You Should NOT Aim for Weightloss
Many people have this aim of losing weight, but you actually should not aim for that. Why is that? Well… I honestly think most people should aim for fat loss and not weight loss. A seemingly small difference, but I will try to explain the importance of aiming for fat loss and how this affects your exercise and diet choices.
First of all, I want to explain a bit on caloric expenditure, or in other words the calories you burn. The amount of calories you burn can be divided into three groups. There is obviously a portion that you burn with physical activities (on average 20%-30% of the total). Another group is the thermic effect, this is the amount of calories you use for digesting and storing food (this is roughly 10%). Last group is the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), this is the amount of calories you burn when you are at complete rest. So thesec calories you burn when you would stay at rest and is for the bodily functions that keep you allive. The RMR is the biggest component of your caloric expenditure (60%-70%). Be aware, these are just averages and are meant to give an indication of the ratio.
Another element I want to dicsuss is Body Composition. This is not some specific bodybuilding term, but this refers to the division of your body in fat mass, muscle mass, bone mass and water, or more often the division between fat mass and lean body mass. The most common measures are weight and body fat percentage, from there you can calculate from your body weight the fat mass and lean body mass. Your lean body mass, more specifically your muscle mass is quite important if you want to shape up. Not as much to grow as a body builder, but muscle mass is closely related to your RMR. The more muscle mass you have, the higher the RMR. The higher your RMR, the more calories you burn every day.
Losing Fat Mass
So in order to get rid of excess weight, you should aim to lose fat mass and try to keep (or gain) muscle mass. This has consequences for the exercises that you should do and focus on, but also on what you eat. I will mention a few general tips.
Obviously with the importance of muscle mass, you should include strength training in your exercise routine. This does not mean that you should exclude cardiovascular training. You should aim to have a combination of these, where the strength training assists you with the muscle mass and the cardiovascular exercise should help you with creating (a higher) caloric expenditure.
This caloric expenditure is important for your fat loss goal. Because it is actually very simple (in theory). If you consume less calories than you burn: you lose weight. If you consume more calories than you burn: you gain weight. In order to make sure you lose fat mass and not muscle mass, it is important that you exercise in the correct way, but also that you are on point with your caloric deficit.
Your body is very good at adapting to what is thrown at it. For instance your body will get used to a certain type of exercise in about 6 weeks. When you create a calorie deficit that is too high, your body will go in survival mode. All of a sudden, you will start losing muscle mass and store more fat. Actually the opposite of what you should be trying to achieve. Even though on the scale you see that you might lose weight, but in the mirror you do not shape up… So you should aim for a calorie deficit somewhere between 500 to 1000 calories, best staying on the low side (so start with a deficit of 500 calories, see also Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast).
Another aspect to aim for, is to try and eat relatively more protein in your diet. This has two reasons: 1. in a calorie deficit the protein is used as a energy source and 2. the digestion of protein has the biggest thermic effect (so you even burn more calories digesting your protein).
What To Do Now
If you are trying to shed some excess weight and you want to shape up, I can help you with a customized training program. This would be specifically for you, your goals and your situation. Nutritional advice and coaching can be added to this. For more information you can check the page with programs.
Feel free if you have any questions about this to drop a comment or get in touch through the contact page.
Start now, not tomorrow!