Calories are a key part of body transformation – but nourishment matters, too.
What’s your big fitness goal?
If you want to transform your body by losing fat, changing shape, and dropping a dress size or two you’ll need to focus on your diet.
Calories have traditionally been a big focus for weight loss and body recomposition (losing fat and building lean muscle).
I’m not going to argue with that – calories will always be key – but I’m here to persuade you to look at food quality as well as quantity.
Calories And Weight Loss
In simple terms, losing weight is a mathematical equation.
To lose weight, you need to create an energy deficit.
To gain weight, you need to create an energy excess.
And to maintain your weight, you need to “balance the books” by matching your energy needs in/out.
It’s very similar to achieving a financial goal like saving money for example.
Food Quality And Diet
But is it enough to simply hit the numbers?
Whilst there have been some fascinating weight loss experiments with junk food (remember Jeff Wilsner who ate nothing but convenience food for 30 days and still lost 11lbs – because he created a calorie deficit), it’s far from optimal.
My approach to body transformation coaching focuses on improvement across the board.
My clients lose weight, shape up, and drop amazing amounts of body fat.
That wouldn’t happen if we only focused on the “maths” of fat loss.
Food quality impacts your sleep, mood, performance, mental clarity, and long-term health. (1)
5 Ways Food Choices Support Fat Loss
1.) Fill Up
Natural, whole-foods tend to be more filling because they are higher in fibre, have lower calorie density, and are less “moreish” than processed foods (2)
2.) Squash Cravings
Healthy foods tend to be lower in sugar, helping you manage portion sizes and manage cravings
3.) Better Vitality
Foods high in micronutrients support better all-round health and wellness, helping you reach and maintain a healthy body weight with more energy
4.) Meat And Two Veg
Vegetables and lean protein fill you up for relatively few calories, so you can eat bigger portions (or save some calories for a treat)
5.) Improved Overall Health
Healthy food simply makes you feel better, physically, emotionally, and in terms of digestive health – I struggle to find downsides!
How To Get More Micronutrients In Your Diet
With my coaching clients, I encourage an 80/20 approach to nutrition.
Get 80% of your calories from healthy choices: natural, single-ingredient whole-foods.
Use the remaining 20% for treats, sweets, or whatever you like.
There’s no need to strive for a 100% all or nothing approach to healthy eating.
Remember, the goal is finding a way of eating that is sustainable for the rest of your life.
It’s better to succeed at the 80/20 approach than to fail and stress over unrealistic goals.
1.) Shop From The Outer Aisles Of The Store
This is where you’ll find fresh produce, fruit and veg, meat and fish, eggs, etc. Avoid any aisles you don’t need to go down (Which turns out to be 80% of the supermarket in the UK).
2.) Plan Your Meals In Advance
Sit down with your partner or family and talk about healthy options for main meals, then consider your own snacks and breakfasts.
3.) Make A List, It Works For Santa
Shop with a list to avoid last-minute snacks and impulse buys. If it’s not in the house, you can’t eat it!
4.) Stock Up
Stock up on frozen vegetables and berries – just as good as fresh (and won’t spoil).
5.) Bulk Buy
Consider bulk buying whole grains, pulses, lentils, and healthy canned goods like tinned tomatoes, beans, tuna (Always but organic with canned goods and don’t rely on them as a mainstay in your diet, fresh is ALWAYS best).
6.) Make Time For Health
Set aside time for one or two meal prep sessions every week. Batch cook meals for lunches and busy evenings. Cut up veg and salad items.
7.) Crush The Bad Habits
Identify your least healthy food habits (dessert, snacking, boredom eating?) and work out ways to replace these with healthier food choices that reduce calorie intake and boost nutrients.
Need help with your food habits and eating plans?
Drop me a message,
‘The number one rated Personal Trainer In Henley and Oxfordshire’
Studies referenced in today’s blog: