1. Energy Balance
Energy balance is the difference between energy in versus energy out.
If we consume low calories but our energy output is low, the deficit will be very small or potentially not enough to create a deficit.
A calorie is a unit that is used to measure energy. A deficit is the amount by which a sum falls short or below.
The reason fat loss slows down in most people is generally related to the energy out component of energy balance, not just tracking energy in.
If a person moves and trains more, they will have greater energy out. Therefore, they will be able to diet and lose weight on more calories compared to the person who diets but does not train very much or sits down all day.
2. Calorie Deficit
We hear it all the time but what is a calorie deficit?
Hence to create a calorie deficit is to burn more calories than we consume in a day, in turn creating an energy deficit. Therefore, the body is then able to utilise stored energy as a source of fuel. Creating a calorie deficit is critical and the only way for weight loss to occur.
In summary for point 2, I repeat, you CANNOT lose weight without being in a calorie deficit.
3. Tracking Calories & Macros
Over the last 6-7 years I have watched clients try to use a 'strict' nutritional approach with no actual tracking i.e. I'm "eating healthy". Eating healthy is great for your insides but as far as trying to achieve fat loss or increase muscle or any other more specific goals, eating "healthy" just doesn't cut it. Client results would go something like this:
- Fast weight loss is achieved
- It then slows down
- It then stops
- They have no idea how to break the plateau!
Now, simply eating 'healthy' is great, however having no understanding of how much food you are actually having is the issue. So, what do you do when fat loss plateaus without tracking your intake? We need to take calories away generally, but if we have no idea about our actual energy intake, then it is very hard to make an educated decision on how to proceed. Hence this is the reason why tracking your energy intake (calories and macros) is of the upmost importance in guaranteeing our fat loss success.
Fat loss is a science not a guessing game.
4. Optimising sleep
It could easily be argued that sleep should be point number 1 on this list, as sleep is important for more reasons than you could imagine.
Optimal duration and quality are imperative to dietary adherence success, or at the very least feeling a whole lot better. Research has shown that poor sleep affects key hormones surrounding fat loss such as leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is the regulator of satiety, whereas ghrelin is commonly known as the hunger hormone. When these hormones are affected, hunger and cravings rise which is not what we want when dieting.
Finally, optimal sleep will also greatly assist in our recovery ability, mood and overall energy levels. These are all critical components towards a successful fat loss transformation.
5. Protein intake for faster results
For many years, protein has been considered the macronutrient that delivers the highest rate of satiety, meaning when we eat protein, we feel fuller compared to eating the same value of energy from any of the other macronutrients.
Research has also shown that protein will support the retention of lean mass when dieting, which is important when it comes to achieving long term fat loss.
Remember, the goal is not so much weight loss, it is fat loss.
So how much protein should we have daily when it comes to the goal of fat loss? Using body type, fat free mass, daily activity levels & goals, we are able to calculate your macronutrient goals including protein.
So, in summary, follow and meet your protein macronutrient goal in your VVT, also your carbs and fats!
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.