When it comes to fitness, fat loss is probably the most popular goal for most people. After all, we live in a country with sky-high obesity rates. Unfortunately, it ‘s also the goal that most people struggle with. And with all the misinformation out there, it’s not really a surprise.
The reality is, while fat loss can be tough, it is certainly not complicated. You just need to have the right set of directions. And here are those directions; the 5 biggest keys to fat loss:
- Be in a Caloric Deficit
This is the most important factor in fat loss. If you’re not in a caloric deficit, you can’t lose fat. Period. People love to argue that calories don’t matter and that if you cut carbs, or just eat “clean” you will lose fat. Sorry, but they’re wrong.
In order to lose weight you need to create a negative energy balance, meaning you have to take in fewer calories than you burn. Methods like clean eating may help you do that, but they also may not.
In order to figure out how many calories you should eat to lose fat, take your bodyweight and multiply it by 10-12. This will give you a rough estimate of how many calories you should be eating. If you are a more active person, use 12. If you are less active, use 10. Then use a calorie counting app like MyFitnessPal to track your food intake to make sure you are hitting your number.
- Eat Enough Protein
Of the three macronutrients (protein, carbs & fat) protein is arguably the most important when it comes to fat loss.
When you’re in a caloric deficit, the body needs to use stored energy to make up that deficit. This stored energy can either come from fat or muscle tissue. However, since muscle gives the body shape and helps keep your metabolism high, we want to preserve it as much as possible. And since protein contains amino acids, the building blocks of muscle, eating the right amount of protein is crucial for maintaining your hard-earned gains.
But how much is the right amount? You will find a number of suggestions all over the internet, but what I have found works best with my clients is anywhere from 0.8 to 1.2 grams per pound of bodyweight.
Eating this much protein also has a few other advantages. It takes the body more energy to digest protein than any other macronutrient. This means that eating more protein boost your calorie burning and slows digestion, keeping you fuller longer.