When it comes to losing weight it all comes down to energy balance: a pretty exacting science that cannot be avoided or denied. If you want to lose weight you have to be in a negative energy deficit, basically using more calories than you are putting into your body. And how do you achieve this? It’s simple: either eat slightly in a deficit, increase your output (exercise), or a mixture of both.
With this in mind, you could technically get away with eating 3 chocolate bars a day if you’re in a calorie deficit right? Well not entirely. Two key questions you should ask yourself though are: is this good for my health and is it sustainable? This is where ‘wellness’ comes in. Weight loss can be achieved through unhealthy practices but this will ultimately leave you with an undernourished and weak body. Here is our guide to losing weight whilst retaining your body’s wellness, and why your whole nutrition plan counts.
So what should I be eating?
Your diet should be mostly filled with minimally processed, nutrient dense foods. Not only do these foods induce the body to have higher satiety level, meaning that you will be fuller for longer, they are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals no standard chocolate bar could ever deliver. Vitamins and minerals are essential to our diet for a number of reasons: benefitting our skin and hair, supporting our immune and nervous system, converting nutrients into energy, and helping to digest and process fats, carbohydrates, and protein for energy and repair.
Sustainability really is the key to weight loss. Realistically is 3 chocolate bars a day going to keep you full and satisfied? We all know the unfortunate answer is no, and you will no doubt end up overeating, and then under eating to make up for this. This can lead to a nasty cycle of yo yo dieting, holding you back from making any real progress. This is why it's important to take your time when planning your diet plan, and take a more holistic approach to your nutrition. You must be completely honest with yourself about you can realistically stick to. If you look at your diet and cannot see yourself committing to your programme in the long term, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. There are a lot of factors you have to take into consideration when picking a diet: your lifestyle, budget, living without certain food groups, and the amount of time you can dedicate to preparing meals. Aside from taking a more rounded approach to your diet, there are a few key supplements you can incorporate into your lifestyle to help you to your goals. But where do you start, and what supplements will actually be beneficial for your wellness and weight loss? Here’s our guide to help you find some answers, and form a steadfast weight loss plan.
What about supplements?
Of course, we all have our likes and dislikes when it comes to food, this is why, regardless of whether you’re dieting or not, it’s always a good idea to invest in a good quality multivitamin supplement. When restricting your food intake for weight loss a multivitamin is essential: providing your body with every nutrient it needs. These are very easy to include in your regular routine, usually coming in pill form which should be taken 2-3 a day with food.
Another key supplement for those looking to lose weight is Omega 3. Not only does it aid with the fat loss process, but it is an essential element for brain and body function too. In some cases your diet may not allow you to eat foods high in omega 3, as natural sources such as fatty fish can be quite calorically dense and high in fat. To supplement this, omega 3 again can be taken in pill form, but if you’re not keen to be taking too many pills a day it can also be found in liquid form.
In addition to these two supplements you may also consider taking creatine to aid you in you weight loss goals. This is the most well supported supplements on the market, with the most evidence based research in terms of improving performance in the gym or during your desired workout. How does it work? Creatine helps to create more ATP (adenosine tri phosphate) which is your primary energy source during exercise. Of course this goes hand in hand with increasing your output: meaning you will be able to work harder for longer, burning more calories, which is only going to aid your weight loss goals.
There is not one diet that fits all. Weight loss is a journey which each individual has to navigate in tune with their own body and lifestyle. Wellness, however is something which should be a universal priority for anyone who is looking to lose weight: retaining a healthy and functional body throughout the process. With a nutrient dense, sustainable deficit programme, and proper supplementation you will no doubt be on your way to achieving your weight loss goals.
Ben Feinson is a fully qualified, self-employed personal trainer and freelance sports and nutrition writer. With years of experience in the industry, and undergoing a drastic fitness transformation himself, he has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field.