I heard a great tip about fat loss once but can’t remember who I heard it off but it went along the lines of
“If you are trying to lose weight then you should copy the professionals… Physique athletes there are the masters of losing fat and retaining muscle”
These people do this for a living and have to get rid of even the most stubborn of body fat to be stage ready! Now I know that most of us (me included) never want to get that low on their body fat or even step on stage, but to get to them levels of low body fat you first must need to get the BASICS right!
Now this is where most people fail
Instead we look for some magic pill, shakes, detox and even as far as slimming wraps… granted some of these will make you lose a ton of weight quickly but over 90% of the time you will put that weight back on and more!
Because you have not nailed the BASICS
- You have not learnt about nutrition
- You have not learnt how much food you can eat
- You have not worked with hunger cues
All you have done is severely cut calories and put yourself into a massive deficit which brings on weight loss (NOT FAT LOSS) You see most of the weight you lose on these rapid diets do not come from fat… It comes from mostly water!
Now if you are serious about losing weight and maintaining it for the long run which I would think is everybody then read on and I will explain, If not look top right and click the X.
Right sorted let’s get started to making long-lasting results.
Following these simple but effective steps you will see long-lasting results, So stop spending countless amounts of money on Yo-Yo diet’s and car salesman who are trying to pinch a few quid off you It’s time to take control of your body!
This is by far the best visual I have seen so far on the importance and placement of each part of the triangle and Eric Helms has written a brilliant book on the subject at muscleandstrengthpyramids.com
Following this triangle will guarantee success and if you ever fall off the wagon, just go back to the bottom and start again!
You will get told by the car salesmen that this doesn’t matter and calories don’t count that it’s all about getting your magic intake of micronutrients, or this speshul blend of wizards dust that is backed by aliens and that you will magically start losing 2kg of belly fat in 1 night… My only advice to this is RUN FOREST RUN.
Too good to be true!
Non of this pyramid will work if your mind is not in the right place “SIMPLES” Weight loss is easy, adherence is the hard part.
Sacrifices will need to be made along the way to keep your weight dropping, however that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself, you can’t go out, you can’t drink or you can’t eat the foods you enjoy, you can you just need to make adjustments to keep it moving, however eating out every night and partying 3 nights a week won’t help.
If someone puts you on a diet like this or tells you that you cannot eat certain foods repeat what Forest Gump did above ^^
Unless of course you are on the final few weeks of a contest prep then sacrifices will need to be made, but if you are then this post isn’t for you any way.
The main thing when looking to change your weight is lifestyle, you should be able to continue this way for life and stay consistent.
OK so that’s that out the way and we now realise that lifestyle will play a part what can we now to get a body that we don’t mind showing off?
1. The most important… CALORIES
Energy in vs Energy out is the deciding factor.
In a nutshell if you put too much in you will put weight on, If you want to lose weight you should lower your intake.
This is where the majority of your fat loss will come from NOT exercise, We use exercise to get fitter and to shape our bodies.
Ok so you are putting weight on and not sure how to reverse it. You have a few options here and I’ll list the two I use with my clients below.
Portion sizes or calorie counting.
Portion sizes are simple you can still eat the same foods you just limit the quantity or you can follow a good way for portion control and use hand sizes. Palm of protein, Cupped handful of carbs, Fist of vegetables and Thumbs for fat.
To give you an example one of my clients just reduced portion sizes and lost over 2 stone!!
Calorie counting is another good method to use where you aim to hit certain amount of calories per day/week click I wrote an article on this recently so once you have finished this article read it here.
With both of these run it for 2 weeks and then test and adjust using different measuring devices (Scales,tape, photos etc) and you want to be looking for a loss of 1-2 lbs per week depending on size (obviously bigger people can lose a little more) But if you lose weight at a fast pace you run the risk of losing muscle and this isn’t good!
This is the most important part for losing fat, If you are not dropping look at your intake!
The second most important and most people will not get past this part and will be happy with the way they look.
Number 3 also falls into this category to a certain degree and if you get this right you get that point right.
I previously wrote and article on the basics of macro’s which can be found here
Once you start dropping the weight (Fat) we also then want to start playing around with our macro’s so that when we drop the weight we have a body we are happy to look at (obviously resistance training comes into it a big part also) so with this being said the main one to aim for here with consistency is:
Protein This should be eaten at every meal and you want to aim for roughly 1 gram per lbs of body weight, Protein will help to keep you full for longer, helps retain muscle mass, burns more energy in digestion and can also be used for energy if needed. Throughout your diet protein should stay high, If you need to cut calories from places it comes from Fats and carbs.
To make it easier for adherence and so you’re not meticulously counting every gram of food what goes into your mouth once you know how many calories come from your protein then the rest as made up with carbs and fats. Just don’t go too low on either one (aim for over 20% of each)
Whether you are using Hand sizes as a guide or calories you just add and take away as needed.
The main point with your carbohydrates is to get a good amount of fibre which is very important for gut health and can aid in weight loss so we want to aim for roughly 20-25g for women and 25-30g for men, This would come from oats, beans, fruits, vegetables
Carbs making up grains, starches, fibre, fruits, vegetables
Fat’s making up Nuts, seeds, oily fish, butters, oils
So hitting each day with a good mix you will be on the right track.
Focus on your protein intake and aim to hit your target each day and at each meal.
Carbs and fats should be varied with ample amounts of each in your diet.
Eat enough of the foods that contain fibre.
Minerals and vitamins we need in tiny amounts but can make a big difference to health, performance, hunger, deficiencies.
So to prevent this we need to aim to get these into our diets, This simply can be done by eating a wide variety of foods.
Aim to eat a good mix of fruit and vegetables, eat red meat every so often and get good sources of calcium.
So aiming for at least the recommended daily amount of fruit and veg per day should help to get you there.
Focus your goals on health and body composition will follow.
While we are on here we will quickly talk about water, A good starting point I heard was that you want to aim to urinate clear 5 times per day, as being dehydrated up to 2% can severely impact performance.
Now over 95% of people will not need to go past this point, So if you are here and you are still not seeing the results you want then go back to the beginning and start again.
Eat a varied amount of fruit and veg per day and aim to pee 5 times per day clear.
As most of us don’t need to worry about the next 2 I will quickly skim over them as too many people focus too much on the minimal and not enough on the chunk of what needs to be done, But if you need any help on the next part feel free to ask.
#4 Nutrient timing and frequency
If you are constantly dieting then you will want to set yourself certain times to have a diet break, Even if it is once every 2 weeks, month etc have 1-3 days where you come back up to maintenance to give yourself a break to help with adherence, This being said a lot of people already do this naturally any way (parties, birthdays, gatherings etc) So being a little lax on the diet every so often is not a bad thing and will help you in the long turn. Good point to follow is the 80/20 meaning you follow the plan 80% of the time and 20% you don’t.
Nutrient timing goes more into when you should eat certain food groups I.e. carb cycling, carb loading etc but for the most of us just looking to feel and look better we don’t need to worry about this.
The least important but where most people start, No Fat loss supplement will work in a calorie excess!!
Clever marketing from that car salesman to get you on these fat burners etc is just to make money out of you.
Some supplements are helpful and can help you pick up any deficiencies in your diet or help you hit your protein intake but before taking any always have a read up on them and make sure you are getting good quality.
Some good supplements to take are
- Fish oils
- Protein powder
But as said above make sure you know what you are taking and if it is right for you at that point.
Following this plan will guarantee you long-term success, Will mean you have control over your eating habits and what you get to put in your mouth.
You diet should be varied and never restricting any food group, If you cannot stick to your diet for long periods of time then it is not for you or you are overly restricting yourself.
That being said to be able to lose weight you do need to cut back a bit on your intake but it shouldn’t be hell.
Look at your intake now, record it and then make your changes follow it for 2 weeks and adjust and repeat.
Say hello to that summer beach body you’ve dreamt about.
If you need more help to get you there look at my 12 week transformation plan and take all the guess-work out of it.
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