How To Lose Weight. For FREE!

In this blog and accompanying youtube video I am going to help you understand how to lose weight, in the safest and most effective way possible.


The most common reasons for being overweight are overeating and physical inactivity.

I know that is stating the obvious, but I had to get that out of the way.


Body weight and its composition are also result of genetics, metabolism, environment, behaviour, and culture. It is well recognised that being overweight not only has a significant, adverse impact upon disease risk, but also has important consequences on overall mobility, disability, emotional well-being, and quality of life. Therefore, efforts to prevent, reduce or intervene in weight gain are at the forefront of our concerns.


But here is the thing......

Anyone can lose weight. All you have to do is not eat anything all day and then have dinner. This ‘diet’ is tried and tested and proven to be hugely successful in losing weight. But is this diet healthy? And what effects does this huge drop in nutrition have on the human body?


Without adding any scientific input most would agree that this is perhaps not the safest approach to weight loss. Many who have tried this method will tell you that during the diet, they felt massively fatigued, weak, at times light-headed and moody. To name a few. It can also affect sleep and energy levels. Which seems obvious.


This weight loss strategy of only eating once a day is one of many weight loss suggestions made by so called experts all over the world. The biggest issue with this diet is that although it appears successful at first, it isn’t sustainable. And whilst overall weight is lost, the weight loss is often accompanied by a loss in lean muscle mass. Research has stated time and time again that weight loss strategies that protect lean muscle mass are of the highest value.


Most popular commercial weight loss programs are marketed as being able to reduce body weight within the first few weeks; however, of the weight lost, a significant amount includes losses in muscle mass and water . These approaches to weight loss and diets are misleading and potentially detrimental to health due to the substantial loss in lean muscles mass and the fact that weight lost was often quickly regained (1).


The loss of muscle mass is problematic for a number of reasons, including impacts on health, ability to conduct activities of daily living and potential effects on emotion and psychological states. The loss of muscles mass causes fatigue, declines in neuromuscular function, and increased risk for injury (2).


I will talk about the most effective way to NOT lose muscle mass later in the blog/video, but for now let’s understand the basic concept of losing weight.


In a nutshell, and It really is this simple, eating fewer calories than are expended and you will lose weight. Conversely, consume more calories than is expended and there will be an increase in weight. This is the most basic economics of life.


To better explain, a calorie is a basic unit of energy. The food and drink you consume provide your body with energy. As an average, men require 2500 calories per day and women require 2000. This is just an average and I will show you how to be more accurate with this figure later in the blog/video.


So let’s say you are female and your daily calorie requirement is 2000 per day. This is the number of calories you need to survive your day. These calories provide the necessary energy for you to breathe, blink, walk, metabolise food and pat attention.


If you only eat 1500 calories today, rather than the 2000 recommended. You are in a 500 calories deficit. If you do that for 7 days you have created an overall deficit of 3,500 calories. Now your body still needs these lost calories to function, AND if you don’t provide them by food, the brain will use stored fat from around the body and burn this to create energy. Hence the weight loss.


On the other side of the coin, if you eat 2500 calories per day for 7 days, that is 3,500 calories more than your body needs for its basic survival and function. What is it that your body does with these additional calories? If you don’t burn these off by exercise, that sit around waiting to be of some use, before they go through a process and eventually become body fat.



To give you an example of my own struggle, I calculated my daily calorie requirement, known as my TDEE, or total daily energy expenditure, the total was 2.700 calories per day. That was the minimum number of calories I needed on a daily basis. I decided to reduce my calories by 400 per day. The recommended amount based on research and evidence is around 500. This assists in maintaining lean muscles mass and maintains energy levels.


I then logged my calories on a daily basis on the free ap, my fitness pal and ate 2,300 calories per day for a few months. This included a few cheat days per week as my wife and I do enjoy our ice cream and I wanted to prove that you can lose weight and enjoy life at the same time.


It became such a habit that before I knew it, I had lost 6 kg most of which was fat mass. I continued strength training to promote fat loss as the body would in theory be pre-occupied repairing muscles than breaking it down for energy.



And there you have it. So as a summary, here are the 2 steps you should be taking, if you wish to lose weight.


STEP 1 – Go to www.tdeecalculator.net and work out your TDSEE. This figure represents your maintenance calories.


STEP 2 - then download my fitness pal/calorie counter. Go to the ME section, and then goals, go down to nutrition goals and select the option that shows calorie, carbs, protein and fat goals.


Hit the calories enter your TDEE figure minus 500.

Then adjust the carb to 30%, protein to 40% and fat to 30%.


And there it is. Stick to this with all the determination that I know you have, and you will lose weight of you really want to.


Some may raise a Dwayne Johnson eyebrow at the high protein percentage I have asked you to enter, so I wish to direct you to a 2018 study by Willoughy and colleagues on fat loss strategies.


A number of diets were looked at and the aim of the study was to determine the best strategy to lose fat and maintain muscle mass. The high protein diet that made up to 35% of total calories was the most effective in losing fat mass and maintain lean mass.


The study went on to recommended Chromium Picolinate as the only supplement that assisted in the goal of fat loss and maintain lean mass. All other fat loss supplements are a joke and are not supported by evidence or research regardless of what their marketing tells you.


Saying that, I have also read research saying that Chromium Picolinate was not a helpful aid in. fat loss. So as always, you decide for yourself.


Finally, you are probably thinking that this all sounds too easy, and cheap, Free actually if you slip the chromium picolinate. And that is because brands have literally sugar coated the basic formula for weight loss over the years as they have an agenda of their own, and that is to sell their cookbook, or whatever strategy they cooked up. By telling you, that you can lose weight for free, perhaps doesn’t work in their economic interest.


As for exercise, Think of yoga, resistance training and other physical activities as a way to keep you going and motivated. It has been proved time and time again that most people are likely to achieve their wight loss goal but incorporating the exercise that they love and enjoy. Not just for the calorie burn, but more for the continued motivation and mental health benefits.


We know what your diet should be made up of, in terms of percentage of protein, carbs and fat and but what exactly should you eat to lose weight? This area is beyond my scope of practise and would be extremely negligent of me to provide any recommendations. Studies and research has shown that eating plans are too individual to make generic suggestions. Eat food you enjoy, don’t skip the veggies and just stay under your maintenance calories (or your TDEE) and you are guaranteed to lose weight.


If you have any pressing questions or concerns, please email me zahir@akramyoga.co.uk . I am happy to help you with your weight loss challenge.


Best wishes

Zahir Akram



ref-

1 - Forbes G. Longitudinal changes in adult fat-free mass: Influence of body weight. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 1999;70:1025–1031. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/70.6.1025

2 - Tsai A., Wadden T.A. Systematic review: An evaluation of major commercial weight loss programs in the United States. Ann. Intern. Med. 2005;142:56–66. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-142-1-200501040-00012]

5. Ravussin E., Lillioja S., Knowler W.C., Christin L., Freymond D., Abbott W.G., Boyce V., Howard B.V., Bogardus C. Reduced rate of energy expenditure as a risk factor for body-weight gain. N. Engl. J. Med. 1988;318:467–472. doi: 10.1056/NEJM198802253180802

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