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.
Why fat loss can slow down.
Eating less food and lowering your body fat stores is perceived as an indicator of low energy availability by your body. So to prevent yourself from "starving" while in a prolonged fat loss phase your body makes metabolic adaptations that promote a decrease in energy expenditure and an increase in caloric intake.
This means that the leaner you become, the less energy your body tends to expend through spontaneous activity, exercise activity, and while at rest. Overall satiety levels also tend to decrease while hunger increases over time, which can lead to a consuming more food.
This helps explain why fat loss generally slows down if you have been dieting for several months.
Don't get frustrated, its a journey, at this point vary your training programme to keep your body guessing, monitor your calorie intake and adjust as needed, remember time and consistency are key to sustainable fat loss.
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.
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.
Losing Fat & Keeping It Off
Losing some fat in the short-term is not an issue for most people. Almost anyone can lose a few pounds by being very strict on their diet for a week or two. But having prolonged fat loss progress and then keeping it off is the hard part.
If you want to set yourself up for long-term fat loss success, the "dieting and exercises strategies" you use need to be in line with this goal. You can already tell beforehand that a "14-day diet plan" won't be successful if you can only maintain it for 2 weeks and then immediately return to the old eating habits that have made you gain excess body fat in the first place.
You have to build good long term habits.
So, when trying to lose excess fat for good, it's important to understand that a flexible diet that accommodates your lifestyle and helps you create good eating habits is more likely to succeed in the long run. This may mean that you'll have slower initial fat loss. But that's totally worth it if you consider the long-term results you will achieve.