With Spring here and Summer just around the corner, many people will have begun searching for the perfect diet/workout/magic pill to lose that Winter weight.
Keep it simple!
Just to make it that bit easier than last year or the year before, I’ll take all of the guessing out of it and get right down to highlighting basic nutritional guidelines, explaining the types of food to eat and how supplementing can help support your journey to not achieving abs, but your ideal physique.
1) Caloric Baseline
First of all, we need to find our caloric baseline. In order to lose weight you have to ultimately be at a caloric deficit for a certain time period to notice results.
The biggest mistake people make is drastically decrease amount of food being consumed as well as meal frequency;
Meal frequency should actually increase!
Think of your body as a continuous fire melting fat – how do you keep the fire inflamed? You add fuel.
The more nutritious foods you consume, the more calories you will burn within your caloric guidelines.
To find the BMR (Base Metabolic Rate) we derive it from the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation which is as follows:
– Men: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) + 5
– Women: 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (y) -161
Find your base metabolic rate and multiply it by how active your life style is using the below information to find out the total amount of daily expended calories (TDEE).
– Sedentary (little to no exercise) = BMR x 1.2
– Lightly Active (light exercise couple of times per week) = BMR x 1.375
– Moderately Active (Exercise 3-5 times per week) = BMR x 1.55
– Very Active (Hard Exercise 6-7 times per week) = BMR x 1.725
– Extremely Active (Intense Exercise + physical labor job) = BMR x 1.9
So after all calculations this will give you the base amount of calories you should be eating to maintain your current goals.
Starting the Shred
To get down in weight we need to shave off a percentage of the total calories being consumed. There are really two categories you can fall in to: fat loss or muscle loss.
The ideal percentage of total calories to be removed for fat loss with muscle retention is 10-20%. Any amount over this and you will have to cut into removing muscle mass from your frame.
A less-confusing, yet effective way to begin is by swapping your current meals for more nutritional-dense foods (as explained below) and gradually remove extra calories if results are not coming as quickly as you’d like.
For example: A 6’3,” 200-pound male wants to drop body fat while maintaining as much muscle as possible to get ready for an upcoming show. His TDEE is right around 3050 calories including exercise so dropping his calories by 10%, this male would be eating right around 2750 calories to start his cutting regimen.
2) Breaking down the Macros
Now that we know how many calories we need to eat to lose our ideal weight, we break it down into protein, carbohydrates and fats.
Protein should make up the greatest percentage of your daily intake of calories because of its ability to build lean muscle and burn fat within our body.
Some of the best options for lean protein sources include:
✓ Chicken/Turkey Breast
✓ Beef (98/2% ground)
✓ Fish – Tuna, Salmon etc
✓ Eggs/Egg Whites
✓ Nonfat Greek Yogurt
✓ Nonfat Cottage Cheese
Carbohydrates = 30%
When on this cutting diet, carbohydrates will play the trickiest role. Complex carbohydrates are the only way to go as far as pairing with all meals.
The best complex carbs that also limit insulin spikes are:
✓ Brown rice
✓ Sweet potatoes
✓ Whole-grain breads
✓ Whole-grain pasta
Simple carbohydrates are made up of only one or two sugar molecules and are detrimental to overall body fat dropping. Save these types of carb sources for post-workout only.
Fats play a crucial role in a cutting regimen because of its hormone enhancing properties and supplemental to muscular growth. Steer clear of trans fats that come in the form of candy bars, fried foods and pizza.
Add things like:
✓ Olive oil
✓ Egg Yolks
✓ Natural Peanut Butter/Almond/Cashew Butter
These will make up the remaining 30% of your diet.
3) Best Supplements To Burn Belly Fat
Pills, powders, drinks… supplement searching really can get out of control! There are literally thousands advertised daily. Let’s keep it simple – you’re dieting – you preferably want snacks, a source of energy to fuel your training and something to aid recovery. There are many more than these mentioned, but these are my staple supplements when in shredding mode.
When your diet is made up of 40% protein, it can be hard to eat that much meat and fish/tofu and soy if you’re vegetarian/vegan. Whey protein and Soy Protein is convenient, affordable and doesn’t have to be ‘boring/tasteless’ – enjoy your chosen flavour post-workout and any time throughout the day or night for a perfect, muscle-building snack.
BCAA’s – Branch Chain Amino Acids
Keeping yourself energized while on a lower carbohydrate diet can be difficult – especially when you’re putting all of your energy into getting through gruelling workouts. BCAA’s keep your energy level up as well as combating catabolic properties within the body and stepping in as the perfect tool for protein synthesis – extra muscle repair and growth!
Working your body to the core and not having all the calories to help replenish it can really take it’s toll on your body – especially if you already have a hectic lifestyle outside of training. Taking 2 servings of glutamine daily will help with overall recovery and help decrease cortisone levels.
A must that I consume all-year round for normal functioning of the body. Some may comment that vitamins aren’t necessary if you’re eating the right foods – but ensuring your eating the exact foods each day to cram all of your essential vitamins in just doesn’t happen sometimes. In fact, it’s pretty difficult.
Take Home Message
Knowing that we just have a just a couple of months until Summer can be a scary thought about having your shirt off at the lake or sporting your swimwear at the pool.
Making simple nutritional changes can increase your energy to fuel powerful workouts to make this summer your fittest yet!