Over the last few years, we’ve seen the rise (and, thankfully) the demise of some dietary trends that we like to follow. Nutrition gets overly complex when people attend to create a “system” that makes the one universal truth of nutrition for fat loss (more on this below!) and then monetize that system. Think i’m blowing smoke? Take a look….
- -Jenny Craig
- -Weight watchers
- -low carb
- -low fat
- -all natural/organic
- …and i’m sure you can think of many, many more.
Now, i’m not bashing any of these systems…because they all work. They can help with weight loss, but they don’t teach people WHY they help. So then, when the information stops working (and all of these, at some point or another, will stop working) the person blames the system and then tries something different. The system is no longer sexy, new, and providing the immediate outcome, so they swap for something new and flashy.
But the real troublesome thing isn’t that all of these systems work, it’s that they work DESPITE the reasons they claim. You are no more likely to get lean eating paleo than you are drinking gatorade during your workout, unless you are in a calorie deficit, PERIOD.
So, someone who lost 30lbs eating all natural didn’t do it because of the “nature-ness” of their food. And when they tell their friend who tries it for 6 months with no real results to show for it, they get discouraged. “I’m eating so healthy and can’t lose weight.” Well, your friend didn’t lose weight because it was a natural diet. They did it because they were in a calorie deficit for a consistent period of time. At Edge, we do all our nutrition evaluations on a 1 on 1 basis, but a recurring theme with many people is that they eat healthy but can’t seem to lose weight.
The reality is that they are just eating too much. Doesn’t matter what it is, too many calories means no weight loss.
But what about losing fat vs losing weight?
This is where tracking fat, carbs, and protein comes in handy. Calorie balance is responsible for whether you lose or gain weight. But that’s the key word there, weight. We are not interested in losing just weight. I know you think you are, but there is simply no way this is true. 30% body fat looks like 30% bodyfat if you weigh 150 or if you weigh 250, and I can guarantee that’s not where you want to be.
So, the solution is to make sure those calories are divided up properly to lose weight? How do you do this? By fueling your workouts properly!
A good starting point for moderately active people to eat the following:
Calories: Bodyweight x 10 (12 if already fairly lean and active) = calories to eat per day
Protein: Bodyweight x 1 (.8 if you have over 35lbs to lose) = protein grams to eat per day
Fat: Bodyweight x .3 (use goal body weight if over 35lb to lose) = fat grams per day
Carbohydrates: The rest of your calories from carbs (equation at the bottom). On non-training days, you can eat less carbs then normal if you’re not as hungry, since they’re mostly fuel for activity.
Go to www.fatsecret.com and start tracking everything you eat. It takes a little work, but it’s a universal system that gets every person results indefinitely.
The Truth About Your Current Diet
To some people, this type of eating sounds like a lot of work. It might even seem confusing at first, because I never said you couldn’t eat sugar. Or fat. Or baked goods. Or cereal. Or anything else.
Because…if you want to, you can eat those things. The main thing for fat loss is that these numbers are applied every single day for a period of time (usually 10-16 weeks).
The problem with eating “junky” type food, aside from the healthfulness of the food, is that it has higher calories without filling you up. You can eat 4oz of chicken breast, a cup of spinach, a half an avocado….or you can eat a 1 scoop protein shake and a king size snickers.
I don’t need to tell you which one is healthier. And I hope I don’t need to explain which one will fill you up more, leaving you satisfied and full until your next meal.
But, I also don’t get tell you that, if you aren’t concerned with being a little hungry, that eating the snickers and protein shake once in a while instead of the (clearly) better choice is going to impact your fat loss plan.
Because it’s not. And any diet that restricts you to the point of just ignoring these factors is leading you down a path of temporary solutions for a long time problem.
Want to learn how we setup nutrition for our clients? Fill out the form below for more information our our 21 for $97 fitness jumpstart.
All the best,
Owner, Edge Fitness