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How much do I need to eat to lose weight?The amount you need to eat will vary depending on many factors, including your sex, age, weight, activity levels, muscle mass, metabolic rate and more. This will require a prediction by calculation. Ultimately, the ability to lose weight is determined by whether you are in a caloric deficit - this means you have more calories going out than you have going in. Calories going out are viewed as your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This can be broken down into 4 main parts; Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (EAT), Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) and Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). Weight loss can only occur in the presence of a caloric deficit. Selecting the correct strategy to achieve the caloric deficit is the next step!
What is the best diet strategy for fat loss?In short - the one that you can stick to, and sustain the results of. All diets are designed to create some form of calorie restriction, as a caloric deficit is the key component of fat loss. Most diets are successful at causing you to lose fat - the issue lies in the ability to maintain those results once you finish the diet. In our opinions, the effectiveness of a diet should be judged on how well an individual can keep their results afterwards. If the diet leads to a huge weight rebound and spikes fat gain afterwards, then what was the point of the diet? There are worrying statistics about the rates of weight regaining and over-gaining following diet periods. Adherence is also crucial to results. If you cannot stick to the diet strategy you apply long-enough to see the benefits from it - then it is not the correct strategy for you. Additionally, could you stick to this diet strategy after you have achieved the weight/fat loss goal you had in mind? We understand that you don’t want to be dieting forever, and you need to increase your caloric intake at some point - however if your diet strategy encourages a completely different relationship with food (ie exclusion diets) then can you sustain it afterwards? If not, then how do you plan to sustain the results of the diet? Much of this comes down to personal preference and your adherence to the diet - however a coach may help you to adopt a strategy that is most likely to give you sustainable results long-term. Our personal preference is flexible dieting.
How much Protein should I eat per day?General recommendations suggested in the literature advise that between 0.7g-1g of protein per lb of bw, or 1.6g-2.2g per kg of bw is optimal for maximising muscle growth and repair. Individuals that are dieting and looking to maintain more lean body mass may benefit from eating higher amounts of protein per day, as protein is very filling and has a higher thermic effect when being broken down into amino acids than carbs and fats. Much larger individuals with more lean body mass such as bodybuilders may need to eat more protein than the recommended amounts in order to optimise their adaptations to training, however there is limited research in how much quantifiable difference this makes. Furthermore individuals with higher weight and body fat levels may find that the amount of protein suggested for them to eat is unrealistic. It is advisable to consider the recommendations but also to adapt according to personal needs. As for protein distribution, it is advisable to split daily protein intake evenly between meals, and to eat at least 3 meals per day containing a sufficient amount of protein within each meal. Eating a portion of protein every 4-8 hours is seen to assist with optimising muscle growth and repair.
Is it better to eat low carbs, or low fats for fat loss?"Neither. Research demonstrates that when calories are equated and protein is equated, there is no advantage towards fat loss for either low carb or low fat diets. Whether you choose to eat less carbs or less fats to save more calories is down to your preference and what enables you to stick to your diet. It is advisable to avoid going below 20% of your total daily calorie intake from fats due to the important role dietary fats have in overall health. It is primarily important to ensure you are eating enough protein each day within your calorie intake. Then the distribution of remaining calories between fats and carbs is variable. It may also be worth considering the type of training you are doing, and monitoring how you feel about your current carb/fat split.
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