The Weight Loss Cheat Sheet. 10+ Practical Tips to tone up your body
You can expect to lose 0.5-1% of your bodyweight per week on a calorie deficit. Weight loss (Cutting) Phases should be shorter than 12 weeks, typically between 2-3 months is best. This means you can expect to lose between 4-12% of your total bodyweight on each Cutting Phase, so if you weight 100 kg by the end, you should weigh between 88-96 kg.
After completing a Cutting Phase, you should transition to a "Maintenance Phase" to give your body time to get used to your new weight and your metabolism a chance to recover from being in a calorie deficit, this process takes time and if you skip this phase your progress will slow and the chances of regaining the weight you lost increase significantly.
This Maintenance Phase will ideally be the same duration as your last Cutting Phase. So if you just "Cut" for 10 weeks, you would "Maintain" for 10 weeks BEFORE starting your next "Cut".
You can repeat this cycle until you reach your desired weight or reach around 10% body fat for men or 15 % for women, whichever comes first. The key to weight loss is controlling calorie intake:
Calories In = Calories Out = Same Weight
Calories In > Calories Out = Weight Gain
Calories In < Calories Out = Weight Loss
Your body's metabolism (calories burned per day) reflexively changes in response to the amount of calories you consume on a regular basis, this is a mechanism that all living creatures have that allows them to survive for longer when food is scarce.
If you have a calorie deficit for any length of time, your metabolism will begin to slow down in response to it, this is IMPOSSIBLE to avoid.
For example; If you need 2000 calories to maintain your current weight, but eat 1500 calories a day, initially you will lose weight as expected. However, over time, your body will reduce the number of calories it burns each day, until it matches your calorie intake and further weight loss will stop.
Your body essentially goes into "Battery saving mode" like a phone, sacrificing performance and non-essential functions to ensure it can last (Live) as long as possible given the shortage of energy (Food) it has been exposed to.
This reflex can be felt in numerous ways such as; lethargy, weakness, fatigue, a constant desire to sleep, impaired cognitive function, etc.
Calculate your ideal calories intake here.
At this point, you have two choices:
1. Lower your calories even further, this will allow continued weight loss in the short term but comes with health risks below a certain amount of calories and also increases the risk of "Rebounding" and regaining the weight you just lost.
2. Raise your calories slowly each week back to a maintenance level and stay at maintenance for around 4 weeks to allow your metabolism to recover and speed back up to 2000 calories per day.
If you don't already know your body's calorie needs, you can calculate a rough estimate using a TDEE calculator online or by multiplying your weight in lbs by 10-12.
From there, track your calorie intake over the next week:
If your weight stays the same, that is your maintenance calorie intake.
If it goes up, then you are eating too much, reduce your daily calories by 500 for the next week and check again.
If it goes down, congratulations, you are losing weight!
Check your weight regularly over the week and calculate the average, this helps with accuracy as your weight will vary day to day. Compare this average each week to check progress. If you are losing 0.5-1% of your bodyweight per week, you are on track, keep it up until the weight loss slows/stops, or you reach the 12 week "Cutting" limit. If you are losing less, reduce your calories by another 250 and see how you progress then. If you are losing more, it may be wise to increase your intake by 250 each week until you fall back within that 0.5-1% range.
At the end of the "Cutting" Phase, increase your intake by 50% of what you initially reduced your calories from. So if you went from 3000 to 2000, increase it to 2500 for a few weeks and monitor your weight.
If it continues to increase each week, reduce your calories by 250 a day and reassess. If after the initial weight gain, you start losing weight again, add another 250 calories a day and reassess.
Your weight may level off after the first adjustment, or it may take several weeks. Once it has levelled off, maintain that calorie intake for at least another 4 weeks. Ideally, maintain it for as long as the "Cut" lasted for.
After that, if you wish to "Cut" again, simply repeat the same process as before, tracking weight and calories until it is time to change to "Maintenance" again.
Repeat this cycle of Cutting/Maintenance until you are at your desired weight.
Finally, as a guideline for macros after determining your calorie intake (carbs, fats & protein), aim for:
1g of Protein per lb of bodyweight.
0.4g of Fats per lb of bodyweight.
Fill your remaining daily calories with Carbs.