In the previous edition to the Fat Loss series, we went over a couple of different variables that play a role in fat loss such as resistance training and nutrition. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of nutrition.
As you may have heard, nutrition plays a big role in fat loss. It is not the only important thing, but it is the one thing that can negate all of your effort in your home gym if you don’t pay attention to it. So, let’s go over a couple of big rocks that you need to pay attention to when it comes to losing fat as well as keeping it off.
Calories are units of energy that are in your food. Your body uses those calories for energy after they are digested and distributed throughout the many systems in the body. Throughout the day, your body burns calories to keep itself functioning (automatic calorie-burning) and also burns calories during activity (manual calorie-burning). In short, you take in energy when you eat, and you burn energy throughout the day. When you take in more energy (eat more food) than your body is burning in a day, your body can store excess energy (or calories) as fat. So, in general, it is easier to lose fat when you are eating in what is called a caloric deficit. All this means is that you are burning more calories in the day than you are consuming. It is possible to lose fat in a caloric surplus (eating more than you are burning in a day) as long as you are building muscle faster than you are burning fat, but that’s a whole different discussion.
So now the question is, how do you know how many calories you are burning in the day? There are tons of calculators and scans you can do, but the most accurate way to figure out your BMR (basal metabolic rate) is to track your calories and activity while measuring your body weight and seeing how it changes with your intake and activity. Once you’ve figured that out, you can manipulate your calories and see how your weight and body composition changes.
Protein is one of three major macronutrients. Macronutrients are nutrients that contain calories like protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Protein is a macronutrient that supports the maintenance and growth of lean muscle tissue. From what we know, muscle tissue is a major driver when it comes to the human metabolism. The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you burn at rest. So, it would be fair to say that muscle is VERY important when it comes to fat loss. We don’t want to lose it.
Losing muscle can be very easy while eating in an energy deficit, especially if protein consumption is too low. I recommend that you eat .6-.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. Some thrive to maintain and even build muscle on the lower end of the range while others reap the benefits on the higher end of the range. It’s up to you to find a starting point and play with your protein intake until you figure out what your muscles like to maintain and thrive, if not, grow even more.
After learning more about the importance of nutrition you know that there are many things you can be doing to focus on nutrition in order to help you lose fat, but the two rocks above must not be neglected. They are the two rocks that will be the driving force behind your lean and toned body that is on the horizon.
Do you want to learn more about HIIT Training? Look for next weeks blog post or download our FREE HIIT Training Workout Guide.
ABOUT THE AUTHORAdam is a fitness professional, baseball fan, and cookie fanatic based in Fort Collins, Colorado. After hanging up the cleats, he found a strong interest in the human body and how it performs. Since then, Adam has been transforming lives through fitness in a fun and encouraging atmosphere. As an ACE CPT and Fitness Nutrition Specialist, he is constantly moved to help people improve in all walks of life.