SETTING UP A GENERIC FAT LOSS DIET
What we are going to discuss here is how to set up a basic generic fat loss diet. Now this does involve some mathematics, and it will involve talking about protein, carbohydrates and fats, and may seem quite technical, but stick with it, it will all become clear in the end. It is also a very basic fat loss diet that will need some monitoring on your end once you begin it but hopefully this will give you a good understanding of how we lose fat and what to eat. This will work for both men and women like Carrie Visintainer a fitness enthusiast.
Lose Fat or Lose Weight?
Something that we need to make clear from the start is that there is a big, big difference between weight loss and fat loss. Our body composition is made up of many different tissue's but are primarily split into two groups for the sake of dieting, lean body mass and fat body mass. Lean body mass is everything such as organs, bones and muscle tissue and fat mass is all the fat. This is important to note because anyone can drop weight relatively quickly, in fact it's pretty easy to drop 7lbs in one week, but that weight loss won't be a healthy loss and it won't all be fat. It will be a combination of lean muscle tissue and water.Another thing to point out is that muscle mass is denser than fat mass, meaning that when comparing the two in equal volumes, ie 1 pint of each, the muscle tissue will weigh more than the fat will.
This is important to know because losing muscle tissue for the average person who doesn't have much muscle tissue to begin with is a bad thing. Your body needs your muscle's to function and losing water is not good for many reasons. What we want to do is lose body fat while maintaining as much of our original muscle tissue as possible.
The basic's of losing, gaining or maintaining weight are simple. If you eat more calories than your body needs, you will gain fat (caloric excess), if you eat less calories than your body needs, you will lose weight (caloric deficit) and if you are neither gaining weight nor losing weight then you ' re eating the exact amount of calories your body needs for the day (maintenance calories). Now whether you lose fat or muscle and water will be determined by the type of foods you are eating and how low your calories are below your maintenance level.
Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat
The last thing I want to talk about before going into detail on the fat loss diet is what the above macro-nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats) do in your body and why you need a balance of them. I'm not going to go into massive detail here, that will come in another post, but I'll give a brief overview of what they're for.
Protein 4 calories per 1 gram - Protein is called the building blocks of life because it is used to build and repair tissues on your muscles and organs, which includes damage sustained during fitness training. Protein also helps your immune system to remain effective.
Carbohydrates 4 calories per 1 gram - Carbohydrates, when eaten, are digested by the body and converted to glucose. This is then used for energy to feed the muscles. If you have too much, the excess will be stored as fat.
Fats 9 calories per 1 gram - Fat is used as energy as well as carbohydrates, although not as easily. It helps our bodies to burn stored body fat and also slows down digestion rates. Try and stick to healthy fat's such as olive oil, fish oils etc.
So what does all that mean? Well as you can see we need protein to feed our muscle tissue to help it repair after a workout. Even those who don't perform a fitness regime still need protein in their diet to maintain their current level of muscle mass. We need carbohydrates for energy to fuel our workouts and fuel our bodies. Without them we will have a lack of energy and our fitness training will suffer and our metabolism will slow down making our bodies less efficient at burning fat. And we need fats in our diet to encourage fat loss.
Setting Up The Diet
The first thing you need to do is set an appropriate caloric deficit, but before doing this, work out how many calories on average you eat per day and compare it to the figure you get from the calculation. The reason for this is that you need to compare how many calories you currently eat per day with the figure this calculation will give due to this calculation being very basic.
A general rule of thumb set your daily caloric requirements at a deficit is to set them at 10 - 12 calories per pound of TOTAL bodyweight. so for a 200lb (90kg / 14.2 stone) man, he would need between 2,000 and 2,400 calories per day. Once you have established this you need to work out your body fat percentage. You can either use fat callipers, get a gym to work it out, or get your doctor to do it.
Secondly we want to set your protein requirement as this is what will maintain muscle tissue and stop our body's from breaking it down to use for energy. For this we need to aim for between 0.8 and 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass (if you're more interested in bodybuilding as opposed to general fitness you can increase this up to 1.5g). As said before protein is there to rebuild and repair muscle tissue. It is the least likely to be stored as fat and keeps you feeling full for longer than carbohydrates do.
Thirdly we need to decide on how much fat we shall be eating within our diet. 30% of caloric needs is a good starting point so based on our 200lb man above that works out as 600 calories (the calculations will all be explained), which based on 9 calories per gram means 66 grams of fat allowed per day.
Lastly we need to set carbohydrate levels, IF that is how you choose to diet. There are two options here, you can fill the remainder of your daily caloric needs with carbs or fill it up with fat's (Dr Atkins style Ketogenic). either way will work in terms of fat loss, but it will all depend on how your body, and mind, react to the different methods.
lets do the calculations;
14 pounds (lbs) per Stone of weight / 2.2lbs per kilogram of weight
200lb man at 25% body fat has a lean body mass (LBM) of 150lbs
Daily Caloric Requirement = total weight (200lbs) x 10 calories = 2,000 calories per day
Daily Protein Requirement = LBM (150LBS) x 1 gram = 150 grams protein per day (600 calories)
Daily Fat Requirement = 30% of 2,000 calories = 600 calories = 66.6 grams of fat per day (9 calories per gram of fat)
So based on the above calculations our 200lb man needs 2,000 calories per day including 600 calories / 150g protein and 600 calories / 66.6g of fat per day
What about carbohydrates?
Well as you can see form the above calculations our example man has 800 calories left to use within his diet. Now he can either use those calories and increase his fat content keeping his carbohydrate levels below 30g per day (this is a Ketogenic diet) or he can use the remainder for carbohydrates. As said previously either way will work as both are the same calories, it all depends on how you feel when dieting. Some people like my friend Dillon Jersey prefer lower carbohydrates and higher fat content and visa versa.
Lets assume he's going to use it for carbohydrates, so that works out as 200g of carbohydrates per day (remember 4 calories per 1g of carbohydrate)
So our 200lb man requires per day
All you need to do now is convert your calculations into meals. Divide it up how ever many times you want to eat throughout the day, 3 - 6 times ensuring you get some fruit and plenty of vegetables throughout the day and that's it. Pretty simple hey!
Multiply your weight by 10-12 calories to give you your daily caloric needs
Work out your Lean Body Mass (LBM)
Eat 0.8 - 1 gram of protein per lb of LBM (0.8 - 1.5g if your bodybuilding)
Ensure that 30% of your daily caloric needs are from healthy fats
Use the remainder of your daily allowed calories for either carbohydrates or fat's
Ensure you use lean proteins such as beef, chicken, eggs, carbohydrates from wholemeal sources and vegetables and fat's from fish, olive oils, avocados and nuts, although these are not set in stone rules. Play around with herbs and spices to keep your food interesting. You should also ensure that you keep yourself hydrated with water throughout the day as this will greatly increase the effectiveness of your diet ..