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Are you looking to lose fat? Well, you’re in the right place! Today I am laying out the guidelines of fat loss! There will be 3 main guidelines that I will be covering within this post, which go as follows:
- Caloric Deficit
- Addaquette Protein Intake
- Carbohydrates & Fat Intake + Sustainability
Let’s get right into things with the first guideline, a caloric deficit!
A caloric deficit is required to lose weight/fat as it puts our body in a negative energy balance. What this means is you are burning more calories than you are taking in, therefore, your body needs to get the energy from somewhere else. This mainly comes from fat stores. Let’s take a look at the 2 step process in creating your caloric deficit.
Step number 1 to finding your caloric deficit lies in finding your maintenance calories. A few ways to do this would be using an online calculator, taking an educated guess and tracking results over 4 weeks or so. Or, you can multiply your body weight by around 12-13 calories per pound. None of these methods will give you a rock solid number, so it is imperative that you track progress over the course of a month or so and adjust from there.
After this, you need to think about your goals in order to see what your deficit will be. For example, someone who is significantly overweight may go into a 700 calorie deficit, while someone moderately overweight without a specific timeline may go into a 500 calorie deficit. Someone who has some weight to lose and wants to do so while retaining as much muscle mass as possible, and doesn’t have a timeline, may go into a 300 calorie deficit. Of course, there are many factors that influence this, and you need to see what works best for you, however, this is a general guideline.
After you find your maintenance calories, you will subtract your caloric deficit from that number which will result in your total daily calories. What about macros? Let’s talk about protein intake!
Protein intake is HUGE while trying to lose weight, and helps specify this weight loss towards fat loss. While in a caloric deficit, your body is lacking energy, which is why adequate protein intake is huge to help retain muscle mass. Protein in conjunction with weight training of course, but this is a post on nutrition! In addition to helping retain muscle mass, protein also has other weight/fat loss benefits which include its high TEF (Thermic Effect of Food), which is the calories your body uses to metabolize a food. This helps with creating your caloric deficit. In addition to these things, protein (as well as fibre) have the highest satiety rate. This means they keep you the fullest, which helps with sustainability while in a caloric deficit.
How much protein should we be taking in? A good place to start would be 1 gram per pound of body weight (2.2 grams per kilogram). However, if you are significantly overweight, you may want to look at using lean body mass. In this case, the number would be between 1.8-2.8 grams per kilogram of lean body mass. With no added benefits coming after 2.4 grams, however, it is not dangerous to eat at the 2.8-gram marker. Since muscle is a far more metabolically active tissue, if you have a lot of body fat, it makes sense to use the second method because it is based on your muscle mass, factoring out your fat mass.
As far as applying this goes, if you’re looking to use the first method, multiply your body weight by 1, that is how many grams of protein you should be eating, (a 200-pound person would be eating 200 grams of protein by this logic). If you’re looking to use the second method, you could get your body fat percentage tested, calculate your lean mass and multiply it by the number you wish in the 1-8-2.8 grams per pound range. You could also estimate your body fat percentage and apply the same calculation principle. Body fat tests can be 5% or so off from your actual body fat, so an educated guess isn’t necessarily a huge blow to your final calculation. Plus, you can always adapt from the number you set on!
Carb & Fat Intake + Sustainability:
Once you have your calorie and protein intake calculated, you should now look at your carb and fat intake. Whatever calories you have left will be distributed to these macros. The ratio of them does not matter as long as you stay within your calories. Try to stay above 15% fat intake though for hormonal reasons. If you prefer higher carb for more energy, go for it! If you feel better on a higher fat intake, then go for it!
Sustainability ties in with all of this because as long as you stay within calories, and hit your protein intake, you should be eating the carb to fat ratio you prefer. This will keep your adherence up and keep you on an overall smoother fat loss journey.
Looking at sustainability by itself, ENJOY YOURSELF. Fat loss doesn’t mean forgo your social life and be unhappy with your situation. It means having a calculated plan, that can be adapted based on your needs. If you’re planning to go out on a Saturday night, then reduce your calories from carbs and fat to total a 100 or 200 each day, multiply that by 6 and you can eat an extra 600-1,200 calories on that Saturday night. If you don’t plan to go over and do, don’t worry about it! Don’t make it a habit, but get back on track!
The Fat Guidelines Scoop:
Wheeew… what an article! Within this article, there have been 3 main guidelines of fat loss! To sum it up, eat in a caloric deficit, have adequate protein intake, and keep it sustainable! Throw in some exercise and you’re golden!
Good luck with your fat loss journey, you can do it! I thank you for taking the time to read this article. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to leave them below and I will be sure to reply!
Until Next Time,
Please refer to my liability disclaimer to ensure you know who is responsible for use of this information after reading.