The general guide you need to start your weight loss journey that answers most questions people put on here: Volume/Attempt 2! : WeightLossAdvice

Edit: Thank you for all the awards I very much appreciate them. I also added a quote from a diet I met and thought it would be cool to add.

DISCLAIMER: At the end of the day I am just a bloke on the internet, I have my bias and opinions, my knowledge isn’t perfect nor is my ability to write it down, I am not a dietician, I can not tell you what foods to eat, I can advise on calorie intake and macro intake but that’s it. If you want a food plan then I advise seeing a dietician that is registered with a governing body as a lot of nutritionists claim to be dieticians and aren’t.

Also if you have any doubts at all about your health, have any preexisting medical conditions or injuries then you need to go see a doctor for the OK first. Also any exercises I put on here are suggestions and I can not be there to check your form. If you are sure about form on any exercise here, research it or film it to see where you are going wrong. There are a lot sub reddits here that you can submit videos to check form and get friendly advice.

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Intro about me (Can be skipped)

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So I’m Bear (real life nickname) I’m a level 3 qualified PT that can train individuals from 12 years old and up as well give basic general and sports nutritional advice for 12 years and up. I used to teach fitness classes (kettlebells, circuits, HIIT, spin bikes) and individual sessions. I did make the pinned post here as Supaii but when I saw bearsandbarbells wasn’t a name and I didn’t know how to change it, I made a new account lol.

I used to be an active PT until last year when Apricot the cow (no joke she’s called that) decided that when her calf came up to me was my fault and choose to ram into me so hard I flew into the air and over a stone wall and land about 2 meters from it.

I tore my illocostalis, longissimus, spinalis, internal obliques right side, psoas major and minor which were all grade 2 as well as a couple others but only grade ones plus cracking a few bones but hairlines and nothing worth casting. My whole core was screwed.

With my body screwed and I couldn’t even get out of bed (I had to roll out and if I didn’t land feet first I would be stuck on the floor until my parents could help me up as my core couldn’t handle the balance or pressure) I had to let my clients go and move them to other PT’s, stop my classes and accept the fact that I was not capable to do a physical job for a long time.

Looking back into this I did go into a state of depression, ate a lot of food as a comfort and apart from my therapy, I did little physical activity. From a person that would workout 5-6 times a day plus clients and classes (my stats were 177cm tall, 93kg, 14% body fat and ate about 3500 ish calories a day) to doing nothing, I did not adjust smarty especially with my knowledge base.

I ballooned up to 125kg to about 38% body fat and gods know what I ate but it was a lot and not healthy. If you want reference for how I measure body fat I use my fitbit aria 1 scales (not reliable method) and 9 point caliper method (more reliable but not perfect by any means).

Over the past 7 months with doing nothing but eat a applicable calorie deficit and walk 10km/6miles a day I have lost on average 0.5kg/1lb a week. I haven’t done anything else training wise apart from a bit of rehab stuff to top me up even though I was capable to do more. I am currently 111kg and 30% ish body fat and about to start rebuilding my foundations and since I’m back to square one and reflected at how I could’ve done better I thought I’d rewrite my guide from before. If I could go back to my deleted account I’d have done it there and edited it but since I cant I introduce you to…

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The general guide you need to start your weight loss journey that answers most questions people put on here: Attempt 2!

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KEY NOTES if you don’t wanna read it all.

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It’s all about having a healthy calorie deficit applicable to your activity if you want to lose weight.

SCALES ARE NOT THE END ALL AND BE ALL OF WEIGHT LOSS!

Work out your TDEE for your calories and be realistic about your activity. Less than 10km distance walked/traveled/moved around each day is a sedentary lifestyle. Keep that in mind when saying how much you workout if you do.

SCALES ARE NOT THE END ALL AND BE ALL OF WEIGHT LOSS!

The times of day/night you eat doesn’t matter.

SCALES ARE NOT THE END ALL AND BE ALL OF WEIGHT LOSS!

Taking body measurements and a photo journal is a must. Have one photo in just underwear and one in with an outfit on. Sometimes your critical eye will not see what actually changed where the outfit will.

SCALES ARE NOT THE END ALL AND BE ALL OF WEIGHT LOSS!

You don’t have to exercise to lose weight but it helps a hell of a lot.

SCALES ARE NOT THE END ALL AND BE ALL OF WEIGHT LOSS!

Just move! Whatever exercise that you will do regularly is good exercise. But be aware doing yoga everyday won’t burn the same as a CrossFit class.

SCALES ARE NOT THE END ALL AND BE ALL OF WEIGHT LOSS!

This process takes a long time and if you are not consistent in you efforts then don’t expect a change.

SCALES ARE NOT THE END ALL AND BE ALL OF WEIGHT LOSS! They measure you gravity to the ground. That’s it. There are other factors of changing body composition that are far more important and a end goal weight isn’t a bad thing but shouldn’t be gospel to how well you have done so far.

Now to the long winded stuff!

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CALORIES

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To lose weight it is a very simple principle of energy expenditure. You must expend more than you consume and that’s it, a simple calorie deficit. Do that correctly and you will lose weight. Even if you suffer with something like PCOS it will work. Sometimes I noticed with clients is that it worked but was slower but it wasn’t an excuse for it not to work.

For an adult I recommend 250-500 calorie deficit of your maintenance calories. for 12-16 year olds I recommend no more than 150-200 calories as they are still growing so a small deficit is better for them and increasing a kids physical activity can a lot of the time be all that’s needed for children with no deficit added at all.

A slow weight loss is usually a sign of good weight loss where good habits are being ingrained into your life and you have a healthy calorie deficit so for the average person going over 500 calorie deficit is pretty pointless and usually not sustainable with the exception of a doctor’s recommendation or you are a bodybuilder.

Now if you are morbidly obese you may likely need to do a bigger deficit than 500 calories of what you normally eat but I would advise you to calculate your calories for maintenance then compare it to the calories to what you have been eating so far and bring it down to maintenance calories first for 2-4 weeks as you adapt to a healthier level of calories before adding a deficit as well. Typically most people I helped were eating to excess of 2000 calories plus of what they should’ve been eating just to maintain their current weight.

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Calculating Calories

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https://tdeecalculator.net is my recommended calculator for this. Its not perfect but as calculators go it does the job reliably enough to be the one I recommend.

Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is an estimation of how many calories you burn per day with exercise is taken into account. It is calculated by first figuring out your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR which is basically the calories your body requires to function healthily), then multiplying that value by an activity multiplier.

Since your BMR represents how many calories your body burns when at rest, it is necessary to adjust the numbers upwards to account for the calories you burn during the day. This is true even for those with a sedentary lifestyle.

Don’t freak out that they are higher than what you expect, remember slow steady weight loss is best.

When choosing your activity levels, my personal belief (and how I was taught) is that if you don’t travel 10km a day (i.e. you have covered 10km with your feet walking in some format that isn’t exercise) then your general activity is sedentary. So if you don’t cover that distance drop your activity by one level as you may workout 6 times a week (heavy exercise) but if you sit on your butt all day in an office job then a moderate exercise choice is probably wiser.

With any calculation the more info you put in it, the more accurate it will be. So with that in mind if you are able to put your body fat percentage in, the calorie suggestion will be more accurate for you.

For preferred methods of measuring body fat, I like the 9 point caliper test but you do need someone that knows how to do it or it will not be very accurate and even then if they do know how to it properly there is a +/-3% variable even still. I do not recommend bio-electrical impedance as it can vary widely depending on your body shape (think pear shaped people) and your hydration. I take my Fitbit aria with a massive pinch of salt and wait every 4 weeks when I can see my mate that knows how to do the 9 point test.

I wouldn’t worry too much on figuring your body fat percentage out though as how your general body composition is as you go along is more important and whether it is changing for the better.

For kids (12-16yrs) don’t worry about measuring it at all unless a doctor has requested to be aware of it specifically.

If you use a calculator to workout your TDEE then do not follow your fitness tracker.

TDEE takes your daily life and exercise you do into equation so you don’t have add “exercise calories” to your allowance as that has been done already, so keep to your TDEE not your trackers.

Also be aware that as you lose weight you will need to re-check your TDEE.

If you lose 2-3kg that can be enough to need to re-work your TDEE so do be aware of that if your weight loss slows or plateaus.

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How to track what you eat?

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These days the main two apps/websites are MyFitnessPal & Loseit. Both are good and regularly corrected and updated. I personally use MyFitnessspal myself.

It’s quite simple log in what you eat (preferably at the time of eating so you remember it properly or when you food prep it) and I mean everything including that biscuit one of your work colleges offered you in passing.

Also be aware of logging liquid calories as well. If you drink a lot of smoothies, cordial, fruit juices, soda or coffee. Milk and sugar are still calories (especially if you like lattes) so make sure these logged in as well as so many times you “eat well” but all those liquids are ruining your progress.

I have genuinely had past clients change nothing to their food apart from drop all drinks apart from water and lose 2-4 kg in a month so please look at everything that goes in you.

In conjunction of using one of the apps you will need a good set of scales (preferably digital in my opinion) as if you don’t accurately put in what you eat, then there is a high chance of you over eating and not being in a proper deficit. If you don’t accurately log what you eat then you can’t ever say you are being accurate with your diet. Studies have shown time and time again we as people underestimate what we eat greatly.

I would not trust portion sizes of packaging that well as 99.9% of the time they don’t match what has been put in the packet for example a plain wrap could say 62g a wrap (187 calories) on the packaging but end up being a 72g serving so be 224 calories. Not a lot of difference (35 calories) but it can build up over multiple meals easily. 3 meals over a day x 35 =105 calories and that can be the difference of real changes especially of your planned deficit is only 250 calories.

There are some communities that say that tracking food causes eating disorders but the realistic truth is that if you don’t keep track of what you eat in some way with reasonable accuracy, the chances are you will overeat and not lose weight. That is not the fault of diet culture or anything like that, it is your responsibility.

Once you have a pretty sensible diet that is working for you and gotten used to it and know it inside and out then you can start to eyeball your portions as no one wants to be stuck to a scale each time they cook forever but I recommend doing this with high volume low calorie foods or if you have an object that you use and will know within a reasonable amount of accuracy it will be that amount.

I have a tiny measuring jug that i can do portions of rice or pasta and I know what level is going to be right +/- 5g uncooked but I also admittedly allow for that inaccuracy in my diet and have an assumption any eyeballing is always the overestimate to cover myself and stop any disappointments.

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Diet

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I can’t iterate enough that the one that you can sustain is the best diet!

It honestly doesn’t matter if you follow slimmers world, keto, intermittent fasting (I kinda do this one) or anything thing else as like I said before if you are in a deficit you will lose weight.

A healthy balanced diet is preferable but not wholly necessary when it comes to losing weight but again recommended.

Personally I think the best thing for your food is once you have your calories worked out is to use a macro break. That’s the breakdown of how much protein, fats and carbs you eat (apps can track that for you). If adding this seems overly complicated and feel too much then don’t bother with it but I do think it is a good idea to do especially if trying to some form of exercise to ‘tone’ your physique.

I would go for a 40% Protein, 40% Fats and 20% Carbs as a break. Protein and fats help you feel fuller for longer and generally more satisfied when eaten. Protein also helps keep your muscle mass while losing weight (that is a bit bro science but also kinda true) especially if exercising regularly.

I for the most part make sure I eat my quota of protein and don’t worry too much about the break of fats and carbs as long as I hit my calorie goal. Admittedly though I always feel the most satisfied when I keep to the macro break stated.

I used to fast 19-20 hours a day and re-feed over 5-4 hours but with my girlfriend and her little one that doesn’t really work well and though quite often I don’t eat what they eat (they’re vegetarian and I was told to never be one but that’s another story) I like to be able to sit, eat and chat with them at the dinner table instead of sit there like a pleb or away on the sofa. so typically now I’ll have a small lunch, biggish evening meal and snack a little while after. It a rough version of intermittent fasting but it works for me.

A dietitian I met had a cool chat with me and he said to add this to my guide to clear some things up and

“I could tell you to eat this or that and don’t eat this or that which, is kinda my job to do. But at the end of the day all I do is make a food plan that puts them on a calorie plan to lose weight, maintain weight or gain weight depending on what you medically need (deals with a lot of NHS work).

In a perfect world I’d tell you to never eat bacon as it’s pretty bad for you but it’s f**king delicious and so I know you’re gonna eat it too like me but if you eat 2 slices of it a week, it won’t kill you. A little of everything is fine and excess of anything is bad. Stop over complicating it, eat meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, fat, carbs, protein and junk. Just not a lot of one thing. Oh and stay hydrated, so many times people moan about being hungry all the dam time and they’re just dehydrated.”

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I don’t know what to eat for my calorie bracket and/or macro

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https://www.eatthismuch.com – for recipe help. Its fairly good and you can choose the amount of meals you want as well as snacks and it will come up with ideas as well. It even lets you get rid of foods you don’t like mushrooms and choose diet plans like keto etc to help you as much as possible and as far as I’m aware still free.

Again I am not a dietician so I cannot say to you what to eat so please ask a government body registered dietician for something like that. Otherwise the link above has pretty good reviews with my peers and old clients.

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SCALES AND WEIGHT LOSS MEASUREMENT

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SCALES ARE NOT THE END ALL AND BE ALL OF WEIGHT LOSS!

They really aren’t, they are a good guide to help show a downward trend but do not dictate your successes or failures of you and how well you are doing.

Scales are the equipment that measures your relation to the earth’s gravity that forever make us cry ourselves to sleep. Use them with a pinch of salt please I beg you.

Don’t aim to lose a certain amount each week. Just aim to lose and accept it’s not a temporary measure it’s a lifestyle change and going to take a long time. Accept that, plan for the long term and screw beach body ready crap.

Along with scales I recommend taking a photo in just your underwear and also a photo in one particular outfit as well as taking body measurements with a tape measure.

This youtube is old and cheesy but explains how to use a tape measure pretty well but ignore the calipers section as that’s pretty naff.

With how regular you take measurements, I would recommend going on the scales and taking a photo of yourself in your underwear once a week at the same time of day and the same day each week as if you stand on the scales repeatedly throughout day you will find your weight fluctuates so much in 24 hours.

As for taking measurements with a tape measure and photo with your selected outfit I would recommend taking them every 2-4 weeks but try to always keep the intervals the same for consistency.

Ladies your natural cycle can affect your weight greatly (you probably already know this) so try not to forget it if the scales mess you around a bit.

One for the ladies who I see posting about lack of weight loss and as I bloke I can’t explain very well but she does from WeightLossAdvice

Explains this better than a male like me so I will leave the ladies to read up on another trainer I respect.

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SPEED OF WEIGHT LOSS

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It is unfortunate but the truth is weight loss is not fast at the best of times and plateaus are often so strap in for a long haul. Some weeks will be 1kg loss, some 0.5kg and sometimes even a 100g (which will barely register on most scales) but you have to remember it is still a downward trend no matter how small.

If things are plateauing don’t freak out, breathe and look at what you have been doing during the plateau.

  1. Look at your past measurements and photos and see how you have changed (especially from the beginning).

  2. Look at how well you have been eating or how accurately you have been tracking what you have been eating as a common issue is your eyeballing skills have been off on regular foods you have been eating.

  3. Has your physical activity dropped as of late? Life and work can get in the way sometimes and you need to re-evaluate your TDEE temporally while your activity is lower.

  4. Or the one good cause for a plateau is that since you have lost weight and your TDEE has dropped because of this. This can be the most common reason as when you lose weight (2-3kg) your TDEE will drop and it’s normal. Weight loss is a fluid thing and so are your calories, be aware and adapt as necessary.

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Exercise

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To be honest do what exercise you enjoy and will do regularly. This is the most important thing about exercise as if you don’t enjoy it 90% of the time, then you won’t keep it up. It’s as simple as that. Just be aware that yoga won’t burn as much as a crossfit class.

Now if you are stuck for ideas of what to do, here are some simple circuits you can do that don’t require a lot of space. I would advise making sure you are warmed up before you do any exercise.

I recommend doing this followed by this one as they are quick, easy and get the job done (I recommend darebee for workout ideas in general if you’re ever stuck for what to do).

The following 4 workouts are pretty simple and follow the same format:

Try to do 10 circuits with 1-2 mins rest between circuits. It doesn’t matter if you can only do a couple of circuits at the start just do what you can do.

Workout 1

Exercise REPS
Squat 15
Reverse Lunge 16
Press Up 15
Tricep Dip (off a chair or similar stable object) 15
Jump Squats 15
Plank Hold 60 secs

Workout 2

Exercise REPS
Walking Lunge 16
Jump Squats 15
Step Ups 16
Press Up 15
Sprint on the spot 30 secs
Ab Crunch 15

Workout 3

Exercise REPS
Burpee (try to include a press up) 10
Plank 60 secs
Press Up 10
Squat 15
Bicycle Crunch 16
Jump Lunge 16

Workout 4 – This one is a bit harder than the rest but see it as a challenge

Exercise REPS
Burpee 15
Press Up 15
Jump Squat 15
Tricep Dip (off a chair or similar stable object) 15
Walking Lunges 16
Sprint on the spot 30 secs

With any exercise please look each up properly and make sure you know how to do it properly. Don’t be afraid to make an exercise easier (or harder) if need be.

After any workout you should make sure you cool down and stretch properly this should be enough to cover most muscle groups.

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Supplements?

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Long story short, you don’t need them. Some protein powder to help you get the protein quota and a good multi vit but keep it to that.

Fat burners, fat metabolizors, fat removers are all crap. If it says it will help you burn fat, chances are it will be a waste of your money and you will be better off spending it elsewhere.

When it comes to supplements I don’t have much more to say on it to be honest. I don’t think there is a need to go much more into them than that. Unless you are training for something specific don’t bother to look into them unless you have a trainer that you use personally to advise you otherwise or ask some of the nutrition or supplement reddits here for more info.

Ouff well that is a lot of text and I hope it’s better than my old one and it explains things a bit more clearly and the grammar and spelling wasn’t awful (probably is but my dyslexia and English don’t mix lol).

Thank you very much if you could manage to drag yourself this far with my terrible writing skills and I hope it helps you

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