To lose fat you need to eat fewer calories than your body uses for energy over a prolonged period. However, this can often be tricky when your calorie allowance isn’t very big.
Instead of feeling full and satisfied after meals you find yourself feeling hungry and disappointed. This increase the chances that you’ll stray from your diet to curb your cravings.
This typically results in a yo-yo pattern of fat loss and weight gain as you struggle to balance your competing desires to lose weight and not feel hungry all the time.
Some schools of thought will have you believe that this struggle is the only way to truly lose fat and succeed, but I know this isn’t true and today I’m going to show you how you can eat to fullness and enjoy your calorie deficit.
First, you need to know how much you should be eating each day to lose weight. This is called your calorie deficit and is the total amount of calories you can eat whilst still losing weight at a reasonable speed.
The idea when calculating your calories is to find the sweet spot between losing weight too quickly and too slowly. Both speeds have their own problems, namely the risk of losing muscle mass and your ability to stay the course respectively.
To overcome this issue, you want to set your calories so you’re losing 1 – 2 lbs of body weight per week. This will allow you to see steady progress without limiting your food intake too severely.
The easiest way to do this is to take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by 12. This will give you a good starting point and you can adjust your calories up or down from here depending on how your weight changes week to week.
For example, if you weigh 150 lbs you would multiply 150 by 12 and get 1,800. This means to lose weight at a safe and steady speed you need to eat 1,800 calories.
Once you know how many calories you need to be eating each day to lose weight you then need to turn your attention to macronutrients.
Macronutrients, commonly referred to as macros, are the main food groups you eat and are protein, carbohydrate and fat. It’s these 3 food groups that give you the calories you need with protein and carbohydrates both providing 4 calories per gram and fat providing 9 calories per gram.
When fat loss is your goal you need varying amounts of each to help;
Each macro plays a specific role when it comes to fat loss and is therefore needed in different amounts to fulfil this role.
For example, protein is the building block of muscle and plays a big role in helping you maintain the muscle you already have and possibly build more. In addition, protein and fat are both very satiating nutrients and help you feel fuller for longer after meals.
Fat also plays an important role in overall health and the uptake of certain vitamins. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, are your body’s main source of energy and fuel your day to day activity as well as any exercise you do.
My recommendations are to get approximately;
The following foods are not the best for fat loss because they spark some magical fat burning effect but because amongst other things you can eat more of them whilst still controlling calories.
This means you feel fuller after meals, get all the nutrients you need and can stay on track with your fitness goals.
Now, whilst these foods are just an example of what you could include and don’t mention fruit, other vegetables and protein sources.
Constructing your meals from a combination of these foods (with the addition of others not mentioned) is the best way to eat a filling, nutritious diet whilst maintaining a calorie deficit.
They all contribute to, not only providing you with the macronutrients and calories you need, but they also help keep you fuller for longer and ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need as part of a healthy diet.
This is key to maintaining a calorie deficit.
Meal planning needn’t be complicated and time-consuming. For guaranteed results, you want to keep things as simple as possible. This means when you sit down to plan your meals each week you should stick to the following plan.
From the list of foods below you want to pick 1 source of protein, 1 source of carbs, 1 of fat and several vegetables/fruits for each meal.
Once you’ve picked your foods, you just need to check they fit into your daily calorie and macro goals and you’re done. Meal planning really can be as simple as that.
For a more extensive food list and additional details on how to do this, get your meal planning cheat sheet below.
Even when you’re doing everything right, eating in a calorie deficit can be difficult. This is particularly true the bigger your deficit and the longer you’ve been dieting.
To help you overcome any hurdles you may face, here are my top fat loss diets tips.
Simple, high protein recipes that take 30 minutes or less to help you stick to your calorie deficit and hit your fat loss goals, even if you’re busy, hate cooking and never know what to make.
Whilst sometimes eating in a calorie deficit can be a drag, it is a necessary part of the fat loss process and something you must do if you want to achieve your weight loss goals. However, this doesn’t mean it needs to be miserable and difficult.
In fact, it’s entirely possible to eat in a calorie deficit and still feel full and satisfied after meals. By properly calculating your calorie and macro needs, then choosing your food sensibly and planning your meals you can make fat loss a breeze.