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Tips for sustainable fat loss

I want to introduce you to a series I am going to be rolling out over on my Facebook page.

I'm always seeing gimmicky ideas about what people should or shouldn't be doing to "lose weight". But most of the time, they just make me cringe. Why?

Well...
Many of them simply don't work.
Others are completely incompatible with the average lifestyle.
They are often unsustainable and hard to stay motivated with.
Those that promise fast weight loss don't result in lasting weight loss, and often that "weight" is water or muscle, when what you really want to be looking at is losing fat.

Sustained fat loss and weight maintenance is actually really simple. It is a matter of consuming an appropriate amount of calories for your activity level, assuming that you are reasonably active (at least 30 minutes a day folks) but also not an athlete training under extreme circumstances.

That last point is pretty important. Pro body builders, olympians, even full time health bloggers - their lifestyle is unusual. Too many people fall into the trap of thinking that what these guys do is going to be great for themselves, but your nutrition has to suit your lifestyle.

So, the best scientific evidence suggests that if you want to lose fat, and keep it lost, you should be operating at a calorie deficit of around 500 calories a day. Half of that should come from increased exercise, and half from an adjustment in diet. Truthfully, that is not difficult to achieve, or sustain.

Not everyone likes counting calories. I love it personally. I have a Fitbit, I love the little graphs that tell me how many calories I have expended, and I have become a walking encyclopedia of the calorie content of my food. But... I'm a personal trainer, it's my job, my lifestyle is unusual! So what I decided to do, was produce a series of meme like images to give people ideas about how to be a little more active (and burn those 250 cals extra a day), while cutting 250 calories relatively painlessly. Assuming you are currently at a steady weight, and don't start eating extra elsewhere in your day, that should result in a half a kilo a week fat loss. Which is nice.

I made this little example for the clowns out there:



Possibly another one for the unusual lifestyles, but you get my drift. Keep an eye on my Facebook page for more.

I'm not really suggesting you follow these religiously, but I do hope that it give you a clearer idea about what 2-300 calories of exercise, or food, looks like.

A little disclaimer here:
This is intended for relatively healthy people with a bit of fat mass to lose. If you have a lot more to lose, are at risk of cardiovascular disease, have any reason why increasing your activity levels might not be great for your health, or require a specialist diet, then you need to speak to your doctor before making any lifestyle changes. Please do that.

I am also aware that not all of the adjustments I suggest are going to be the most ridiculously healthy option. I could tell you just to replace all your snacks with kale smoothies, and you might even try that for a week. If you do that, and it works out for you, that's great! However I know that most people, myself included, want to make adjustments that feel achievable, so there are going to be some suggestions that aren't actually the most healthy choice, but are still better than the original.

If you would like to know more about how to achieve a healthy, balanced diet, that is actually approved by science, check out this resource here.

If you feel like you would like more personalised support in meeting your health goals, why not check out my online personal training.


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