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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown

Janet Aylott

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant


Any tips for getting leaner and reducing body fat?

Hi there! I've made the decision to set myself a new challenge to keep the weight off...by getting rid of some of the fat that's left! I know that if I truly want a washboard stomach I have to change my diet a little bit to include things that will help me reduce my body fat. So I just wondered if you might have some food suggestions for me please? And also what sort of calorie allowance should I aim for when trying to reduce fat? I'm set to 1lb a week at the moment which is 1,602 cals. I'm really looking forward to kick starting this tomorrow and hope to see a significant change in about 7.5 weeks time for a wedding I'm going to! Thanks in advance for any advice you can pass on :)


Our expert says...

Hi there,

Thanks for your email.

Unfortunately there aren't any fat busting wonder foods - wish there were! - but as you lose weight through healthy eating, then the majority of the weight you lose will tend to be fat stores. This is because most of the excess weight we tend to carry is in the form of fat, so as you lose weight, your fat stores decrease in size. There are plenty of 'fad' diets out there that promise you quick fat loss, but they tend to be extreme diets such as cutting out carbs or severely restricting your diet. We wouldn't advise this route because it isn't sustainable and it's much better to lose slowly, and keep it off being sensible.

In terms of your calorie allowance, this is set based on your personal information which you entered when you joined. Your age, weight, height, gender and activity levels are all factored in when calculating this. It might be worth having a look at your settings and making sure that they're up to date. I notice that you've got your settings on 'moderately active' at the moment. The system has therefore given you more calories each day to compensate so you the exercise you should be recording in your diary should be things you're doing ABOVE what you are already doing. It might be worth changing this to 'light' in order to reduce your calorie allowance so you can record the things you are doing to count as your exercise.

The more the calorie deficit (based on what you would need to stay the same weight), the quicker your weight loss, and more effective your fat burn, so it's important to get the settings right.

If you've got 7.5 weeks to reach your goal, that's plenty of time to get to work on your fat stores so don't worry. You can keep your settings at 1lb per week, or even increase your goal if you feel that you want to try and lose a little more? But if you carry on as you are, you will be on track to lose around 1/2 a stone by the wedding day which will certainly make a difference to how you look and feel.

In terms of diet, aim to have a low fat diet (particularly saturated fats), include plenty of wholegrain / wholemeal carbs, lean protein and loads of fruit and veg. Always put the fruit / veg / salad on your plate first so that there's not as much room for everything else!

Fat burning is also down to exercise - opt for cardio activities such as aerobics, spinning, gym work etc to burn off the calories and swap fat for muscle. Add in some extra exercise if you can - even if it means running up the stairs rather than walking or taking the lift - it all helps!

In summary - check your settings and see whether you need to change your profile to 'light' so the exercise you're doing isn't already accounted for in your calorie allowance. Eat a healthy balanced diet with lots of fruit & veg, stick to your calorie allowance every day and do as much exercise as you can.

If you stick to these simple principles for the next 7.5 weeks you'll be on track for the wedding in a few months time.

Good luck!


You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...

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