Use These 5 Steps For Sustainable Fat Loss
I can tell you that you’re not alone in your fat loss confusion and it’s not going to get easier any time soon.
Now that there are more social media platforms and more people with a voice…
...and with that voice comes one more approach you could follow.
And another, and another.
If you had to take out a piece of A4 paper and jot down the five most important things in order to elicit fat loss, and you answered intermittent fasting, dropping carbs or giving up chocolate, you need to keep on reading.
Because your entire reality is about to get simplified and organised so you know EXACTLY where you should be focusing 95% of your energy.
Removing the obvious like hydration and exercise, follow these 5 steps in order to stop the confusion once and for all!
Step 1) Adherence / Consistency
Would you like me to write the greatest diet plan which will guarantee you results?
Absolutely I could… but it would be completely useless.
The most perfectest plan in the world is going to do you zero favours if you are unable to stick to it because life is never that straight forward.
Just like a GP who assess patients; he’s not going to give the lady with a chest infection and the teenager with acne issues the same prescription.
Which is why screaming at you calories-in calorie-out this, or energy-expenditure energy-balance that is not helpful without a bigger understanding of what it takes to reach long-term dieting consistency.
If you need around 2,000 calories a day to lose body fat but your pan is impossible to adhere to it’s utterly worthless and your consistency will go out the window.
We’ve all done it. Binned your favourite foods in the hopes of getting leaner. Trying to stick to an extremely low calorie threshold. Find out that your diet is too rigid.
Back to square one.
Some days you will go over your calorie target, so understand that that’s ok.
If you nail your target 80% of the time then it’s still going to be better than the guy who binned all his favourite foods and half his calories to only stick to his diet 50% of the time.
He diets from 9-5 Monday to Friday like a Spartan warrior and blows it all on pizza and Carlsberg Exports.
A human is not a machine, and unless you want to start acting like C3PO you need to get your consistency in order or you’ll eventually implode because you couldn’t stick to that black and white plan.
Step 2) Calories
Now that adherence is on point and you are being consistent with your approach to your diet then yes, you need to nail a calorie deficit.
Whether by the end of the day or the end of the week, consume less calories than you expend by eating less and moving the same, eating the same and moving more, or eating less AND moving more.
The best approach for this is to use an online calculator and take off 10% your maintenance calories or up to 20% if you fall into the very overweight or obese category on the BMI scale.
There are too many scenarios where this will change but this is a good general principle.
For example you have Dan who could consume his deficit of 2,000 calories over a day-to-day basis or a total of 14,000 calories by weeks end.
This can be achieved by consuming 2,000 calories of Kit Kats.
This cannot be achieved by consuming 3,000 calories of chicken breast.
Sorry but whether a food is ‘clean’ or not will not matter in the principle of energy balance.
However, stick around to step 4 to find out why it’s probably not a good idea to only eat Kit Kats...
Step 3) Macronutrients
Protein, carbs and fat intake. Each group plays an important job in your quest to a lean and healthy physique.
Protein is king because it is the most satiating macro and will help you retain as much muscle mass as possible whilst dieting. Go here for more on the importance of protein.
A good estimate would be to start with 1.5 – 2.2 grams of protein per kg of your body weight and aim to consume this every day.
Carb and fat intake are going to be very person-dependant and will be hard to say for certain what a good target is. We teach on our online course how to determine which intake will work best for you and strategies to test out on yourself at home.
However try this out as a general target:
0.5 grams of fat per kg of body weight for a lower fat diet
1.0 grams of fat per kg of body weight for a moderate fat diet
1.5 grams of fat per kg of body weight for a higher fat diet
The remainder of your calories will go to carbs.
Now that we have macros nailed it’s time to master...
Step 4) Micronutrients (Vitamins & Minerals)
Remember I said you’d only need to eat Kit Kats as long as you were in a calorie deficit?
True it would work… but it’s a very bad idea even if it is guaranteed to work.
Kit Kats are completely void of nutrients that are important for your health, vitality and a diet that sucks nutritionally will ultimately affect performance in the gym.
So lets ensure that at least 80% of your calories are nutrient dense sources, i.e. fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Now to ruffle a few feathers.
Step 5) Everything Else!
So you would have noticed that I didn’t mention skipping a meal, cutting out a food group or sacking off your social circle because they are going to hit up the local curry house on Friday evening.
That’s because everything else is chump change in comparison to the steps above.
Meal timing, meal frequency, food group elimination and funky diet protocols should be lowest on your priority unless they align with all of the above steps.
Most people will start from step 5 and wonder why they are not making any progress.
Well that’s because your adherence and consistency is wavering, your calories are well over what they should be and your nutrient profile is essentially rock bottom.
Follow these steps and say goodbye to confusion and hello to a business suit that fits.
Which steps do you need to revisit today?