When most people say they want to lose weight, what they really mean is that they want to lose fat. You can lose weight just by eating less salt, sweating heavily, or going to the toilet. Cut off a foot and you’ll lose about five kilos instantly!
However, with the exception of chopping off afoot, such weight loss is temporary, and you’ll put that weight back on as soon as you drink some water (or your foot grows back).
Fat loss, however, means burning body fat for fuel. As you lose fat, you’ll also lose weight, and not only will your weight change, you’ll look very different too.
To burn fat, you need to create a calorie deficit. In other words, you need to eat fewer calories than your body needs, increase your energy expenditure by exercising more or do both. Your body will then meet this deficit by burning body fat for fuel. Body fat is simply stored energy, and the bigger the deficit, the faster fat loss will be. If you create a calorie deficit of around 500 per day, you should lose about half a kilo per week (approximately 1 pound).
To lose fat, most people adopt a diet, and while diets differ, each one promising that they help you lose fat faster than the rest, they all work because they create a calorie deficit. That is to say, they reduce the amount of food you consume.
LOW CARB DIET?
By cutting high-carb foods like bread, rice, and pasta, and replacing them with low calorie, non-starchy veggies, you reduce your total calorie intake. Yes, you also lower insulin levels, which creates a good environment for fat burning, but it’s the calorie deficit that is responsible for fat loss.
Fat is very calorie-dense, weighing in at 9 calories per gram. If you eat fewer fatty foods and replace those foods with low-fat, lower-calorie alternatives, you reduce your overall calorie intake. Again, it’s a calorie deficit in action.
Missing meals means eating fewer calories to create, you guessed it, a calorie deficit.
Without exception, that magical diet you’ve been reading about reduces your calorie intake to create a deficit. Paleo, Atkins, Food pyramid, South Beach, Juicing, Meal Replacement Shakes, Zone, Weight Watchers, Mediterranean – they all work in essentially the same way.
You don’t have to follow a diet to create a calorie deficit. In fact, most diets are too restrictive, complex, or inconvenient to follow for more than a few weeks. That’s why so many people fail to lose weight and keep it off; they just can’t stick to their chosen diet plan.
Instead, look for simple ways to create a calorie deficit in your current eating plan. Obviously, you should also endeavor to eat healthily by including plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and other natural foods in your diet, but for fat loss, a calorie deficit is king.
13 STEPS TO CREATE A CALORIE DEFICIT IN YOUR DIET
Here are a few ways you can create a calorie deficit. Not losing weight? Make some more changes to further reduce calorie intake or increase calorie expenditure.
1. Go low fat
Switch to low-fat milk, nonfat yogurt, low-fat cheese, and other reduced-fat foods, and trim visible fat from meat. Grill instead of fry, and avoid fatty takeouts.
2. Cut carbs
Replace high carb, high-calorie foods like bread, rice, and pasta, with non-starchy, lower-calorie veggies, e.g. grated cauliflower in place of rice or zucchini pasta.
3. Eat smaller meals
Reduce the size of your main meals by 25%. Put your reduced-size meals on smaller plates to make them look more filling.
4. Cut out junk food
Junk food is invariably very high in calories, usually from fat and sugar. Instead of junk food, eat more natural, lower-calorie food instead.
5. Cut out alcohol
Cutting out alcohol can save you a lot of calories.
6. No more desserts
If you habitually end your main meal with a dessert, have a piece of lower-calorie fruit instead.
7. No more soda
One can of regular soda contains around 160 calories. Replace with water to painlessly reduce your calorie intake.
8. No snacks
Habitual snacking is a leading source of unwanted calories. Stop eating between meals and save yourself a lot of calories. If you must-have snacks, choose low-calorie foods like apples that are high in fiber, filling, and healthy.
9. Skip breakfast
Breakfast is often sold as the most important meal of the day. However, moving your first meal of the day back a few hours to mid-morning or lunchtime means you’ll eat fewer calories.
10. Have a protein shake
Replace one meal a day with a protein shake. The average meal contains 400-700 calories, whereas an OxyWhey protein shake made with water contains only 110 calories. That’s a big saving!
Working out burns an average of 500 calories per hour. Assuming you do not increase your food intake, that alone could create the calorie deficit you need without having to diet.
Walking is a very underrated calorie-burning activity; you can do it anywhere, and anytime, and it’s gentle enough that it won’t leave you tired or otherwise interfere with your workouts. It will, however, help contribute to your calorie deficit.
Short for non-exercise physical activity, NEPA is any activity that gets you up, moving, and burning calories. Good examples include washing your car by hand, gardening or DIY, playing with your kids, or riding a bike for transport rather than exercise.
Losing weight is SIMPLE, you have to burn more calories than you eat. However, simple doesn’t always mean easy! You’ll need to maintain a calorie deficit for weeks or even months at a time to reach your ideal weight, and that requires consistency. But, if you put these tips into action, and you stick with it for long enough, you will burn fat and lose weight.