all your food – invest in a food scale. You’ll be surprised to find what you thought was a “sensible” portion turns out to be way more calories than you thought.
Keep a food journal – If you’re not getting the results you want, track what you eat. You wouldn’t think it, but a little nibble here and a little nibble there adds up. Over a week, it can mean the difference between seeing results and staying at the weight you’re at.
Eat “clean” on weekends – just because the weekend rolls around, doesn’t mean your dieting stops. Pigging out on weekends or not following your meal plan as closely as possible can erase all the hard work you’ve done the rest of the week. So don’t fall into temptation and let the weekends get you off course.
Know the calorie content of food – nowadays there’s PLENTY of information out there on how many calories a certain food has. One useful website with an extensive database of foods is LiveStrong.com. Go there and create an account. Then start tracking everything you eat. You might surprise yourself and see that you’re eating way too many calories… even though you thought you were being “good.”
As you get familiar with the caloric value of foods and know what a serving looks like (because you’ve measured it often), eventually, you don’t have to be so exact. You’ll learn how to “eyeball” proper portion sizes and know what you’re putting in your mouth.
That said, if you’re not getting the results you want, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s because you’re eating too many calories and not burning enough. So keep track of them, make sure you’re in a deficit and watch the fat melt off!