Energy in vs. Energy out!! Simple? No, not entirely!

To achieve weight loss we all know that we must tip the balance with either energy in, energy out or a mixture of both.

What happens to the body when we take less calories in. We lose weight and we know this because the scales say so. What you see on the scales though is a combination of water, muscle, fat and glycogen (stored energy). There is no way of knowing accurately from the scales what you have lost or in some instances gained or why the scales haven’t budged at all.

It could be a number of things but individual days of weight on the scale are mostly irrelevant as daily fluctuations can be huge especially for the changes that occur in the average females menstrual cycle. It might be beneficial to record your readings, take an average of your scale weight over time and include body measurements.

Example of weight loss from the scales

2lbs of water loss + 2lbs of fat loss = 4lbs scale weight loss.

2lbs retention in water + 2lb fat loss = No scale weight change.

We all know that an extreme caloric deficit is not a nice experience for the vast majority of us and evidence and experience tells us that it’s not sustainable in the long term either.

If you want to lose weight by just eating less. Yes, You might lose weight but you’ll also be losing muscle, water and glycogen stores. This can lead to a large majority of women eventually putting it all back on if it’s not maintained. Evidence and experience points us to this.

So what about Fat Loss the extra stored fat that the body could do without. Fat loss is exactly that, not muscle, not water and not glycogen. (although not entirely true a small amount of these can still be lost but not to the detriment of your metabolism).

How to achieve fat loss? 

Firstly be mindful of not restricting your energy requirements drastically (you do still need to be in a deficit to lose fat but the extremity and the nutritional choices you make as well as the behaviours surrounding your choices will determine the outcome). If you approach diet and exercise with extremes it won’t be sustainable.

You could Consider the following:

The types of foods you’re consuming.

The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) recently published their position stand on protein and exercise.

For weight management your protein requirements may need to exceed the current RNI. It may be advantageous to consume a higher protein diet of 1.8g per kg of body weight throughout the day with a moderate calorie restriction of 500kcal.  Ensuring slow and steady weight loss whilst preserving lean muscle mass.

The type of physical activity you do.

Resistance training gradually included into your weekly activities and the inclusion of an increase in the amount of protein consumed is shown to be the most successful method. It’s important to note that the activities you perform would need to be progressive and sustainable for the long term.

Resistance training is any activity that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance this can be dumbbells, rubber bands, your own body weight, bottles of water, or any other object that causes the muscles to contract.

If you fuel the body with what it needs in terms of your health and having the energy to take part in physical activity over the long term, it becomes easier. You’ll start to establish new eating behaviours and patterns and by being flexible and realising that all foods can be incorporated into a fat loss or weight loss goal, it becomes easier to maintain.

The best approach to fat loss is to increase your activity levels wisely, include resistance training, higher protein, eat mindfully and reduce your calories moderately with inclusions of the foods you enjoy (a well balanced diet). This approach takes a little more care but you’ll be keeping your:

  • Blood sugar stable
  • Metabolism balanced
  • Hormones in check
  • Hunger limited
  • Energy raised
  • Cravings reduced
  • Fat stores can be lost and sustained
  • Lean muscle mass preserved or increased
  • Weight loss can be achieved and maintained

A healthier and Happier you!

Note – Fat loss can also achieve weight loss if that’s your goal. The first step is to realise that fat loss is a long term process.

If you need help or guidance, I’d love to hear from you or follow me!

Sources:

ISSN Position Stand on Protein

Training must progress or your body has no reason to adapt.

If you are trying to get fit, seek general health and fitness, want to lose weight and fat or have an event to compete in. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced, training must progress.

  • Frequency – How many times a week
  • Intensity – How hard the sessions are
  • Time – How much time spent
  • Type – What type of activity

Beginner

It’s important to start slowly and build up gradually. In the early stages this not only avoids the potential for excessive stress on the body which can result in injury but it also helps you stick with it.

As your fitness improves usually in the first 8-12 weeks, you are becoming more flexible, technique is improving along with your balance. (Training may extend beyond this as a beginner if you are extremely unfit).

The type of activity you pursue is not as important as the frequency, intensity and time spent. It’s best to find something you enjoy to do and can do consistently.
3 days of 20-30 mins is sufficient each week to start with. An aerobic activity that’s moderate but challenging and includes on at least 2 of the days some resistance training.

Intermediate

The recommended amount for general health and fitness is 150 mins of moderate exercise or 75 mins of vigorous, a combination of both which includes 2 days of resistance/strength training each week.

Again like a beginner it’s best to find something you enjoy and can fit into your Week, you can look closer at the types of exercises best suited to your increase in frequency, intensity and time.

Adherence and consistency will be a major factor in your quest for general health and fitness and you may find yourself going back and forth from beginner to intermediate now and then (in this instance you will already have a better understanding and can progress again from beginner to more moderate activity levels in less time).

It’s more than likely to stay consistent if it’s something you enjoy and can fit in to your life.

This can also be a time when you may feel like you’d like to challenge yourself and increase your activity levels to a more advanced training schedule.

Advanced.

This type of training requires a considerable but gradual and progressive increase in frequency, intensity and time. Varying hugely in the type of activities undertaken and depending greatly on the goal you have such as an event to train for, a competition or aesthetic aspirations.

In Summary

If you are looking to progress or even just maintain your fitness levels, it still needs to be progressive, monitored and adapted when necessary.

I’m sure you’d all agree that it goes without saying that how you fuel your body will also have a huge impact on how your body responds to any attempts of adaption especially if you are seeking a more healthy weight or desire something else.

If you think you need any guidance, I’m here to help.

 

 

 

Diet and exercise needn’t be confusing or expensive!

We’re bombarded with diets being promoted everywhere, in magazines, newspapers, on the TV, internet and social media. Creating confusion and the potential to make it far too difficult and in some cases undoing all the hard work that you’re putting in. The diet industry is huge and often won’t have your best interests at heart.

Be wary of fad diets, diets that eliminate whole food groups and extreme calorific deficits. Successful weight loss/maintenance requires a long term solution, not a quick fix. Sorry!

Fuel & recover appropriately around exercise to avoid injury, fatigue and promote the quality of adaptations to the body that come from exercise.

Include protein at meals and snacks to help manage appetite and reduce muscle loss.

Limit (note limit and not abolish) high energy foods such as alcohol, chocolate, cake, take-aways, desserts etc. These are not bad foods, the quantity of them is, as with anything too much will have a consequence but by abolishing them you may be setting yourself up for or confirming an unhealthy relationship with food.

Be mindful of eating and true hunger, not boredom or habit.

Be patient and persistent! Results don’t happen overnight.

Small achievable changes over a period of weeks and months are the key to success. Try not to do too much too soon. Increase and progress with your exercise intensity and time gradually.

Just because something worked for your friend, neighbour or family member doesn’t mean it will work for you. We are all unique in our likes, dislikes, tastes, beliefs, desires etc.

Creating a negative energy balance where more energy is used than consumed by the body is the only way. There are many ways to achieve a negative energy balance and often diets promote some drastic measures to do this. This may result in some quick weight loss initially, but unfortunately, this loss is usually short term and unsustainable for the most, the weight lost will usually pile back on.

YOU are the best person to decide what’s best for You, when and how are you going to create a negative energy balance.

The extremity of your diet and exercise plan will always determine the outcome.

Got a question or need help? Get in touch!

 

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