1- Consume sufficient protein, I am yet to ever have a client who was already consuming sufficient protein. A target of 2.5-3.0g of protein per kg of body weight should be sufficient. (side note- these figures are for those with body composition goals. Athletes depending on their sport, would require a different set up. Also, there can be outliers to this rule, like with any formula).
Things to consider:
- If your goal is fat loss, I’d suggest shooting for the upper range, due to greater amino acid oxidation during a caloric deficit.
- If you goal is muscle growth, you can side on the lower end as you will be in a caloric surplus.
-I set protein tagets based on body weight not lean mass, despite what anyone says, determining an individuals lean mass is almost impossible, without the use of a DEXA scan.
-Having said that, common sense needs to be used. An overweight individual at a similar body weight to someone with considerably more muscle mass, is obviously going to require less protein.
(As a general rule, my preference as a coach is to set protein a little too high, than not enough. The downsides of a little too muscle are very minimal, conversely too little will almost certainly mean muscle loss).
2- Track your food intake, applications such as “myfitnesspal” app make this strategy almost effortless. The biggest thing you will learn from doing this, is creating awareness of what you are currently eating, as well as the realising how calorically dense certain foods are.
Most people underestimate their total food intake, this tool will prevent you from any guess work. On a side note, ignore the generic targets given to you by “myfitnesspal”, they are based on generic based government guide lines, which are not suitable for trained individuals. I have a free PDF report on my website, which teachers you how to set up your calories, macro nutrients, and fibre targets.
3- Incorporate a progressive resistance routine, using weights.
Obviously if your goal is muscle growth, weight training will be performed by default. However those who have goals of fat loss, seem to ignore weight training and opt for cardio alone. The main purpose of weight training is predominantly muscle retention, during an energy deficit.