If fat loss has been a never-ending struggle for you, this is how you end it.
This article was written for you.
I think you will agree with me when I say:
It’s REALLY HARD to lose body fat and get in great shape.
Or is it?
It’s definitely not easy, but it can get much easier when you understand how to break it down and make it simple.
It can get so simple that literally, one small tweak could instantly double your fat loss results (more on that later).
The problem is that if you are anything like myself, you have come across so many “fat loss secrets, tips, and tricks” that you are left confused and you don’t even know where to start.
By the end of this article, you will have the clarity you need to take action and start winning the battle with stubborn body fat.
But the first thing that needs to be cleared up….
There are no secrets. No tricks. No quick fixes.
But there are simple rules that if you follow them, you will look and feel dramatically better in just a short period of time… GUARANTEED.
Literally, in just 3 months you could be looking at a completely different person in the mirror.
That’s if, you choose to follow these 7 simple steps, which are:
1. Get Your Mind Right: The Game Is Fat Loss, Not Weight Loss
Do you just want to see the number on the scale go down, or do you want to look good naked?
Like many things in life, this journey starts with your mindset.
What you choose to focus on will develop your habits.
Those habits, in this case, will decide how you end up looking.
Focus on just losing weight and success will look like an unhealthy skinny fat version of you with less energy and bad eating habits.
If you are going for weight loss you are focusing on seeing the number on the scale go down, which means that when you are dropping pounds you’re losing a combination of fat, muscle, and fluid.
The last thing you need to lose is muscle, it shapes your physique and helps you to lose fat by improving your metabolism.
But the bigger issue with this approach is the bad habits that come along with it. Weight loss can easily become an addiction where you only feel good when weight scale shows a smaller number than last time, even feeling bad when it says the same!
This will only cause you to make poor health decisions like skipping meals or eating unhealthy diet foods (which actually make you gain more fat).
That is not where you want to put your focus.
Put your focus on losing body fat and success will be a body that is the best of both worlds, rich with muscle and thin in body fat with an ear to ear smile on your face.
With fat loss as your goal, the number on the scale is only a partial concern, as the scale only tells one part of the story (see image below).
What you are really focusing on is looking and feeling better.
The only way to achieve success when fat loss is your goal is to develop proper and healthy habits, ones that improve your physique and overall sense of well-being.
These are habits that don’t require you to go to extremes to accomplish your goal, they simply require that you consistently do them, and you will be consistently in great shape.
So is your end goal a thinner version of you? Or do you want a new and improved version of you?
2. Long-Term Fat Loss Comes From Long-Term Focus (Not A Fad Diet)
However you want to look, understand that you can do it quickly, but don’t try or even hope for it to happen overnight.
Quick results come from extremes like severe calorie restriction, ridding your diet of all “bad” foods, crazy cleanses, and juice fasts to name just a few.
It’s not that crash diets don’t work, it’s just the results from them rarely last.
Quick results mean your weight has changed, but your habits haven’t. The habits that caused you to gain weight are still there, they are just on temporary leave, and when they return so will all that weight.
If what you are doing to lose body fat isn’t something that you can realistically see yourself doing long-term, don’t expect the results to last long-term.
You can give yourself aggressive goals, but going overboard is a quick and easy way to fail.
Rather than focusing on losing 30 pounds in 30 days, focus on losing 30 pounds of fat over the next 5-6 months.
A safe and effective rate of fat loss is losing about 1% of your body weight a week, or 1 to 2 pounds a week, anything more than that and you are risking losing muscle.
Losing fat at this pace (which can actually be up to 8 pounds a month) is a manageable pace, and a pace that will help to turn your new habits into normal habits.
Learn to be okay with slow progress or get used to the vicious cycle of weight loss and weight gain (a.k.a NO PROGRESS).
3. Eat Real Whole Foods (And Why It’s A Game-Changer)
Have you ever eaten french fries to the point where you were full, but then still continued to eat them? Have you ever done that with apples or a healthy salad?
There’s a reason for that, and you’re probably not going to be happy about it when you understand why.
Even if you are buying lean pockets and low-fat foods you are not doing yourself any good in terms of fat loss because your diet is rich in hyperpalatable foods (foods on flavor steroids).
All the big food companies out there spend millions of dollars every year to figure out the perfect amount of salt, sugar, fat, and flavor additives to put in their products to create a taste so perfect, that it gives you the craving for more.
The problem with this is that instead of eating to satisfy hunger, you are now eating to satisfy taste, known as food reward. These flavor rich hyperpalatable foods will often lead to you overeating not just because they taste great, but because they are typically low in nutritional value, so your body will require more food in order to meet its nutritional requirements.
Does it make sense now why you can’t seem to put that french fry down?
Bring more real food back into your diet, meaning single ingredient foods like fruits, veggies, meats, nuts, beans, and seeds.
When your diet is primarily real whole foods, you will have a hard time even hitting your caloric goal for the day because whole foods are highly satisfying to your hunger, so satisfying that overeating will actually become a challenge for you.
If you have ever felt hungry or deprived while dieting, it is not because dieting is “tough,” it’s because you weren’t making the right food choices.
Even if this is the only thing you change after reading this article, you will still see significant changes in just a few weeks to your physique and overall mood.
This is the place where you want to be, where food is used to satisfy a biological need rather than being a source of pleasure. You will simply eat less because you will feel full and satisfied on less.
This is not to say you can’t have any of these “fun” foods anymore, just limit them to 10-15% of your calories.
4. Get Into A Caloric Deficit And How To Double Your Results
Forget about any diet that says, “You can eat anything or as much as you want as long as you cut out…….”
You can cut any and everything out of your diet, but if you aren’t cutting your calories you are just cutting your fat loss short.
Fat loss can only happen when the amount of calories you are burning is more than what you’re consuming.
I suggest for fat loss you keep your caloric deficit at around 20-25%, reducing your calories any more than this will likely result in muscle loss.
You first need to calculate how many calories a day you need to maintain your weight (known as target daily energy expenditure or TDEE), which can easily be done with this calculator.
Then, you will want to reduce your daily calorie intake by about 20-25% less than your calculated TDEE. So for example, if you calculated that you needed to consume 2,000 calories a day maintain weight, at a 25% deficit (2,000 x 25% = 500 calories) you would need to consume 1,500 calories a day (2,000 – 500 calories).
I GUARANTEE that if you start doing this next thing getting into a caloric deficit will become effortless and shedding body fat will be inevitable.
Track everything you eat with the Myfitnesspal Phone App.
This app makes it super simple to track your calories, as it already has just about every food you can think of in its database and it saves the foods you have eaten previously, making tracking of your calories almost effortless.
Studies have shown that simply tracking your food every day DOUBLES WEIGHT LOSS.
In case you are still wondering why this works, the reason is simple. You will become so aware of what you are eating, that you will naturally start to make better food choices.
The catch is that tracking your food is so simple, that it is easy to not do. Don’t fall into this trap!
When you are not aware, you are not in control, and when you are not in control it becomes easy to overeat.
5. Macros: What Are They And How They Affect Your Fat Loss
Once you become aware of what you are eating, you will want to make simple adjustments to the type of calories you are consuming.
The truth is, you can lose weight eating just about anything you want as long as you are in a caloric deficit, Professor Mark Haub proved this by losing 27 pounds in 10 weeks on the twinkie diet.
He was primarily trying to prove that as long as you consume less calories than you need you will lose weight, but you are in this for fat loss, not weight loss.
If you want to look great when the clothes come off you are going to need to focus on what type of calories you are consuming.
Your calories are broken down into 3 macronutrients which are protein, carbohydrates, and fat; and you need to have a proper balance of them if you want to lose fat while maintaining your muscle.
Protein is your most important macronutrient when it comes to fat loss, it helps to build and maintain muscle mass, reduce body fat, and increases your sense of fullness.
Assuming you are training regularly make a goal of consuming 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. If you have any trouble with this consider adding in a protein shake to your diet here and there to help you hit your daily protein intake goal.
Dietary fat has a bad stigma, but it is actually good for you and is responsible for hormone production and proper brain function to just name a few of its benefits.
It is recommended that adults consume between 20-35% of their calories from fat. Fat provides 9 calories per gram, so for a person that would consume 2,000 calories a day, this would come out to 45 to 78 grams (400-700 calories) from fat a day.
The rest of your calories can come from carbohydrates, and don’t worry about what all the diet gurus say out there, carbs don’t make you fat, eating too much does.
These are all automatically calculated for you when you use Myfitnesspal, or you can calculate them using this macronutrient calculator.
The good news is that when you get your macros under control you will realize you actually have a lot of flexibility with your food options, you just need to make sure they fit your macros.
6. STOP Training To Lose Fat and START Training To Build Muscle
Many people for some reason believe that they need to do light-weight-high-rep workouts in order get shredded, but the truth is there is no one specific style of training that will make you look shredded.
Getting shredded is a matter of having a sufficient base of muscle and low body fat.
The good news is that if you focus on building muscle you will also lose fat as byproduct.
Muscle tissue is much more metabolically active than fat, so the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn, even in situations like right now where you are non-active staring at a screen.
In regards to training, there is a long-standing debate about which is better, low reps or high reps, and the truth is it doesn’t really matter which one you do, what really matters is the intensity of your workout.
The more intense your workout, the more muscle fibers will be recruited in order to perform the exercise and as a result, more calories will be burned. If you are not recruiting all the muscle you have for an exercise, you are essentially telling your body you don’t need all your muscle.
Whatever rep range you choose, make sure that you are maxing out in that rep range. For instance, if you choose to do 6-8 reps for your exercise and you are able to do 8 reps with ease, the weight you are using is too light and will not get you to muscle failure.
Push to muscular failure so you maintain and build muscle while burning body fat. You want to progressively overload your muscle as you move on from one set to the next.
The fastest way to build muscle while maximizing the amount of calories burned in your workout is to focus on compound lifts.
This means lifts that involve multiple major muscle groups that require you to recruit more muscle fibers and more energy, lifts such as bench press, deadlifts, and squats.
Exercises such as a bicep curls and lateral shoulder raises only involve one muscle group and require significantly less recruitment of muscle fibers and effort. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do these exercises, just be aware of which exercises will give you the most bang for your buck.
Make the struggle real. Train hard and train heavy.
7. DO LESS Low-Intensity Cardio. DO MORE High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) For Fat Loss.
Would you believe me if I told you that there was a way you could burn more fat in 3 minutes than you could in an hour?
It’s true, except most people are choosing to do the hour.
One of the number one things people do when it comes to losing weight is increasing their cardio, drastically…. BAD IDEA.
This leads to weight loss, not fat loss (as well as it hinders muscle growth).
A study conducted by the University of Western Ontario showed that performing 4 to 6 30-second sprints actually burns more fat than doing an hour of walking on an incline treadmill.
The all out effort pushes your body to its metabolic limits boosting your metabolism for up to 24 hours.
Based on that study, you ideally want to do all out cardio for 30 seconds, and then give yourself as much time as needed for your heart rate to normalize, and then do it again. Make it a goal to hit the high-intensity phase 3-6 times per session, the more high-intensity intervals the better.
If you want to lose fat without spending countless amount of time on the treadmill, look no further than HIIT.
None of these steps to fat loss are particularly hard to apply–that’s the point.
Start making small changes and you will start to see big differences in a short period of time.
Work your way up to implementing all 7 rules on a consistent basis and watch your body fat start to melt away.
Get these simple rules dialed in, and then you can really step on the fat loss gas pedal with an advanced fat loss aid (experienced users only).
So what are you waiting for? Start making the changes today that your future self will thank you for.
What do you think of these rules? Do you think that there are other helpful rules that should be included?
Let me know in the comments below!