How to Lose Weight: A Numbers Game
In the fitness industry it is often said that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. What exactly does this mean? For starters losing weight is all about calories in vs. calories out, specifically, you must be in a calorie deficit every day: you have to eat less calories than you burn. How many calories do you burn a day? You can use a general formula called the Total Daily Energy Expenditure which is roughly estimated based on your gender, age, height, weight, weekly activity level and body fat %. Fitbit also offers a heart-rate based measurement of your total daily calorie burn which is more accurate than the general formula. There are about 3500 calories in one pound of fat so theoretically if you were in a 500 calorie deficit every day then after 7 days you would be in a 3500 calorie deficit thus losing a pound of fat. This is only a general formula because, in reality, weight loss involves losing a combination of fat, lean muscle tissue, and water. Also, everyone has a unique metabolism which affects your ability to burn calories and metabolism fluctuates daily especially due to diet and exercise. So if weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise, then to lose one pound of fat over one week you would need to burn 700 calories through exercise and be in a 2800 calorie deficit over 7 days; on a per-day basis, this would mean you need to be in a 400 calorie deficit every day and you need to burn around 250 calories through exercise every other day.
The safe and optimal amount of body fat loss is 1-2 pounds per week. A 400-700 daily calorie deficit is reasonable; if your daily calories are too low, you will be entering what is known as Starvation Mode which is counterproductive. In Starvation Mode your body’s metabolism will slow down to the extreme and you will hit a plateau in your weight loss program. You should NOT try these extremely low calorie diets and starve because they are diet fads and quick fixes that are not sustainable – you will end up gaining all the temporary weight loss back. It is important to lose weight through a combination of diet AND exercise; weight loss through diet alone will result in a loss of lean muscle mass as well. So say you lose 10 pounds of body weight through strict dieting and zero exercise; those 10 pounds will include some loss of lean muscle mass so your total body fat loss is not as much as it could be if you include weight training exercises.
Why do I need to weight train and build muscle during the weight loss process? Will I bulk up? The short answer is no, not necessarily. If you were to replace each pound of body fat loss with a gain of one pound in muscle, you will appear “smaller” and more lean/toned (not bulky) because one pound of fat by volume is much larger than one pound of muscle by volume. And the more muscle you have, the easier it will be for you to burn more calories at rest and have a higher metabolism thus boosting your ability to burn fat.
1. HCG Diet
HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is hormone that pregnant women make. The HCG Diet involves injecting HCG into the body, restricting calories to a maximum 500 calories a day, and abstaining from exercise while under the diet. HCG is obtained through a doctor’s prescription.
Benefits of HCG Diet
- Lose up to a pound a day
- Reduce appetite
- HCG is pro-hormone thus boosting hormone levels especially for those in menopause or with thyroid issues
Risks of HCG Diet
- Weight loss includes massive loss of muscle tissue
- Cause of weight loss has been linked primarily to the severe 500 calorie daily restriction
- Metabolism is severely damaged and slowed down due to this crash diet; patient may gain all the weight back and more
Worth it? NO – the HCG Diet is not a long-term,sustainable solution for healthy weight loss.
2. Diabetic Diet
A Diabetic Diet is simply a healthy eating plan which focuses mainly on controlling your blood sugar levels through the following methods:
- Timing and portion size is crucial. It is recommended to eat at least 3 meals a day at the same time and at evenly spaced intervals in order to prevent insulin spikes that cause more fat to be stored.
- Minimize sugar intake and focus on complex carbs (“good” carbs that are whole grain such as oats, barley, brown rice, quinoa, etc. Also look for high-fiber and low-glycemic (GI) foods. The Diabetic Diet is a type of low carb diet.
- Eat more lean proteins such as fish, chicken, beans, eggs, nuts; avoid bad fats like artificial trans fat, partially hydrogenated oils, and saturated fats; eat healthy fats (unsaturated fats) that come from fish and nuts.
Benefits of the Diabetic Diet
- One of the most widely supported healthy diets that works for almost every body type
- Inherently very healthy and naturally promotes weight loss without caloric restriction
- Develops good eating habits
Risks of the Diabetic Diet
- Getting healthy the natural way!!!
The Diabetic Diet is definitely WORTH A TRY and is a great way to safely and naturally lose weight.
3. Herbalife Diet
Herbalife is a weight management company who sells protein shakes and supplements that are sold to consumers through multi-level marketing independent distributors. Their protein shakes are used to replace certain meals and they recommend to follow a healthy diet plan.
Benefits of Herbalife Diet
- Just like any diet, if you follow it you will lose some weight due to calorie restriction and better macro and micro nutrition.
- Herbalife Diet is convenient: you just have to drink a shake instead of a meal
- Easy to follow due to simplicity: you just follow their diet, take their shakes, and consume their supplements
Risks of Herbalife Diet
- High cost of supplements and protein shakes when more affordable and effective alternatives are available
- Most challenging aspect of any diet is consistency: weight gain will occur if not consistent
The Herbalife Diet MIGHT WORK because it is a basic prescriptive diet and supplement regimen which is great for people who need to be told what to do.
4. Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet is a low-carb, high fat and high protein diet. The diet proceeds in multiple phases:
Phase 1: Get your body into a ketosis state (fat burning for energy): focus on eating only proteins, healthy fats, and maximum 20 grams of carbs a day for 2 weeks. Your carbs will come from only dark, leafy greens – no starches allowed.
Phase 2: Slowly start bring carbs back into your diet (nuts, vegetables, and small amounts of fruit) while maintaining consistent weight loss
Phase 3: Continue to add good carbs back into your diet until your weight loss progress slows down.
Phase 4: This is considered the weight maintenance; eat as many good healthy carbs as you want as long as you are not gaining weight.
The Atkins Diet is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED as it is a sustainable and safe way to lose weight.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss Diet
The Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss Diet works when you take 1 or 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with 8 oz of water and drink it before meals 3 times a day.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Diet
- Apple Cider Vinegar contains probiotics
- Has significant amount of pectin to suppress your appetite
- Improves protein utilization and reduces fat absorption by improving digestion
Risks of Apple Cider Vinegar
- In high doses it may delay stomach emptying which is especially dangerous for Type 1 diabetes consumers who need to be able to time their digestion and absorption to control blood sugar levels
- May cause feelings of nausea
- Apple Cider Vinegar is very acidic which can eat away tooth enamel and cause throat burns
Bottom Line: Apple Cider Vinegar MAY WORK if you can tolerate it and should not be used as your main diet plan but as a supplement to a more healthy meal plan.
6. Vegan Diet
The Vegan Diet ( consists of eating only plant-derived foods which means you cannot consume any animals or their byproducts (milk, eggs, honey, etc).
Benefits of Vegan Diet
- Lifestyle change that promotes conscious eating for the safety and well-being of animal populations
- Daily personal satisfaction from eating in a way that is consistent with your beliefs
- Vegan diet is naturally more rich in plant-based nutritional compounds, dietary fiber, and antioxidants
- Vegan diet has a natural tendency to reduce caloric intake which can promote weight loss
Risks of Vegan Diet
- Plant-based proteins are not as complete compared to animal sources; thus, vegan foods must be constantly paired in order to get a complete protein source
- Probably need B-12 vitamin supplement since it is naturally occurring in animal foods
- Probably need an iron supplement too. Iron comes in two forms, heme and non-heme; vegan foods contain more non-heme which are less readily absorbed
- Soy-based imitation foods used as meat substitutes are often less healthy than high quality meats as they are loaded with sodium and highly processed
- Inconvenience of constantly checking food labels to verify ingredients
Verdict: The Vegan Diet is more of a way of life and should not be treated as a long term weight loss program unless you actually believe in its principles.
Start Working Out and Eating Clean Today with NBI FITNESS!
Our personal training methods and diet/nutrition work will be customized based on your specifications, but the expectations we have for our clients are all the same: we expect you to give us 110% of your abilities during the workouts and to be 110% honest with us everyday about your diet. And we hope that you expect us to always give you our full attention and dedicated effort each and every time we train. You are welcome to call/text us at 201.970.5533 or contact us online for a free fitness consultation and a free personal training session. Every day is a chance for you to make a difference in your life! Take the first step forward now!