The most common new year goal we hear at Weights 4 Women is to lose body fat / lose weight.
This time of year there are many companies trying to capitalise on this. People trying to sell you a quick fix, detoxes, juice cleansing and the rest of the rubbish our social networks are spammed with.
If you haven’t read my article on the myth of detoxing, this is for you – http://www.weights4women.com/should-i-detox-weight-training-for-women/
You need to remember there are no magical drinks or no magical foods that are going to answer your new year problems.
Losing weight is both complex and simple, and it has to do with our energy balance.
There are 3 options – stay at maintenance , calorie surplus or a calorie deficit.
If you want to lose body fat / weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. In simple terms, you need to expend more energy than you are taking in (food & drink).
This is where tracking what you eat and drink is EXTREMELY important.
Apps such as MyFitnesPal are brilliant for this!
If you don’t know what your consuming on a day to day basis then the task becomes very difficult. It`s like trying to throw darts at a target whilst wearing a blindfold. Track your calories and try to be consistent daily, this will give you the best chance going forward.
So how will I know if I am in a calorie deficit?
By tracking what you are taking in each day you should be consistent with what ever number you are hitting in terms of calories. Once you are at a point that is consistent, are you losing weight or gaining weight? Or are the scales staying the same?
If the scales are staying the same then decrease your calories by 100 and monitor and track again. A good guide is to lose 1 to 2lbs per week. Any more then you risk losing muscle tissue (which is the last thing we want – more muscle = a higher RMR = more fat burnt at rest). You are looking to make long term sustainable changes that are maintainable after you have reached your goal weight.
Whilst weight training will amplify your results and progress, it is not needed. You just need to move a little bit more (walk instead of taking the car, use the stairs instead of the lift, stand instead of siting etc) and eat a little less.
If you are using a gym this new year, I wish you the best of luck! Although at times the gym can seem a scary place, it`s a community of friendly, like minded people who have similar aims and goals. Every one started out somewhere and we all remember that!
Any questions, feel free to send me a message. If this helped you, please share with others!