The simplest truths are harder to believe.
Unless there’s an underlying medical, metabolic, or psychological issue with your weight, the below info should be the starting point.
Low fat, low carb, keto, zone, vegetarian, etc … all fall under ‘macros’. It is the way of eating that fits your life style and makes you function optimally.
The BIGGEST and the MOST important ‘rock’ in fat loss / muscle gain – Energy Balance. All diets can work and all diets can fail. If you are taking in more than you are expending, you gain weight. You lose weight, if you have a calorie deficit.
I’ll focus on fat loss here. It’s as simple as 1-2-3
“How do I know if I am eating more than I need?” The answer is initial ‘tracking’.
1) tracking your food intake
2) tracking your body weight / body composition
3) create a suitable daily calorie deficit
1. Some ‘A-types’ like me will have no problem firing up their MyFitnessPal and tracking their food intake for a couple of weeks, getting on a scale every morning and taking measurements of their waistline.
Others will have to find other ways of tracking. If you are a creature of habit and eat the same foods all the time – it’s easy, but if not…that can get difficult. If tracking in MFP doesn’t stress you out, do it. You’ll get more precise results and will gain invaluable learning experience about different foods caloric values. Tracking is just a tool, not a lifelong activity. Now I can look at a plate of food and tell you an approximate number of calories with protein, carbs and fats breakdown. But I wouldn’t be able to do it if I didn’t track in the past.
2. After tracking for 2 weeks your body weight average stays the same (within 2-3 lbs) you’ve found your maintenance calories!
3. Our bodies are pretty smart. Your body’s main priority is not to give you abs, but to keep you alive. If you cut your calories too drastically, your body will down regulate the main hormonal ‘players’ ASAP, and the fat loss will slow down rather quickly. Therefore, a moderate (200-300 cals/day) cut from food plus 200-300 cal via exercise will yield better results. Especially knowing that resistance training will help you preserve that muscle mass that does most of the ‘fat-burning’ throughout the day anyway.
That’s it in a nutshell. Stick to your plan and track. Again, track in a way that is easy for you. Scale, measuring tape, clothes, what your friends and/or co-workiers observe. Whatever you choose – do it with consistency. Give it time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your desired physique.