The Best Type of Dieting for Fat Loss:
When considering what kind of diet, one should try in order to reach their fitness goal a few questions need to be answered first, such as:
- What is your specific fitness goal?
- What is your current nutrition like?
- What type of training will/are you performing?
These questions will help individuals determine the best course of action they should personally take in order to reach their desired fitness goal via dieting. When the desired fitness goal is to lose weight/lose fat, a high protein diet should be considered. This form of dieting is extremely effective when aiming to preserve muscle mass while maintaining a negative energy balance. Utilizing this form of dieting allows the individual to be more flexible with their diet and allows one to eat most of the foods they currently eat on a daily basis, as long as the body maintains a negative energy balance. I personally use this form of dieting when I am cutting and also use this same formula for my own clients; the results continue to speak for themselves. Too many individuals put too much thought into what diet route they should take and end up choosing one that is extremely difficult to stick with and adhere to. A major determinant in seeing results from a diet, is merely choosing one that the individual enjoys and can consistently stick with for an extended period of time. Choosing a high protein dieting approach is a simple and enjoyable way to diet that still yields the desired results.
In order to maximize a diet, individuals need to understand the nutritional needs of their specific fitness goal. With the goal of losing weight, an individual will need to maintain a negative energy balance, meaning the body will be burning more calories than it is taking in each day. Understanding macronutrients is also a crucial component when looking to optimize a diet.
Calories: are simply a unit of “energy” for the body, every individual has a certain amount they need each day in order to maintain current body composition and in order to complete daily tasks which is called TDEE (total daily energy expenditure).
Protein: is comprised of amino acids and are the basic building blocks of muscles. Has the highest thermic effect of all the macronutrients, meaning the body burns more calories while metabolizing protein specifically. Protein is also the most satiating, which plays a crucial role in curbing one’s appetite while maintaining a negative energy balance. Each gram of protein equals 4 calories.
Fats: play a large role in overall bodily function and energy production. The primary source of energy while the body is at rest, and during low intensity aerobic based exercise. Fats DO NOT equate into more body fat when eating healthy fats. Stay away from trans fats and limit saturated fats. Each gram of fat equals 9 calories.
Carbs: major source of energy for the body for high intensity anaerobic exercise bouts, play a crucial role in pre-workout and post workout energy levels and recovery. Aim for more complex carbs and limit simple carbs. Carbs DO NOT equate into more body fat when eating complex carbs. Each gram of carbs equals 4 calories.
Breaking down the roles of each macronutrient allows the individual to understand how to diet more efficiently. The next step is to determine one’s TDEE. The number for total daily expenditure will be multiplied by a specific percentage in order to determine the appropriate caloric deficit.
Least aggressive approach - multiplier .15 (15% caloric deficit)
Moderately aggressive approach – multiplier .20 (20% caloric deficit)
Most aggressive approach- multiplier .25 (25% caloric deficit)
Depending on the chosen approach, the multiplier will be multiplied by the individual’s total daily expenditure. For example, the approach I would choose would be the more aggressive approach, from here I would multiply 2,790 (TDEE) x .25 in order to determine my goal caloric deficit.
Goal caloric deficit: 2,790 x .25 = 2,092 calories
This number will serve as the target caloric goal for each day while running a caloric deficit.
My “Tracking & Calculating Macronutrients” blog post provides insight over how to calculate specific goal macronutrients.
Benefits of High Protein Dieting:
High protein dieting provides various benefits to individuals. Taking in high quantities of protein helps curb appetite and provides a “full” sensation, which is a huge advantage when dieting. This dieting approach also decreases muscle degradation brought on by training due to maintaining a negative energy balance which helps with overall body composition and recovery. In order to maximize this form of dieting, one needs to stay within their given caloric deficit and hit their target protein goal each day. Doing this, allows for some flexibility with daily fat and carb intake. Each individual should aim to eat one gram of protein for each pound of bodyweight, as this will promote lean mass preservation and force the body to use carbs and fats to make up the lost energy brought on by a negative energy balance. For example, my current bodyweight is 162 pounds meaning my daily protein intake goal would roughly be 162 grams per day.
The high protein diet approach also allows the most flexibility in one’s overall diet, meaning the diet doesn’t have to be as strict in terms of what one is eating. With that being said, the diet still needs to be pretty clean in order to optimize results but doesn’t need to be as repetitive and grueling in comparison to most forms of dieting. Due to the flexibility of the diet, an individual will be more likely to stick with the diet and adhere to it much easier. As long as the caloric deficit is met and the goal protein amount is hit each day, the individual has the freedom to eat more of what they want versus the “chicken, broccoli, and brown rice” every meal approach. High protein dieting allows the individual to maintain relatively high carb and fat intake which in turn, pays dividends in overall energy levels each day. Do not mistake this form of high protein dieting with other diets such as the keto diet, because the high protein diet I’m referring to does not restrict carbs and fats to such an extent. During this type of dieting one needs to focus on eating more simple carbs and healthy fats, but the amount of these macronutrients can fluctuate to an extent each day. This form of dieting can also be considered “flexible dieting” to an extent. Flexible dieting simply implies that the individual can switch up what they are eating on a daily basis and allows the process to be less stressful.
If an individual performs resistance training bouts, then the high protein diet is very effective when wanting to maintain overall “gains”. While in a caloric deficit, the body will turn to existing muscle in order to obtain the needed energy and nutrients brought on by the deficit which is otherwise known as muscle degradation. Maintaining high protein intake helps negate muscle degradation and help promote better overall body composition. This type of diet forces the body to utilize carb and fat stores within the body more effectively which can provide better results when aiming to lose weight or fat. Understanding the needs of one’s training program while maintaining a caloric deficit is crucial when aiming to maximize one’s overall training program. The high protein diet helps promote better recovery and can provide longevity in one’s training program while the body is in a caloric deficit. Maintaining a high level of training allows the individual to maximize the positive results of their diet and help reach their desired fitness goal by providing better overall results.
I hope this article helped to provide some insight over high protein dieting and helps to clear up some questions one might have regarding how to choose the most appropriate form of dieting for a desired fitness goal. My blog posts “Macronutrients 101” & “Tracking & Calculating Macronutrients” provide more information over the concept of finding an individual’s target macronutrient goals for a desired fitness goal. I also provide tailored meal plans to each individual with the same principles stated in this article, go check it out if you’re interested! Let me know if you have any questions related to dieting and let me know what you think about the article! I appreciate the support.