As body transformation specialists we’re quite often asked what the BEST way to lose body fat OR transform your body is. We’re pleased to say we have the answer, and the good news is science supports our answer which in turn means - your body agrees! While the PERFECT nutrition for you might not be exactly the same for your siblings, partner, parents or best friend the foundations for success are without change. So see below our pointers for what makes the perfect diet for the best results, adherence and overall wellbeing.
Our Equalution client, down 7kgs and 47cms in body measurements, achieved these amazing results by self selecting her foods and meeting her strategised macronutrient goals set by our team. On the left she was formerly consuming 1400 calories a day on a binge and restrict cycle and is now on the right enjoying 2000 calories daily!
Regardless of the methodology there is some simple science behind achieving your goals and no matter what your goal whether fat loss, muscle gain or weight management/maintenance there is a straightforward, scientific method of achieving it. While there is a plethora of confusing diets all promising to achieve the body of your dreams, the simple science is indisputable. Having some sort of control, understanding or method of tracking of your macronutrients is optimal for change no matter the goal. Winging it isn’t ideal given that you’re likely to fall short in a particular macronutrient OR go under or over your body’s optimal caloric intake defeating the purpose of what you’re controlling and tracking your macronutrient intake is essential no matter what your goal.
Fat loss occurs when you eat at a calorie deficit. So this means less than your maintenance calorie intake - so your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure). You will therefore be burning more than you are consuming.
So you think you have been in a calorie deficit but you aren’t seeing results…
If this is you and you’ve been eating relatively consistently up until this point without seeing results then you’ve likely adjusted to your intake and are sitting at maintenance, this is provided that you:
a) Aren’t picking at food you aren’t factoring in
b) Aren’t having blow outs or cheat meals
c) Are tracking diligently and aren’t winging it
You therefore you need to eat less. If this is you and you have a greater amount of weight to lose you can do one of two things:
1) Tighten the reigns on your methods and address any of the 3 downfalls mentioned above
2) Progressively add in cardio sessions to increase calories burned weekly without dramatically reducing your intake.
3) Press the reset button if you’re already quite low in intake and consider reverse dieting
If you’re at this point of exhaustion professional assistance may be a good investment to make to get the most out of what you’re putting in!
The aggression you apply to reduction of intake coupled with the amount of time you remain consistent will ultimately determine the level of result you achieve. Bottom line, eat less + burn more + STICK TO IT = lose weight.
Weight gain occurs when you eat in a calorie surplus. So this means more than your maintenance calorie intake. You will therefore be burning less than you are consuming. If you’ve been eating relatively consistently up until this point without seeing results then you’ve likely adjusted to your intake and are sitting at maintenance, therefore you need to eat more if you want to gain weight or increase your muscle mass. You can do this by:
1) Increasing your macronutrient and caloric intake
2) Decreasing your activity level .
Many men struggle with finding a good pace for muscle gain either going to aggressive and putting on an uncomfortable, rapid amount of weight or not seeing the gains they desire. Our recommendation for a bulk is an aim of around 500g a week for a male and roughly 300g a week for a female of which optimum results would be about predominantly muscle through diligently meeting macronutrient targets and the remaining would be unavoidable fat gain. If there appears to be no weight gain despite an increase of calorie then a surplus might not be achieved so more food is required.
If you have just achieved a fat loss goal or want to maintain your body weight and just meet the needs of your body for weight management then you need to be eating equivalent to what you burn daily. Of course there will be many variables week to week that affect this number i.e how much daily exercise you’re doing, hormones, day to day movement changes, water intake, sodium levels - all of which have the ability to fluctuate the number on the scales either through water retention causes or effect to your total daily caloric burn. So in this circumstance progress tracking is an important way to gage your body’s response to an intake amount so an increase or decrease can be strategised accordingly.
How to optimally achieve any of the above goals in meeting your macronutrient targets
You can lose body fat, gain it or manage weight through caloric control. However in meeting your macronutrient targets what this gives you the ability to do is do so optimally in light of body composition, so this means losing, gaining or sustaining weight ideally while retaining (for fat loss and maintenance) or gaining muscle mass (for weight/muscle gain). Losing weight for instance as opposed to losing fat would mean that you’re dropping muscle and water more so than body fat which isn’t favourable physically. This can cause the look of ‘skinny fat’ and is why some people may look skinny but not appear lean or tight given their macronutrient targets aren’t being met optimally i.e too low in protein or carbs for example.
So, the basics of hitting macros:
1. Meet your minimum protein requirement: This will amount to about 0.85-1.15g per pound of body weight
2. Keep fats between 20-30% for the entire day
3. Carbs should make up the remainder: Note: NO ONE is carb sensitive, each individual requires carbohydrates for both physical and physiological needs.
4. Fiber will equate to about 15g per 1000 calories
The Fifth requirement we the Equalution Team preach...
5. 80% of the time opt for lean meats, veggies, fruits legumes, whole grains and give yourself a 20% allowance for ‘soul foods’ like a slice of cake, dessert ice cream, a chocolate bar and so forth. Even though it's not a stock standard requirement you should not compromise good health for aesthetics, our general rule of thumb is to live by an ‘80/20’ rule. Of course its human nature that naturally some days will be better than others but the underlying gain of following an 80/20 approach is that for the most part you will be satisfying your body with it’s requirements for optimum functionality and meeting your micronutrient needs as well as satisfying your mind with food for your soul that will allow for long term sustainability and a healthy relationship with food. This ensures a moderated approach in that all foods can fit into a balanced diet. When flexible dieting this simply means allow yourself a portion of the day for your soul foods whether that be chocolate, biscuits, ice cream or your favourite slice; but incorporate it in a proportionate way so it’s not your dominant source of fuel. While these foods are less nutritious, they help you feed a different kind of hunger, giving peace of mind and allowing you to enjoy your favourite food without guilt facilitating long term adherence to your diet.
The PERFECT diet will:
1. Allow for the inclusion of social events into your goal intake needs: You shouldn’t have to ‘go off the plan’ to sustain your diet.
2. Be family friendly: There’s no reason why you have to isolate or eat foreign to your family.
3. Integrate into your lifestyle non invasively: It shouldn’t be like a second job in sustaining the requirements of your nutrition plan.
4. Be a lifestyle: You will know how to eat to sustain what you achieve or better yet for YOUR body
5. Customised to YOUR intake needs: If you’ve received a generic diet or a guide, how on earth is that going to cater to your specific needs? No person is alike, what works for your best friend will likely won’t work for you too in the sense of a written diet that isn’t numerically customised.
6. Incorporate foods you love: You won’t adhere if the food is boring, bland and not to preference. If you have the capacity to be flexible working with numbers then why wouldn’t you will your intake needs with what you enjoy! Sometimes there are compromises e.g your body has a protein need - your diet can’t be lacking in protein, you have micronutrient needs - so you therefore can’t neglect the good stuff, but it’s all about balance!
The PERFECT diet WILL NOT:
1. Discriminate against foods or food groups: This means the diet fails to neglect the fundamentals of the science of changing your body. The body doesn’t recognise food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but rather for its macronutrient value.
2. Restrict you from eating your favourite foods: This is unsustainable and the method will be very short lasting.
3. Prohibit you from living: While you might not be able to go out binge drinking and following it with a 2am entire pizza, an EFFECTIVE diet will be able to incorporate your social life and lifestyle within your intake goals.
4. Require you to do endless hours of exercise: Point blank, not necessary.
5. Lead you to having blow outs and binges: It means your practices are restricting and lead you to have break outs of deviation.
6. Have you thinking a raw slice is better than a chocolate bar of equal caloric value: Nitty gritty aside in regards to the macronutrients and fiber content of both, if your ‘diet rules’ enforce selection of food based on how processed something is then it’s based on cloudy principles distanced from the science of the body.
Want the perfect diet? We have the perfect solution…
Have your cake and eat it too.
A professional in this context like our Equalution Team can:
- Strategise your intake requirements for optimum results
- Give you the tools to integrate life with your friends and family in with your goals
- Support you on your journey with positive encouragement
- Aid you in emergency situations that are likely to cause deviations
- Keep you accountable for your nutrition
Contact us today for customised nutrition for your body’s protein, fat and carb requirements for your goals. See the changes in just the first week without forgoing the foods you love!
Yours in Health & Fitness,
The Equalution Team