The good way to lose weight; rather say lose fat is just one – “Calorie deficit in a structured manner.” This is a very simple fundamental but mostly never gauged correctly. Either we become too scientific and number prone to account for practicalities of being on a routine or else we are too much practical to not lay the foundation properly.
The most important thumb rule of Calorie in < calories out or what we refer as a deficit is where lies the essence. However, deficit doesn’t mean eating just X calories which are lesser than what you require, the source of these calories is as important. Here come your macronutrients (carbs, fat and proteins, plus fiber). How much of carb, how much of fat and how much of protein is next important question! Yet another is micronutrient fulfillment.
All these macros give us energy via calories. So eating them and not starving in name of diet is a great choice; knowing how much is even better.
How to know this number?
Well, the number is never a perfect match or catch; it will always implies a lot of other aspects, which are not comprehensible on scale. But yes, a baseline / ballpark is never a bad idea too.
Lets understand BMR, TDEE, NEAT, EAT and TEF for this matter!
BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate): calories you need to survive in most simple language is your BMR. You breathe, you digest, you circulate blood, you move limbs, you talk and so much more. Body needs energy to do this all; that’s how your food aids to get these tasks done even if u don’t move whole day!
NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis): This is what you burn or use as energy while doing day chores like walks, gardening, taking steps, doing laundry, dusting, washing car etc. This is an added expense for your body to cover apart from BMR.
EAT (Exercise Activity Thermogenesis): this is the number of calories used or burned while doing structured physical activity like weight training or gym, running, swimming, yoga, zumba, aerobics, dance forms, sprinting etc.
TEF (Thermic Effect of Food): the calories used to digest and absorb food; yes the food you eat doesn’t digest like that; it needs energy to be broken down and absorbed to give you the energy for doing rest! Protein has the highest TEF among macronutrients; but we never see TEF in isolation, as we never eat macros in isolation generally.
A total of BMR, NEAT, EAT plus TEF gives us TDEE (total daily energy expenditure.) TDEE is what you need to look at. It just doesn’t cover these aspects, which can be framed in numbers but also things like stress, lifestyle constraints, hydration and mental well-being. Understanding these non measurable factors is what gives the Midas touch to a fat loss journey.
Trust it aint that tough as it looks. All we need is a strong focus and right orientation with a structured approach. Nobody ever lost weight and sustained it with salads and soups or with just sweating it out. A 360 degree approach accounting for macros / nutrition, some workout, sleep fix, hydration, steps and stress is all we ever need to be in our best shape, and our best shape is the one we feel good about.