Losing weight is not a simple task. Our bodies didn’t evolve together with our minds and the society around us, so we still operate in a primitive way: storing fat. In fact, as during a primordial state, but also later, people were continuously going through famines and shortages, so our bodies adapted trying to survive. This is one of the reasons why it is much easier to lose lean mass than fat, especially subcutaneous fat, as the body stores it as energy to be used in future situations, in order to survive. Nowadays the situation is a lot different and people struggle to get rid of excessive weight for aesthetic and performance purposes.
Understanding how your body works is a huge aid that will definitely make your life easier and your effort more efficient.
So let’s go through some simple rules that will help you trick your body and achieve the results you want.
- Calculate your necessary daily caloric intake: first of all, you will need to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR) that indicates how many calories your body burns at rest. There are many tools online that can help you do this, so just Google it for more info. To put it in a simple way, the BMR of women is about 10 calories/pound (0.45kg) of body weight, while is 11 calories/pound for men. So if you weigh 200 lbs (90 kg) your BMR is 2,200 calories. Then you will need to calculate the calories burned during your workout, depending on your level of activity: BMR x 1.2 for low intensity activities and leisure activities (primarily sedentary), BMR x 1.375 for light exercise, BMR x 1.55 for moderate exercise 3-5 days per week, BMR x 1.725 for active individuals (exercising 6-7 days/week at moderate to high intensity, BMR x 1.9 for the extremely active individuals. This will give you a very precise indication of your necessary calories intake. Simply put, sedentary people will need approximately 31 calories/kg, recreational athletes will need approximately 33-38 calories/kg, endurance athletes about 35-50 calories/kg, strength-trained athletes will need about 30-60 calories/kg depending on training.
- Drop the calories: Once you know your due caloric intake, you should aim to reduce it by 500 calories per day to lose 1 pound per week. Although cutting calories to lose weight can seem an obvious concept, it is important to focus on the way to do it. Actually, if done in the right way, it’s very easy to cut some calories from your diet without even perceiving it. For example, try to wipe out excessive dietary fats, such as butter, margarine, oils aside from olive, coconut and sesame oil, to avoid eating pork, to remove the skin from the chicken and to eat only the whites, instead of whole eggs.
- Eat healthy fats: eliminate the bad fats, keep the good ones. Did you know that eating certain fats can speed up your weight loss process? Actually, they can help to support metabolism, boost the immune system, placate inflammation, improve the absorption of nutrients and vitamins and regulate hormones, leading to a more efficient body that can burn more calories. Also, healthy fats help lower insulin levels. A high level of insulin will make your body store sugar from your food in your fat cells, instead of burning it. Fats that you should eat are fish fats (salmon, tuna, sardines, trout and so on, rich in omega-3 fatty acids), coconut and oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. That’s why Probar Taiwan protein bars contain whole nuts, chia and flax seeds, being a perfect snack or meal replacement.
- Never eat carbs alone: as we said before, insulin control and balance are very important in order to lose weight. Refined carbs are very easy to digest and they raise the insulin level considerably, making you body store sugars instead of using them. Try to always add a protein and healthy fat source to your meal to slow down the digestion process and keep the insulin level in check.
Memorize these little rules and you will be already losing excessive kilos without even realizing it. Good luck and remember: a strong mind will lead to a strong body!