HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT
Let's face it, losing weight is difficult.
That's why there are a million resources online trying to tell you how to do it. Filtering through all of that information can be tedious and confusing.
Even worse, it's so impersonal. Why should everyone be eating 2000 calories per day? And what's all the fuss about carbs?
If you're looking to lose weight (and who isn't?) then you've found the right place.
We've sifted through the best resources and assembled the complete guide to weight loss. And we won't just tell you how to lose weight, we'll teach you how to lose weight.
When you eat right, you lose weight. Exercise, hormones and supplements play a big role too.
Useful if you're new to nutrition - or just looking to brush up on the basics.
Calories and Macronutrients: The Basics
- Just like kilograms are a measure of your body weight, calories are a measure of the energy in your food.
- Eat too much energy (calories) and your body will store this as fat for future use.
- Many people have no idea how many calories they need.
- There are three macronutrients - carbohydrates, fat and protein - which add up to your calorie intake.
- Fat and protein are ABSOLUTELY VITAL.
- You'll be surprised to hear that carbohydrates are actually non-essential, but can be useful in the right circumstances.
- The first rule of dieting is to figure out your calorific needs, then split these into macronutrients.
How Many Calories Should I Eat?
- Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) represents the baseline amount of calories that you expend while at rest.
- You can calculate your BMR here
- Calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) by multiplying your BMR by:
- 1.2 for sedentary people
- 1.375 if you are lightly active once per week
- 1.55 if you exercise moderately around three times a week
- 1.725 for very active people that train every day
- 1.9 for amateur athletes and above
- As a general rule, eat fewer calories than your TDEE and you'll lose weight.
- Eat within your TDEE with the optimum ratio of carbohydrates, fat and protein to supercharge your weight loss without sacrificing energy.
What Is The Best Macronutrient Diet Plan For Weight Loss?
Workout day for light to moderately active individuals
Calories from Protein 35% | Carbs 40% | Fat 25%
Rest day for light to moderately active individuals
Calories from Protein 40% | Carbs 20% | Fat 40%
What do you do with these ratios?
- Calculate your TDEE for workout days | Example: 2000 calories
- Multiply TDEE by the ratio above | Example for moderately active individuals: Protein 700 calories, Carbohydrates 800 calories, Fat 500 calories
- Divide protein calories by 4 to obtain intake in grams | Example Protein 175 grams
- Divide carbohydrate calories by 4 to obtain intake in grams | Example Carbohydrates 200 grams
- Divide fat calories by 9 to obtain intake in grams | Example Fat 56 grams
- Repeat using BMR to calculate your optimum intake on rest days
Which Exercise Is Best For Me? Enter: Somatotype
- Different body types usually suit different types of exercise.
- Ectomorphs are suited to aerobic and endurance activities.
- Mesomorphs respond well to both cardiovascular and resistance training (like weightlifting).
- Endomorphs are perfect for strength activities like powerlifting.
- We recommend High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for weight loss.
- But at the end of the day, nothing beats doing what you enjoy.
Different Types Of Diets
An epic collection of the best and worst diets on the internet. Some of these are excellent for losing long-term weight, some are useful crash diets and some are horribly ill-informed. In chapter three we'll expand on the best lessons and concepts to draw from these diets.
Low Calorie Diets
Save these for when you absolutely need to crash your weight.
- Good: Quick weight loss, cheap and effective at shedding a few pounds.
- Bad: Unsustainable, lacking nutritional diversity and most weight loss will be down to losing water and muscle rather than fat.
- Really Bad: Try these for too long and your metabolism will slow down, meaning you can handle less calories in the long-term. Energy levels will suffer and your hormones will be, well, all over the place.
Low Carbohydrate and High Protein/Fat Diets
Sustainable diets for fat loss and lean muscle gain.
- Good: Sustainable, nutritional and great for long-term weight loss.
- Bad: It's easy to over-eat red meat (leading to health risks) and under-eat fibre and nutrients on these diets. Make sure you eat high quality protein, and the carbohydrates that you do consume are high in fibre and vitamins.
- Note: If you effectively cut out carbohydrates then you may need the occasional carbohydrate-refeed day to maintain your metabolism (and keep yourself sane).
Hormone and Metabolism Focused Diets
Inward looking diets that focus on your ability to burn fat.
- Good: Hacks your metabolism and hormonal balance to lose weight.
- Bad: Everyone is different, so you'll need to be very self-aware to ensure these are working. Some things may also be a little impractical.
Alternative Diet Concepts
Some good, some ridiculous. We'll let you decide. We have included these as they make interesting reading and will round out your knowledge of diets. If you've come this far then it's pretty obvious which ones are daft.
Diet Concepts You Need To Know
Intermediate nutrition concepts that will help supercharge your diet efforts.
The impact of eating sufficient fat
Improved insulin sensitivity
Better hormone balance
Omega-3 turns on fat burning genes
Omega-3 fats supports brain function
More fat burned
Less fat stored
More lean muscle
Better body composition
Reduced risk of depression
Better reproductive health
- Amazing sources of fat are fish, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and even eggs.
- Eat saturated fats (like meat fats, cheese and butter) in moderation, while avoiding trans fats.
The Importance of High-Quality Protein
- Consuming protein helps you feel fuller for longer, reducing cravings and improving weight management.
- Your body is made up of protein, and protein is made up of building blocks known as amino acids.
- Some amino acids must come from food. Animal-based protein delivers the amino acids we require, but plant-based proteins tend to lack certain amino acids.
- Many sources of protein come packaged with salt or harmful fats, leading to increased risk of health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
- The key to sound protein consumption is to eat a variety of high-quality protein from poultry, pork, fish, seafood, eggs, nuts and vegetables.
Are Carbohydrates Bad For You?
Carbohydrates are not bad for you.
But unlike fat and protein, they are not an essential part of your diet. Your body can produce all the carbohydrates it needs by synthesising protein and fat, predominantly in the liver.
But carbohydrates can be useful.
Your muscles store consumed carbohydrates as glycogen, which is a principal source of energy when working out. Your liver converts excess carbohydrates into fat and stores it for future use. By minimising your intake, you reduce the likelihood of your body turning it into fat.
Eat carbohydrates after a workout (not before) to ensure your body has a readily accessible source of glycogen for your next workout.
Carbohydrates - Simple vs Complex
- Simple carbohydrates are digested quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar. This drops quickly and leads to cravings, which make it harder to avoid snacking in between meals. Complex carbohydrates release energy slower, keeping you fuller for longer.
- Stick to whole grains, oats, fruit and the best source of carbohydrates - vegetables.
So What Is The Perfect Diet?
Eat a variety of high-quality protein, fat and carbohydrates within your macronutrient requirements and you'll be just fine.
It's that simple.
Three chapters and we haven't even mentioned exercise. Chances are you already know what to do.
The Best Exercises For Weight Loss
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), 5x5 Compound Lifting, Strength Training and Cardio are just a few ideas for the gym. In reality there are hundreds of ways to exercise.
- The key to weight loss is regular activity. Injuries aside, everyone has the ability to workout three to six times a week, no excuses.
- Sure, HIIT might burn x% more calories than running, but if you have the motivation to run five times a week and can only make it to the gym once, then which do you think will burn more calories in total?
- And remember:
No-one Ever Drowned In Sweat
If nutrition is the ice-cream, and exercise is the cherry on top, then supplements are the sprinkles that complete the perfect weight-loss sundae.
- Caffeine is a powerful physical and mental stimulant
- Commonly used as a performance enhancer for athletes.
- Habitual use may lead to reduced risk of Alzheimer's and liver cancer.
- Regular use often leads to tolerance, but this can be resolved by avoiding caffeine for a month or longer.
- It has the same structure whether in the form of pills, coffee, tea or energy drinks.
- 200mg is typically used to aid fat loss or enhance performance; the effect may be pronounced above 500mg.
- Catechins extracted from green tea leaves provide a huge range of health benefits as well as mental stimulation.
- One particular catechin (EGCG) helps to boost metabolic rate and fat burning.
- Capsules of green tea extract are the easiest way to consume doses of more than 500mg. Taking capsules with liquid green tea and fish oil will enhance bioavailability (your ability to derive an actual effect from a supplement).
Fish Oil | EPA and DHA | Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- A good fish oil supplement will contain at least 500mg of active eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per capsule.
- EPA and DHA are omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is an excellent natural source of fatty acids, but it can be cheaper and more practical to supplement with fish oil capsules.
- Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of heart disease while supporting brain and joint function. Recent research also suggests that it helps with muscle recovery and fat loss too.
- Fish oil can enhance the effect of green tea's multiple health benefits.
- A dose of 3-6g of EPA and DHA over the course of a day (from fish oil and food) is sufficient.
- Fish oil takes weeks rather than hours to have a beneficial effect.
- A form of L-carnitine, ALCAR aids brain function and mood. Research has shown it can alleviate fatigue and other side effects of ageing.
- ALCAR can increase the ability of mitochondria in the muscles to burn fat. Additional energy from the reduction of fatigue can also support fat loss.
- Supplementation is typically 0.5-2g per day.
- Creatine is a well-researched supplement found naturally in meat, eggs and fish.
- It is used by athletes to increase lean mass and strength but can benefit everyone, especially vegetarians and the elderly.
- Creatine responds to stresses on the body to aid cellular function and muscular energy.
- 3-5g of supplementation per day is enough to achieve optimal levels. Carnivores should tend towards lower levels.
- Drink plenty of water and supplement creatine within an hour of exercise to ensure optimal intake into the muscles.
- An essential mineral that regulates insulin in the body. Supplementation can improve blood sugar metabolism. It may also help fight depression.
- Research suggests that many individuals in the US are deficient, especially since processed foods have much of the chromium removed.
- A typical dose is 300-1000mcg of chromium picolinate. Take with carbohydrates as its benefits relate to glucose metabolism.
- Research has shown that it increases muscular endurance, perfect for weight-lifting or high-intensity cardiovascular activities (HIIT or rowing for example).
- Dosages tend to range between 2-5g per day and are not timing dependent, although many consume the supplement pre-workout.
- Large doses may cause tingling. You can circumvent this by spreading beta-alanine out over a day.
This is everything you need to know about losing weight. Share this guide with those that matter - they'll thank you for it.