How to go about losing weight

Everybody has thought about losing weight at least once in their lives. Whether that is to lose 50 kilos, to look better for a wedding, school reunion, photoshoot etc.. A natural instinct now a days is to look on the internet for the fastest or easiest way of losing weight and/ or fat. But the fastest or easiest way more times than will bring you right back to where you started.

There are a lot of articles out there now that will tell you to basically starve yourself, although they word it differently. I honestly don’t know why these articles are out there because it’s common sense that if you want to lose a significant amount of weight you will have to eat a little bit less than your spending every day (caloric deficit) , these crash ”diets” however are not helping anyone in the long run. You don’t have to read another article that talks about how you should eat half of the amount of food that you’re eating right now to reach your goal. Let me be the first one to tell you that if you want to lose weight over a longer period of time, you will still be able to enjoy food and not feel terrible or hungry all day long. Another benefit to a longer time line is that you will actually get to enjoy the benefits for the rest of your life.

In order to establish a baseline we have to find out what your motives, goals and timeline is. You can establish your baseline by asking yourself some questions about your daily life and commitment to your goals.

  • What is my deadline for losing the weight?
  • What is the reason I want to lose weight? (your why)
  • Am I trying to lose weight or fat?
  • What does my lifestyle look like?
  • How committed am I to reaching my goal?
  • Are you working out while trying to lose weight?

What is your deadline

The big difference between losing weight for life or a quick fix is how far away you deadline is. Your deadline will determine both how drastic your approach needs to be and how beneficial it will be to your life in the long run. If you’re trying to lose a lot of weight for a wedding that’s a month away from now, you’re going to need a very drastic and immediate turn around. Hopefully you have a longer timeline for yourself than this example because I couldn’t tell you if all the effort you will have to put in that month is worth it or maybe even damaging to your body. I can’t tell you that because ultimately it’s you who has to make the right decisions for your body and live with it.

A quick fix is never the answer when we’re talking about losing weight and keeping it off, simply for the fact that it’s not sustainable. You will never be able to stay on that 1000 calorie ”diet” for the rest of your lives because your body is asking for and needs more. If your goal is to lose 15 kilos within a month and you’re okay with gaining it all back afterwards, go for it. I understand that some people have short term weight loss goals because of weddings etc. but the rest of this blog is not going to help you with that.

So you have established that you have 6 months to a year to lose the weight you want to lose. Perfect! Now we can actually create results that will stay with you and be there for you to enjoy for the rest of your life. The approach from here is to have a look at your life and figuring out a nutrition lifestyle that works and fits within that.

This is a typical crash diet graph. You can see towards that the end of the blue line is rapidly going back up to where it started off.

How to make your lifestyle and nutrition work together

The key is to find a lifestyle you can sustain but most of all a lifestyle that you can enjoy. When we’re talking about lifestyles we have to think of things as: what kind of job you’re working, are you walking or driving to work each day, are you working out at home or a gym, are you cooking your own food, how often do you go out for dinner, how often are you eating throughout the day, how big the meals are when you’re eating and what you’re eating.

Most people that want to lose weight work desk job or jobs where they don’t move a lot throughout the day, so you’re basically sitting down all day long. So what does your body need throughout the day to fuel you so you can do your work to the best of your abilities while still supporting your goals. The answer you might not have seen coming is: FAT and protein. Over the years people have gotten so afraid of eating fats and carbs that we don’t know what’s real and what’s not. Eating a lot of fats is a huge factor when it comes to losing weight, especially when you’re sitting down all day long.

Fat is one of the 2 main energy sources your body taps into on a daily basis, besides carbohydrates. Protein is an energy source but it’s more a building block for your body than anything else. Your body will use your carbohydrate storage as your first fuel source before tapping into fats, unless it’s a slower and longer activity period where you body will start tapping into your fat storage. Slower activity periods include long runs, walking, sitting and simply being alive. This is the reason why I am promoting higher fat nutrition protocols for people who’re trying to lose fat.

There’s a big difference between losing weight and losing fat, losing weight doesn’t necessarily mean losing a lot of fat.

The more fat and protein you’re eating the more your body is forced to adapt and tap into the fat storage. This might sound very keto like but it’s not completely. There’re huge benefits when it comes to eating carbs on a regular basis, they provide you different micronutrients/vitamins, they rev up your metabolism and they are very beneficial to muscle growth/ maintenance just to name a few. Muscle growth/maintenance is important to losing fat/weight because every ounce of muscle mass will burn calories for you without you having to do anything extra. This is the big reason why working out, eating well and losing weight/fat work so well together, because they compliment and fuel each others fire.

Key points

  • You will have to be in a caloric deficit if you want to lose weight (not fat), because you have to spend more energy than your putting back into your body, otherwise nothing changes. How much you need to be in caloric deficit depends on your deadline, the further away your deadline is the lower that number is.
  • If you only want to lose fat and don’t really care for losing weight you don’t have to be in a caloric deficit. There’s a big difference between the two and this is one of them. Losing fat is all about eating the macro nutrients (carbs, fats and protein) to support your lifestyle, like I talked about earlier.
  • Fats are your friends when trying to lose weight and or fat. Eating more fat and protein plus timing your carbs better throughout the day will actually help you lose more fat in the end. Timing your carbs well throughout the day will let your body tap into your fat storage for longer periods of time.
  • Just because eating more fat allows us to burn more fat doesn’t mean we get to eat every and all fat sources that we can. There’s something to the concept of wholefoods, because those foods give you a better source of micronutrients and your body is better at digesting/ taking all of the nutrients in.
  • While trying to lose weight or fat it’s important for you to eat enough protein to sustain or even gain a little bit of muscle mass. Every ounce of muscle mass will help you burn calories throughout the day without doing anything.
  • Carbs are still not the enemy. Eating an excessive amount of anything won’t be beneficial to your life, that’s not just the case when it comes to carbs. Eating your carbs at the right times through the day will help you build more muscle mass, which as we’ve read helps us burn a lot more calories.
  • It’s all about making small but constant changes, not a lot of people are able to sustain a 180 degree turn around. If your timeline allows it you will have more time to make small changes daily/weekly/ monthly that are going to be sustainable for the rest of your life. Short timeline/ deadline –> drastic changes –> not being able to sustain the changes –> back to square one
  • There’s no such thing a one-size-fits-all diet or nutrition protocol. I believe a lot of people will benefit from a carb cycling lifestyle but even then it still varies person to person on how much you should each day.
  • This is not the only way of getting to where you want to go, try out different things for yourself. Look for something that’s beneficial to your goals, is sustainable and something you can enjoy. If you’re not enjoying it, it’s not going to last.

Check out my blog : where I talk more about the concept of carb cycling, how it can stimulate fat loss while maintaining/ slowly gaining muscle mass and how it’s personally benefiting my life.

Also check out my blog: where I dive deeper into why crash diets don’t work in the long run.

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