A lot of people reach out to ask questions about losing weight. Simply put, losing weight is about being in a caloric deficit. To lose weight, you need to know how many calories you generally burn daily (find that here) and consistently take in less calories than what you burn. Sounds easy, but in practice it can be a challenge.
When we are on the hunt for low calorie foods it is easy to fall victim to hidden macronutrients. Even when we cook at home calories from fat sneak their way into our food by the way of cooking oils and butter and carbs show up as added sugar. This might put us on the path towards logging food, checking labels, and weighing our meals to ensure we are on the right track. But is that sustainable?
My advice for weight loss is this: build a plan to eat one-ingredient foods 80% of the time and exercise as needed. If you’re just starting with a clean eating lifestyle, shooting for 80% of clean foods will keep you full and help you stay low-calorie while trying to hit your goals.
By sticking to foods with one ingredient (milk, oats, carrots, strawberries, etc.) you won’t be surprised by added ingredients and you will be in control of your diet. This will make it easier to add or subtract food as you see your weight change. The good news is that you can always make your meals and combine ingredients. The big factor here is that you are in the driver’s seat and you have a full awareness of what you’re putting into your body.
Exercise is a good for burning more calories. If you are looking to increase your deficit you can always add a little bit of volume to your training. However, you must keep your protein intake around 1g per pound of body weight (4 calories of protein per pound of body weight) to ensure that you don’t break down muscle for fuel.
If you are training (exercising with an intentional goal to achieve a certain level of fitness or outcome) your nutrition should adjust to meet your training needs. Don’t train in a deficit unless your training requires you to! Your performance will decrease and you will feel like junk. Remember, deficits are for weight loss.
I hope this helps! If you have any questions feel free to reach out.