Listening to the radio on the way to work and having read a couple of articles this morning I decided to write this short blog post on why weight loss doesn’t have to be complicated.
To bring you up to date a little the National Obesity Forum released a report this week stating that eating a high fat diet could help the obesity epidemic in this country and subsequently reduced the number of case of Type 2 Diabetes. This was then challenged by public health England who label this as “irresponsible and potentially deadly” adding to the argument of which is the best approach for sustainable weight loss and confusing the nation even further………
With contradicting studies, findings, articles and blog posts strewn all over the internet it’s unsurprising that people are confused when it comes to weight loss. What approach should I take to nutrition? What can I eat? What should I avoid? Should I eat fat…….etc etc? Here are my views (I hope this doesn’t add to the confusing literature already out there)!
So what do we need to know –
– Weight loss should be simple, its science, calories (kcals) in vs kcals out, i.e if you consume more than you burn you tend to put on weight and if you burn more than you eat you should lose weight (some may argue that its more complicated than this and it may be, but generally for most people this simple rule works)
– Different foods and food groups have different calorific values, for example protein and carbohydrates per gram have less kcals than fat, 4kcals and 9kcals per gram respectively, therefore if you were to eat 100g of fat you would be consuming over double the amount of kcals you would if you consumed 100g of protein or carbohydrates, so fat IS more calorific.
– It therefore makes sense mathematically to consume less fat than you do carbohydrate and protein as you are consuming less kcals, however this doesn’t mean that fat is the devil and should be avoided altogether. There are many benefits of including fat in your diet helping with improving body shape, improving cardiovascular health, reproductive health and brain and mental function.
– There are lots of different types of fats some people refer to them as “good” and “bad”, under a general rule of thumb, trans and saturated fats are deemed “bad” and mono and polyunsaturated fats are “good”. Look at the two pictures at the bottom of the page and it should be fairly obvious which is which.
How to approach weight loss in my opinion –
– Start by moving more, now I don’t mean just chuck in a gym session once per week, it is unlikely that this 1 hour will have a huge affect on you weight, its what you do in the other 23 hrs per day that will make a difference, make a regular excise regime, try and do something every day, gym, sports, walks, runs, bikes rides. Walk to work, walk at lunch time, take the stairs, get up and walk around the office every 30mins.
– Make a conscious effort to monitor what you eat, you don’t need to count kcals if you don’t want to but you should have a general idea whether you feel you are overeating or not. Try reducing portion sizes if you are totally stuffed after meals, avoid unnecessary snacking.
– Include protein, carbohydrates and fat in your diet, think about good quality wholesome and fresh ingredients, 80 – 90 % of your diet should really come from untouched and untreated whole foods. Think meat, fish, eggs, nuts and pulses, fresh fruit and vegetables, complex carbohydrates such a potatoes, oats, brown rice, quinoa, and fats including olive oil, butter, fish and avocado.
– Keep it simple, don’t worry about nutrient timing, supplements, shakes and the latest Aloe Vera diet, its not important, stick to the above points and make sure its achievable for you otherwise it will never be stuck too.