When it comes to nutrition and weight loss, it's not all about the benjamins... it's all about the calories!
We have all heard about the popular fad diets that spread like wildfire over the internet and on the news today.
There are tons of them; from the Ketogenic or Atkins diet where carbs are the enemy, to the paleo diet where individuals are expected to eat like the cavemen did.
There’s the more scientific ones like the intermittent fasting diet and the more hipster diets such as a juice cleanse…
But what do all these diets have in common? What causes these diets to be somewhat successful in weight loss for a short period of time?
Simple answer... It’s the calories. Each of these diets, and pretty much any diet that has ever successfully caused weight loss, has consisted of a caloric restriction approach. Whether you realize it or not, that's the only way to lose weight.
Losing weight is actually a very simple process. If you burn off more calories than you take in then you are in what’s considered a caloric deficit and if kept consistent over time you will see that number on the scale go down.
Vice versa, if you take in more calories than you burn throughout the day consistently then you are in a caloric surplus and will see a gain in weight.
Individuals may also be in a caloric balance where they are burning off as many calories are they consume.
So if these fad diets are putting individuals into a caloric deficit and people are losing weight, why isn’t everybody doing it?
While these diets may work for some people right off the bat, sustainability becomes an issue.
As we all know life happens and we are all thrown curve balls regularly and managing a low calorie, zero carb, paleo friendly diet isn’t exactly at the top of our priority list. Eating under the restrictions of some of these different diets is just not practical.
So how do I create a diet that I can stick to for the long term? It's actually not as hard as it may seem.
All we need to do is figure out how many calories we are burning on a daily basis, then we can find out how many calories we need to be eating in order to reach our goal weather it’s a caloric surplus, deficit or balance.
Your metabolic rate can be calculated by using the Inbody Analysis conveniently located at G+O! after obtaining that number, it is multiplied by an activity factor (if you are one of the many rockstars utilizing our unlimited membership then your activity factor is around 1.5). This new number represents how many calories we burn throughout the day with exercise. From there all we have to do is add or subtract 500 depending on the goal to create that caloric surplus or deficit that creates weight loss or gain! If you could follow all of that, it’s that simple!
(Keep in mind, all calories - those we calculate that we burn and those we see on food labels - are all estimations. It is impossible without being in a lab to determine how many calories are in a food or how many a body is burning.)
As far as macro nutrients go, that is a little bit of a trial and error deal.
A common tendency and recommendation from many different accredited companies is that most of the general population can stick to the 40/40/20 rule. This means that 40% of your calories should come from protein, 40% should come from carbohydrates, and the last 20% should come from fats. T
his allows for moderate flexibility throughout your day while keeping your fat intake relatively low.
Although weight loss should be as simple as calories in vs. calories out, many of us don't operate as clearly as a math equation. There are plenty of other variable that can hinder our results: stress, sleep, binging, etc.
For more personalized recommendations as far as nutrition and macro nutrients go you can always set up a consultation with one of Gravity and Oxygen’s very own Precision Nutrition Certified Coaches (like Josh Matthews)... just click here!