What Diet Should I follow To Lose Body Fat is a question many of us have asked ourselves before.
Last week a client asked me: Pascal, I have been working on it for months, have tried different diets over the last few years and yet, I do not see any results. What diet should I follow to lose body fat? Is there really a clear answer to this question?
Yes there is, but...
...more on that later. First, let's look at the market situation and let's understand why confusion dominates this question.
The internet in swarming with information about weight loss, muscle building, getting trimmed for summer, low fat diets, high fat diets, lifestyle changes, quick fixes, health, fitness, getting 6-pack abs or a flat stomach... And still an increasing number of people experience - loosing control of their weight. Or simply not be able to loose those last few pounds - or gain the results that they are trying to achieve in the gym.
The problem is not the lack of information...
... but that there is so much that the actual useful information gets lost in the noise from countless blogs, ads and magazines offering you quick and easy fixes to achieve the results you are looking for.
What is lacking is clarity — Clear information on how to tackle your individual problem in your specific situation. My experience tells me that people who want to improve their health need to have simple instructions. However, those simple principles get lost in the vast amount of information being offered to you constantly.
But back to the question; what diet should I follow to lose body fat?
First of all, we need to understand that most diets as "quick-fix diets" do not bring long-term benefits, are not sustainable and mostly they are even unhealthy. If you really want to be successful in the long term, there is no way around dealing with your own body type and the appropriate nutritional form.
See, only when you understand what your body needs because it works the way it works will you be able to give it what it needs to lose fat, build muscle, or simply to function healthily. Beside that it is also important that you choose a nutritional form that suits YOU and your Lifestyle. To break it down:
Here are 5 principles that I want to talk about:
- You need to understand the nutrition basics
- Understand what “Macros" are
- Know how many calories your body needs
- Eat fewer calories than your body uses (calorie deficit)
- Stick to the plan and be patience (don’t be a jumper)
See, knowing the basic principles of weight loss is one thing; combining them with a few simple diet tips can do wonders! If you never want to ask the question, “what diet should I follow to lose body fat?” again, make sure that you understand this points.
And, if you afraid that you need to count calories! Do not worry. You do not have to. You should only understand the basic principles. After that, everything is very simple and easy.
So… what are the nutrition basics, what are Macros and how many calories does your body need on a "normal" day?
Well, the basic functions of the body are the same (with a few exceptions). Nevertheless, we are all different and that is why the number of calories consumed daily varies.
How much energy you need depends on your gender, your age, your weight, your height and your level of activity. There are formulas on how to calculate the Total Daily Energy Consumption (TDEE). The easiest way to get an idea of your personal TDEE is to use an online calculator.When you have that calculated you get a number. That number is your personal calorie consumption. Once you know how many calories your body needs, the first step is done. Now, if you want to lose body fat, take off about 15 – 20% off from your result, from that number.
Example: If your TDEE is 2500 cal. take off 20% witch is 500 cal. In that case you would eat about 2000 cal. daily.
Then… all you have to do is know what foods contain how much calories and how the foods are categorized. Once you know that, you know what foods to eat in order to achieve your goal of losing body fat.
To categorize means, that you look at what your “Macros" are:
In general; Nutrients are substances that are necessary for the metabolism and therefore the supply of energy. Ideally, they are taken regularly and in balanced amounts throughout the diet.
Now, what are macro-nutrients?
Among the macronutrients are the main energy sources carbohydrates, fats and proteins. They form the foundation of all metabolic processes and are vital.
I mean, we all know that the body needs energy to maintain all functions around the clock, right?. The macronutrients provide this energy.
And Im sure you know that too, the energy content of a food is measured in kilocalories (kcal). One gram of fat provides more than twice as many calories as the same amount of protein or carbs! In other words,
- 1 g protein = 4.1 kcal
- 1 g carbohydrates = 4.1 kcal
- 1 g fat = 9.3 kcal
I’m sure you know that the human body consists mainly of water. After that comes protein and they are the building blocks of all life.
There are not only structural proteins like in muscles, cells, tissues, muscle fibers or organs, but also enzymes, hormones and antibodies.
When the body has absorbed the proteins, they are broken down into their basic building blocks called amino acids.
Unlike carbohydrates, (and we come to them in a moment), some of the amino acids are essential for the metabolism. That means they have to be fed through the diet because the body cannot produce them by themselves. And that means they are necessary for life!
Good protein comes in forms of Lean red meat, Turkey, Chicken (no skin). Fish is a good source, then low-fat dairy, etc.
It is a completely different thing with the Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are mainly used for rapid energy supply and they should mainly be absorbed as complex or slow-burning carbs such as Sweet potatoes, Brown rice, Oats, Whole-grain products, Veggies (witch are fibrous carbs) but also fruits like Bananas, Strawberries, Pears, Grapefruit and so on.
Avoid Carbohydrates that contain high sugar foods like Cakes, Cookies, Pastries, Candy or White flour.
Although certain areas in the body rely on carbohydrates in the form of glucose, they are not considered vital because the body is able to produce itself what it needs.
Remember that if you give the body more carbohydrates than it needs, the surplus is converted into fat and stored. Therefore, it’s not just about the “bad - fat”. Because…
Fat is an energy source. It is the nutrient with the highest energy density, which means it has the most calories. And it is not only an energy source but also protects the organs, is part of the brain and the nerve tissue. Even transmitters and hormones cannot be formed without fat.
At the other side, fat is also what obese people have at first sight too much, right? And by the way, this is the main reason why many think that you have to eat no fat to reduce fat. And that’s not true! In generell:
You don’t have to loose fat to get healthy, you need to get healthy to loose fat.
Often it goes like this: What diet should I follow to lose body fat? – Eat less fat!
See… Fat is vital and we cannot blame fat for the overweight epidemic. That has many other reasons and the solution is not always a low-fat diet. We need fats; we just need more of the good ones.
Healthy fats are especially in plants and certain fish. For example olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts or salmon as a fish.
Don’t eat too much deep-fried foods and animal origins. But still, don’t be afraid of fat!
Depending on the diet, the intake of fat varies enormously and there are various ways on how to split the Macros. For example, in a ketogenic diet, up to about 75 - 80% of the energy requirement is covered by fat to reduce fat. For other diets, the ideal value may be 30% or 40%. It varies from diet to diet.
What I want you to keep in mind is that our food should contain nutrients.
And where do we find nutrients? - In natural foods.
That’s why, remember this sentence:
Foods that come straight from the ground are healthy and preferable.
So, all the canned food, chips or sweet drinks; No matter what they write on the package; is not good for you! - Why? Because it contains none or almost no nutrients and it is not what your body needs to develop healthily.
Now, back to the question: What diet should I follow to lose body fat?
I hope you realized that it is not mainly about the diet. It is about you!
- Understand the nutrition basics and choose a nutritional form that suits YOU and your Lifestyle.
- Know your TDEE, reduce it by 15 to 20% and split the Macros according to… again, the diet that fits YOU and your Lifestyle.
- And last but not least, stick to the plan and be patience (don’t be a jumper)
You can read countless blogs, articles or watch YouTube videos with great tips. But all that is never really about you. The one-way communication doesn’t really work.
I understand that it can be difficult to find out what diet to follow. And if you don’t want to have a personal coach who helps you, because of time, money or what ever reason it is, it’s even harder.
A good alternative way to find your personal diet is to do a quiz where you have to answer some important questions that help to figure out what fits YOU best. A good free quiz is linked in the description: Take the QUIZ here.
I just want to add one more thing:
Watch your diet is the main way to control your weight. Sport of course helps you to burn extra calories and therefore - will you achieve your goal even faster! So… Move your body
Good luck and stay healthy,