There's a massive misconception that in order to lose weight you must spend hours upon hours working out in a gym.
Whilst we know resistance training provides the ideal environment for people striving to improve their performance, become stronger and regulate hormonal health. The truth is, the gym actually isn’t essential if your goal is to lose weight.
The gym can be a daunting place for individuals who have little to no history of exercise and without the right coach to show you the ropes ensuring you are exercising safely and with intent, the gym can also be a very intimidating environment to be in for these many obvious reasons.
Throughout this article I am going to share with you the science behind how our bodies expend energy on a daily basis through four main processes, with the desired outcome that you will have a renewed perspective on what the true main drivers for fat loss are.
*TDEE: Total Daily Energy Expenditure*
The graph displayed above portrays on average how humans expend energy on a daily basis and approximately how much energy is expended through each core process.
*BMR: Basal Metabolic Rate 70% of TDEE
BMR refers to the amount of calories your body requires to maintain homeostasis (maintain basic life functions). This is also known as ‘calories a human would require whilst at complete rest’. It may be a shock to you that up to 70% of the calories humans burn per day is at complete rest!
NEAT: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis 15% of TDEE
Simply, NEAT is energy expended through everything we do that is not deliberate exercise, sleeping and digesting foods. For example walking to shops, taking the stairs and even preparing a meal can be classed as a form of NEAT. Surprisingly, yet again the next biggest factor that contributes to our daily energy expenditure is an activity that we hardly give much thought or consideration to..
TEF: Thermic Effect of Food 10% of TDEE
Thermic effect of food is a reference to the increase in metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns calories) that occurs after ingestion of food. When you consume food, your body must expend energy (calories) to digest, absorb, and store the nutrients in the food you've consumed. Therefore, as a result of the thermic effect of food, by consuming calories you actually increase the rate at which your body burns calories.
Protein: 20-35% of calories burned through processing
Carbohydrates: 5-15% of calories burned through processing
Fats: 0-5% of calories burned through processing
This is why you always hear coaches preaching that protein should be at the forefront of any diet. Protein not only assists in muscle development and muscular recovery but it also yields the highest thermic effect out of any of the macronutrients. Thus, through hitting your daily protein targets regularly, you are more likely to burn more calories on a daily basis.
EAT: Exercise Activity Thermogenesis 5% of TDEE
Referring to the TDEE graph it is evident that only 5% of our total daily caloric expenditure is actually used up through deliberate exercise, like in a gym setting. The other 95% of energy we burn daily is through resting, non deliberate exercise and even disgusting foods! Although this is true, I am not suggesting that you should never step foot in the gym, there is definitely a time and a place for it as you learn more and become more experienced. But it's kind of silly to assume that if an individual's goal is purley to lose weight that they need to put all their “weight loss” effort into 1 hour of the day training in the gym and then proceed to sit on their bums for the rest of the day whilst still leading a sedentary lifestyle (as far too many individuals these days do).
So… where am I going with this? It is everything we do outside the gym that really matters for fat loss to occur.
Simple things that you can control on a daily basis include;
1. Tracking your calorie intake and prioritizing nutrient rich whole foods in your diet.
For fat loss to occur we know that we need to be in calorie deficit for a duration of time until, well, fat loss occurs. Simply, a calorie deficit is consuming fewer calories than we burn on a daily basis. I genrally suggest to my clients to adhere to a sustainable calorie deficit of 10-15% initally. If you are unsure on how to work out your daily calorie requirements click the following link TDEE CALCULATOR.
2. Moving more.
Aim for a daily step target like the common 10,00 steps per day to keep you accountable and consistent. I would suggest investing in a wrist activity tracker as they are quite accurate. Simple things like walking whilst taking phone calls or making the conscious decision to take the stairs rather than the escalators will ensure you are expending more energy throughout the day. These practices are also great ways to form healthier lifestyle habits whilst getting your steps up without having to treat it like intentional, boring bouts of cardio in the gym.
3. Rest and recovery.
considering we burn most of our daily calories at rest we really should be prioritizing our sleep habits to ensure we are optimizing our recovery from a hormonal and metabolic standpoint! Studies have shown participants seeking to lose fat have far superior results when sleep quality is adequate compared to individuals with inconsistent sleeping patterns. Aim to sleep and wake up at the same time each today with the intent of 7-9 hours of quality sleep.
You might be wondering why I wrote this article, considering as a coach it is in my best interest financially to get as many people through the gym door as possible. However, more importantly than this, my priority is to educate people and provide them with as much value as possible so they don’t make the same mistakes that so many of us make, leading us to waste valuable effort and time, which can be upsetting and extremely demoralizing. ofcourse, through providing value I am able to build trust with potential prospects.
Keeping within this theme, if you are somebody who needs that extra push to get started then click the link below and get in touch.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.