Almost every day I see some type of advert promising a washboard stomach or getting ripped in 6 weeks. There is always some miracle formula powder or some kind of starvation technique. My general belief is: If it seems too good to be true, it usually isn’t that good, and it definitely isn’t true. So what to do? If you are serious about getting fitter and getting that body you have always wanted, you will have to work for it! There is no miracle potion or quick fix short cut. You just need to do and keep doing 2 things:
1: Eat the right food.
High protein, low fat, minimal carbohydrate and natural vitamins and minerals, better known as fruit and vegetables.
To elaborate further, you need good lean sources of protein, such as oily fish, mackerel, Salmon, Sardines, Tuna. Also Chicken breast, Turkey breast, Pork loin, lean beef, steak, Soya products if you’re vegan or vegetarian and eggs.
Fat will come with the protein you eat, good sources of healthy fats are peanuts, almonds, cashews, olive oil, and coconut oil. Oily fish are also a great source of healthy fats. The healthy fats will actually work against the bad fats in your body and promote fat metabolism when you exercise.
Don’t eliminate Carbs altogether as you will need them when you start to move more vigorously when exercising. Good sources of carbs are Sweet potatoes, Wholemeal pasta, wholemeal rice, Quinoa and Basmati rice. But limit your intake as any surplus carbs will broken down, converted and stored as fat, and we don’t want that!
Lastly your vitamins and minerals. Some of the protein and carbs will provide some of these but you will find more of them in your 5 a day. Yes the humble fruit and veg, they will also provide you with extra fibre.
Portion size is key, your calorie intake can be calculated as follows:
25 x body weight in kg, so if you weigh 100 kg your calorie intake for the day is 2500 cals or Kcals as they are more accurately known. But wait! It’s not over yet, if you want to lose weight you must create a deficit of 500 kcals per day. How will I do this, I hear you cry. You can reduce your calorie intake and work off some calories as well. A good ratio to start off with is reducing calorie intake by 400 kcals and work off the other 100. As you become more used to exercise the ratio can increase in favour of exercise.
To be more specific about where your calories should come from, it should be around
40% protein and
20% fat (good fats)
This would make 40% of 2100 (after applying the deficit strategy) is 840 and 20% is 420, that makes it 840 kcals of carbs and the same for protein and 420 kcals of fat. So how do we work out the amounts we need? 1 gram of carbs holds 4 kcals, the same for protein, but fat holds 9kcals per gram so
40% or 840 kcals / 4 = 210 = 210 grams of carbs
40% or 840 kcals /4 = 210 = 210 grams of protein
20% or 420 kcals /9 = 47 = 47 grams of fat
The calories should not be consumed in one sitting and should be spread out over the course of the day.
Another thing that is absolutely crucial is hydration. Drinking water will hugely improve your metabolism and promote healthy bodily functions throughout your entire body. Water will also stave off hunger pangs that can sometimes be a sign of dehydration rather than actual hunger.
2: Move more to lose more.
As mentioned earlier, you need to create a deficit of around 3500 cals per week to lose 1lb of fat. Dieting or reducing calorie intake will go a long way in creating this deficit, but a more balanced approach is to reduce your intake and also burn calories through exercise. This doesn’t mean high intensity extreme exercise, you can start off very gently and gradually build up. If you are not used to exercising you can start by doing simple things at home. Walking is probably the easiest and least demanding form of exercise there is. Start off walking at a steady pace and over time, increase the duration and speed. Other things you can do at home are gardening, housework, cleaning the car, climbing the stairs if you have them, or dancing to your favourite songs, any type of repetitive movement over a period of time will burn calories. The more you move the more calories you will use and the more fat you will use as fuel.
So, to summarise: Move more, eat less!
If you add these 2 things to your daily routine you can watch the weight and fat fall off. I use this system with my clients and so far it has produced a 100% success rate. I’m sure if you try you will too.
Good luck and keep at it. It may take time, but it’s worth the wait.