Reignite Fat Loss
Have you started a diet, lost a little weight and found yourself stuck in a plateau? Or maybe you are mid way through a cutting phase and want to see the scales conintue to drop.
The truth is that pretty much any diet will work if you are consistent. All diets work of the basis of calorie reduction, whether you eat lots of carbs, no carbs, vegan, meat, etc. Consistency and your ability to sustain a caloric deficit is the key to success.
This is a practical guide to help you work through a weight loss plateau and accelerate the fat loss in the final stages of a diet.
Expecting Linear Results
Although it seems logical that your should be losing a little bit of weight each week, fat loss is complicated and can not be directly measured through scale weight. Before changing your plan or re-adjusting calories ensure that you are intact in a weight loss plateau.
Several factors effect scale weight, water intake, glycogen depletion, sodium intake, hormonal balance, etc. and these can all cause dramatic swings in your bodyweight.
Tip: Take notice of your scale weight over a 14 day cycle and the natural ups and downs and make changes only after a consistent reading is seen for a week or more.
Recalculate energy requirement
If you have been successful dropping body fat and weight, this has caused a drop in your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Your BMR is the number of calories required to keep your body functioning at rest. In other words, it your metabolism’s running cost. AS body mass falls so does BMR, meaning a smaller framed person with less muscle requires less calories than someone who is larger.
If you would like some practical tips on how to boost your metabolism, checkout another one of articles: 7 Tips To Get Your Metabolism Working For You.
It is possible that what was once a weight loss deficit of calories, may no longer be due to the decrease in BMR or the natural metabolic adaption that takes place when we diet.
Tip: Review current diet and calories, aim to decrease average calories by 200 calories per day or 1000-1200 over the course of the week.
Changing macronutrient ratios
When you look to drop calories, we recommend keeping protein targets similar to protect lean body mass. Research indicates that it make little difference if you choose to reduce calories coming from carbs or fat intakes. Reducing 20g of carbs from the diet will save you 80 calories, while dropping 10g of fat will be an eqivillent of 90 calories. Remembering that there is 4 calories in 1 gram of carbohydrates and 9 calories per gram of fat.
Tip: Replace carbohydrate dense food such as breads with rice cakes or vegetables, replace meats with leaner meat sources, remove added cooking oils and use non stick pans or baking paper for baking.
Refocus On Performance
When the body is on a calorie deficit, it will be looking for surplus energy to use. If weight training fails to be a priority, you body will be more likely to want to liberate muscle mass. Unfortunately this will have a detrimental effect on BMR, as higher muscle mass does help keep your metabolic rate higher.
Tip: Take notice of your performance in the gym. Try to continue to progressively overload on all of your lifts as this help to prevent a decline in muscle mass as the body is being stimulates to retain needed strength.
Increased fibre and water intake
Fibre and protein play an important roll in increasing thermogenesis. The thermic effective of food can effect an individual’s daily energy requirements by 15-20%. Being well hydrated is also the best way to flush water out of the body, encourage anabolism (building of muscle tissue) and hormonal functioning.
Tip: Ensure that you are eating around 25-30g of fibre per day (based on a 1500-1800 calorie diet) and drinking 2-3 litres of water depending on exercise intensity, weather conditions and body size.
Address falling NEAT
BMR is not the only factor to drop when you diet. You will natural and subconsciously decrease your non-exercise activity. You may find yourself fidgeting less, sitting more and being less inclined with be active throughout the day.
Tip: Wearing a fitness tracker is a good way to keep an eye on falling NEAT. If you see changes in activity levels per day, you may need to consciously add more steps to your day.
If you are stuck and would like some practical support in achieving the physique of your dreams in 2020 or beyond, get in touch to discuss a variety of training and nutrition plans, [email protected]
Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.
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