This has been a big week for us as we re-open Unity’s doors for the first time in over 10 weeks due to COVID-19! So, it’s especially exciting for us!
If you’re in the La Crosse area and looking for expert guidance in all things exercise, nutrition, mindset, and recovery – please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get chatting about getting you set up with a custom program!
Now on to the actual subject of this post: Unity’s Five Principles for Fat Loss.
This is going out because of the “Quarantine 15”, or the “COVID 19”, people are putting on – as in they’ve gained +15 lbs over the course of the quarantine (similar to the “freshman 15” a lot of freshman go through when they start college).
Stay with me here as I go over each principle in detail to help you understand them better, and also be reminded of this quote that I think I heard from my personal coach and fat loss strength coach guru, Alwyn Cosgrove, since the first day I met him:
Methods are many, principles are few. Methods can change, principles never do.
At Unity, we don’t mess around with fads or the latest “methods” when coaching people. There are thousands of them out there, from diets to supplements to special instructions on how to live your life. Honestly, 99% of them are BS, but there’s a reason why they sell since the “Diet Industry” in the U.S of A alone is estimated at $72 billion last year (and that’s with a drop in overall dieter numbers, most likely because of the positive body and size acceptance movement).
And being the research nerds we are, here’s what WE KNOW works for fat loss aka the PRINCIPLES OF FAT LOSS:
1) Create a caloric deficit.
The calories (energy) you are consuming have to be LESS than what you’re burning off for energy that day. A deficit of 300-500 calories is what you need to succeed over time, not 1,000 calories below. Your body doesn’t function off of that and will actually store fat. But you NEED to be in a deficit! It doesn’t matter which type of plan (“diet”) you choose, whether it’s low-carb, high-carb, plant-based, animal-sourced, etc – as long as you’re in a deficit, you can lose fat. Remember, the BEST diet is the one you can reasonably and consistently do right now. Also, what you eat MATTERS! Speaking of which…
2) Eat more whole, minimally-processed foods.
You consuming 6 Oreos is equivalent to you eating 2 apples with 1 tbsp of nut butter. You consuming a large soda is equivalent to 4 apples. Those calories are MOST DEFINITELY not created (and absorbed) equally, which results in different metabolic effects in your body. You’ll absorb more nutrients from real food, stay full longer (while also decreasing cravings), and have better functionality. Your body will thank you for this in many ways!
3) Maintain a positive nitrogen balance.
A positive nitrogen balance means we preserve (and possibly build) our lean muscle tissue and burn fat. If we’re in a negative nitrogen balance, we can burn muscle as fuel (while continuing to store fat) which is BAD NEWS. When we decrease calories for our deficit, we want protein to be our constant. In other words, we don’t want our calories cut from protein, and often times a majority of people will actually get better results from INCREASING their protein. We recommend to at least get 1g of protein per 1 lb of body weight, with the minimal amount being 1g = 1 lb of their lean mass. So, if someone weighs 150 lbs and wants to focus on fat loss, we’ll recommend 150g of protein consumed each day. This is where shakes come into play because hitting that high of protein can be HARD for most people.
4) Create “metabolic disturbances” for better “anabolic signaling” (notice how this is the FIRST exercise one on here – the first 3 are on nutrition).
You have to be doing an activity that signals to the body to maintain your muscle mass. Creating metabolic disturbances come from specific types of training that involve strength training with specific superset designs of upper and lower body movements, they come from interval training, from progressive overload, and from metabolic resistance training. Those are all things we do at Unity, so members of ours don’t have to worry one bit about it. Traditional cardio doesn’t offer this benefit after about 2 weeks. Neither do several other activities. They can certainly help burn some fat as fuel, but over time they add up to as much unless you continue with adaptation through the S.A.I.D. principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands), which again is taken care of in our programming – so make sure you are doing it too! The same thing can work, until it doesn’t!
5) Sleep more efficiently.
This is when most of your fat loss will happen, because sleep happens to be a very metabolic activity! Sleep offers us an opportunity to hit the “reset” button every day. We like to think it’s a mini “update” you can do for your software each day. People often count the hours of sleep that they are lying down in bed, but there’s more efficient ways to track sleep through R.E.M., S.W.S. (deep sleep), HRV (heart-rate variability), RHR (resting heart-rate), and much more. More hours of sleep usually help with these variables and help with efficiency, but with the research being done on sleep, we know these variables matter! Sleep also helps our body RECOVERY and DE-STRESS. We don’t get better from training, we get better by RECOVERING from training. Make sure you’re giving your body every opportunity it can to get better sleep. 7-9 hours/night is recommended, and stay consistent on when you go to bed and when you wake up!
Aaaaaand there you have it! Unity’s Five Principles of Fat Loss.
Take a quick moment to notice how there are ZERO supplements mentioned within these principles as well. The best part, this principles are all things YOU CAN CONTROL.
There’s obviously strategies we can implement for each principle, but I would start with the principle that you find easiest for you to focus on right now, and then break that down into tasks/habits to help you achieve success.
Let me know if you need any help on this!
Improving the way fitness is done,
Jordan, Founder of Unity Fitness