Many people ask me what is the best way to lose weight, do you eat carbs, do you eat carbs at night, what’s the best cardio for weight loss?
There isn’t any secret about weight loss, in order to lose weight you must eat less than your body needs. A simple equation can be used to describe this;
Weight loss = energy intake < energy requirements
Almost all commercial diet systems use one method or another to restrict your calorie intake, these are not limited to; calorie counting, portion control, food type restrictions. Points systems and, more recently fitness apps have become quick reference guides meeting these requirements.
Fat burning exercise
All exercise uses energy and increases the amount of calories used by the body. During exercise several different energy systems are used to one degree or another. Despite claims to the contrary there isn’t a specific ‘fat burning’ exercise, your body simply doesn’t have a switch which says “she’s on an exercise bike at 120bpm burn fat”. Your body is constantly expending energy, and once it’s run out of stored carbohydrate it then moves on to fat stores – this may or may not happen at a certain time or during a particular activity. There is always some muscle tissue loss when losing weight, however this can be minimised by nutrient timing. Weight training can also help increase metabolism, and reduce muscle loss. Exercise also brings other benefits, the most important when choosing an exercise is finding one which you can do on a regular basis, and do enough of to make a difference.
Carbs, short for carbohydrates, are often a source of discussion. When I should I eat them, do you eat them after 6pm are some common questions. In short so long as you are eating less food than your body requires, it doesn’t really matter. Where is does matter is adherence, intelligence food choices and meal timings help you manage hunger, cravings, energy levels, maximising fat loss, and minimising muscle loss. Anything which makes you more comfortable in your weight loss journey, is more likely to bring the best results.
So it all sounds very simple, but what works best, there’s no straightforward answer to that, some people love calorie counting, some find it easier to stick to safe foods. Timing and choice of foods can also help stick to a plan, and make the process easier than it might otherwise be.
My approach is the best plan is the one which fits with you, the one which you can stick to the most consistently over time. Weight loss is not easy, and it can at times be frustratingly slow, but the good news is that over time all the small changes add up to make a significant difference.