DO I HAVE TO CUT OUT FATS FROM MY DIET IN ORDER TO LOSE FAT?
Losing fat is all about being in a calorie deficit; first of all you’ll need to figure out how many calories you expend each day, this number is referred to as your TDEE. If your goal is fat loss, you’ll need to ensure you’re eating a suitable split of macronutrients, and then apply a deficit either through nutrition or exercise (ideally, a combination of both).
Your body requires a certain amount of protein and fats based on its Lean Body Mass (LBM). Ensuring you consume enough fats and protein should be your main aim when it comes to setting up an effective nutrition plan. On average a person requires between 0.35-0.5g of fats per 1lb of LBM, and 0.8-1.2g of protein per 1b of LBM as well.
As long as you’re in a deficit of calories by the end of the day, you’ll be on track to lose fat. Simply starting with a deficit of 200kcals through the use of exercise is a perfect place to start. If you’d prefer to make adaptations to your nutrition, then decreasing your carbohydrate intake by 50g would be an alternative.
WHAT’S A SUPERFOOD?
Superfoods are simply foods which have a high quantity of micronutrients. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals; they’re only required in trace amounts, but they’re extremely important in human development. Super foods containing high amounts of micronutrients aid the body in a number of processes such as regulating metabolism and heartbeat, supporting growth of bones, muscle tissue and organs… decreasing risk of disease, producing energy and creating red blood cells.
CAN YOU EAT TOO MUCH PROTEIN?
If you’d like a short answer, yes. If you’d like to know why; your body only requires a certain amount of protein. This amount is dependent on the individuals LBM; Ideally you should aim to consume 1g of protein per 1lb of LBM (in lbs.), meaning that a person weighing 200lbs with 30% body fat would have a LBM of 140, meaning they should aim to eat 140g of protein per day.
If an individual ate excessively more than the amount they required, the protein would not be converted into muscle; instead it would be expended as energy or converted to fat if the total calorie surplus was too high.
HOW MANY CALORIES DO I NEED TO EXPEND TO LOSE FAT?
Fat loss is achievable at a rate of 1lb per week or less. Any weight loss above this rate is likely to come from muscle instead of fat, which is definitely not ideal.
1lb of fat can be burned through a deficit of 3500 calories; meaning that if you expend 500 calories every day for a week, (500*7) you’ll have expended 3500 calories, EG 1lb of fat.
It’s best to begin with a smaller deficit, such as 200kcals. This is because if you begin on a high deficit you’ll leave yourself for no room to deduct further calories once you hit a plateau (and you will eventually). This is one of the main reasons why so many people quit attempting to lose fat.
Tip: If you expend 750 calories via physical activity each day, you’ll have burned enough calories to add an extra 250 calories to your nutrition plan and still be in a deficit of 500 calories. So, if you exercise more… you can eat more… and still lose fat.
HOW MANY CALORIES SHOULD I CONSUME TO BUILD MUSCLE?
The trick with muscle gaining is to not start with a high surplus. The amount of muscle you can gain will be dependent on the number of years you’ve been training and the amount of muscle already on your frame. Start off by just adding a surplus of 100kcals per day; use that surplus and check your weight on the same day, at the same time, the next week and the week after. If your weight hasn’t moved, then simply eat an additional 100kcals per day (200 in total) and repeat the process.
It’s important that you also check your progress in the mirror; the scales aren’t always the most accurate form of measurement, as you can gain weight but lose body fat (due to muscle gain). Or, use a method of body fat testing to review your progress.
In terms of where you should gather your surplus calories from; increase only the carbohydrates. You should already be consuming enough protein and fats.
CAN I DRINK ALCOHOL AND STILL LOSE WEIGHT?
First of all, alcohol is detrimental to muscle gain and performance in the gym. If you’re looking to improve your strength or build muscle, then alcohol really isn’t a good idea. Alcohol actually reduces muscle protein synthesis by 20%. Not to mention that the next day, you’re likely to be dehydrated and skip out on the gym; thus decreasing your total volume of exercise and inhibiting your potential for results.
However, alcohol has a caloric value of 7… which means you CAN calculate how many calories you take in from alcohol, and therefore could prevent yourself from reaching a caloric surplus; which means you won’t gain any weight and you could continue to lose weight. What I must mention is that alcohol contains empty calories and will in no way improve your performance; if you are in a surplus of calories through drinking alcohol you’ll simply gain fat.
If you’d like to factor in a couple of drinks to celebrate an event… you can calculate your total calories for the day, save some and then factor in the calories you’ll consume through alcohol in order to maintain a deficit, that way when you get back to training and eating usually again, you won’t have gone too far off track. When doing this you should stick to low calorie drinks, such as spirits with zero-calorie mixers.
DOES IT MATTER WHETHER I GATHER MY CARBOHYDRATES THROUGH SIMPLE CARBS (SUGARS) OR COMPLEX CARBS?
At the end of the day, “Calories In vs Calories Out” will always be the main determent of whether you lose weight or gain weight. So, if you eat in a surplus using just sugary foods rather than complex sources to gather your carbohydrates, you could end up with the same results. However, doing so could lead to other health issues due to the high sugar intake such as potential liver damage; especially if your body fat percentage is already high.
For those with a low body fat percentage of sub 15%; acquiring carbohydrates from sugars will be less detrimental towards general health. However, it’s still advisable to consume as little as possible.
Using the 80-20 approach is an appropriate way to monitor your sugar intake. 80% of the total carbohydrate you consume should come from complex sources, and the other 20% can come from sugars.
IS CAFFEINE BAD FOR YOU?
Caffeine is a great CNS stimulant which you’ll find in tea, coffee, pre-workout and energy drinks. It’s safe for the average adult to consume up to 400mg of caffeine per day without any adverse effects to their health. Be careful not to surpass the daily recommendation for caffeine intake, as excess consumption can lead to headaches and even heart palpations.
Caffeine is great for suppressing appetite and improving mental stimulation, which is why it’s so popular in pre-workout supplementation.
Elevate™ Pre Workout provides 250mg of caffeine as well as 12 further active ingredients chosen to enhance exercise performance.
WHICH SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD I USE?
Supplements should be consumed on top of an already well-balanced diet, hence their name “supplements”. Make sure you’re already heading in the right direction towards your goal before taking any supplements, as they are an extra piece of help when it comes to reaching your body composition or health goals.
MY TOP 5 PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS:
1.) Pure Whey Protein™ – a perfect supplement for protein consumption.
2.) Micellar Casien – A slow releasing protein supplement to prolong muscle protein synthesis throughout the night while sleeping.
3.) Instant BCAA Powder – Includes an optimal ratio of the 3 branched chain amino acids, essential for muscle tissue growth and repair.
4.) Creatine Monohydrate – The most research-backed supplement on the market. Helps to improve and maintain strength performance in short bursts.
5.) Complete Multivitamin Complex™ – A blend of 30+ vitamins, minerals, probiotics & antioxidants; contributing towards normal energy metabolism and normal function of the immune system.