In the pursuit of lean mass, tone and definition, there are a number of barriers that people come up against, however there needn't be. All you need is a few set rules that you live your life by, and eventually the fat will disappear and the muscle will show through! This isn’t a fad approach to lean definition, THIS is a concise guide on what actually works…and how you can do it!
Workout your calorie requirements
The first step to burning fat and getting that lean look is to estimate your nutritional requirements, but particularly, your calorie requirements (energy requirements). Knowing your requirements enables you to plan your diet so that you enter what’s known as a ‘calorie deficit’, whereby you consume less calories than you need to maintain your current weight. If you can maintain a calorie deficit for around 1-4 weeks (or until your desired weight is achieved) you will eventually lose weight… maybe 1-2lbs a week if activity levels are adequate.
Calculate your calorie requirements by taking your weight in Kg and multiplying it by 35, or 30 if you’re mainly sedentary. An average 70kg male would therefore do the following: 70 x 35 = 2450 kcal (calories), therefore a dietary intake of around 2000kcals would help you to lose weight.
Minimum of 30mins exercise a day
Current government recommendations are for the general public to complete a minimum of 60mins physical activity a day, this is deemed to be ideal. HOWEVER, recent findings suggest that a very small number of people managed to complete just 30mins of activity (the original recommendation), so it seems crazy to increase that further. For many of our customers, the importance of physical is clear with most of you already far exceeding 30mins a day. Depending on your physical state and experience with exercise, you may see 30mins (or maybe even 10mins) of exercise a good target for you…this is fine in itself because physical activity is absolutely integral to burning fat. Although a calorie deficit is key to burning fat, and more easily achieved with exercise (greater energy expenditure), it is resistance training and cardio work such as treadmill walking/ running and so on that really shifts that body fat!
Achieve nutritional balance
It will be more difficult, and far less healthy to lose weight and burn fat if your nutrition isn’t balanced. What I mean by ‘balanced’ is that your total calorie intake should be comprised of approximately 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein and 30% fat, as well as including a good variety of fruit and veg in order to meet your daily vitamin and mineral requirements. A calorie deficit will only do so much, you will lose weight initially but eventually you are more likely to hit a weight loss plateau if your diet isn’t balanced. For example, a diet that is carbohydrate rich may cause a more exaggerated insulin response than protein or fat, and an excess of insulin is likely to encourage fat storage, especially the lower your fat stores become. Consuming a diet that is relatively high in protein will increase satiety, whilst consuming adequate fruit and veg will also serve as a fibre source which also increases the feeling of fullness, increases the transit rate of fat through your bowel AND is full of vitamins and minerals.
Get these 3 things right this New Year, stick with it for a good, and you can expect to see some weight loss and improvements in body composition such as more lean muscle mass, less body fat and an overall better body shape.