With hundreds of different diets and thousands of different influencers telling you what the best way to lose weight is while offering their top tips, it’s hard to know what the best way is and where to start.
My own personal experience began when I was a teenager and I genuinely believed every fad diet out there would make me look like a model. I tried meal replacement shakes, skipping meals, appetite suppressants and pretty much cutting my calories down so low that I found it hard to function. But the reality is that none of this got me the results I was looking for and as a trainer, I see time and time again people try fad diets that end up with them gaining weight and ending up right back where they started.
As cliche as it sounds, after 12 years of training and yoyo dieting when I was younger, I found the only way is to adjust your lifestyle. Don’t look for quick fixes and most importantly, have patience.
Scientifically the only way to lose weight is to ensure you’re in a calorie deficit, regardless of how you get there. It’s the only way you’re going to lose weight, so have that patience with it.
What Is a Calorie Deficit?
Many people consume more calories each day than what their body needs and these extra calories are stored as fat.
So you need to eat less calories and create an energy deficit. If your body doesn’t get the calories it needs to perform all of its necessary functions, you create a calorie deficit.
Although you may read this and think it sounds simple, a lot of people really struggle with actually creating a deficit and understanding the calories they’re putting into their body each day. From personal experience I found the best way of understanding calories was actually to track it. Although it didn’t seem to me as though I was eating a lot, I was eating too many calories everyday and I found this out from tracking.
The Way I Tracked My Calories
I tracked calories in the app MyFitnessPal and the more I did it the more I understood how much I was eating. Now, I have the ability to control my calorie intake without actually using any apps.
Researchers estimate that you need a calorie deficit of 3500 calories per week to lose one pound of fat, meaning if you create a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day, you’ll reach a total deficit of 3500 calories per week.
In my own personal opinion, I would always recommend tracking calories in order to lose weight, but after working as a trainer and in fitness I found that a lot of people don’t want to do this. So, if you don’t, how can I create a deficit without using a tracking app?
How Do You Create a Calorie Deficit?
Eat less food – Cut down your portion sizes, eat food with lower calories, for example, vegetables are really low in calories and I would always recommend staying hydrated throughout the day. If you reduce your calorie intake you will create a calorie deficit.
Move more – the number of calories your body needs each day depends on your activity level. If you increase the number of calories your body needs, but still consume the same number of calories from food, you’ll reach a calorie deficit. This doesn’t always mean you need to become an athlete, sometimes getting a good number of steps into your day is good enough.
Combine the two – The most successful dieters would typically combine the two with the calories burned from moving more and with the deficit you have created from eating less, you will create a deficit quicker.
The Bottom Line to Weight Loss
If you looked on the market at fat loss plans and looked at top tips you would find so many different diets and so many different top tips. But the bottom line is they all result back to the fact that to lose weight, you need a calorie deficit. How you get there is really down to you, but the main issue is if the diet is something you’re not going to stick to long term, your results may not last.
So one last word of advice is find something that balances with your current lifestyle and don’t restrict yourself, if you fancy a pizza have one within your calories. In terms of just losing weight, it doesn’t matter what food you’re eating, but how much.