When it comes to losing weight, diet is the only word that normally springs to mind. Cutting out carbs, having no snacks between meals and saying no to social events due to the alcohol and fast food consumption evidently going to happen.
What I am about to tell you, is how you can lose weight, without having to sacrifice all your favourite foods and you can still head out to that work meal or date night and enjoy yourself.
The first thing to think about when wanting to lose weight is the simple scientific principle of calories in vs calories out. Your body burns calories whether you move around or not, this is called your Basal Metabolic Rate. Other calories get burnt on top of this from living your normal life and going about your daily duties. In order to burn fat and lose that stubborn weight you need to be burning more calories in a day than you are consuming. Calorie consumption comes from the food that we eat. So how can you work out exactly how many calories you are eating, and furthermore how many are you meant to have a day?
Tracking your calories is actually really easy. It’s just simple maths and means that you need to start looking at everything you are consuming within the day. By looking at the food labels on packets, you can see exactly how many calories you are taking in per serving. Write this down and repeat this for everything that you eat and drink. At the end of the day, add it all up and you will know how many calories you have consumed.
Working out how many calories you should have in a day is a little more complicated however the internet is amazing for this! Firstly, you need to work out exactly what your Basal Metabolic Rate is and then times that number by your activity levels (based on the Harris Benedict Equation). Once you have that number, you know that is your maintenance calories (not losing or gaining weight but staying the same). To lose weight it is suggested to minus 300-500 calories from that number and that is your goal calories per day! My suggestion is to start with subtracting 300 calories, and then slowly decrease these over the course of two months in order to avoid a plateau.
But how can you eat the foods you want and lose the weight? Well now that you have your calories calculated for the day, all you need to do is stick to them! Keep adding up the calories in from the food labels throughout the day and alter meals and snacks to fit it!
Some great tips for sticking to these numbers are;
- If you have a big meal or social event planned, try and work out what you are going to eat/drink roughly the day before. Often menu’s found online will tell you the exact calories within the foods! Workout how many calories you will consume during that event and then you will know how many calories you have left over for the other meals/snacks around it!
- If alcohol is going to be consumed, aim for zero sugar mixers and avoid sugary drinks such as cocktails. Spirits such as Gin and Vodka are the lower calorific alcohol choices!
- Have smaller portions of the foods you love. You do not need to cut them out completely, but what you can do is have a smaller amount which will mean you can have that square of chocolate every single day as long as it fits the calories calculated!
So that is my quick guide to how you can eat the foods you love and still lose weight! I hope you are able to find getting rid of any stubborn fat a little easier now and find a way to enjoy the process!
About Leanne Holder
Leanne is an MSc qualified Strength and Conditioning Coach, Personal Trainer and Fitness Blogger. She has a vast amount of experience training professional athletes, the public and freelance writing about fitness and nutrition topics. Her blog and Instagram are full of tips, resources and useful ways to change your lifestyle and improve your health!