Weight Loss & Toning = 80% Diet & 20% Training
You are probably hearing it more and more often that what you eat will help you further your fat loss goals more significantly than how often you work out.
"You can't out train a bad diet".
This is due to a number of reasons, including the fact that we burn far fewer calories than expected during a workout, and it’s incredibly easy to eat those calories right back after the gym. So is the 80% diet, 20% exercise really the way for fat loss?
Absolutely with no exceptions.
To lose 1lb (0.45kg), you need to achieve a 3,500-calorie deficit. If you’re following the 80/20 rule, you ideally want to burn about 750 calories through exercise within the week and the rest comes from dietary changes.
To put this whole 80/20 rule into perspective you would need to run about 7-10 miles a day (depending on the individual) to burn that 1lb of fat. This is, not time practical for most of us, the average person can’t keep up this pace without suffering injury and significantly increasing their caloric intake in order to fuel them through the run and this amount of running is not going to be helpful when your looking to get that toned look. Follow the link for why just cardio wont make you toned. The Secret To a Toned Look.
This doesn't mean you just cut out exercise it offers so many health benefits and if looking toned or putting on some serious muscle is the ultimate goal it is essential.
Want a Faster Metabolism?
For a faster metabolism all you need to do is grow some muscle! Muscle is what we call metabolically active tissue. This means that your body expends calories to maintain it while you are at rest. The more muscle you have the more calories are required.
HOWEVER, Because of this, a common thing I see with clients is that they believe once they gain some muscle they can eat a lot more food and still stay lean.
This is not really the case, research shows that the effects of muscle growth on your metabolic rate shows only a very small increase. For every 1lb (0.45kg) of muscle you gain, most people will burn an additional 6-10 calories per day.
So if you want to have one extra 200 calorie snack each day, you will need to gain upwards of 20 lbs (9kg) of muscle, which can take years to accomplish.
What Load Should You Be Training At?
The load you should be working at for your lifts is very dependent upon your goals.
If your looking to build Power, Strength, gain some Muscle (hypertropy) or build Muscular Endurance they all require a certain load range based off your 1 Rep Max or Estimated 1 Rep Max. I will go though how do a 1 Rep Max test at a later date.
Below I have outlined the basics for Power, Strength, Hypertrophy and Muscular Endurance.
Note there are other considerations you must take into account when training such as training frequency and number of exercises in a session to maximise your progress.
If you are interested in a goal specific training programme get in contact am happy to help.
Body Fat Percentage - Overall Health
It's well known that preventing excessive fat gain and being relatively lean is beneficial for your health. But there eventually is a point where "lean" becomes "too lean." To provide more clarity on this matter, a study was done to develop general guidelines on healthy body fat percentage ranges (See Study Here).
This study indicates that for males a body fat percentage of about 8-20% can be considered "healthy." For females, this was about 20-32%. (As the lower limit for competitive athletes).
With that said, it's worth mentioning that the tools commonly used in research (and real-life) to predict body fat levels can be quite inaccurate think BMI. So don't think its black-and-white when it comes to your body fat percentage.
These numbers are nothing more than general guidelines. It's not necessarily a bad thing if your prediction of your body fat percentage slightly deviates from this guideline.
The Secret To a Toned Look
Achieving a toned look is a goal many people have. But it's important to realise that your muscles cannot "tone" by training with very high-rep ranges and limited load or doing more cardio.
So there are no special training or nutrition techniques that will directly make your muscles look toned. Achieving more defined muscles basically comes down to slightly increasing muscle size and reducing your body fat percentage so you can showcase your muscles.
This is done through consistent strength/hypertrophy training, controlling your food intake, and being patient. The sooner you accept this and stop looking for the next "8 week faddy transformation", the less frustrated you will be.