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Fat Loss - Part 2

Updated: Jan 10, 2021

Welcome back to another edition of the Fat Loss series! 🔥

Have you ever muttered or heard someone say "They look that way because of genetics" or "they're lucky they can eat that way and not put on weight"

Whilst there may be some truth in these statements, the truth is Fat Loss is simple.

Age, Daily stresses, Habits, Food Quality/Quantity, Exercise all become more of a determinant as we age.

If you missed out on the first part of the series, click here.

In this next part, we will take a look at how Fat Loss takes place from both a Physiological and Biological standpoint. So lets dive right back in.

TDEE - Total Daily Energy Expenditure

Your TDEE is the sum of all of your physical activity requirements. This includes how many calories you are burning at rest, how many calories you burn during exercise (50% of TDEE), thermogenesis, your BMR etc.

Your BMR typically represents about 45-70% of Daily Energy Expenditure. [2] This is of course dependant on Age, Gender, Body Size, Composition etc.

Meeting your TDEE requirements helps elevate your metabolic rate (how much you burn) and put you in an advantageous fat loss burning position going forward.

How do I calculate my TDEE?

There are various TDEE calculators available online. I have also included a simple version in my Eating for a Purpose eBook.

Note: Your TDEE is always greater than your Daily Caloric requirements. TDEE on its own does not account for individual Fat Loss or Weight Loss.

Let's keep going.

Dietary Thermogenesis

Do you often experience hot flushes throughout the day? Perhaps you indulge in a good old fashioned bbq and end up sweating more?

If this sounds familiar and you've always put it down to 'meat sweats', there is also a simple and biological term to describe this phenomena.

In short, we are always expending energy in any given moment. This is mainly due to both our Physiological and Biological requirements in order to function and survive. When we meet certain dietary requirements i.e. Protein your metabolism will naturally elevate and compensate by expending more energy.[1]

This is also known as Dietary Thermogenesis.

What you eat and how much you eat can also have a greater thermic effect and determine how much more energy you will expend through heat.


Lets say our BMR is burning roughly +/-1000 kcals. When we consume and meet our Dietary Protein requirements, we generally elevate our metabolism by an extra 10-15% i.e. +/- 100kcals. Thus if we consume Protein, that's an extra +/-100 kcals calories we will expend and burn, roughly +/-1100 kcals in total.

What about Fat Loss?

Ok, lets say our TDEE is roughly 2100 kcals and we are looking to lose weight for Fat loss. For this to successfully occur we need to also be in a Caloric deficit.

We've consumed our daily calorie requirements of 2000 kcals, however we are still yet to meet our Dietary Protein requirements by roughly 30g. This leaves us with +/-100 kcals still remaining to meet Protein.

A protein shake is typically about +/-120 kcals, so if we consume a protein shake we will meet our energy requirements at 2120 kcals for the day.

But aren't we in Maintenance Calories?

Correct. This would be ideal for maintaining current body weight but not enough to get Fat Loss going...

However if we consider Dietary induced Thermogenesis and its effect on metabolism, this puts us back in a calorie deficit:

So we had started at maintenance calories (+/-2120 kcals), coupled alongside Dietary induced Thermogenesis (+/-212 kcals) this has now put us back in a caloric deficit at 1908 kcals for Fat loss. Not too shabby eh? Let's continue.

NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)

What is Neat?

One of the biggest contributors to the above phenomena (BMR aside) is one's daily activity movements through NEAT. Accounting for approximately 25% of TDEE it can include:

  • Walking up and down a flight of stairs

  • Moving around constantly or fidgeting

  • Picking things up

  • Having an Active job

  • General every day activity

NEAT is a determining factor as to why some individuals are in a more optimal position with their weight management. Generally speaking, this is also why someone in a Trade field will generally have lower levels of body fat as opposed to the average sedentary Office Worker. They simply burn more calories than the normal person throughout the course of their day by speeding up the digestion process.[5]

But what about genetics?

Ever wondered why some individuals can eat what they want and get away with it? It's because of genetics isn't it? If you've bought that argument, then the actual science behind this concept will hopefully inspire you.

According to Quebec's Laval University, they estimate that 35 to 40% of the variance in weight among people of the same height can be attributed to genetic factors. This leaves 60-65% of factors within our direct control if we can control our environment and our habits intelligently. [3]

In other words, we have the ability to successfully control our weight through various Fat loss mechanisms, Exercise and Dieting strategies.

BMR - Basal Metabolic Rate

Lastly we come to the main overall determinant for your ongoing Fat Loss potential, your Metabolism. Your Basal Metabolic Rate also known as Resting Metabolic Rate, is the amount of Energy (calories) we expend at rest.

The release of Energy in this state is mainly sufficient only for the functioning of the most vital organs. This includes:

  • Heart

  • Brain

  • Lungs

It has been established individual's with a faster basal metabolic rate will expend more energy at rest. This is generally due to an Increase in Lean Muscle Mass tissue which increases our BMR.

However, our BMR also decreases as we age alongside a general loss of Lean Body Mass (Muscle tissue).

Other important measures of our metabolism include our basal and resting metabolic rates. These are standardized rates at which we burn calories when not active. Furthermore, the metabolic response to food increases the BMR by about 10% over the day in people whom eat a mixed and varied diet.[4]

In Summary:

So there you have it, a few simple metabolic concepts and reasons to consume adequate calories to meet both your metabolic rate and physique requirements.

Remember, Fat Loss is a collaborative and cohesive effort and should be treated as such.

If you're looking to achieve the best possible outcome, invest in an approach that considers both the science of Fat Loss from both a Nutritional and Exercise standpoint.

Until next time!


1. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand ‐ Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults (2013) ‐ National Health and Medical Research Council. Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia (2013) ‐ National Health and Medical Research Council. Dietary Energy, p15 & 23.

2, 4. Cruz, Franz. Eating For a Purpose: Basic Concepts on Nutritional Value (2015) - Energy Consumption. Energy Requirements, p13.

3. Curr Obes Rep. 2014; 3(1): 54–66. Published online 2014 Jan 4. doi: 10.1007/s13679-013-0086-3P Findings from the Quebec Family Study on the Etiology of Obesity: Genetics and Environmental Highlights:

5. Bennett, William and Gurin, Joel, (1982). The Dieter’s Dilemma : Why Diets are Obsolete - The New Setpoint Theory of Weight Control. Basic Books.

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