Fat loss is a relatively simple process. Yet the vast majority of people fail to ever hit their fat loss goal or better yet, hit it and then keep the weight off.
You’re probably the same way, if you weren’t you wouldn’t have found your way here. The problem is you’re going about it the wrong way and focusing on the wrong things;
Rapid weight loss
More and more cardio
Less and less calories
Anything that promises you rapid results
The reality is, you can lose fat and keep it off BUT the problem is that you’re ignoring the reality of fat loss and instead choosing to buy into the industry bullshit that promises you quick results.
Unsurprisingly these results never come and any fat loss is short-lived and mostly water weight, which comes rushing back as soon as you stop whatever miserable diet you’ve been doing.
The bottom line is, you can achieve a lean, athletic look.
You can lose fat and keep it off.
You can look freaking awesome naked.
It’s also not that hard, but you need to understand 3 things about fat loss to get there.
Consider this your wake up call.
You Must Be In A Calorie Deficit To Lose Fat
It starts here.
I want you to forget everything you’ve ever been told about fat loss for a minute.
Here we go…
To lose fat you MUST be in a calorie deficit.
I know, I know but someone said calories don’t matter if;
If you stopped eating carbs
If you put butter in your coffee
If you fast for 24 hours twice a week
If you do lots of cardio
If you pray to the fat loss gods
Well it does matter, it matters a lot, in fact, it matters the most.
How many meals you eat
What times you eat at
If you fast either daily or weekly
Whether you eat lots of carbs or none at all
The simple fact of the matter is,
“You can’t expect to lose fat if you’re not in a calorie deficit.”
It’s really that simple and here’s how you calculate it.
This is something I have discussed in a lot of posts, so I’ll keep it short and sweet here. The easiest way to calculate your calorie deficit is;
Your body weight in lbs x 12
For example, if you weigh 160 lbs you would do the following calculation.
190 x 12 = 2280
You would then plan your daily meals around hitting this calorie goal and track your progress overtime making changes as necessary. It’s truly as simple as this to calculate your calorie deficit and make a start losing fat.
You Must Plan for Failure
When a calorie deficit isn’t the problem, the failure to plan ahead is. Failure to plan ahead means that whenever something remotely unexpected happens, everything falls apart.
Usually in spectacular fashion.
Worse than this is the fact that the something unexpected and your resulting reaction are usually at such polar opposites that you never gave yourself a chance.
This is because the something unexpected is almost always not as bad or result altering as you believe it to be…but your reaction is almost always emotionally driven and way overboard.
The something unexpected;
You go over your calories by a couple hundred one evening
You miss a workout or two because you’re ill, injured or busy
You have a few drinks with work colleagues or friends socially
You have some time off or go on holiday and stop working out
You get invited out for dinner last minute and decide to go
Your typical reaction;
Instead of pulling back you go all in, make things even worse and feel like crap because of it
You convince yourself you’ve ‘lost your gains’ or some other bullshit and stop training altogether
Self-control goes out the window and a couple of drinks turns into a binge followed by late night snacking
You tell yourself a holiday from work is also a holiday from your health and fitness (mostly because you hate your diet and training plan), as a result you go way off track as you finally get to eat the foods you like
You tell yourself it’s a one-off and sensing a chance to break from your restrictive diet you go wild…nothing’s off limits.
For the most part you react this way because you’re either;
Following a restrictive diet and are consciously or subconsciously looking for a way out
You haven’t planned for a change in routine and don’t know how to react i.e. you haven’t thought about your barriers to success
The solution here comes in 2 parts;
Find a Plan That’s Lifestyle Friendly
This is vital as following a training routine you don’t enjoy or a nutrition plan that is restrictive and limiting will never be sustainable in the long-run.
In fact, it’s one of the largest contributors to failed diets and abandoned goals.
Think about it, we all have that friend who is constantly diet hopping or changing their workout routine trying to find that one thing that works.
They always have an excuse for why the last plan didn’t work and whilst they say it’s because they’re destined to never lose weight, it actually because their plan had them excluding food groups, training 6 times a week or some other behaviour that didn’t fit with their lifestyle or their goal.
Maybe in your group of friends, this is you…
Whatever the case maybe the solution is to pick something works for you;
If you enjoy carbs, then stay away from Keto
If you enjoy a drink at the weekend, find a diet that can accommodate that
If you can only train 3 days a week, don’t sign up for a plan that makes you do 6
The idea is to find the balance between what you need to do to reach your goals and what you can sustain whilst living your life in the long-term.
This is a long-term change not a quick fix.
Identify Any Potential Barriers & Find Solutions
Once you’ve found a diet plan and training routine that suits you, the next step is to find solutions to the barriers or problems you expect to face.
This could be anything and whilst there are some common issues everyone faces, you will need to look at what you’ve struggled with before and how to avoid or at least minimise its impact on your progress.
Barriers To Success:
You always snack at home and this often pushes you over your daily calorie allowance
You find it difficult to control your food intake when eating out
You often go wild at the weekend, undoing any progress you made during the week
When something goes wrong, things often spiral out of control and you find it difficult to get back on track
If you find it difficult to control yourself then don’t keep these problem foods in your house
Where possible look up the restaurant menu before you go and decide what you can eat that works with your goals. If this is not possible then avoid starters and desserts to keep calories down.
This shouldn’t happen if you’re using a diet that works for you. However, if you find it does then then the key to reducing carvings is to make room in your diet for the foods you like.
Realise that no one is 100% all of the time and the key to make it work is to minimise the damage of a slip up by getting right back on track
You Need to be Patient
Results come down to more than just exercising your body, it also comes down to exercising your patience;
You don’t get results because you did one week of cayenne pepper lemon drink fasts i.e. bullshit tactics
You also don’t get results because some money grabbing, supplement pushing magazine told you that you would
You get results because you work consistently towards a goal that you wholeheartedly believe in
You get results because you know what is possible for you to achieve and how long it will take
The problem most people have is they expect to lose all their fat, get a six pack and stay that way in a few weeks or months. The reality for these people is they lose a little weight but quickly get bored, fed up and disheartened that it’s not going as quick as they want.
They soon quit never knowing what it’s like;
To reach a goal they’ve set
Fit in the clothes they used to
Get compliments on the way they look
Feel body confident
If you don’t want to end up like this (again) then you need a shift in mindset and a good dose of patience.
This means, whatever time you think you need to reach your goal, double it…triple it even. I know it doesn’t sound as sexy as, abs in 7 days or losing 20 lbs in a month, but it works. Every. Single. Time.
Imagine if you could lose 1 – 2 lbs every week for 3 months. What would that do for you?
Now imagine you could do that 6 months or even a year…how much would your life change?
These are the kind of results patience can give you.
Patience comes from understanding; understanding what you can achieve and how long it will take.
The first step in gaining this understand is a knowing what a realistic goal is. This means knowing how quickly you should gain or lose weight for optimal, sustainable results.
Fat loss: aim to lose 1 – 2 lbs per week to maximise fat loss and minimise muscle loss
Muscle building: aim to gain 0.5 – 1 lb per week to maximise muscle gain and minimise fat gain
Once you know this you can begin to structure your goals around what is possible, not what you wish was possible.
Doing this helps re-frame your mindset, this means when you lose 6 – 10 lbs OR gain 2 – 4 lbs in a month you’ll be pleased with your progress (rightly so, great job!) not disappointed.
Feeling satisfied with your progress means you’ll be more likely to continue training hard and eating right, each passing month will bring you more progress. Over time the results will accumulate and the outcome will be better than you imagined.
The second part of patience is measuring your progress. When you know what is possible to achieve, you then to measure your progress to make sure you’re on track.
If you take a ‘hit and hope’ approach you may make some progress but your results won’t be as great or as consistent as they could be. Tracking a few key measurements helps you make sure that you’re on track to hit your goals.
It also allows you to see when things aren’t going to plan and make the necessary changes to get yourself back on track. The best thing is, it doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult, by tracking just a few simple stats you can get all the info you need to know that you’re on track;
Weight – weight yourself daily in the same conditions and take a weekly average
Measurements – take fortnightly waist measurements
Performance – look for a steady increase in performance (reps and/or weight on the bar) over time
The final step in creating a patience mindset is to trust the process.
This means fully buying-in to the programme, following it to the letter and being consistent. The long and short of it is, if you don’t trust the process, you’ll always struggle to get the results you’re after.
How do you trust the process?
It’s a bit of a tricky question to answer but in my experience, I’ve found it that comes down to your mindset and is usually the collective result of things like;
Picking a workout plan that’s suitable for you
Using a diet that works for your lifestyle
Setting an appropriate and realistic goal
Brainstorming potential obstacles and finding solutions
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people
Using accountability to help keep you on track
Do these things and you’ll find it easier to be patient when it comes to reaching your goals.
Losing fat and keeping it off shouldn’t be a thankless task, nor should it be too difficult. However, if you’re ever going to do this successfully there are 3 things you must do;
You must be in a calorie deficit to lose weight
You must plan for failure
You must be patient
Do all of these things consistently and you’ll make fantastic progress.