Fat Loss Guidelines
by Mark Mueller of Personal Trainer Denver CO
The purpose of my blogging is to answer questions that I get from dedicated clients and the wonderful people in my social networks. This blog addresses the most common concern, being fat loss. More specifically, how to eat in a way that best supports fat loss in a healthy, sustainable manner.
I don’t normally use the term weight loss, because actual weight isn’t what really concerns people, with the exception of those with joint and back problems. For all of these people, the underlying issue is body fat. I always instruct my new clients to ignore the scale for the first few weeks of training, because it can be misleading. Many people actually maintain their weight or even gain a pound or two as they become leaner. This is because muscle weighs much more than fat does. Of course, if you have a lot of extra body fat, you will lose a lot of weight as your fat loss increases.
The most important factor in the equation of optimal fat loss is nutrition. What you eat will determine 60-80% of your results. Below are some guidelines for designing a successful fat loss food program that should become habit.
- Drink only non-calorie containing beverages, such as water and green tea.
- Eat mostly whole food. This is food with little or no refining or processing and containing no artificial additives or preservatives.
- Eat every 2-3 hours. You should eat between 5-8 meals per day. As you increase meal frequency decrease portion size as not to increase caloric intake.
- Ensure that 25-35% of your energy/calorie intake comes from fat, with your fat intake split equally between saturates (e.g. animal fat), monounsaturates (e.g., olive oil), and polyunsaturates (e.g. flax oil, salmon oil).
- Eat complete (containing all the essential amino acids), lean protein with every meal. Egg whites are the best source, although a vegetarian can accomplish this too.
- Eat fruit and/or vegetables with every meal.
- Ensure that most of your carbohydrate intake comes from fruits and vegetables. Exception: workout and post-workout drinks and meals.
So what about macronutrient ratios, fat loss supplements, calories, or any number of other things that may be covered in other articles? The short answer is that if you are already practicing the above-mentioned guidelines over 90% of the time, these other things may not be necessary for sustained fat loss.
Moreover, many people can achieve the health and the body composition they desire by using these guidelines alone. However, you may need more individualization. This is when you could introduce fat loss supplements, macronutrient ratios and other factors to the equation to maximize your results.