Nutrition advice for beginners to loose body fat

Nutrition advice for beginners to loose body fat

Estimated reading time: 15 minutes


You’re looking to loose weight, you’ve most likely wanted to do this for a while but have no idea where to begin. With the amount of misinformation around nowadays regarding weight loss from people who are either ill-educated or who wish to sell you some ‘loose weight without doing any work’ program, it is almost impossible to navigate what is real and what is not. In this article we will give you the info you need to easily understand how your body works so that you can loose body fat healthily.

With this in mind, we would like to reassure you that at Improvement Pathway, we have no interest in selling the idea of weight-loss without discipline and genuine work on your part. We also do not condone fad diets. So here we’re going to share how you can make changes that can serve you for a lifetime. Lifetime changes produce lifetime results. 

Getting started 

Firstly, you need to understand how the body works in terms of processing food. As you’ll already know, food contains energy measured in the form of calories, usually referred to on food packaging as the “kcal”. Just for reference, one kcal is the amount of energy required to heat 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius. Your body needs a certain amount of calories in order to perform your daily involuntary functions (beating your Heart, breathing, Brain function, etc.). This is referred to as your ‘basal metabolic rate’ or ‘BMR’. This is different for everybody and there are ways of calculating it.  We will link a calculator for this at the end of the article. Once you know what your BMR is, you are most of the way there. If you eat this many calories every day and lay in bed all day, you will stay the same weight. If you eat more calories than this with no exercise, you will gain weight and if you eat less calories than this with no exercise, you will lose weight. Simple in theory. 

 “How do I use this information?” you may ask. The solution is to eat in a calorie deficit (meaning eating less calories than your calculated BMR). That is it. That’s the big ‘secret’. To loose weight you do not need to demonise certain foods like a lot of diet programs suggest (although from a health standpoint some foods are very bad for you). 

It is recommended that for a healthy weight-loss journey, you will want to loose around 0.45Kg (1 lb) of body weight per week. Ideally as much of this will be fat as is possible; but like most things in life, it’s not going to be perfect. And this means that you will loose some muscle along with your fat. Because of this, it is recommended to eat a lot of protein. This will do two things: keep you feeling full for longer (protein is very filling for the amount of calories it contains) and help your body to keep more muscle mass during your weight-loss.

Now that you know all of this, it’s time to take action. Foods nowadays are often processed and packed full of discreet calories; even if you do not feel like you are eating a lot of food, your caloric intake may be way more than you actually need. This is why it is good to eat foods such as: meats, veggies, rice and grains. Also note: the micronutrient content (vitamins and minerals) of your food plays a massive role on your body and how you will perform. It can be hard to make big changes to your diet, so start small and gradually make these changes over time. It is also important to make your food enjoyable, there are lots of recipes online that are cheap and quick to make that are very healthy. My personal go-to is the health tab of:

Application 👍

For this, you need to understand that not every calorie is built the same. The calories in your food will come under three distinct categories: Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins. Nowadays, most people are severely lacking in protein with the measly recommended amount of 0.75 grams per Kilo of bodyweight per day. This means that the average 75Kg Man would eat roughly 55g and the average 65Kg Woman would eat roughly 48g of protein per day. This is nowhere near enough. In fact, the recommendation in the fitness community is more in the range of 1.4 – 2g of protein per Kilo of bodyweight. (The range here allows for people with different goals, but the low end is still much higher than current government recommendations). When translated, our average Man is now eating anywhere from 105 -150g and our average Woman 91- 130g of protein per day. For weight-loss we recommend being on the upper end of these recommendations in order to retain as much muscle as possible and encourage your body to burn body fat.

So, now you know your BMR and how much protein you need to eat each day, you may wonder how many calories you need to eat in order to get to that goal of losing 1lb of bodyweight per week. The answer is you need to eat 500 less calories than your BMR, including the calories that you burn exercising. This is because 1lb of body fat has an energy content of 3,500 calories. Therefore, 3,500 calories ÷ 7 days in a week = 500 calories per day. 

If you have a BMR of 1,800 calories per day, and burn 300 from exercise, you have a total daily output of 2,100 calories. In this case, this person would need to eat 1,600 calories per day in order to loose 1lb per week. You will need to know how many calories you are burning due to exercise. You can wear a fitness tracker or let the online calculator make an estimate for you. To track your calories, you can use My Fitness Pal to easily scan the barcodes on your food and have it logged. 

It is possible to loose weight without any exercise. However, we do recommend training. For much larger individuals we recommend staying away from the running machines or any cardio that is going to be harsh on your joints. If you are very large it is simply not needed and more likely to put you off entirely or cause injury. A better solution if you are starting out is to use a bike/cross-trainer or do bodyweight exercise. This will still be enough to start burning calories. 

Our greatest recommendation is resistance training (lifting weights) to build and retain muscle rather than doing lots of cardio. This is for three reasons: muscle is active tissue and burns calories at rest (the more muscle you have, the higher your BMR will be), doing resistance training can also burn a lot of calories whilst helping to make you stronger and you want to build a proper frame to show off when you slim down. This does also apply to Women, who are often afraid of building muscle for fear of looking more manly, this is highly unlikely to happen unless you weight train with very high intensity for years on end. 



There’s the info you need to get started. Now all you need to do is follow your calories and protein intake, along with a training program. (we will write more articles on this soon). You will need to find what works for you in the long term, in terms of which foods you will be happy eating to get your protein in and foods that will fill you up whilst still staying in a calorie deficit.

Take Action:

  • Calculate you BMR here:
  • Take your bodyweight and apply the protein guidelines (1.4 – 2g per Kg / 0.63 – 0.9g per Lb) this is your daily protein goal
  • Measure your calories and protein intake using My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal