A sports nutritionist has broken the ‘fundamentals of fat loss’ down in a simple yet eye-opening graphic shared on Instagram.
Ryan Pinto, the founder of
‘If you know the absolute fundamentals, you can pick and choose behaviours based on your own personal preference,’ he wrote.
This post by Ben Carpenter was shared by High Performance Nutrition AU to highlight what matters most when it comes to losing body fat
Australian dietitian Susie Burrell (pictured) said if you can’t shed fat and are eating properly then you may have insulin resistance
What is important when it comes to fat loss?
Important: A calorie deficit
Advisable: An easy plan, an active lifestyle, resistance training, nutritious food and adequate sleep
Not important: The ‘best diet’, your carb to fat ratio, calorie cycling, what time of the day you eat, what time you train, what you eat after you workout
Pointless: Food avoidance, cheat meals, juice cleanses, weight loss teabags, quick fixes and false promises
‘Let’s make nutrition as simple as possible rather than over complicating it.’
The graphic broke fat loss into four categories – two of which were deemed important for fat loss and two that were labelled unimportant.
A calorie deficit was deemed a ‘non-negotiable’ while things like food avoidance, cheat meals, juice cleanses, weight loss teabags and ‘quick fixes’ were dubbed pointless.
And while many think popular diets, calorie cycling, meal quantity, training times and post-workout meals are critical, these were among those labelled less important.
‘Highly advisable’ habits included easy plans, adequate protein, resistance training, an active lifestyle, nutritious food and adequate sleep.
While these may seem simple enough, Australian dietitian Susie Burrell said if these habits are being adopted and fat loss is not achieved,
A calorie deficit was deemed a ‘non-negotiable’ for fat loss while things like food avoidance, cheat meals, juice cleanses, weight loss teabags and ‘quick fixes’ were dubbed pointless
‘For any regular exerciser, the balance of exercise and diet required to support weight loss is generally well understood – eat fewer carbs and calories, get enough movement and cardio and add in some weights to change body composition and increase metabolic rate,’ she wrote on her
‘An interesting scenario arises when it seems that no matter how many workouts you do, nor how few carbs or calories you consume, nothing seems to budge.’
The common issue? Imbalanced insulin levels.
‘Whenever I see a client who is carrying 10-20 extra kilos, despite eating relatively well and exercising regularly, I question whether their insulin levels may be out of whack,’ she wrote.
And while many think popular diets, calorie cycling, meal quantity, training times and post-workout meals are critical, these were among those labelled less important for fat loss
What are the signs of insulin resistance?
Fatigue is common as glucose is not being taken to the cells as efficiently as it should be.
Sugar cravings are too common, as insulin and glucose levels fluctuate widely during the day.
Perhaps the most powerful sign that a degree of insulin resistance may be present is in the way that fat is deposited on the body.
Insulin likes to deposit fat around the abdominal area, which is why women (and men) with severe insulin resistance have a large belly, and the reason that a waist measurement greater than 80cm for a female too may be a sign that insulin resistance is present.
‘Insulin is the hormone that controls both glucose and fat metabolism in the body, and high levels of insulin over time can make weight loss very difficult.’
Insulin resistance is clinical and occurs when the hormone responsible for glucose levels is not working as it should.
‘Over time, numerous factors including a diet high in processed carbohydrates, a relatively inactive lifestyle and often genetics insulin becomes less and less efficient at processing the glucose we consume in carbohydrate based foods such as bread, cereals, fruit and sugars,’ she explained.
‘The unfortunate thing when it comes to weight control is that the higher the amount of insulin that you have circulating in the body, the harder it becomes to burn body fat.
‘This means that if you have insulin resistance, you can be eating an extremely healthy diet, exercising as recommended and actually physically unable to lose weight.’
‘Highly advisable’ habits included easy plans, adequate protein, resistance training, an active lifestyle, nutritious food and adequate sleep
To treat and/or prevent this issue, Susie recommends a ‘high protein, moderate carbohydrate diet which eliminates as much processed carbohydrate from the diet as possible’.
‘Getting the right mix of movement and high intensity training is a crucial component of managing IR long term, as the right types of exercise can actually teach the muscle to burn carbohydrates efficiently again,’ she added.
‘Ideally a mix of plenty of movement via 10 000 or more steps a day, coupled with 4-5, 30-40 minute high intensity cardio training sessions such as running, aerobics classes or even Zumba are ideal.
She said that while weights training is often prescribed, focusing on cardio training and plenty of movement is a better option in this case.