About Your Lifestyle Plan
About your Lifestyle Plan
We will have sent you calorie, protein, fibre and suggested exercise targets.
Your calorie target is calculated based on your current energy needs taking account of the amount of exercise you are planning to do. It is important that you complete your planned exercise as a minimum or you are unlikely to be working in a caloric deficit (see below) and hence you are unlikely to lose weight.
Not enough people are eating the recommended fibre intake of 30 grams per day. Fibre is essential for good gut health which in turn affects your immune and other systems.
Fibre is also great for helping you to keep fuller for longer – it has a high satiety effect (along with protein). You should increase your fibre intake gradually to allow your systems to adjust.
The macro targets are designed to optimise protein for muscle building and improvements to your metabolic rate. The targets are designed to allow for long term sustainable weight loss at a rate of 1-2 pounds a week.
It is difficult to hit all of your targets for calories, protein, and fibre on a daily basis to balance everything out. So we suggest to try to hit the following targets in the following order:
- Calories aim to hit your calorie (energy in) target as your first priority daily. This combined with the exercise you are doing ensures you are burning more calories than you are consuming.
- Fibre ensure you hit your 30 grams fibre daily. This will help your gut health and is great for keeping you fuller for longer.
- Protein look to hit your protein target to help build and repair muscle and help tone the body.
We would suggest a review of your progress after one month to make any tweaks necessary to your plan.
You need to be aware that to (say) lose 60 pounds it could take you between 30 weeks or 60 weeks depending on progress. This means that you will be in the process for the long haul and you need to commit to that, motivate yourself and get the right mindset.
In order to hit your targets, it’s important at least in the short term to measure the calories you are putting into your body and compare that to your targets. What we need to get to is calorie awareness. In other words as an example, we need to get an understanding of what different calorie amounts look like on a dinner plate.
Once we know that a plate of spaghetti bolognaise equates to X calories, with Y protein and Z fibre etc. then we no longer need to count this item.
In practice calorie counting is not as bad as it sounds because trackers like My Fitness Pal and Nutracheck actually ‘remember’ dishes you have already entered, and so you only have to enter them once.
It’s also a fact that a lot of us are creatures of habit and so tend to eat the same meals repeatedly. What becomes important in the long term is portion control.
The 80/20 Rule
They do say: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. So for this reason it’s important to cut people some slack when on a weight loss journey. We are going to suggest that you reserve 20% of your calorie target every week for treats. Have some cake and have some wine! A little of what you fancy does you good!
Also be aware that if you do fall off the wagon for one day don’t beat yourself up. In the grand scheme of things it won’t make much difference as long as you get back on it the following day.
We are setting most people the target of burning 500 calories per day through exercise. There will be more on this in the Exercise section later.
This target is commonly being achieved by people committing to taking 10,000 steps daily and many are using Fitbit trackers etc. to measure their energy spend. BUT there are other ways of doing it as we will explain in Exercise section later.
How the body uses energy
As you can see from the image above we have a Total Daily Energy Expenditure broken down into three parts:
The biggest use of energy is actually the body staying alive. So keeping all your vital functions going heart, lungs, liver, brain etc. takes up about 70% of our energy and obviously it is working day and night!
When we eat food, which is energy into the body, we also burn some of that energy processing it and using it in the body. The energy used here is known as the ‘Thermic Effect of Food’.
As an interesting example: when the body consumes protein, it burns 30% processing it (this is not the same for fats and carbs). So if you eat 100 calories of protein you end up with 70 calories because 30 calories are used up processing it.
The final energy component relates to energy used up as we exercise.
There are two energy burns going on here:
The first is the energy we use going about daily life eg vacumming the carpet, pottering about the house, making the beds, gardening etc. This type of exercise is called Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT).
The second energy burn relates to any ‘formal’ exercise we undertake including going to the gym, running, cycling, swimming etc. This is known as Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (EAT).
Working in an energy (calorie) deficit
In order to lose weight (and by that we usually mean burn fat) it’s generally recognised that we need to burn more energy than we are taking in. This is known as a caloric deficit.
Your energy and macro targets have been calculated based on the information supplied. The targets generally assume a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day. This is because it is generally accepted that a total calorie deficit of 3,500 calories per week will result in a weight (fat) loss of one pound.
One reason people lose weight and then put it on again is that to lose the weight in the first place they have gone on an unsustainable low calorie diet where the calorie input is less than the basic body energy need. (The red block in the diagram above).
When this happens the body goes into a defence mode to stay alive and it reduces your energy spend. One of the first things it does with women is to shut down their periods. After a while on this type of diet the body starts cravings and when people give in the body over-compensates for it’s loss not only putting back the weight lost but often adding more to protect against future starvation binges. (More on this later).