Setting Up Your Diet And Nutrition For Fat Loss
Understand how to lose some weight this summer, with this simple guide to setting up your macronutrients
Summer is fast approaching and with it comes the frantic rush to get in shape and trim the fat that has compounded over the winter months just in time for your week abroad in Lanzarote. Not to worry. Over the next while I’m going to help you get that swagger back with evidence based, practical advice to ensure you arrive at the pool as confident as ever.
Let’s get the ball rolling with your diet and nutrition.
First off, It’s important to remember that the foundation for managing your weight is energy or calorie balance. So basically the amount of food you eat versus the amount of energy you expend during exercise and daily activity. Low sugar or high fat isn’t the secret to fat loss nor is the paleo diet, it’s simply a calorie deficit. It’s physics!
To fuel your day and stay at your current weight you need a certain amount of energy. You get this energy from the calories in food. The amount of calories you need to keep you at your current weight is called your maintenance calories. Eating above your maintenance calories will lead you to gain fat while eating below your maintenance, in a deficit, means (Yep you guessed it) fat loss.
All the food we eat is made up of three types of chemical compounds, macronutrients; Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat. There roles in the body vary and some are more important than others but to simplify things;
Protein - To build and repair muscle fibres after exercise.
Fat - For hormone formation and energy for daily activity aside from working out.
Carbohydrate - For energy during high intensity exercise.
Setting Up Your Diet For Fat Loss
1) Calculate your maintenance calories
First off we need to calculate the amount of food you need to keep you at your current weight ie your maintenance calorie intake.
You can do this via the following link Calculate Maintenance Calories
2) Choose your calorie deficit
Once you have your maintenance calories subtract 300-500 kcal and Hey presto; you have your fat loss starting point.
Quick point to note; Although a larger deficit may mean faster fat loss results on the flip side it can be more difficult to maintain, so start at 300 and work from there.
3) Calculate your macronutrient ratio
Protein; 1.5-2.3 g per kg bodyweight / (4 kcal per gram)
When we work out our muscle fibres are broken down. It is what we do following this breakdown that leads to muscle gain. To recover we need adequate protein. This amount tends to be between 1.5 - 2.3 g/ kg bodyweight. Protein also keeps you fuller for longer so it’s a great strategy to remain full throughout the day.
For a 75 kg male around 150g protein is recommended. This can be difficult to reach from whole foods with a standard chicken fillet containing around 25-30g. Whey protein supplements, which are fundamentally filtered milk with a concentrated protein content are a cheap, practical and efficient option to help hit your daily protein target. Our whey protein range boasts some fantastic options for protein supplementation. The Blue Label Whey Protein offers 30 g of protein per 35 g serving and with only 1.1 g carbohydrates and 1.3 g fat it’s an excellent option for reaching your fat loss goals.
Fat; 0.8-1 g per kg bodyweight / (9 kcal per gram)
Fat is the most calorie dense macronutrient at 9kcal per gram so around 0.8-1g per kg bodyweight is generally recommended. Choosing polyunsaturated or monounsaturated options over saturated fat options will result in a favourable Omega 3: Omega 6 balance which will reduce inflammation in the body.
Supplementing with Omega 3 to ensure you’re reducing inflammation is an excellent idea if you’re not getting in oily fish at least 2-3 times per week. Our evidence based Acti Omega supplement is superb. In comparison to a typical Omega 3 supplement with around 150 mg EPA and 100 mg DHA, Acti Omega contains 400 mg EPA and 300 mg DHA.
Carbohydrate; remainder of calories / (4 kcal per gram)
To fuel your training and to progress, adequate carbohydrates are required. Choosing more nutrient dense, fibre rich sources will result in sustained release of energy and a feeling of fullness due to the elevated volume while more sugary options aren’t a very efficient use of calories and energy levels won’t be as consistent throughout the day.
Take a 25-year-old who works in an office and lifts weights twice a week 183 cm, 75 kg male
- Calculate maintenance calories using link/ calculation above
Maintenance= 2515 kcal
- Select calorie deficit for fat loss
Maintenance - deficit = 2515 kcal - 300 = 2215 kcal
- Calculate macronutrient ratio
Protein; 75 kg x 2 g= 150 g (150 x 4 kcal = 600 kcal)
Fat; 75 kg x .9= 67.5 g (67.5 x 9 kcal = 607.5 kcal)
Carbohydrate; 251 g (remainder = 1007.5 kcal)
- Protein; 150 g
- Fat; 67.5 g
- Carbohydrate; 251 g
Once you’ve calculated your calories to begin your fat loss journey download the App MyFitnessPal which is fantastic for tracking your pre-calculated intake and keeping you on track. By weighing your food, scanning barcodes and being consistent you’ll be well on your way to the Summer shape you’re looking for!
To get you started here is a 6-week morning weight tracker template for you to print off which will keep you on track during your fat loss journey.