How to start losing weight
Hi this is the post I wish I’d read when I started my fitness/weight loss journey. I’m not a dietitian nor am I a doctor only a biology student drowning in notes fml so I can’t guarantee any of this to be fact, just what I’ve learnt so far. Feel free to add any corrections/more info!
Counting calories is not inherently evil. Awareness of what’s in your food really helps
Personally I find that not doing it leads me to unsereat but some people also overeat.
If you are gonna count calories, calculate your BMR and set your daily intake to -100 to -400 of that (MyFitnessPal will do it automatically once you enter your stats and how much you want to lose per week)
Once you’ve decided on an intake, don’t go under that. If one day you’re not hungry, you should still eat it because otherwise it may lead to overeating the next day.
Eating healthy does not guarantee weight loss. If you’re not in a caloric deficit you won’t lose weight.
Vegan/vegetarian - being vegetarian does not equal weight loss either if you’re not in a caloric deficit (from personal experience). I can’t speak for veganism though.
Slow and steady wins the race. Aka, don’t set your goals to more than 2 pounds per week.
Once you’re at your goal weight, the number of calories that was a ‘deficit’ will become your maintenance, which means you’ll have to eat like that if you want to stay at that weight so don’t lower it too much
If you are counting calories, buy a food scale. They’re like $20 and estimating the quantities you’re eating will lead you to undereat most of the time. You don’t need to weight all your food but it helps you get an idea of what a portion looks like.
If you’re hungry you’re doing it wrong. If you’re cold, you’re doing it wrong. You’re undereating, up your calorie intake. You don’t need to feel hungry to lose weight.
Working out is better than eating less. In a study, it was reported that people who worked out ended up eating less than people who were simply put in a caloric deficit. A theory as to why is that the brain may be too focused on sending blood to the muscles to produce ghrelin (hunger hormone).
The calorie number you see on the gym machines is not accurate (can be like 300 calories off). It’s better to take the time and distance (if applicable) it gives you and input it into Google Fit or some website where you can specify your height and weight.
Cardio burns more calories but weight lifting will increase your metabolism. You need both
No, weight lifting will not make you bulk up. It’s really difficult to gain muscle if you’re in a caloric deficit (and you’re going to love the way your shoulders look!)
Also if you don’t weight train you’ll get more stretch marks (this one’s from personal experience). You don’t want to be all flabby once you’ve lost the weight.
Macros? What’s that?
Macros stands for macronutrients - fat, carbs and protein. Most people tend to set a percentage goal for each of them every day. So what percentages should you choose?
High carb vs high fat - studies show that people on high carb tend to burn less fat and people on high fat tend to burn more fat but store more carbs in the form of fat. So, one is not really better than the other.
Carbs take more energy to metabolize than fats do so you’ll technically store less of the energy you get from them
Carbs will not make you fat - glucides naturally attract water to them. Aka they make you ‘retain water’ which is why if you reduce them you’ll see the number on the scale drop. Water weight is not bad. You want to get rid of the weight corresponding to the fat
High protein - high protein is just not good for your liver. According to the WHO, the recommended intake is 0.8 grams per each kilogram of body weight.
Protein will make you feel fuller for longer and it’s also the macro that takes the most energy to metabolize. That’s why most diets are high protein
I personally think high carb is the way to go because it’s just easier to do and carbs take more energy to metabolize than fats but keto vs hclf vs ‘balanced’ diet? Your choice
Micronutrients are all your minerals, vitamins, individual aminoacids…
Why do they matter - honestly, too complex to explain but mainly
It’ll help you curve cravings. You can look at something unhealthy that you’re craving, look at the micronutrients and find something healthy with similar micros. That usually does the trick. Notice that you’re craving chocolate? Yeah maybe your iron is too low. Spinach is also high in iron and low in calories
When you lower your calorie intake, you may not get all your nutrients. That’s why it’s important to keep track of them so that you know if you should eat more of something.
I recommend getting Cronometer (yes, it’s a paid app but it’s a one time purchase and it’s totally worth it) to track your micros.
Input the generic foods instead of the brand name ones because they have all of the nutrients calculated while brand name ones don’t
Some tips on appetite
Now look I do not encourage that you suppress your appetite. If you’re hungry, eat. But like, some days you’re just strangely hungry so
Sleeping less than eight hours will increase your appetite So. Much. I’m not joking here okay. Sleep
Cinnamon, coffee, ginger and tomatoes are all appetite suppressants. I find that tomatoes work best plus they have lots of potassium.
Fiber will keep you fuller for longer. Go for whole-wheat options
Having most of your protein at breakfast will help you be way less hungry throughout the day
It takes 20-30 minutes for your brain to realize your stomach is full so eat slowly or wait like 20 minutes and if you’re still hungry, then eat.
Hit a plateau?
This probably means your metabolism has slowed down. Apparently the best thing to do is to increase your calorie intake, specially your carb intake, for like a week to boost your metabolism. (Source: one of JulesGetsFit videos with her personal trainer).
That’s all I have for now. I may do a part two if I remember anything else.
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