The Secrets to Fat Loss (Part 2)

Welcome back to the next chapter in our very own secrets to fat loss. In today’s rendition, we will be taking a deeper look into some of the more important parts of our journey. We will be looking at sleep, calories and macronutrients. As I am sure you’ve all heard, it is said that 80% of your fat loss can be contributed to your diet and the last 20% is in respect to your training. Whether you wish to buy into the figures or not, we can’t deny the fact that food is very important. You can find the most elite training scheme and be working out like you never had before, but for the most of us, we can’t out train a bad diet. Understanding this enables us to find more motivation in the kitchen. The hours we spend in the gym will not be enough to get us to where we want to be. As our body is making its changes, we need to support it with adequate sleep as well which will fast track our results.

Similar to last week, we would like to start our blog post off with the reminder that we are all the version of our best self, regardless of what numbers on a scale say or what the mirror shows back at us. You are enough and you are beautiful/ handsome in your own skin. Hammer’s Gym only wants to offer advice for those looking to take on their own journey. As we are also going to be talking about food in this post, we would also encourage you to seek professional advice before making any drastic changes as all numbers will be individualised to those on their journey.

First and foremost, let us talk about sleep. Too many people pride themselves on the ability to get by on minimal sleep. Especially with the unfortunate reality that not too many of us are professional athletes with an in-house chef. What you don’t realise is you are taking away your body’s only form of restoration that you can’t get back. A bad night’s sleep can take many good night’s sleep before we are recovered again.

A study was conducted on healthy individuals, where they had 2 groups: 1 group was restricted to 6 hours sleep, and another group had unrestricted sleep. Both groups were in a calorie deficit. Both groups lost roughly the same amount of weight in the time period, however there were some notable differences. The sleep restricted group lost mostly lean mass (muscle) whereas the unrestricted group lost mostly body fat. The restricted sleep group also had elevated Ghrelin Hormones (what makes us hungry) which made fighting cravings a lot more difficult. Sleeping well each night will assist us in more ways than we think, and I encourage everyone reading this to raise it on our priorities list.

The next topic we will fall into will be calories. This will lead us straight into our talk on macronutrients as well. To start, and the most basic rule that we must all accept is that we cannot lose weight if we are eating more calories than we are burning. The simple formula of calories in versus calories out should be the driving factor when you’re in the kitchen. There is no escape from this, this applies to 100% of the population. The problem with this simple formula, is that there are no numbers. How many calories did I eat today? How many calories did I burn today? Without putting numbers here, we can’t accurately calculate where we sit.

Everyone burns calories between the time they wake up and the time they go to sleep regardless of what you do in between. The rest of the calculations can vary from person to person. How long your workout was for today or how much time you spent on your feet running errands will all increase and decrease your calories burnt. Seeking professional help with determining this number will always be the best bet and can be done by any nutritionist or health professional.

When we burn this energy, we must replenish it. Everything we put into our bodies, except for water, will have a caloric count. Not eating enough food will leave us exhausted throughout the day and struggling to complete our daily tasks, let alone go to the gym. Yet eating too much will result in us having too much stored energy which is usually stored as fat. Finding this balance to eat just under our calories burnt will keep us going throughout the day with enough energy to do what we need to do, while still losing a steady weight across our journey. Again, please seek professional advice before making changes to your diet and ensure you are being safe.

The food that we eat will be largely broken down into three subcategories: protein, carbohydrates and fats. This big three is known as our macronutrients and will be a word you become very familiar with if you wish to embark on your fat loss mission. Firstly, fats. Although we talk about losing fat, it is actually quite important to include them in our diet. The primary function of fat is energy storage and helps regulates hormones in our bodies. It can be found in avocado, cheese, dark chocolate, nuts and olive oil. Protein is the building blocks of our muscles. They are what help our muscles grow and also provide us with energy. It can be found in foods like beef, lamb, chicken, tuna, mushrooms and lentils. Last but not least, carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibres found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products. Similar to the other macronutrients, they’re a source of energy for the body. When eating our food, we need a healthy balance between the three in order for us to have a healthy diet. A health professional will be able to write you an exact plan when it comes time and if you need help in deciding how much and of what.

Next week, we will be looking into the training we are doing and how we move throughout the day.

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