Eat less, do more.
That’s the flippant comment that most people make. If it was that easy then we all would be sporting a six pack. When you remove the nuances of the psychology of weight loss such as habit formation and habitual behaviour then what is the stark reality around how to lose weight.
There are 3 main components that make up the amount of calories you burn. BMR or basal metabolic rate- this is how many calories you need to sustain yourself and basically not die. Activity- how much you move or your energy expenditure beyond just existing. Digestion- yes, you heard me right. Digestion actually is responsible for around 10% of your calorie turnover.
Simply said when you eat as much as you burn your weight stays the same.
When you eat more than you need this makes you gain weight. Pretty simply concept really. This is usually as body fat unless your aim is to build muscle in which case you do need extra calories to build up.
When you eat less calories then you need you will lose weight. Simple.
If this is the case then why can it be hard work? If you have a sedentary job you may not turnover many calories from activity. As you get older your BMR decreases as you lose muscle mass (something you should aim to preserve).
As you can see the differences between a sedentary person is quite big. It means the active person needs more calories to maintain their weight.
So when it comes down to your diet it has to be individual. An active exerciser has a greater calorific burn then someone who doesn’t exercise. Activity is important in general as it aids calorie turnover.
If you are dieting without exercise or activity you will actually create a smaller window to create a deficit meaning that your diet may have to be more precise and limited in food volume as simply you just have less wiggle room.
What are the take home points here:
- Diets that create deficits but without exercise create a smaller window for success.
- Exercise creates a better chance of being successful as it allows you more calorific leeway- basically if you match a deficit with an inactive person you can eat more.
- Activity in every way matters and can help you with your results.
- Maintaining a high BMR is important by maintaining muscle.
- Training that encourages muscle maintenance and calorie burn such as our group conditioning sessions are important in maintaining and encouraging weight loss.