Answer, It Depends…

There are literally thousands of people out there trying to sell you a diet system. The absolute truth of the matter is this. To lose weight and to lose fat you need to be eating in a calorie deficit! It’s as simple as that. There are a few exceptions to the rule, I’ll go though these a bit later. The meat and bones of any diet is that it puts you into a calorie deficit. Whether that’s a paleo diet, south beach diet, Mediterranean diet, juice diet it doesn’t matter, they all work on calorie deficits.

A key point to remember here is how many calories are in what macro-nutrients. In carbs there are 4 calories per gram. In Protein there are 4 calories per gram in fat there is 9 calories per gram. If you’re eating a higher fat diet you’re eating a high calorie diet. Remember that!

What is a calorie deficit?

A calorie deficit means that you eat less than, what is required for your body to maintain weight. Your body has a set point or maintenance point in terms of the amount of calories that you can consume without gaining or losing weight. To find out what your calorie set point or BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is head over to input your details and then you will have a calorie number to work with.

Once you’ve entered your details and you have the maintenance calories in front of you. Ideally you will set up your diet to then be consuming 500 calories less than that number for weight loss. Or 500 calories more if your goal is to gain lean muscle or weight in general.

This is the screen shot from my TDEE calculator

What do all the numbers mean?

My calorie intake to maintain my current weight is 3000 calories give or take. For me to lose weight in a healthy manner I need to consistently eat 2500 calories ideally of good quality clean food. That 500 calories is the optimal number, your body is a smart bit of kit and it knows how to balance things. Let’s say based on my numbers one day I ate 2000 calories and the following day I ate 3500. My body will workout the balance and adapt accordingly.

This is why I prefer to set people a calorie target across the week rather than a daily total. Daily tracking will be required but the weekly total is what I prefer my clients to focus on. By focusing on the weekly intake it takes away the stress of under or overeating on certain days. The more stress I can take away from any form change the better.

Which diet should I follow though? What Macro split is going to work for me?

This at the end of the day, doesn’t really matter. Studies have shown that with all calories equated for fats and carb intake. There was no significant difference in fat loss between the two diets.

Here are the exerepts from the study. “In 2016, Hall et al. showed that a ketogenic diet (KD; 2400 kcal/day, 6% carbohydrate, 77% fat, 17% protein) was not accompanied by decreased body fat in obese people.”

“In this study, 17 men classified as overweight or obese were admitted to metabolic wards, where they consumed a high-carbohydrate baseline diet (BD; 2400 kcal/- day, 48% carbohydrate, 35% fat, 17% protein) for 4 weeks followed by 4 weeks of KD” “Restriction of dietary carbohydrate does not contribute to body fat loss in humans”

“The studies reviewed in this commentary clearly reject the claim that carbohydrate restriction is required for body fat loss, at least with respect to energy oxidation and balance”

Received: 31 October 2016 / Published online: 11 November 2016 The Japan Diabetes Society 2016 Source:

In English this means that, a high carb diet of 48% carbs vs a Keto diet of only 6% carbs. There was no difference in fat loss between the two groups when protein was kept even at 17%.

Which Diet To Follow.

The one that tastes good to you, that leaves you in a weekly calorie deficit. It really is as simple as that. Make sure you’re eating adequate protein levels between 1-2 grams per kg of body weight. Or 1.8-2.8g per kg of lean body mass if you have scales that can measure that for you.

If you want to go for a 5:2 fasting method that by the end of the week leaves you 3500 calories shot your maintenance number. That’s all good too. Using me as the example I need 21293 calories across the week to maintain. For me to be in my 500 calorie a day deficit I need to hit 17793 calories, across the week, roughly. If using a 5:2 fasting methods helps with hitting that number it’s all good. If using a lower fat approach helps me with that it’s all good.

Summing it up

At the end of the day science say that calories in vs calories out is the main factor. Which it is, there are very rare circumstances where people have put themselves into paradox. The paradox is that they’ve under-eaten for so long they’re metabolic adaptation has now slowed down. They might still be smashing their body with stress and workouts but under fuelling their body so it doesn’t recover. In these cases I need to gradually feed people back up to eating a sensible calorie deficit. Like I said this is a rare case and 95% of the people I’ve worked with over the last 15 years all over eat!

In answering the big question, which is the best diet to follow for fat loss. The one that you can stick to consistently and leaves you in a calorie deficit across the week.

For details about personal diet set ups for fat loss without weight loss get in contact with me today.