By Sumera Naz
Weight loss is one of the major concerns for almost every other person. We usually gain weight by consuming more than what we expend, and if we want to lose we simply need to expend more than what we consume. Weight gain is directly linked to many diseases such as cardiac arrest, strokes, diabetes, etc. We need to understand that the human machine is capable of doing anything, however, we need to work smart enough to mould it in a better shape. There are no magic drinks, magic pills which can help you lose, unless a person who wants to lose is not in a caloric deficit state, he or she cannot lose some pounds. So I have summed up it in a few points how to start and drop some pounds and look better.
Weight training is my first preference and I also give preference to weight training over cardio. Irrespective of gender, one should perform weight training for weight loss as well as weight gain. However, cardio should be treated as one of the best tools to keep your most important muscle healthy i.e. your heart. Weight training is one of the best tools to recompose your body structure. If you want to lose, one should always want to look better and aesthetically sound. So we need to have a balance between cardio and weight training. I have witnessed many times, trainers are not letting people do cardio just because they are in gaining mode, this really needs to die. You need to do your cardio irrespective of whether you wanna lose or you wanna gain. Especially in females, now at least I see many females lifting in the gyms but we still have people who let them stick to treadmills and cross trainers only. The best benefit is your basal metabolic rate gets a boost and thus increases the capacity of burning more calories per hour. So more the muscle you put on more energy is required for the same, so it’s directly proportional to weight loss.
Second most preference I would give to a caloric deficit, It’s simple if you wanna lose you need to work on it. Your target should be your energy balance i.e. you have to expend more than you take in. So you need to input some of the value in the caloric counters (myfitnesspal) and according to that, you will plan a deficit of 200-300 calories per day. This way you will be able to lose around a pound per week and vice versa for the ones who want to gain.
Smart Caloric Deficit is your key to success. By smart I mean the portioning of your macros. Every trainer and nutritionist has a different approach towards this, however, my take on this is if your goal is to shred keep your protein intake higher than the carb intake. So my portioning of macros looks like 50% coming from protein 25% from carbs and 25% from fats. However, this ratio is not a thumb rule it completely depends on the factors like genetics, metabolism, body fat percentage and lean body mass.
Your protein intake should be a minimum of 1.5 gm per kg of your body weight, however, it again depends on the goal, If one wants to put on some serious muscle mass then for sure you are not going to build it on 1 gm per kg. Some researchers have witnessed that high protein diets are effective when it comes to weight loss. Apart from the protein intake, we need to stay hydrated, as hydrations also play a major role in weight management. Water is necessary for the process called lipolysis ie the breakdown of lipids into fatty acids and glycerol.
Carbs are not your enemies, you need carbs to have efficient workouts and enhance your various physical activities. I would again recommend it on the basis of metabolism, like how good or bad a person can handle carbs. However 1-2 gms per kg can be a base line and one should stick around the same. How do carbs actually play a vital role. Whenever you ingest carbs they are absorbed finally to sugar and your normal blood sugar levels are 70-110mg/ml. If your body gets a signal of higher range or lower range your body releases hormones which are called as storage hormones and liberating hormones respectively. Both the hormones will tend to make your sugar levels normal and create a balance which we call homeostasis. So if your levels are more than 110 mg/ml storage hormone whisks excess sugar out of your blood and will store it in muscle tissue of fat tissue. If your levels will be less than liberating hormone will pull some sugar out of your muscle tissue and drag back to your blood(Reference Chris Aceto Book Everything You Need To Know About Fat Loss).
Smart supplementation is also a key for weight management. If your goal is to gain weight, do not opt for the mass gainers available in the market. They are just filled with sugar in the form of maltodextrin which will just balloon you up. If your goal is to gain I am pretty sure you want to look better with some quality mass on your body. On the other hand, if your goal is to lose some pounds the key factor is your protein intake, and if you cannot fulfil your daily protein requirement from the whole source of foods like chicken breast, egg whites, fish etc then you should supplement your diet with best available whey protein in the market. Stop believing those who keep on saying whey protein will cause damage to your kidneys, there are no such shreds of evidence neither any researches which have proved that. Whey protein is the best digestible protein available and yes I always recommend one to go for blood works before starting a new routine. If you do have any pre-existing Kidney issues or any other issue then a high protein diet can be risky for you.
Fats are really essential to maintain the function of your brain and should be added to your daily routine. I would however recommend to stick around 20-30% from your total caloric intake per day. During a weight loss program I would prefer to stick around unsaturated fats however if my goal is to put on some weight I would prefer fats to be portioned like 25% coming from saturated and 75% coming from unsaturated fats.
Meanwhile, in response to my last article, “ Let food be our medicine”, I have received several queries about the diet plans for patients with multiple diseases and from people who are obese and are fed up with the weight management process. I want to convey this message to our people here that every individual diet regime is different as our energy expenditure, metabolism rate and stress management is completely different. However, I would like to just highlight how a person should time his food for better management of his weight. If your goal is to lose some pounds then try to manage your carb intake in your breakfast and pre post-training sessions and if your goal is to gain some pounds then you can add carbs in your every meal but do not surplus more than 400-500 per day. I would limit carb intake on the metabolism rate of an individual irrespective of his or her goal is to gain or to lose. Limit your training sessions to 45-60 minutes and include cardio irrespective of your goals. I would recommend always weight training first and than cardio however fasted cardio is always best throughout the season. The lines I have mentioned are not the final criteria, so do not consider this as the final thing for the weight management, there are several factors which a trainer has to consider while designing a diet regime for an individual.
Sumera Naz is a ph.D scholar…
can be reached at Sumeranazsheikh@gmail.com
(Dr.Sumera Naz, is a Certified Fitness Trainer & Nutritionist, wellness coach,,, )