Eat more protein. Eat less Carbs. Don't eat after 8:00p.m. Skip breakfast. Wait, no, you MUST eat breakfast. Pizza is the devil! Eat a dump truck full of veggies! PROTEEEEINNNNNN! How many times have you heard these fat loss "rules"?
can be IS confusing for most people... but it doesn't have to be.
Years of coaching busy clients has led me to one epic conclusion: fat loss is't complicated. It's simple. It is hard, but it's stupid simple.
We're always trying to make things as sane and simple for our clients as possible since they have ridiculously busy lives outside of AMP. It's our mission is to help people live their BEST lives by helping them find a sustainable approach to their fitness goals. Here is our #1 rule for fat loss:
#1 Rule for Fat Loss: Eat Less Calories
This is probably the most important thing you can understand when it comes to fat loss. Before you start worrying about what to eat, when to eat, hormones, exercise programming, and pretty much any other factor you MUST get your calories in check. Without that, NOTHING else will work. Period.
In this instance, we'll go with the first law of thermodynamics that states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only transferred. Ahhhh, science. It works.
Consuming less calories than you burn is what we call being in a 'caloric deficit' and THAT is the place to be to on your journey to leanness. This will remain your biggest rock until you get to about 10% body fat for men or 18% body fat for women (e.g. you're shredded and want to get more shredded...er). Only then will you have to worry about the nitty gritty but until then just nail that deficit!
There are many ways to help you accomplish this and most work, but we like to stick to the basics here, too. So your options will be to either a.) count calories or b.) make better choices. Both ways work but since every human is unique one might work better for YOU.
Option 1: Count Calories
Counting calories is pretty straight forward and simple. Track your food regularly and stay in your deficit. One major caveat is humans suck at counting so we will always underestimate portion sizes no matter how hard we try.
We like using apps like MyFitnessPal, LoseIt, MyNetCalorie or simply tracking with pen and paper. Whichever works best for you is totally fine.
Option 2: Make Good Choices
The second option is to consistently make better choices and this will require you to stick to healthy, whole foods and do a little meal planning and prep since that is KEY to nailing your deficit. The caveat here is we'll mentally always make deals with ourselves and say that crushing that extra slice of cheesecake is okay.
Here are some bonus tips to help you nail your deficit:
- Avoid liquid calories.
- Don't bring home food you will destroy in one sitting.
- Vegetables all day err day.
Skipping this step will be like trying to swim up a waterfall.. you'll be working insanely hard and getting nowhere. Rule #1 is calories count!
Wrapping it Up
If you want to burn fat or lose weight you MUST be in a caloric deficit. This is the non-negotiable part of fat loss. Focusing on this alone will assuredly get you to 90% of your goal weight if you are consistent for a long enough period of time. Things like hormones, stress, genetics, and the quality of food will matter but not until you've reached that last 10%.
Depending on what works best for you, you can either count calories OR just make good decisions. Both ways work and will get you to the same results. Although it's not a perfect science, it's the most important thing when it comes to looking great naked!