Best guarded fat loss secret that fat loss ‘Gurus’ do not want you to know
I am sure you have seen a lot of diets and ‘new revolutionary’ weight loss methods, but there is just one thing, one ‘behind the scenes’ factor you should keep in mind – to lose fat you should burn more calories than you consume. Period.
Here is an example for you.
Let’s say you are 200 lbs male, and you have somewhat active lifestyle. I would guess that your daily calorie expenditure is about 3000 calories. To burn fat you have to consume less than 3000 calories. If your daily calorie deficit is 500 calories (3000 calories spent, 2500 calories consumed), your weekly calorie deficit is 3500 calories. You know what? 3500 calories is amount of energy stored in 1 pound of fat.
So the math is simple – daily calorie deficit of 500 cals equals 1 pound of fat lost in a week. The bigger the deficit, the more fat lost, the more difficult to sustain this deficit long term.
Weight training for fat loss
Why would you want to go to gym when you are losing weight or ‘cutting’?
Here is why. Your body is smart. In his own way. If you are not working out while staying in calorie deficit, your body might ‘think’ that it can burn ‘unnecessary’ unused muscle instead of fat. If you are doing to gym and working out, your body gets the message that muscle mass can not be touched and that burning fat is only option for covering calorie deficit.
Sample 3 day training program
3 x Chest Exercises (BB* Presses, DB** Incline Presses, Dips) – 3 sets x 8 repetitions each
2 x Biceps Exercises (Hammer Curls, Seated DB Curls) – 2 sets x 8 repetitions each
1 x Abs Exercises (Incline Leg Raise) – 1 set x 12 repetitions
4 x Legs Exercises (Squats, Leg Extensions, Leg Curls, Calf Raises) – 3 sets x 8 repetitions each
2 x Shoulders Exercises (DB Presses, Lateral DB Raises) – 2 sets x 8 repetitions each
2 x Back Exercises (Chin-ups, Cable Rows) – 3 sets x 8 repetitions each
2 x Triceps Exercises (Seated French Presses, Cable Pushdowns) – 2 sets x 8 repetitions each
1 x Traps Exercises (BB Shrugs) – 2 sets x 8 repetitions each
1 x Abs Exercises (Weighted Sit-ups) – 1 set x 12 repetitions
Rest (or start new cycle)
*BB – barbell
**DB – dumbells
Begin each exercise with 4 warm-up sets – 2 sets with empty bar or 25% of workout weights, then 2 sets with 50% of workout weights. Then you are warmed up to do these 2-3 sets with your regular workout weights.
Basic rules for fat loss
- Work out with weights around 3 times a week. 2 times a week is acceptable; 4 times a week should be maximum frequency.
- Consume 1g of protein (or more) per lb of lean body mass a day. Lean body mass is your body weight minus weight of your fat mass which can be calculated from your body fat percentage (BF%). If you don’t know your BF%, estimate your LBM by subtracting 20% from your body weight if you have regular built, or 35% of you suspect you might be overweight.
- Every day consume fruits and vegetables, preferably with every meal.
- Take an essential fatty acid (EFA) supplement, e.g. fish oil.
- If necessary, take protein supplements to reach necessary daily protein intake.
- Eat a wide variety of foods.
- Maintain desired weight loss rate by adjusting your food intake.
How to measure your fat loss progress and adjust food intake?
- You can weigh yourself either once a week on specific day, or every day. It is suggested to weight always at the same time (e.g. in the morning right after waking up and going to toilet).
- Often your weight will stay the same for a week or two, or even randomly go up. It is normal.
- Still, if your weight doesn’t decrease for three weeks in a row, you have to reduce amount of calories you consume every day by 500 calories.
- If you lose more than 2-3 lbs per week, and you are losing strength in the gym, increase your daily calorie intake by 500 calories.
- When you have adjusted your calorie intake level, stay on the new level for three weeks before making new adjustments.
Factors that are NOT important for losing fat
Don’t make losing fat more difficult that it is in reality. Stick to the basic rules and ignore unimportant factors, like:
- Cardio training – cardio training only increases calorie expenditure. You can either eat more and do cardio, or eat less and do no cardio training.
- Timing and frequency of your meals – just do what is more convenient for you. If you feel less hungry eating 5 times a day, go for it. Eat smaller meals more often. Can you manage your hunger, and it is convenient for you to eat twice a day – do that.
- Nutrient (protein / carb / fat) ratios and distribution throughout the day.
- Adequate alcohol intake – you can drink small amounts of alcohol, if it does not make you exceed your calorie intake plan.
- Meal replacement, fat burner, and other supplement use – if you can not consume enough whole foods to reach this ‘1g of protein per lb of lean body mass a day’ plan, you can take some protein shake. Other supplements – not needed.
- Eating only ‘Clean foods’ and avoiding ‘Junk food’ – all it matters is total consumed calories.
You will be surprised when you will discover how easy you can lose weight. Just stick to the basics: train with weights, eat enough protein, and stay in calorie deficit.