Body composition is proportional and is made up of different components (lean body mass, body fat, water). Changes in body weight are affected by any increases or decreases in any of these three components. When we try to improve body composition, in our central London and Kent clinics, we seek to increase lean body mass (muscle) and decrease body fat. Why? These adaptations have favourable metabolic outcomes which translate well to your overall health. For example, decreasing body fat will increase your V02max and reduce risk of chronic disease.
How do we decrease body mass?
Body mass is determined by changes in energy balance. Energy balance is the sum of calories in versus calories out. Thus, eat less, move more to lose body mass. Importantly, the rate of body mass change is important as well as the composition of diet to ensure the results are sustainable and provide desirable adaptations.
How to lose body fat?
Firstly, it is important to understand your baseline measurements. We measure this using skinfold callipers for body fat analysis in our central London and Kent clinics. Once we have an accurate measure of your current body fat percentage (or sum of skinfolds), we can make realistic targets to ensure change over time. We’d then estimate your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) before subtracting 500kcal from this to leave you with your daily target. Sometimes these vary, for example you may want a higher calorie day on intense training days or reduce calories slightly throughout the week to allow for extra at the weekend, but generally, 500kcal difference. Then, we look at macronutrient breakdowns (protein, carbohydrate and fat) before setting micronutrient targets from vegetables, fruits and fibre. For the elite athlete, we also measure resting metabolic rate (RMR) to understand fuel utilisation to which we can optimise fuel usage at rest, something that can be beneficial for sport performance.
Fat loss supplements are common, but not proven. None of these so-called fat burners work and are not worth your money. What does work is more exercise and a well-planned nutritional intervention. The only supplement that may improve fat oxidation is caffeine, so have a coffee before training to reap it’s benefits!
If you have a question, send us a message!