Losing weight can be both a challenge and confusing. There are thousands of different dietary regimens which claim to be the most efficient way of dropping fat, many of which over-complicate things when keeping things simple is the best method. Below is our beginners guide to losing fat.
Firstly, let’s define the goal. Most people say they want to “lose weight”; this is not the right goal. If you stop drinking water for several hours you will lose weight but you will regain this as soon as you rehydrate. The goal is “lose fat”.
Basically, to lose/burn fat you need to consume less calories than your body uses. When your body doesn’t have enough calories for energy it uses the energy stored as glycogen in your muscle first, then your fat stores. We recommend you aim to lose 1lb of fat per week, any more and it gets hard; see the numbers below:
The amount of calories you need depends on your gender, age, height, weight and activity. Use this calculator to calculate the amount of calories you need per day. Then take 500 calories off to lose 1lb per week, and 1,000 calories to lose 2lb per week.
Most foods today have the calories printed on them so you can keep a running total during the day. There are also some apps out there to help, such as myfitnesspal, which makes tracking calories over the day a bit easier, but it still takes some effort. Huel makes it even easier by providing all the nutrients in one product, thus removing the need to add the calories for different ingredients together.
Whatever you eat, make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need for good health. If you want more information about what each nutrient does and what you need, read our article The Beginner’s Guide to Nutrition. Basically, you need to consume a balance of protein, fat (don’t avoid fat, it’s an essential nutrient; fat doesn't make you fat, excess calories make you fat), carbs and all 26 essential vitamins and minerals.
We advise you to drink plenty of fluid every day. This can be in the form of water, tea, coffee, green tea, diet sodas, or sugar-free cordial. Include at least seven or eight cups of fluid per day.
We suggest you avoid sugary drinks and foods. Sugar is not satisfying and it’s also addictive; after eating it, you will feel hungry quickly and get a craving to eat more sugar very quickly, so it’s best to stay clear. Alcohol is also addictive and high in sugar. For example, a can of Stella is 189 calories (5 cans is 945 calories, nearly 40% of an average man’s total calorie intake). These are empty calories, i.e. they contain little nutrition other than calories (mostly sugar). Sure, you can enjoy the odd drink, but make sure you add the calories to your daily total.
Good luck. You will do it if you follow the guidance above.
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