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The secret to weight loss? Calorie deficit

The secret to weight loss? Calorie deficit

Calories. Those tiny little units of energy are such a big part of weight loss. Who cares about calories nowadays?  With so much focus on keto, veganism and clean-eating, calories don’t get a look in.

But actually, calories really DO count. And when you get to grips with that fact you can start making some real weight loss progress.

It's not rocket science. Just use up more calories than you eat. And you will lose weight.

ALL DIETS WORK (because of calories)

It’s true. Every diet works, in some way or another, by controlling your calorie intake. Ok, it might not seem like it when you’re tucking into butter-laden steak on the Ketogenic diet. But high-protein diets like this greatly reduce calorie intake via restricting – or completely cutting out – carbohydrates.

It’s the same story with other diets. Veganism has you eating only plant-based foods (naturally low-calorie). Paleo cuts out all processed foods (cutting junk calories). Fasting and ADF diets restrict food completely at certain times (reducing or completely omitting calories).

SO WHY DO SO MANY DIETS FAIL?

What’s that? You’ve tried these diets and they don’t work? Well, I don’t want to criticise your commitment or anything, but the only reason diets take a nosedive is people fail to maintain them for the long-term. Calories then start to creep back up and before you know it – you’re right back where you started!

So what’s the key to sticking to a diet?

Two words. Enjoyment and healthiness.

The truth is, if all diets work, you can choose ANY diet. The trick in maintaining it is ensuring you enjoy your food and eat healthy food.

MAKE YOUR DIET ENJOYABLE AND HEALTHY

  • Start by matching your preferences to your diet. Can’t live without carbs? Don’t do a ketogenic diet. Enjoy cheat meals or fasting days? Ensure your diet accounts for this.
  • Next consider your own personality and lifestyle. Can you have a few bites of something then stop?  Great. You can eat everything in moderation. If you prefer structure you may do well with omitting certain trigger foods. If there’s certain foods you ‘must have’ then try to work them into your diet. What about your work circumstances? Do you travel/work shifts/sit down a lot? Factor all these into your diet plan.
  • Whatever diet you choose, make sure it’s around 80% healthy food. You all know what healthy food is: unprocessed, wholegrain, fruit and veg, decent protein, healthy fats. Sorted. 
  • Don’t be a dumb dieter. This means listening closely to that quiet sensible voice telling you to eat an apple at 11am, whilst ignore the screaming banshee that is clambering for the muffin.

EXERCISE – THE GREAT CALORIE BURNER!

The final step to creating calorie deficit is, of course, working out. First, you will  need to focus on lifting weights. This will give you muscle definition and strength gain, leaving the calorie deficit to naturally sort itself out. Think weights first, cardio last.

Don’t forget NEAT – one of the best tools to burn calories. Simply being more active during the day – walking, standing, stretching, lifting – can equate to a huge difference in calories expended.

Photo by Gardie Design & Social Media Marketing on Unsplash

the author

Patrick Law

Patrick is a keen touch rugby and football player and regular gym goer. He also enjoys long-distance running.

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