Your nutrition is the single most important factor when it comes to losing weight. It doesn’t matter how much you workout, if your nutrition isn’t where it needs to be then you are not going to lose a single pound. This means monitoring the quantity of food we are eating as well as the quality, which are both equally important. Since losing weight can be a challenge if we don’t know what we’re doing, we need to be taking a close look at both of these things.
The Quantity of Food
I always tell people that the amount of food you consume each day is the most important thing to their weight loss success, and it’s true. In fact, this is the only thing that matters when trying to lose weight. You could eat nothing but a diet of carrot and celery sticks but if you eat too many of them, you will still gain body fat. Also known as calories in vs. calories out, this principle holds true for every single person, regardless of how ‘fast’ your metabolism might be.
Because of this, we need to take in fewer calories than our body needs to maintain its own weight. However, we must be careful.
If we drop our calories too low, we will end up burning muscle as well as fat. To avoid this, we should only lose a maximum of two pounds per week. To lose this amount, we should drop our calories 1000 below our maintenance level, no more. For example, if your daily calorie intake to maintain your weight is 2500 calories, you would consume 1500 calories per day to lose this amount in a week.
The Quality of Food
Now technically we could eat whatever we want, since weight loss occurs because of a caloric deficit and nothing else. But there is a major problem with this.
Let’s say you were to eat nothing but cake and were consuming enough calories to let your body lose two pounds per week. Although you would still be losing weight, you have to ask yourself a question – Is that fat or muscle you are losing?
Since your muscles are malnourished, a good portion of it will actually be muscle tissue. Remember, muscle is metabolically active tissue that burns additional calories. Not to mention, muscle gives you that lean, hard, defined look and overall makes you look better! So if you’re losing just as much fat as muscle, then the end result will be a soft, weak body.
To prevent this from happening, I recommend a balanced approach to nutrition. Since nearly nobody can eat 100% clean all the time, simply combine some of your favorite foods with healthy foods such as whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. These foods will prevent muscle wasting by giving you the nutrients you need to lose healthy weight – body fat.
To Sum It Up
Without decent nutrition, you can kiss your entire weight loss goodbye. You need to not only pay attention to amount of food you are consuming on a daily basis, but also to the quality of food you are putting into your body. Combine these two weight loss principles together and you will be guaranteed success.