As a personal trainer, I meet with several people every day seeking to drop body fat and reach a healthy bodyweight. Most understand the need to decrease calories and increase their exercise, which is great as a whole, or for those just getting started on their weight-loss journey, but is not the answer for lasting results.
Are you logging your food but stuck at a plateau? If so, you are not alone. Individuals just like you are also logging their food online or in an app on their phones, but do not truly understand what all the numbers mean. The most common issue I see when reviewing food logs or speaking with individuals about their diet, is the lack of protein. The apps tend to set the macronutrient breakdowns to higher carbohydrates and not much protein. The acceptable macronutrient distribution range for carbohydrate consumption is 45-65%, protein is 10-35% and fat is 20-35% of the total caloric intake. With such broad ranges of 15-25% from the minimum to upper ranges, it is no wonder people struggle with understanding the proper ratio of macronutrients needed for their needs and body type. So, you may be tracking everything you eat and your app is telling you that you hit your goal for the day, as well as your necessary macronutrients, but these numbers were not set for you to achieve the goals you desire.
Due to many years of dieting, the majority of members and clients I meet with have damaged their metabolism. In addition to a slowed metabolism, these individuals also lack the resistance training necessary to build lean body mass and increase the metabolic rate. Combine a slowed metabolism with an hour or more of cardio several days each week and you are doing more harm than good for your body and long-term weight control.
The solution is to incorporate a resistance training program and increase protein consumption to insure muscle building and proper recovery. Consuming protein throughout the day will not only help nourish the body, but also keep you satiated and feeling more full compared to a carbohydrate-heavy meal that racks up the calories. By focusing on consuming a source of protein each time you eat in the day, you will likely decrease the number of calories you consume and significantly increase your protein intake. To increase your protein intake I recommend taking a whey protein powder supplement post-workout and at other times of the day when short on time, or in need of protein.