The easiest way how to lose weight by cutting calories is to find out what your ‘maintenance’ level is and then reduce your daily calorie intake by between 10-20%. Then it’s a matter of tracking what you’re eating to make sure you’re consistently in a calorie deficit. The size of the calorie deficit will determine how quickly you lose weight. However, if you’re overly aggressive and try to ‘crash diet’, then you risk losing more muscle than fat.
Fats are used by the body — together with glycogen stores — to fuel between meals, while sleeping, or when aren’t quite meeting our caloric needs. An important role of fat is to supply energy to our cells so that they can create ATP. Fat is a highly concentrated energy source but it needs to be broken down to participate in the creation of ATP. This process happens in special energy factories called mitochondria (7). We aren’t going to get into the specifics of the fat-to-ATP-process now but if you’d like some further reading, go here.
Want to lose that belly fat? In your dreams! Seriously, though: a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to get rid of that extra fat around your waist for good. Among the 60,000 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study, those who snoozed for fewer than five hours a night were at the greatest risk of becoming obese and gaining 30 or more pounds over the course of the 16-year study period when compared to those who slept for seven or more hours.
"There's definitely no secret to fat loss. It just takes good old fashioned hard work and dedication," adds Cappotelli. "Just like with anything, the keys are time and consistency. Results come by doing the right things day-in and day-out. It's making the right choices and sticking to your workout plan consistently, not looking for a quick fix or the secret formula to rapid fat loss."
"Protein is great for fat loss. It helps build and preserve lean muscle tissue and can increase the amount of calories you burn. It’s also a great source of energy that helps you feel fuller for longer, so you’re less tempted to snack. Good sources include chicken breast, tuna, eggs, milk and chickpeas. And if you’re finding it difficult to avoid snacks that are high in carbohydrates, try substituting them for protein shakes or bars. Remember also to opt for the lean sources of protein because some sources can be high in saturated fat."
People wonder why they cannot lose body fat; their blood sugar levels are out of control! Consume at least three solid food meals per day. Mixed nuts are a great protein shake alternative as they are high in good fats, proteins and have adequate fiber content. Aim to get raw or organic nuts which will have the most nutrients available, peanuts are not a good choice in comparison to mixed nuts.
One mistake many dieters make, one that bodybuilders have been avoiding for many years, is to eat a serving a protein before bed. Three or so hours after our final meal of the evening the body again begins to ever so slightly enter a catabolic state where the protein we ate hours back has been used to repair muscle, while the carbohydrates have been stored away for future use. Now we are in a position to eat again, but generally cannot consume carbohydrates as they may lead to fat gains (see tip two). So to offset any potential catabolic effects (the aforementioned degrading of muscle tissue for cell maintenance, which also occurs while we sleep) it is smart practice to consume protein before bed.