So it’s Week #3 and if you were with us last week, you’d have spent the last 7 days counting your calories. And if you did that diligently, I’m certain that by now you know what the source of your weight-gain problem is.
Is it that evening snack which pushes you over your daily limit? Or is it the heavy dinner which you always finish off with a desert? Or is it that late night binge while you Netflix and chill? (Or is it all three!)
Where are your calories hiding? Why is it that, even with a seemingly ‘healthy’ diet, you can’t seem to lose weight?
Once you know the answer to this question, the solution becomes so apparent, that you can’t help but act on it! So let’s act!
Your Deficit Target
From the last post, you would’ve also calculated the calories you expend everyday. Say that number is 2100 calories (BMR of 1800 + 300 calories burnt through some exercise). So now, mathematically, to start losing weight, you need to net under 2100 calories.
*Remember, no matter what you do (Keto, Paleo, IF or whichever fancy diet), if you’re consuming more than you expend, you will NOT lose weight.
But how much deficit?
Start with 20%.
So in our current example, you should aim for about a 400-450 calorie deficit. That’s about 1650 calories consumed everyday.
Beware that at the start, when your enthusiasm and motivation are prone to be high, you shouldn’t go for a very large deficit. Anything above 25% of your calorie need is too large, and will probably leave you feeling hungry or low on energy or both.
More importantly, a very large deficit might make your body go into starvation mode (we talk more about this when we discuss Weight-loss Vs Fat-loss) and give you results that are exactly opposite of what you want. And most importantly, such a stringent, sudden cut, which might not give you desired results, will break your motivation to go on. Going on large calorie cuts is hard. It means skipping meals and being hungry and controlling yourself at all times. In the absence of BIG results, such a push is unsustainable.
So remember, start small and keep that motivation in reserve. I guarantee you we will use it all up.
Ok. So now you know how much you are eating and how much you need to reduce. But what do you reduce? The simple answer is reduce calories. But that can be done by reducing any of the 3 Macros. Which one should you target first?
Which brings us to step 2 of beginning the weight-loss diet.
Step 2: Cut Carbs
Cut Refined Carbs
Cut all packaged beverages
Cut Added, Obvious fats
Don’t cut any meals
Step 3: Drink a LOT of Water.
Water will make you feel full.
So without wasting a second, get a nice bottle (Not plastic. Glass is good. Copper is great.) and keep it on your desk. Whenever you look up from your computer, train your hand to go straight for the bottle.
The trick is to delink ‘Water’ from ‘Thirst’
- Always having access to clean water is the first step to getting there. Half the time, we don’t drink because it’d mean getting up and going to the cooler and filling a cup. Remove that barrier.
- The second step is to train your mind to seek water first. And you can start by forcing the matter. For example, I am most prone to drinking sugary-beverages when I’m traveling. Especially at airports or if I am on the field. And generally, if I let myself get too thirsty, my mind shuts off and I end up making the wrong choice of beverage. So I never let it get to that. The minute I enter the airport, the first thing I buy is a bottle of water. Same for when I am on the road. Once it’s there, there is no longer a choice to be made!
- The last step is to watch your urine. It’s the best, biological indicator of dehydration. So just aim to ALWAYS have white, transparent, glistening urine, and you’re done. No need to be counting water intake. This one test will do.