Over the past couple of weeks I have had a couple of questions around weight loss, so I thought I would share what I have been testing over the last couple of weeks to lose 5kg (11 pounds).
Don’t want to read the full thing? …. ok here is the short version 1. Watch your cal intake and output, for those of you who want a little bit more detail, please read on.
This might not be for everyone ...
If you spend enough time searching on Google you can find a diet which sounds like heaven, want to eat steaks for every meal … there is the carnivore diet … want bacon, butter, and eggs? Keto sounds amazing right? Love carrots? Vegan maybe your bag.
I have played around with all (and more) of those diets and had a mixture of results, friends have thrived and seen amazing results eating the same as me, whereas I still struggled to lose weight.
Low carb diets left me with little energy and high fat diets … well … made me fatter, but the one thing that has always helped is monitoring my calories. Before you google it and start sending me messages like … “That’s rubbish, it doesn’t work”, “Bro, I eat a carrot and gain 10 pounds” …. blah blah blah
This is not about you princess; I am just giving you the facts that seem to work well for me
This is what I try and do ...
As I mentioned … the diet is simply tracking the calories I eat (and more importantly drink) and try and keep them under 2000 per day. As a male at 40 something, my body needs around 2500 calories to do my daily tasks.
By only eating 2000 cals per day, I am taking 500 less than my body needs which in theory means in 7 days I should lose a pound of fat (3500cals = 1 pound of fat). Because of my Martial Arts training I am burning more calories thus helping me lose 5kg in the last 4 weeks.
Simple right? Eat less than you expend
How to I track calories in/out
My Fitness Pal
To keep things easy, I track everything I eat or drink in an mobile App called My Fitness Pal
You can create an account for free and it gives you a easy to use app to record your calories both in and out.
You can scan bar codes, search meals and foods from UK supermarkets making life much easier.
Fitbit – Activity Tracker
Again … I don’t want to get into an argument about the device, but I wear this most of the day to track my activity.
I wear it for as much training as possible so I can have a rough idea of how many cals I am burning in training.
But where I see the biggest benefit in wearing a fitbit is to track and monitor my none exercise activity and cals.
Yes, I am a geek and yes, it takes some time adding all the information each week to a spreadsheet.
But, I like I have a dashboard can use to review the week/month and look for weight loss patterns which might help me review my diet or daily activity to achieve my goals.
My findings over the past month ...
Here are some of the key things I have learned over the last month …
- Before monitoring my calories, I must of been consuming over 3000 cals per day and probably way more on a weekend. It is surprisingly easy to take in lots of calories if you are not thinking about it (or in my case recording it).
- I need to up my normal activity levels (walking, gardening … etc), Although I am in the gym coaching most days, when working and at home, most of my time is spent sat down.
- Don’t drink calories, a cappuccino from Starbucks with a bit of sugar or flavoured syrup is over 200 cals, that is 10% of you daily intake, a black coffee with sweetener is only 10 cals 0.5% of your 2000cals per day)
- I can still have cheat meals and drinks (Beer and Wine … not in the same glass) if I try and keep to only 2000 cals a day.
Whats next ?
Well that’s easy …. keep going as recording my cals and keeping them under 2000 seems to be working well.
The only change I might make is in the amount of carbs and fats I consume to be lower and protein to be increased to see how this effects my energy and recovery. BUT … the 2000cals per day will remain until I hit my target weight, then I can increase my cals to 2500 to maintain my weight.
Even then I will continue to monitor my cal input and output as I am clearly a fat kid who cannot be trusted with his diet :).
Thank you to Kelly ...
It is hard to be your own coach, so to help kick my butt into gear and give me a help on my deit structure I hired Kelly to help. Check out her site and get intouch if you need help with your diet … https://livingwellwithkelly.com/