A lot of people feel like they can't achieve their weight loss goals without a personal trainer or a gym membership.
You don't need a trainer or a gym to lose weight no matter how much weight it is you want to lose. However, having a trainer or a close gym community can offer education, accountability, and guidance to make the weight loss process easier. This will create stronger adherence and increase your chances of success.
How does weight loss happen?
So, let's understand the basics of weight loss. You lose weight by controlling your energy balance by creating a calorie deficit. It sounds simple, right? Not so easy with the challenges and events life throws at us.
How do calories work?
Here’s a quick brief on calories. Calories are how we measure the energy that our bodies use as fuel. Calories power the body to perform vital functions from breathing, pumping blood around the body, to sleeping. We are always burning calories, so we need to fuel the body. Calories are a breakdown of macronutrients; carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
How many calories in 1 gram of each macronutrient?
Carbohydrates have 4, protein has 4 and fats have 9 calories. Alcohol provides 7 calories however it does not count as a macronutrient as it is not essential for the body (party animals may disagree). Depending on your goal you need to find out how many calories your body needs to function which is called your Basel Metabolic Rate (BMR) and how many calories you burn day to day (Daily Energy Expenditure DEE).
How do I calculate my Basel Metabolic Rate (BMR)?
Here’s how to work out your BMR. For men – body weight in kgs x 24. For women – body weight in kgs x 22. This will give you your BMR now to work out your daily energy expenditure (DEE).
How do I calculate my daily energy expenditure (DEE)?
Here’s a guide to calculate your sedentary DEE, little to no exercise, desk job would be 1.1. Lightly active, light activity, walking and some standing during the day would be 1.3. Moderately active, moderate activity levels, on feet most of the day would be 1.5. Very active, high daily activity levels or very high exercise levels, working long days on your feet or a building site would be 1.7+.
What is the formula for weight loss?
Using the DEE metrics, we can create a formula for weight loss. Example male 80 kg x 24 = 1920 BMR x 1.5 = 2880 kcals. Female 65 kg x 22 = 1430 x 1.3 = 1859 kcals.
How do I create a calorie deficit?
Creating a calorie deficit is the key to weight loss. For a pound a week weight loss you minus - 500 kcals for a kilo a week you minus – 1,100 kcals. Example 80 kg male on 2,880 kcals - 500 = 2,380 Daily calories or 16,660 kcals a week.
There are many ways to go about your calorie deficit. What could be a game changer for you is, if you know that you are great during the week but blow out on the weekend you could create a higher deficit during the week to counteract the higher calorie count on the weekends to hit the same weekly calorie target.
In summary, you do not need a personal trainer to make these calculations for you, however, a trainer/gym can offer accountability, support, and education along this journey to keep you on track making the process easier when losing weight. It's not always as simple as following the calculations (which will work). Life often gets in the way so having a strategy and support in place to optimise adherence, is the key to achieving your goals and losing weight.