Something we use here at DM Elite is a Fat Loss Hierarchy
We can be guilty of looking to jump the gun where it comes to fat loss/weight loss etc
‘what is the best supplements to take?’
is a common one for example
when in reality, if your training is on point and you have solid habits with sleep and your diet
…you shouldn’t really need them or a minimal amount at most
A pre-requisite for all of these below is exercise and movement
no, you cannot out-run a poor diet but the mental benefits (as well as obvious physical) are HUGE
and you can’t underestimate how good you feel following a good workouts or generally just getting outdoors for a walk
So here is our Hierarchy:
If you start something, you must follow through on what you said you would do. Sounds simple but sometimes we are too quick to jump the gun and over complicate things before we even have a routine. You have to give yourself enough time to do the simple things before you step it up. In a nutshell, be consistent, keep doing what you know you should and stop stopping.
CALORIE DEFICIT – (this is a long one but stick with me)
I am sure we have all been there. I am going to ‘be good’ this week, start Monday and you do great with exercise and being tight with your food Monday to Friday.
And as soon as you get to Friday evening your mindset goes from one extreme to another and drops off and you forget about things until Monday (or never get back on it at all).
We all have a Basal Metabolic Rate – BMR. Essentially this tells us how many calories we burn day to day ourselves without doing anything. For example, you have a desk job and do not exercise much. If you are female this will likely be circa 1500, for Men 2000.
Now this gives us a guide to work from. If we want to lose weight or body fat we have to keep a small or large deficit (dependent on what you can do, stick to and enjoy) to get there without blowing it up or stopping.
Now you will create deficit through your food if you track calories – in the gym we advise people download MyFitnessPal and input food (honestly) into there daily for an understanding and accountability.
You can also do this through exercise – be that intense or general TDEE and movement.
You can track the amount of fuel you burn – in the gym we use MyZone heart rate monitors, and this will give you a rough guide as will watches.
One thing to remember about this is that these are a guide, and you cannot take these numbers as gospel.
There will be margin for error for both and they cannot be relied upon although they will both make you better, more self sufficient and realise what you need to do day to day to track habits.
So you can basically create a deficit through your food or exercise or even both.
Let’s say you are female, and you burn roughly 250 calories or more through walking/gym daily and you drop calories to 1300/1400 per day you have created a 3-400 deficit daily. Do those 5 days out of 7 say and have a couple of days where you are slightly more relaxed with food you have a solid deficit over the week.
Same would go for men just adding 500 to daily calories.
And the same would also apply if you’re looking to gain muscle mass or weight. Instead of a deficit you would be looking for a calorie surplus and add calories gradually into your diet.
2 important things to note here. If you are making a real effort with your diet or tracking your calories that means you do have to do it 7 days and not blow it at the weekend.
A few beers or glasses of wine is fine but doing it every weekend compounded with more relaxed food and potentially a couple of takeaways could completely out do your work you have put in through the week.
It is important to have a life and enjoy yourself but if you really want results as bad as you think, your actions must align with goals 80-90% of the time. If not, maybe it is a case of being more realistic with goal setting.
If your calories are on point over a concerted period you will get results, but it takes time, discipline and consistent tracking of habits.
Stick with it if you are looking for that out of your results.
Next Up that leads us nicely onto MACRONUTRIENTS.
‘Macros’ tie nicely into calories.
For fat loss and toning up the most important we would focus on that people generally struggle to get enough of is Protein.
Protein intake is critical because what we DO NOT want to do is lose weight and lose muscle mass.
This makes dropping body fat and getting that aesthetic look you want more difficult.
To counter that we would want to ensure you have 1.5-2grams of Protein daily per KG of your Bodyweight.
For example, an 80kg male should be aiming for 120-140g of Protein daily whilst maintaining a deficit.
Carbohydrates get a bad ‘rep’ but you NEED carbs.
If you try and cut carbs, good luck. Energy, your mood, your performance during workouts and general enjoyment of food stem a lot from carbs.
You may not want to have too many as generally that is what people do.
They think they are the problem (bread for example) and they cut it out and get amazing results. Course you do, you probably just eat way too much of it and were never going to burn enough energy to justify the quantity.
These foods are still fine and play a part in a balanced, enjoyable diet so unless you need to…don’t cut them out.
Fibre from Vegetables are important as they cover lots of nutrients and keep the standard of your diet high. You can also eat a high volume of these, fill yourself up a lot easier from a satiety point of view and you do not need to worry about calories with Veggies.
Essential fats are necessary, and you will get these from a balanced diet, another one for our energy levels – especially when aiming to get stronger and gain lean muscle. You need good fats.
Basically, keep food quality and nutrients rich in your diet.
Yes, stick to a deficit but do not fill your diet with crap but you can obviously factor these in.
You know you will get results from 1500 calories – that does not mean you can have a diet made up on 1500 calories of processed foods and a Dominoes pizza for dinner.
The way I put to clients is to stick to a healthy split and balance.
80-90% of the time I am trying my best to eat my calories with a nice balance of protein, veggies, fats and carbs.
A little 10-20% treat or cheat meal in there won’t do much harm and it will help us stick to it and adhere longer term to what we are doing if we aren’t eliminating the food or drink that we enjoy.
Lastly, we have SUPPLEMENTATION.
Like I said before it is easy to jump the gun and see this as magic powder, but they are not that nor a meal replacement as such.
Don’t get me wrong if the above is all on point, THEN you can begin to supplement your diet with these.
Protein powder is good thing to have handy for days you’re looking to get some extra protein in or to recover post workout.
Creatine can aid your performance in the gym and help you get to where you want to be, quicker.
Vitamin D is great as most of us reading this will not get enough sunlight where we live.
Other than that, I would not go much further.
Avoid fat burning pills or things that seem too good to be true.
Often, they are exactly that.
That was a long one, but I hope it helps.
Tip: Only digest and consume the parts applicable to you on your journey right now.
It is a lot to take in and then you got to figure out how each one works for you.