The Weight Loss Pyramid: Calorie Deficit, Protein, Everything Else.
Everything needs some fundamentals and weight loss is no different. Therefore, focusing on the tried and true. When I hear questions being asked like When I get asked questions like “are carbs bad?” or “will doing ab crunches get me ripped” it confirms that most are out of context with these questions and just have not got some fundamentals whereby if they understood would not need to be asking those questions.
Therefore, I’ve created a simple weight loss pyramid. Each level of the pyramid is set up in order of decreasing importance from the bottom and subsequently if approached correctly set you up for success in the next level and so on. The idea behind this is simple, we want to make sure we have got the fundamentals before getting fancy with all the other stuff.
Level 1: Create A Calorie Deficit
For any fat loss to occur there has be a deficit in energy needs. There is no other way around it. You could be eating the healthiest foods in the world but if you’re eating them in excess of what your energy requirements are, you’re going to put on weight regardless.
To be able to achieve a person needs to work out their maintenance calories (the calories they need to maintain their current weight). If you do not know it’s very easy to underestimate how much you’ve eaten and more often than not this is the reason people don’t see any results at the end of the week. To calculate this, you’re going to need to work your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This would be the number of calories you need just to function, as in if you were just to sit on the couch all day. Yes, even this requires energy! After that you need to factor in your activity status as this obviously requires energy and then subtract 250-500 calories to encourage a deficit.
Level 2: Protein
After accounting for the number of total calories you should be eating, the next important fundamental is making sure a proportion of those calories are allocated to hit protein needs. Why is this important? Protein has too many important roles to mention but the main ones for when someone wants to lose weight is that it is going help massively in curbing hunger as you will essentially be eating less that you’re use to. Additionally, it also helps offset the amount of muscle you lose in the process as well supporting the building of new tissue. Along adequate exercise the result being a strong healthy “physique” look is created in time as opposed to a saggy, flabby skin look.
Level 3: Everything Else
Once calories have been set, individual protein targets set, this leaves how you a choice on how you want to split the rest of your two remaining macro-nutrients – carbohydrates and fats. Whether you want to go high carb low fat or visa versa, it really does not matter the ratio you pick. The time you eat and how often you eat does not matter either for weight loss. If you want to use some supplements if food alone won’t support your nutrition needs, then by all means do. Just know that this top level of the pyramid will not be responsible for your weight loss achievements, the bottom will.