The new year is soon approaching and we are giving this past year's fitness goals one last shot.
One of those being "losing that extra fat"
Is there hope? Keep reading....
Have you heard of "to be in calorie deficit for fat loss"
When you consume fewer calories than your body needs in a day also called TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure=energy to sustain life + your daily activities + exercise) it then forces your body to start burning the stored fat you have for energy.
This is what we call "to be in calorie deficit for fat loss".
Calculate your TDEE here:
So if your scale is constant then it means your body is burning as many calories as you are consuming each day.
But if you wish to lose 1 kg fat then lets understand with an example.
1kg of fat=7,700 calories
That means in order to lose 1kg of fat you would need to be in a calorie deficit of 1,100 calories per day for 7 days. Thats a bit much ladies! And lets understand why?
Lets assume you are currently consuming 2,000 calories per day(average for most of us women), and you’re currently burning 2,000 calories per day (TDEE) , you’d need to now only consume 900 calories per day, for the next 7 days maintaining the same level of activity to keep the same calorie burn of 2000. Good luck maintaining that, not only is it hard but detrimental to your body to go below 1300-1400 calories/day for a long period of time. Thats a minimum requirement for most of us to maintain our vital organs and body functions going.
So instead let's first understand what are the four aspects of TDEE and what is the most sustainable way to cut down calories and "be in calorie deficit for fat loss"
1. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) -The bare minimum calories your body needs to keep you alive. If you kept lying on the bed staring at the ceiling the whole day the body is still working internally to keep you alive and for that it requires energy. It requires energy for your heart to pump blood, for your lungs to pull in and push out oxygen, and then that oxygen needs to be delivered to your brain and the rest of your body, maintain a normal temperature and even energy for your cells to divide, grow or repair. This number of course is dependent on your weight, height, age, and gender but did you know its responsible for 60 to 70 percent of your overall energy burn in a day.
Fun fact: More muscle mass, higher the BMR. It takes your body more calories to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat!
2.Thermic effect of food (TEF)-The body burns calories while digesting food. The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the amount of energy the body uses to digest, absorb and metabolize food (turning carbs into glucose and turning protein into amino acids). It comprises almost 10-15% of your daily calories.
Fun fact: Digesting protein burns more calories than digesting carbohydrates or fat. Approximately 25 calories for every 100 gram consumed as opposed to only 10-15 calories for carbs or fats.
3. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)-The calories burned by the movements we make when we go about our daily business Eg. playing with kids, cleaning the house, washing dishes, climbing the stairs.
4. Exercise activity thermogenesis (EAT)- Calories burnt during our workouts at the gym and other more enjoyable physical activities (we call this exercise-activity thermogenesis, or EAT)
So lets pause a moment to think about this: Between 70 and 85 percent of the calories you burn every day come from either eating or just hanging around doing nothing. Exercise & movement only targets 15 to 30 percent of your fat burn.
So I will burn off that extra cupcake or panipuri in the gym really doesnt work does it?
So the moral of the story:
Prioritize these for Fat loss in the order mentioned!
Be in calorie deficit (keep reading to know how)
2. Eat more protein (Remember digesting protein burns more calories)
3. Build more muscle (More calories is used by our body to maintain muscle)
4. Move throughout the day as much as you can & exercise (It does account for 15-30% of calorie burn)
Let's make a sustainable, practical plan for you.
Going back to our Fat Loss equation
1 Kg fat= 7700 calories
This means a caloric deficit of just 500 calories per day for approximately 2 weeks. Doable?
Your options to create this caloric deficit include:
Consuming 500 fewer calories
Burning 500 more calories
But keeping everything else the same.
So a more practical option: A combination
A one-hour Zumba class may burn 300 calories approximately (sometimes more) and if you cut that glass of wine that you are used to every night with dinner then its 200 calories right there. Keep everything else the same and you will have a 500 calorie deficit.
45 mins of brisk walking and cutting down 2 slices of bread butter toast in the morning breakfast for approximately 500 calories deficit keeping everything else the same.
You get the drift..."to be in calorie deficit for fat loss"
I know you are already on point 2....
Now if you are wondering how much protein is ideal for you, then simply start with a daily intake of 1 g per Kg of your body weight. So if I am 60 Kgs, I need a minimum of 60 grams of protein (Myfitnesspal.com is an amazing resource to know the amount in grams in common protein sources like eggs, chicken ,dal etc) The more active you are, the need keeps increasing to maintain muscle mass. I recommend this link to calculate yours.
And ofcourse, 2-3 times strength training to increase muscle mass, cardio on the other days, playing a sport or playing with your kids to clock in approximately 7500-10,000 steps a day will go a long way to boost that fat loss journey.
So is there hope! Absolutely.
Cheers to losing that 1 Kg of extra fat by New Years Eve!