Updated: Jun 30, 2019
Weight loss and losing fat enables businesses across the world to make millions in profit each year and there are no signs of it slowing down. There are various diets, a lot of which are promoted by celebrities.
They are published online and in magazines and its very difficult to surf the web and not come across an ad promoting weight loss somewhere. But what is the truth about weight loss? Hold on, because you might not want to hear what follows...
The fundamental basics of weight loss, that many people with any sense of logic already know, is simple...calories in versus calories out. If my body needs 2,500 calories a day to maintain my body composition (i'm not using the word weight and this will be explained shortly) and i consume (eat) 3000 a day then it is blindingly obvious that i will gain more body fat as my body will be in a calorie surplus.
The body takes what it needs for daily function, things like walking, brain activity, the constant beating of our hearts etc..and whatever is left over is stored as fat to be called upon at a later date if the calorie intake is too low.
Now let's break this down. 1lb of fat is 3,500 calories. If i gain 1 stone, that is 14lbs and 49,000 calories...just let that sink in...49000 calories! That's around 4,900 slices of bread! When i talk to clients about weight loss i break this down to them because they simply don't understand calories. If you weighed 10 stone at 18 years old and you're now 22 and pushing 16-17 stone, then you can appreciate the importance of understanding calories.
It is also very important to understand that if it takes you 4 years to gain that weight, how on earth is a 12 week summer six pack diet and training program from your favourite magazine going to rectify that? The simple answer is, it can't!
Now, before we go any further i just want to clarify that this post doesn't in any way mean that i'm against training programs with diet advice, i mean, i sell them myself! What I have a problem with is when PT's aren't honest with clients and promise them unrealistic results just to hook them in. If a potential client asks me in a consultation how long it will be for the results they want, i look them in the eye and tell them with no hesitation that for true body transformation (if they are very overweight) will take between 9 - 12 months.
And right there is the point where people either commit and understand that there are no quick fixes, or they thank you and go to another PT who advertises 12 week transformations and promises of complete success.
Needless to say that everybody is different and timescales are unique to each individual. But let's say that you want to lose 1 stone of body fat, then you need to go into a calorie deficit. 1 stone of fat is 49000 calories and a safe and steady calorie loss per day is around 350 calories, that means it would take you 140 days to lose that stone. Add into that a good training program and you could potentially halve that time.
In order to achieve weight loss, strength gain, muscle gain, endurance,,,they all require consistency. Consistency requires a little discipline but the results and rewards are so worth it! The problem today is that everything has to be now! New episodes of your favourite tv show, i don't want to wait i'll try and find it on netflix. That new pair of jeans, just order them online and pay for express delivery...unfortunately with training and weight loss that simply can't happen, and i think a lot of people have a problem with staying the course. I have heard so many times people saying that they are fed up because they aren't seeing results and i'm like 'Dave, its been 12 days!' Stay the course and the results will come.
There are so many diets out there i probably couldn't list them all. Some are good, some are really really bad (from a healthy strategy point of view) but most of them, at their core, have the same goal in mind and that is to put the body into a calorie deficit in order to lose body fat.When it comes to the minefield that is dieting, be aware that dieting does not mean starving yourself!
It doesn't mean that you have to eat lettuce, rice and chicken forever, it simply means that in order to lose body fat you must restrict the amount of calories that you consume...ever hear of the guy who lost a ton of weight only eating mcDonalds?? Yes he only ate Big Macs, but made sure he didn't go over his daily calorie amount, simple right?
Now i wouldn't advise people to do this as there are nutritional value issues, but i would never tell a client not to eat a burger either, i mean if you can't enjoy the foods you like then what's the point?
My conclusion on this subject is this... do a little research, make sure that you're not starving your body of calories and you are taking in enough healthy nutrients, pick one and STICK TO IT! Read up on calories and maybe track your food and don't fall for ads that seem too good to be true.
Weight and Fat: Know The Difference.
Throughout this blog post i have referred to 'body fat' a lot and not 'weight'. The reason for this is simple, weight and fat are two different entities, Yes they can correlate but there can be confusion so let me explain..
Client A steps on the scales in their bathroom and decides they don't like what they see, they feel that their clothes are getting a little snug and they want to 'lose weight'. They go and see a PT at their local gym, book in some sessions and off they go on their 'weight loss' journey. The PT decides that a good way for client A to lose 'body fat' is to incorporate resistance weight training along with cardio based exercise.
Client A sweats their way through 2 weeks of training and dieting and steps on the scales... 2lbs lost. Client A gets upset and thinks they should have lost more 'weight'. Client A starts to lose motivation, binge eats at the weekend... Client A is unhappy.Sound familiar?
Now, client A might have lost 2lb in 'weight' over that 2 week period, but it's plausible that due to the resistance training their body has taken on and retained more water in the muscles (weight) and more fluid in general. Had client A measured themselves they may have found that along with 2lbs of weight loss they could also have lost an inch or two from certain sites on the body!
The point is that weight is merely a number to explain mass. A guy that is 8% body fat and ripped can weigh a lot purely to muscle density, so the scales, in effect, lie to you. My advice is to measure your waist at the belly button, hips, top of the thighs and chest and measure once every 2 weeks. Do not step on the scales daily (unless you're prepping for competition obviously) It's misleading and pointless in all honesty.
There are some fantastic PT's and online coaches, amazing articles, bloggers, instagram influencers and youtube stars out there and if you find the right ones to follow then you should have no issues in your fitness/body fat loss journey. Unfortunately the weight loss and fitness industry is worth hundreds of millions a year and there a re people that seem genuine but are just in it for the money.
Research and educate yourself through the proper channels about your body, how it works and what it needs. Don't believe everything you read in magazines our what you see z list celebrities endorsing (boombod ahem) be true to yourself and be consistent in whatever you do, trust me when i say that in the end it will all be worth it!
Visit my website for blog articles on health and fitness here: https://www.blueprintpt.co.uk
Any questions please feel free to leave a comment.