New Year,
New You!

Sustainable nutrition strategies that last all year

December 31, 2019

Sustainable nutrition strategies that last all year

December 31, 2019

At the turn of each year, New Year’s Resolutions – often about health and fitness – occupy our thoughts, plans, and conversations. We sat down with health professional Hannah Porteous, to find out which training mode is most sustainable for fat loss and overall long-term health.

With the barrage of contradictory information out there, it’s no wonder so many people begin to feel overwhelmed. While no single exercise mode has been proven to be a clear winner, there are definitely some important aspects to consider.

Most importantly according to Hannah, it’s vital to understand that for fat loss to occur, you need to be in a calorie deficit. And the easiest way to achieve that is through reducing the amount of calories you consume. Depending on your exercise mode, you can either speed up or hinder the process. However, the contribution to the calorie equation is far less (in most cases) than we are made to believe.

 

Hannah says it’s simple:

If you’re consuming more than you are burning, then the result will be an increase in fat mass. It’s all about consumption VS expenditure.

Nutrition aside, let’s look at the 4 components that contribute to creating a deficit through Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE):

 

  1. BMR Basal Metabolic Rate. The amount of energy you burn at rest accounting for ~65-70% of TDEE.
  2. NEAT Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. This is made up of all the energy we expend that isn’t eating, sleep or sport-exercise related. For example fidgeting, housework, walking to work or typing. This contributes to 15-20% of TDEE (even higher for people in active jobs).
  3. EATExercise Activity Thermogenesis. This is where exercise mode comes into play accounting for ~10% of your TDEE.
  4. TEF Thermic Effect of Food. We spend ~5% of our daily energy in the digestion process.

How do I use exercise to speed up fat loss?

 

Regular Resistance training

By looking at the 4 components of TDEE it becomes obvious that boosting your BMR offers the most bang for the buck, by increasing your calorie expenditure at rest. This means working smarter not harder. Including regular strength training into your week will help to maintain and build muscle mass in turn increasing BMR due to the higher metabolic demands of muscle tissue.

 

Include High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT has been gaining momentum as a preferred training method over recent years. Shown to boost anaerobic threshold, aerobic fitness and insulin sensitivity while increasing fat loss and maintaining muscle mass, it’s a time effective way to get results across the board.

This type of training is all about repeated high intensity efforts ranging from five seconds to eight minutes followed by recovery periods of varying lengths. A standard workout continues with the alternating work and rest periods typically adding up to 15-45 minutes.

 

Increase your NEAT

Increasing the amount of movement outside of formal exercise sessions can have a significant impact on overall TEE. Assess your daily routine and make conscious shifts in behavior to include more activity e.g. cycle or walk to work, take the stairs, schedule walking-meetings, make social catch ups active or walk while you’re making long phone calls.

 

Make sure you nail your nutrition.

You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Overeating daily, even by a small margin, will result in an increase in fat mass. By calculating TDEE we can understand the energy demands of our body and eat accordingly. In the same way that you don’t gain weight overnight, you don’t lose it that quickly either. Try to maintain a sustainable calorie deficit and manage your consumption across a week. This way you balance potential weekend overeating by reducing your calories slightly during the week.

 

Be consistent.

Consistent weekly action is king. Whether for training or nutrition, in the long term it is better to make small shifts that you can maintain and complete regularly for weeks on end as opposed to an all-or-nothing approach. Fat loss, like strength training, is about the long game: making small daily shifts changes to increase BMR and NEAT while maintaining a regular exercise routine.

New year, new you!

Don’t get bogged down in exercise mode when it comes to fat loss. Zoom out to take in the bigger picture. Calories in VS calories out. This year, make the shift toward more mindful eating in conjunction with moving more in everyday life and building up your lean muscle mass through resistance training. Sustainable fat loss is all about taking daily action over time towards a more balanced lifestyle.

With those tips in mind, the CATch up team wishes you a happy, healthy, success-filled 2020… and beyond!

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