1. What does 'lose weight' mean?There are some minimum and basic parameters that we must meet if we want to lose weight successfully by following a certain way of eating but, first of all, we must clarify what "lose weight" really means. And it is that the semantic corruption that surrounds this expression is very widespread; distorting the real goal of people who claim to want this desperately. "Losing or losing weight" should not be an end in itself, but a situation that can occur in parallel to the true purpose, which is to improve body composition . “Improving body composition” sounds a lot more sophisticated, really, but it actually better clarifies what we have in mind when we say we want to lose weight, and that is to have more muscle and less fat. More muscle? That is, since losing weight while conserving all our fat and losing exclusively muscle mass will leave us with a flaccid skin and muscle tone, with little mental energy and with little margin to extend the nutritional strategy over time. We will literally go from being “a big pear to a small pear”; Same shape but smaller size, worse aesthetics and health. And less fat? Obviously, it's actually the first thing we think of when that inaccurate and general statement about weight loss escapes us. Losing body fat is usually good in general terms, but always moving within margins that keep our health intact and optimized.
2. How does 'body recomposition' happen?But, then, why body recomposition? Easy, I put you in another assumption: You start going to the gym, eating properly, your vitality increases, you ooze energy wherever you go, you sleep better than ever... but after a few months the scale remains the same. However, you look in the mirror and you have better muscle tone, smoother skin, shapes that had been hidden for a long time are intuited... you even took your waist circumference again and it gave fewer centimeters than that first day you decided to change your life... What is happening!? The most favorable state possible is occurring: you are eliminating fat and gaining muscle in equal parts . So you weigh yourself on your scale and your progress becomes invisible on it; but just by looking in the mirror, even with clothes on, you can already see the great change that you are carrying out. I put in this table, the supposed contexts that can occur when carrying out your plan:
3. Metabolic advantages of having more muscle massThanks to accumulating more muscle mass in your body, through weight training and diet, we can observe the following advantages; which are proportional to the level of muscle mass we have:
- Higher basal metabolic rate and, therefore, more energy expenditure at rest.
- Improved insulin sensitivity due to the proliferation of GLUT4 transporters in skeletal muscle.
- Greater energy expenditure thanks to the fact that we generate more intense training sessions and with more mechanical tension, that is, we manage to lift more weight.
- By hypertrophying our energy intake through diet, we can allow ourselves to eat much more while improving our body composition; which means more contribution of micro and macronutrients .
4. The 10 golden rules to succeed with any dietIf there is something that all prefabricated diets have in common to be able to function, it is some kind of mechanism or rule to make you eat less and manage to balance your intake towards a negative one. And, while this may be true, we are going to try to reduce that negative range as much as possible and seek fat loss by making a few simple modifications that are more bearable. These are the golden rules to succeed with any diet:
- Ensures a minimum fiber intake , which can vary in an optimal range of 25 - 40 gr per day.
- Maintain a protein intake adequate to this goal, which can be in a safe range of 1.8 to 2.8 g of net protein per kg of muscle mass.
- Maintain a constant and continuous hydration , consuming plenty of water and using unrefined sea salt in your meals.
- The taste does matter; your diet must be palatable and contain the foods that you like the most.
- Don't go on an aggressive caloric cut .
- Diet schedules should be adapted to your way of life and not you to them.
- The fixed hours of lunch, breakfast and dinner are social consensus that do not respond to individual physiological rhythms.
- Don't stay in an omnipresent negative caloric balance .
- If the prefabricated diet criminalizes any specific food or nutrient, limit this diet to a certain period of time, later incorporating those removed foods.
- Do strength sports with weights . Yes, it has nothing to do with food, it doesn't even have to! It is a key pillar to maintain adherence to the diet.
- By having a minimum consumption of fiber and protein, the consumption of ultra-processed products will decrease considerably, since they usually contain excessive fat and refined carbohydrates; no fiber and very little protein.
- By not eliminating any food permanently, we do not destroy our adherence to the diet, we do not hyper-activate metabolic pathways that can lead to starvation and we do not deteriorate our state of mind.
- By ensuring a basic adherence, through a balanced relationship with our dietary intake , we will be able to sustain and perpetuate the results we achieve.
5. Additional recommendationsIf you have difficulty meeting your protein and macronutrient requirements because you have little time to cook, I recommend using some type of protein shake; reinforced with minerals and vitamins. Sleep is basic and, if one day we have been subjected to too much stress, we can reinforce rest with amino acids such as 5-HTP or hormones such as melatonin , which help us to patch up possible unforeseen events in our day to day.