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.

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.

A Basic Understanding of Macros

Macronutrients are the three nutrients we need in large quantities and these are,

They provide the energy (calories) we need to maintain life and perform physical work.

Often, one of these macro nutrients is put in a bad light because of its so-called "fattening" effects. But in reality, having an inclusive diet and balancing your macronutrient intake whenever possible has benefits for training individuals.

Protein consumption is important for muscle growth, as dietary protein directly stimulates a muscle protein synthetic response, which is the process through which muscles recover and grow.

Carbohydrates, help you keep high muscle glycogen levels, which are essential for optimal training performance and making the most out of your sessions.

Dietary fat consumption aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and benefits overall hormonal health. Did you know every cell in your body is made from fat?

There is more to Marco nutrients having this basic understanding allows you to get a clear view of the big picture when it comes to "macro-nutrition".

If you are interested in learning more on Macros and nutrition for weight loss, putting on serious muscle or for sports performance, get in contact I am happy to help!