The most common goals coaches hear are:
"I want to lose weight," and, "I want to tone up."
Both goals share a common theme: fat loss.
But how does someone achieve fat loss?
The answer is simple but it's also hard: by being in a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit is when you burn more calories than you consume. And it means you'll likely feel hungry more often than you like. Which is why, for most people, a diet (or fat loss phase) can be hard to stick to.
One effective way to achieve a calorie deficit is by increasing your physical activity. The most popular choice is typically running but the more effective choice is actually lifting weights.
As I stated in a previous post, "Strength training is a key component of metabolism because it is directly linked to muscle mass. The more active muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolic rate. Lifting weights not only helps to increase your metabolism during and post-workout, it affects your resting metabolism, giving it a continual boost as well. Unlike fat which stores energy, muscle is always in an active state of burning energy."
But the most effective way to lose fat is to eat in a calorie deficit. So how do you do that?
Well, first you have to start with your TDEE, or your total daily energy expenditure. You can calculate that number here.
Once you get that number, you can either subtract 500 calories to get your new dieting calories, or you can subtract 15-20%.
Eating less calories than you burn, or burning more calories than you consume, is truly the only way to achieve fat loss. There is no secret or magical diet. Fad diets like Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean, and so on are simply methods of eating that can help someone eat in a calorie deficit. So instead of restricting things you love, like carbs, just start focusing on more nutrient-dense food choices (like the steak salad instead of the burger and fries) and smaller portions. And if you're a drinker, cutting back on alcohol will likely be a significant help as well.
The next part of this is the word, tone.
Toning means losing enough fat to reveal the muscle underneath, and building that muscle is how you get it to smooth out the skin it's resting under.
And how do we build muscle? By lifting weights. (Have you noticed a theme yet?) When you lift weights, you create microscopic tears that have to repair themselves to grow back bigger and stronger. By getting adequate rest, proper hydration, and eating a high protein diet, in time, your muscles will grow and help you achieve the toned look you're after.
So start small: cut back on the coffee creamer. Limit yourself to less servings of the higher fat food choices and instead, have more fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. Take a walk. Drink more water. And if you need help, book a free call with me here!