The Third Eye

Losing weight is tackled in a variety of ways by a variety of people, some approaches reap success, whilst others fail. Here are 5 different weight loss methods that, if done well, are proven to help you burn that body fat.

1. A Restrictive Diet

With limited food sources, fixed eating times and food quantities, this old school method of eating six small meals a day consisting of ridiculously small quantities of unseasoned chicken breast and boiled broccoli, can work. Will it necessarily work? If the calories are off, no. Is it the only way to get lean, hell no! It does not only bother us at Camp Fitness that you do not get enough micronutrients and variety of food using this approach, but if portion sizes are not adequate, a one-size-fits-all diet can kill the initial motivation to get fit, as it will still yield no results. Not to speak of developing eating disorders. This one is in our opinion, a clear fitness faux pas.

A Restrictive Diet
A Restrictive Diet

2. Eating Clean

No one true definition of what eating clean is, truly exists, unless your food was sponsored by Rexoguard, that is. Lame jokes aside, this usually refers to eating wholesome micronutrient dense food, ideally as unproccessed as possible. We are obviously pro-healthy eating, but eating healthy is NOT the equivalent of eating at a caloric deficit. Many people can simply cut out junk food and lose some inches off their waist, that is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough. It is also necessary to weigh the food you eat, as in our experience most people will find themselves overeating "healthy fats" and "natural sugars" in no time. (Think nuts and honey; delish! That's why we eat too much).

Eating Clean
Eating Clean

Eating Clean

Eating Clean

3. A Flexible Meal Plan

This is what we do when we want to shed bodyfat effectively. We design a meal plan for ourselves and for our all our clients, according to a goal caloric intake, but including a blend of foods, both "clean" foods and the occasional tasty treat or meal. Rather than needing cheat meals, why should YOU not CHOOSE what to eat on a meal plan, and make alterations to the portion sizes or make substitutions where possible? This way the potential for setbacks is drastically cut as one can eat tasty food, like pasta, chocolate, ice cream and all the rest, everyday, so long as in moderation.

A Flexible Meal Plan
A Flexible Meal Plan

A Flexible Meal Plan

A Flexible Meal Plan

4. Counting Calories

This is also one we recommend for all people trying to stay fit, though we do not recommend that beginners jump straight into counting calories. It is a scientific fact that eating 1200 calories consisting only of ice cream versus consuming 1200 calories comprising a blend of whole foods rich in micronutrients and high in fiber will produce similar fat loss. Yet, the former will have a negative impact on health. Also diet adherence when just tracking calories and treating all foods equally can be difficult as some are not yet mentally ready for making the big jump and controlling all their food portions with no exception. Generally, a person will be ready to count calories after a year or two of adherence to a proper fitness meal plan and lifestyle. This is what we do to maintain a fit physique year round at camp fitness. You can clearly just eat healthy and get fat, but get your calories right and all your bases will be covered.

Counting Calories and Tracking Macros
Counting Calories and Tracking Macros

Counting Calories and Tracking Macros

Counting Calories and Tracking Macros

5. Tracking Macros

This one is a definitive must for physique related competitors and those who work in the fitness industry. However, for the general public it generally adds a further layer of complexity to one's diet, making its learning curve steeper. Adherence will also be more challenging when counting macros. This is mainly because rather than one number for calories one would have to track three separate digits for protein, carbohydrates and fat, then try to fit their daily food within those numbers. It offers a small edge to physique competitors trying to diet down to single digits of bodyfat without leaving room for error, or perhaps suits the hardcore gymrat who does not mind all the counting, or even finds it entertaining. Other than that, counting macros should be off the menu for those looking to get lean for the beach, as it is an unneccessary complexity which may lead to obsessive tendencies, unless one takes the day with a grain of salt. Generally those who have been counting calories for some years, find it easier to track macros without going insane, but still these find it hard to track macros to the gram all year round.

FINAL VERDICT

We recommend sticking to a flexible meal plan designed by someone with real world flexible dieting experience (stay on the lookout for restrictive diets, frequently sold by health and fitness "professionals" and "experts") reaching your goals, then slowly moving on to count calories, eventually doing it instinctively and staying fit for life!

BONUS TIP: Questions to ask oneself when sticking to a meal plan;

  • Do I like the food in it, and do I already eat it regularly?
  • Who did I get the meal plan from, does he or she have experience eating a variety of foods and staying lean? does he or she use performance enhancing drugs to look fit, if so, am I ready to take that step?
  • Does it look like something I can manage for life, also can I tweak it when I reach my goals or will I have to go "OFF" the diet?
  • Is the amount of food enough to keep me full, does it agree with my body and does it effect any illness I suffer from?
  • Are there enough choices for every meal?
  • Am I just trusting someone because he is "qualified"?
  • AM I WILLING TO MAKE A CHANGE ?

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Adam & Becky from Camp Fitness
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