Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Shed the Kilos by Yourself

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Shed the Kilos by Yourself

Article excerpt

WEIGHT loss is tricky. You need to know how many calories each day you should be eating, what your balance of carbs, proteins and fats should be then what you do when you add in exercise and even the exact times of day you should be eating.

Is it any wonder so many of us get it wrong? So if your goal is to lose a few kilos, here are the key things you need to know to get the results you are looking for.

1. How many calories do you need?

The average number of calories we need (remember it basically changes each and every day), is impacted by our age, genetics, muscle mass, activity levels, current weight, hormones, menstrual cycle and, of course, gender.

There is not one exact number we can pluck out and stick to, and basically calorie requirements change daily.

Most importantly, increasingly sedentary lifestyles mean that as we are less active than ever before, often public health guidelines on recommended calorie intakes grossly over-estimate what the average person is burning each day.

As a rough guide, a small female doing less than an hour of exercise each day will require just 1400 to 1600 calories each day, while an average male will need just 1800 to 2200 calories per day.

Based on this for sustainable weight loss, women will generally respond well to any dietary regimen based on 1200 to 1400 calories and a male 1600 to 1800 calories per day.

While this may sound a lot of calories, the truth is once you keep a strict log of the calories you consume, you will see how easy it is to eat more than this on an average day.

2. Your macros

The other key variables that impact fat metabolism is the relative proportions of carbs, proteins and fats in the diet.

While low carb diets (less than 20 per cent total calories coming from carbs) will result in quick weight loss initially, low carb intakes over time compromise metabolism as muscle mass is used as an alternate fuel source.

Active individuals will need 45 to 50 per cent of total energy from carbohydrates to support fat loss, while less active individuals may need as little 30 to 35 per cent total carbohydrates to lose body fat.

If you have been restricting your calorie intake and still not seeing weight loss results, it is worth checking your macros - you may find that your percentage of total carbohydrate intake is too low for the amount of activity you are doing. …

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