How NOT to count calories and lose body fat
I mention calories a lot due to their importance on fat loss, but people seem to be mistaking this with me saying you MUST count them.
This isn’t the case and it’s not something I use with all my clients.
Yes, it is the most accurate way to log calorie intake, but it’s not for everyone and I completely understand that.
You may be able to relate to this, so if that is the case then this blog is for you!!
Calorie counting seems to be the next “low carb diet”, “food elimination” or “detox”. Coaches getting every single client to follow the same thing, without taking into consideration the individual and their circumstances.
I want this to be your go to blog for when you are struggling with your fat loss and need to get things back on track.
Below I will outline simple “habits” that can be followed and introduced when you are ready.
Daily, weekly or monthly, it’s completely up to you.
Choose the habits that will impact your life the least BUT give you the maximum benefits towards your goals.
- A large portion of protein in each main meal. I know many of you struggle with breakfast, so I did this blog for you here
Protein aids muscle retention when in a calorie deficit and is shown to keep you fuller for longer. You also utilise more calories when breaking it down.
2. A large portion of vegetables (or fibre) in each main meal. As a general rule, fill up half of your plate with a variety of different veg. Don’t eat veg at breakfast?? AGAIN, read this blog
Vegetables bulk out the serving size of meals without adding many calories to it. Fibre slows the insulin response of meals, aids in “bodily functions” and has huge health benefits such as cholesterol control and fighting certain cancers.
3. Drink more water
Depending on your size and activity levels, aim for 2-3 litres a day. Slowly work your way up if you are miles away from this to start with. Tea, coffee, diet sodas etc. can go towards this but we want the majority to come from water itself.
Roughly 60-70% of an adults body is water and many functions including fat loss require the body to be well hydrated.
Try getting into a daily routine of drinking a large glass as soon as you wake up.
4. 1 Protein snack per day
This can be placed around the training window depending on what time that is and in relation to your other meals.
Yoghurts, bars, shakes, eggs, sliced meats, sweets, coffee. The options these days are endless. Get used to reading labels to make sure that they are actually “high protein” and not just marketing rubbish.
5. Plan and prepare meals
A whole week of lunches for work or taking left overs from the evening before. Whatever suits you and you can stick to. Will prevent making “bad” choices if you have nothing available.
6. 1 portion of fruit per day
Full of healthy goodness.
7. Say no!!
You do not have to go out every night out
You do not have to eat pizza and cake at work because others are.
8. Make you and your lifestyle a priority
Sometimes it’s good to be selfish and make yourself happy.
If that involves going to the gym and controlling what you eat then go for it!!
WHAT IF THIS DOESN’T WORK???
Then again we come back to the calories in vs calories out equation.
Maybe you need to look at portion sizes?
Maybe you need to change a higher calorie protein source such as salmon or lamb for a leaner source, such as chicken or white fish?
Maybe you just need to drop carbs from a meal rather than having a portion in each?
Maybe you are only training once a week and need to up that to three?
Maybe you are sat around all day and need to increase activity away from the gym?
Maybe you don’t know which foods contain what macronutrients or calories? This is where using something like My Fitness Pal can help you for a week or two.
The list of ways to creating a sustainable calorie deficit for people is endless and where a good coach can be priceless.
Bad habits are very easy to fall into and can take much longer to get out of.
As I mentioned above, choose 1 or 2 of the above and work on them in your own time. You may be able to introduce all of them tomorrow, or it may take 1 per month and playing the long game.
It takes some time and a bit of effort but so does everything in life. These basic habits will set you up for the rest of your life and will form the basic structure of every single day. Every day will not always be perfect and at times you will not be dieting but this will also form the basis of any basic healthy lifestyle that can be referred back too whenever it is needed.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to share with others