• Richard Wilcock

The simple truth to weight loss - the 3 key things you need to know about how to lose body fat.

Fat Loss

We've all tried to lose weight at some point and a quick google search on the topic will give you pages full of diets, exercise regimes and advice. But how does it actually work and what do we need to know in order to maximise our chances of successfully losing weight. Below we have the definitive 3 things that you need to know and understand in order to successfully lose body fat.

So, lets jump straight into it.

The first thing is that the easiest way to understand the purpose of body fat is to just think of it as stored energy. It’s the human version of having a battery that we charge and gets bigger by eating food. The more body fat you have the more stored energy you have.

Which brings us onto point number two, all the energy we get as humans comes from food and drink. That means that all the body fat we have was once upon a time something that we ate. The reason it got stored as body fat is that we didn’t need the energy when we ate it. Because we didn’t need it, this extra energy was stored as fat.

Third thing to remember is that we use a certain amount of energy naturally every day. Everything we do uses energy. Right now, your breathing which is using energy, your heart is beating which is using energy, thinking, eating, digesting the food you ate, walking, sleeping, going to the toilet all use energy. If you move your eyes to read this blog you’re using energy. its not a lot, but you are using some. We normally measure this energy in calories and we use a varying amount of calories every day depending on how much energy we've used through our everyday normal activities.

If you can understand these three things you'll understand everything you need to know about how to lose body fat. That's all it is just 3 simple points:

Point 1 - Body fat is stored energy. If we want to get rid of it then we need to find a way of using this stored energy.

Point 2 - Everything we do uses energy, eating, breathing, sleeping, moving all use energy.

Point 3 - The only place we can get this energy from is food and drink.

So what happens if we don’t eat enough energy in a day? If a car tries to drive 100 miles but only has 80 miles of fuel in the tank it will run out before it reaches its destination. Once the fuel tank is empty it has nothing left to use for energy so it just stops working.

We aren't cars, we don’t suddenly run out of energy and stop being able to move around, think and breathe. If we use 2000 calories of energy but only eat 1800 calories worth of food then the extra energy needs to come from somewhere.

We call this being in an energy or calorie deficit and this deficit is made up by the body using the fat we have stored previously to create the extra energy we need.

In using energy from body fat instead of the food we eat we will reduce the amount body fat we have stored in our body and lose weight.

And that's it, that's the simple truth of how to lose body fat. If you create a energy / calorie deficit the body will use the energy stored in our body as fat to make up the difference and you will lose weight.

Now if we go back to our previous points we can easily see how to do this:

Point 2 - Everything we do uses energy.

Point 3 - The only place we can get this energy from is food and drink.

If we use more energy moving around and doing things than what we get from eating / drinking then we will create an energy deficit. If we create an energy deficit then the extra energy we need will come from our body fat.

So the practical take home message is simple:

In order to lose body fat you need to create an energy deficit.

The best way to do this? Increase our activity levels to burn more energy and modify our diet to eat less energy.

If we normally eat 2000 calories of energy a day but only use 1800 calories of energy that is 200 calories a day that we will store as fat rather than use. We're in an energy surplus not a deficit. Being in a surplus is why we gain body fat.

If we were to modify our diet slightly and only eat 1900 calories of energy per day while increasing our activity to use 1900 calories of energy a day then the energy coming into our body is the same as what we are using. This means the energy consumed and used per day is balanced so we would neither gain nor lose body fat.

If we were to modify our diet again and now only eat 1800 calories per day while bumping our activity up so we use 2000 calories a day we've now created an energy deficit of 200 calories. We're using more energy than we are getting from our food and drink so we take the extra energy we need from the body fat we have previously stored and as a consequence reduce the amount of body fat we have.

And that should be everything you need to know about losing body fat.

As always if you have any questions about the above or about health and fitness in general please feel free to contact me. I hope you find this blog useful, any comments, thoughts and opinions you have are always appreciated and can be left in the comments section below.

Richard Wilcock

Richard is a qualified strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer and exercise physiologist. He has a degree in sport and exercise science and a masters degree in sport and exercise physiology. He is the owner and lead coach at Flagship Fitness Personal Training in Bolton, England and is happily living, eating pizza and adventuring with his girlfriend of 5 years Charlie.

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