Updated: Dec 28, 2020
WEIGHT LOSS CAN BE A BASTARD. A SIMPLE (YET ARDUOUS) PROCESS FREQUENTLY DERAILED BY MISINFORMATION AND POOR INFORMATION PRIORITISATION.
THE THREE T'S WILL HELP YOU PRIORITISE YOUR NUTRITIONAL EFFORTS INTO AN EFFECTIVE NUTRITIONAL PLAN, BY HELPING YOU UNDERSTAND WHICH NUTRITIONAL VARIABLES TO ADJUST IF YOU WISH TO LOSE WEIGHT, IMPROVE BODY COMPOSITION, OR CHANGE YOUR PHYSIQUE.
STEP 1: CLARIFY YOUR GOAL
WEIGHT LOSS. AKA; DECREASE BODY MASS, REDUCE BMI, APPEAR SMALLER, REDUCE A DRESS SIZE
IMPROVED BODY COMPOSITION. AKA; IMPROVED MUSCLE:FAT RATIO, IMPROVED DEFINITION, BIT LESS WOBBLY
PHYSIQUE/SHAPE CHANGE. AKA; TARGETED SHAPE CHANGE, SCULPTING, BETTER ARSE AND LESS INSTAGRAM EDITING REQUIRED
THE THREE T's OF BODY COMPOSITION CONTROL
THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT RULE TO REMEMBER WHEN LOSING WEIGHT
The 3 T's are the most important nutritional variables that effect your weight, body composition, and physique.
They're listed below in order of importance, and by controlling, monitoring, and understanding these simple principles you'll avoid making any hollow effort towards your goal and start getting real, long lasting physical results.
TOTAL; HOW MUCH YOU EAT
The total number of calories consumed is the number one variable controlling your body weight.
Energy in vs Energy out. In the case of human energy expenditure, to lose weight you must consume less calories than you burn.
This is known as 'negative calories' or operating in a hypocaloric state/calorie deficit, and should help you drop a few lb's a week.
Exercising off any excess calories is commendable, but not too smart. It's MUCH easier to simply not consume them in the first place...
If you want to lose weight,
Count your calories
Cross reference your weight loss with your caloric intake and physical activity (use a smartwatch)
Keep it around 500 calories below what your estimated daily calorie requirements
TYPE; WHAT YOU EAT
The type of Calories (or macronutrients, ie: Carbs/Fats/Proteins) right is the second most important factor in controlling your body weight.
*Any efforts spent controlling your TYPE or macronutrient intake are arguably lost if you're not getting the TOTAL right.
Each macro-nutrient metabolises differently in the body, and if we want to lose weight we generally want to restrict our carbohydrate intake, increase our healthy fat intake, and maintain an adequate protein intake. These values can vary from person to person, and it takes time to find the right balance for you!
Sample Macronutrient ratio for a typical 40year old female (162cm, 70kg) working on their body composition;
DAILY CALORIC INTAKE- 2077kcal (adequate calories, not hypo/hypercaloric)
CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE- 20% or 104g
FAT INTAKE- 50% or 113g
PROTEIN INTAKE- 30% or 161g
These figures were calculated using the AMAZING calculator provided by https://www.precisionnutrition.com/nutrition-calculator
I'd recommend you take a look and calculate your own macronutrients according to your own dietary needs and preferences.
TIMING; WHEN YOU EAT
Again it's worth remembering that this third T is arguably only worth focussing on once you've got the previous two T's correct!
The timing of when you consume your calories (in relation to your physicality/lifestyle) is the third most important variable. When you eat (and/or train) will have a big role to play in stabilising your blood sugars and regulating your energy, which ultimately impact upon your weight, body composition, and general energy levels for your workouts.
Having the right fuel in you pre-workout can allow you to train harder, and more effectively. Replenishing with the right fuel post workout can massively impact your recovery, and ability to train again sooner.
Making sure your body has all the right fuel at all the right times takes dedication and perseverance, so find out what works for you!
Count your calories (doesn't have to be exact)
Monitor your rate of weight loss (ideally 1-2 lbs a week) using scales
Go steady. Losing a pound a week is adequate, and consistency will yield the greatest results of all.
Most people lose weight in the 1200-1700kcal range (females), and 1500-2000kcal (males) find your ideal calorie intake for your daily activity levels, and adjust accordingly.
BODY COMPOSITION CHANGE;
Count your macronutrients.
Try using an app such as MyFitnessPal to record and monitor what yours are.
Keep your carbohydrates low
Start exercising frequently
Training can be relatively non-specific, a few weights/bodyweight exercises and some good cardio will be fine. Continually monitor your body composition using bodyfat scales (or a mirror...)
Count your calories
Monitor your Macro's
Start adjusting when you consume your calories/macro's, to maximise your productivity in the gym.