Fat loss is a fairly easy process on paper. However, actually doing it and sticking to the process can be challenging.
Many people focus on the wrong things when trying to diet for fat loss or they just try to make things tough and then expect progress.
But it doesn’t work that way, you must make sure you are focusing on the right things.
Here are 5 laws of fat loss that you should follow if you want to maximize your fat loss and results.
➊Eat less energy than you burn.
There is no way around this, if you are not giving your body reason to lose body fat, it won’t do it. Read here about what a calorie deficit is.
Your body wants to hold onto fat in case you go a long period of time without food (which is very unlikely in today’s world, but was a concern for most of our existence).
Now here is the trick, the amount of food required to do this is HIGHLY individual. That’s why some people can lose body fat eating 2,500 calories, and some people with 1,200.
This is going to depend on many things like your:
- body size
- activity levels
- muscle mass etc.
If you are not seeing your weight go down, then by definition you are not in a calorie deficit for your body. You can increase your activity levels OR decrease your calorie intake.
Make small changes to both. For example, if you are doing 10k steps, then aim for 11-12k, if you are eating 2500 calories then aim for 2300-2400.
Also make sure it is actually a plateau. Sometimes the scale can be wonky and goes up and down from day to day. This is why with online clients we take their bodyweight 3x per week (under the same conditions) and then take the average for the week and see where their weight is trending over time.
Check your adherence as well before making a change. If you arae only on track 5 out of 7 days, then chances are you just need to be more adherent before making a change.
➋Use macros to optimize your appearance.
You can lose body fat by simply eating less than you burn.
But it’s a good idea to make sure you get enough protein, carbs, and fats to optimize how you look. For example, if you go low protein while eating less than you burn, you risk losing muscle.
Carbohydrates are great for performance and recovery as well.
Fats also play a major role in overall health and going too low here can wreak havoc on your hormones.
Shoot for these minimums and go from there:
Protein- .8 to 1g per lb of bodyweight
Carbohydrates- 1g per lb of bodyweight
Fat- .2 to .3% of your bodyweight. For example, a 170lb person should get atleast 35-50g of fats per day.
If you need more guidance on your macros read this blog here.
➌Eat on a meal schedule that works best for you.
There is no magic meal amount. Just one that you can stick to. At the end of the day, you can use timing to your advantage, but in order to lose body fat your number of meals you eat per day MUST get you into a calorie deficit. You can eat 6x per day but if it gets you into calorie balance or an energy surplus then you will NOT lose weight.
With online clients 4 meals seems to be best, however, anywhere from 3-6 is perfect. Make sure each meal has a lean source of protein in it.
Here is what a sample day could look like:
To make your fat loss diet easier, its important to find a meal timing structure that works best for you and then stick to it. This will take a lot of the guesswork out of each day.
➍Use exercise to preserve your muscle and increase fat loss.
Resistance training is a must during fat loss to help with maintenance of your muscle. This will help keep your shape as you lose body fat and it makes it more likely you are losing body fat instead of muscle.
You must give your body a reason to keep muscle.
Pairing this with some cardio can speed up the fat loss process instead of just diet alone.
By exercising you give yourself more wiggle room to eat more and still be in a calorie deficit.
With online clients we have them aim for atleast 3-4 days per week of resistance training.
Here are some popular splits we use with clients.
As far as cardio goes we have clients focus on a step count. Read here about NEAT and why tracking your steps is important during a fat loss phase.
There is no magic step amount, track what you currently do and then add 1-2k more when you start your fat loss phase and then potentially make adjustments based on your progress.
➎Have a system in place to measure progress.
We kind of just leave our progress up to chance. Or just focus on the scale and this can be frustrating, especially if you are working hard. Just working hard can get you no where. You must make sure you are working on the right things and that what you are doing is working.
Watch this video going over what we track for online clients and how we use this to get them to their goals.
You are much less likely to stick with what you are doing when you don’t know if you are headed in the right direction.
Plus, how do you know what does and doesn’t work for you?
With online clients, we have a system in place to ensure they are heading in the right direction, and if something isn’t working, we figure out what it is and find solutions OR if something is working we double down on that.
Follow these 5 laws and you WILL maximize your fat loss. If you need more structure, guidance, or accountability with you fat loss phase then click the link here and lets get to work.