An End to the Rapid Weight Loss Schemes
This will most definitely not be the first article you read on fat loss and diet trends, nor will it be the last.
Diet trends and the desire to lose fat has been around forever, but most notably since the late 80’s early 90’s. I’d love to say that it will end soon, but I fear I’d be lying. The desire to lose body fat is not what I am concerned with here, it’s the desire for the quick fix, the easy way out, the beat-around-the-bush way of doing it that I am desperately hoping fades away as society builds up their knowledge base on the topic.
Food is amazing, for many reasons: it fuels our bodies; it energizes our cells which in turn allow us to function as a normal human. It often tastes AMAZING; it makes us happy; it makes us feel better; it connects people. It does a lot, and yet people are still afraid of it.
Calories are often thought of as little devils that make us fat.
This could not be a more skewed description of a calorie. A calorie is a measure of energy. We need energy to function in our daily lives with or without physical exercise, and so to be afraid of calories is essentially setting yourself up for poor health and a lackluster level of energy and physical and mental ability.
There are a lot of trendy ways to eat these days and these are creating false hope for people wanting to lose fat.
Gluten Free diets
These are designed for and best suited for people who have LEGIT GLUTEN INTOLLERENCE, not for people wanting to lose fat who have no problems with gluten. See your naturopath and get proper testing done before you diagnose yourself as gluten intolerant.
Just because a food is listed as “GLUTEN FREE” doesn’t mean it is healthier for you. A lot of gluten free foods have added fats and sweeteners in them to create a nice taste. So here you are thinking you are doing yourself a favour by consuming all these gluten free items and in the meantime you have bypassed your daily allowance for fats.
Eating like a caveman. Well we aren’t cave men anymore, so that’s one thing. Paleo has some fantastic base line “rules” if you will, that will benefit most people. Eat real food. Pretty simple, and to the point. No wheat, no dairy, no sugar, no grains.
I personally don’t believe in such harsh restrictions for a life long eating approach. Again, like the gluten-free thing, I agree that some people will benefit from removing these things or some of these things from their diet as they may have an intolerance for them (again have proper testing done to confirm). There are also a lot of competitive fitness athletes who eat all of the above and still maintain an awe-inspiring lean, muscular physique.
You will not lose body fat by just switching to a Paleo or Gluten-free diet. The trick to losing body fat is simple, actually.
To lose body fat you must be in a caloric defecit, regardless of what you are eating. Figure out how many calories your body requires per day (you can use a basal metabolic requirement (BMR) calculator. This is the amount of calories your body requires to live. Knowing this figure, you then need to make a change which will put you into a caloric defecit. Some may choose to omit calories and some may choose to burn those calories with proper exercise. Either will accomplish the same goal if done correctly.
Now how much do you omit?
There are 3500 calories in 1 pound of body fat, so to lose 1 pound of fat per week (which is a gentle safe maintainable approach to it) you would burn or omit 500 calories per day.
The reason I suggest aiming for 1 pound per week is that if you choose to omit, and you start at 1000 calories per day in hopes of dropping 2+ pounds per week, you are getting in to a dangerously low daily caloric intake and risking your health. If you go too low with your calories for too long your body will revert back to “Cave- Man days” and hold onto whatever you DO give it and the fat loss will stop as you have put yourself into what we call starvation mode. This is the reason that the burn method works much better. You may put on a bit more muscle tone, but in the end, your body isn’t tricked into thinking you’re trying to kill yourself.
Do yourself a favour and stop jumping around from trendy diet to trendy diet. The simple sustainable long term approach that legitimately works is putting yourself in the appropriate calorie deficit. It’s basic math.
Now if you are a fan of Paleo or do require a Gluten free diet, this approach will work just as well for you, so start the process of finding out your BMR and adjusting your calories accordingly.
MEN : 66.5+ (13.75x kg bodyweight) + ( 5.003x height in cm) -(6.755x age) = BMR
WOMEN: 55.1 + (9.563x kg bodyweight) + (1.850x height in cm) – (4.676x age)= BMR