What is the best diet to lose body fat and get ‘lean’?
Well I guess that’s got your attention right? What is the best diet then as there are so many out there claiming to be the ‘next big thing’!
Atkins, Keto, Zone diet, 5:2 diet, Flexible dieting and Fasting just to name a few off the top of my head!
As you can see there are so many diets, and they all claim to be the best way to lose fat and get ripped! How do we know what to believe and how do we know if it’s true or not realistic?
Well the first thing you should always ask your self is ‘does that sound to good to be true?’
Because with most things in life if it’s to good to be true, it normally is!
There is no easy way to make loads of cash (apart from winning the lottery) and there is no easy way to get really fit and lose weight! The old saying goes,
‘If something is really worth having, you are going to have to work bloody hard for it’
Right let’s get back to the diet’s then shall we? There reason all of these diets claim to get amazing results as far as weight loss/fat loss goes, is if you do follow them 100% you will make some great progress! What are you saying Andy?
Well let’s get this sorted out shall we?
All of these diets have 1 thing in common regardless of if they take away fats, or take away carbs or even limit the hours of the day you are allowed to eat, that is they aim to put you in a ‘calorie deficit’ that means you will eat fewer calories than you have been!
The most simple way to think about fat loss with regards to calories is ‘calories in vs calories out’ if you eat less calories than your body burns throughout the day then you will start to lose weight! Sounds so simple right?
If your body burns 2500 calories per day and you are eating 3000 calories then no matter how much you want to lose weight it will never happen!
There are also so many variables as well that you have to consider, how active are you? How much muscle mass do you have as the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn!
This is a great example of how muscle mass can effect how many calories you burn through the day and how many you burn during a workout. Myself and another personal trainer worked out together last year and we both wore heart rate monitors during the session as these will workout how many calories you burn. We went through the same session, used the same weights for the same amount of reps and sets and he burned over 200 calories more than I did!
The other PT in question here is a guy called Dennis Conroy, super fit and mega strong (much stronger than me that’s for sure) so think about this, if we are lifting the same weights and I am finding the session even harder than Dennis is as he is stronger than I am so you would think that I would actually burn more calories as I am having to work harder to keep up with him right? Wrong.
He burned more calories as he has more muscle mass.
So some food for thought for you, ‘Shall I try and build some muscle if I want to lose body fat?’
Yes 100% is the answer to that!
Nobody wants to lose weight and be skinny and weak, we want to lose weight and be ‘toned or ripped’ don’t we? Yep I thought so!
So going back to the best diet, as I said earlier you will need to create a calorie deficit if you want to lose weight.
The key to long term success with your diet is finding a diet that you can pretty much stick to for ever! The reason I say forever is you see this happen all to often, some one follows a diet for 12 weeks even a year and has great success but when they come off that diet they end up putting weight back on pretty quickly and in some cases even more than when they started!
This is because so many people don’t have an understanding of nutrition and when they are off the diet and doing their own thing they don’t really know what to eat and how much. They eat to many calories, to much sugar and nowhere near enough protein. We can all follow a diet when it is planned out for us but we don’t actually understand what we are eating and also why we are eating those foods?
Diets can fail or succeed based on a few key things, do we like the foods on the diet and do we feel satisfied or full after meals?
If the answer to these 2 things is yes then you have a far better chance of succeeding.
Something I really try to promote to my clients is understanding macro nutrients these are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Also being able to track the amounts you are eating then you have an idea of how many calories you are taking in.
There are lots of apps on your phone that you can use such as myfitnesspal, I have been using this for years and it is really simple to use. I know throughout the day how many calories I have had and I can plan my dinner and snacks etc to make sure I know that I will have enough of the 3 macros (carbs, protein, fats) by the end of the day. I can choose foods that I enjoy then I am far more likely to stick to my calories and not get to the evening and reach into the freezer for the Ben and jerrys ice cream and put away an extra 1000 calories more than I need!
A good example is that I have a really sweat tooth and always get a bit of a craving in the evenings, I will always have a big bowl of porridge with spoon of peanut butter on top, I know how many calories are in this meal and I know that I can always fit it to my diet. Even ice cream you don’t need to spank a whole tub of Ben and jerrys (as easy as it is to do!) there are better choices out there, such as ‘Halo top’ the entire tub is 350 calories so you can fit that in to your diet pretty easily.
Ben and jerrys not so much!
This is a big BUT though, you must learn the basics of tracking your food and counting macronutrients. What I mean by this is you should have an idea of how may calories you need and how many grams of carbohydrate, protein and fats you should have each day. It does sound quite complicated but it is not that hard. There are calculators online that you can use on your phone you will just need to enter some basic figures such as your height/weight/activity level and they will work out your calories etc. You shouldn’t assume these are 100% accurate but they will give you a good place to start and you can see how you find using those numbers to begin with.
You must learn to track calories etc if you want to have long term success I can not stress that enough.
If you really feel lost with it the best thing to do is work with a personal trainer for a few months so they can teach you, most trainers these days should know how to track calories and be able to help.
So what is the best diet then?
Well it’s the one that you can follow long term, if you feel like a diet is starving you and is just not sustainable in every day life then its not going to be for you. Personally I track my calories pretty regularly and I also practice a form of ‘Intermittent fasting’ this is when I don’t eat any food from around 9 or 10 at night until around 1 or 2pm the next day. There are a lot of benefits that go along with this eating schedule (I can get into that in another blog) but the main thing is it works really well for me as it really helps me to not over eat on my daily calories as I don’t eat breakfast/morning snacks etc but I feel that I still eat quite a lot of food in the afternoon/evening. I just have a couple of black coffees during the morning and I never feel hungry in fact, I actually feel great really alert and on the ball! I would certainly recommend trying it!
So that’s what I do but its not the best and will not be for everyone, the best thing I would recommend when starting a diet is do your research and ask as many questions as possible, if it sounds like you could follow it and have a life as well then give it a try. If it sounds to good to be true, then it probably is!
The thing I want you all to take away form this is any diet can work as long you can follow it and have a life, if you can follow it long term then it really is ‘the best diet’ for you!
Hope you have enjoyed the blog guys, until the next one.
Stay fit and healthy everyone!