I am by no means a nutritionist or fat loss expert, and it’s not exactly where my passion lies in the fitness industry.
That said however, the majority of my clients started training with me to shed some pounds. I wouldn’t be very good at my job if I didn’t know how to help them do that. It’s tough because it goes way beyond what we do for an hour in the gym.
Since summer is just about here, fat loss is on everyone’s mind. So I figured I would put a short list together of what I considered to be the most effective tips.
1. “Fat loss is an all out war. It’s not a lifestyle choice. Lose fat and then get back into moderation” -Dan John.
Alot of people get stuck in the mindset of fat loss. They are perpetually trying to lose weight and it’s always on their minds. Dieting and being in a calorie deficit should only last a short period of time (read: 4-12 weeks), and you have to ATTACK IT. Really hone in and pay attention to your diet, increase the efficiency of your workouts, and use recovery to it’s fullest. “Begin with an end in mind.”
2. On most days, get over 100g of protein, and under 100g of carbs.
If you don’t know where to start, most people can benefit from keeping these numbers that simple. This is much easier said than done, but the best thing about this tip is that you’ll never be hungry. Protein is much more satisfying than carbs are. If you find it difficult to get that amount of protein with food alone, I highly recommend a protein supplement.
3. Track your diet on an app
If you have no clue what 8oz of chicken looks like, or how much protein it has, this is where an app will come in handy. I’d also recommend getting a food scale. Once you get more comfortable with portion sizes, you wont have to rely on them as much.
4. Push back breakfast 1-3 hours of your norm
This is actually a mild form of intermittent fasting. Simplifying, your hormones are in the best fat-burn mode in the morning. When you eat your first meal, it changes all those beneficial hormone profiles, so by pushing breakfast back a little bit you can optimize that period. Ready why here.
5. When eating out, look at the menu ahead of time (when you’re not hungry) and pick the healthiest option
Don’t even look at the menu when you get there. Almost every restaurant in America has a protein + veggie dish on their menu. Cooking at home is best but I understand you have a life to live. However, no excuses play like a champion!
6. Double the veggies, no starch
Snow balling on number 5, skip the rolls, mashed potatoes, and french fries. Double the side salad or asparagus. Most places have no problem doing this.
7. Cut out alcohol. Completely.
Yes my friends, you read that right. Remember: dieting should only last 4-12 weeks; this is temporary. I understand drinking is a part of social life but if you’re serious about fat loss, you will do it. And if you can’t have fun without drinking… you need a new hobby.
8. Focus on your sleep
In the hierarchy of fat loss, I’d say sleep and recovery lands the bronze metal behind diet and training. Start with going to bed 15 minutes earlier and see what happens.
9. Prioritize strength training
Cardio has its place, but strength training will give you the most bang for your buck. It builds muscle and burns fat, making you look like a svelte curvy machine. Ladies… please stop thinking you’ll get ‘bulky’. It’s literally impossible without drugs.
10. If you already strength train, increase your intensity
This can be done 1 of 2 ways: increase your weight, or decrease your rest. If choosing the latter, start getting specific with your rest periods. Get a stop watch or an interval timer like a gymboss and try resting no more than 30 seconds between sets.
11. Option 1: For the last set, lighten the weight slightly and get as many reps as possible before failure.
Again, you’re always going to prioritize strength first, but this is a good way to increase intensity and get a good cardio effect. However, never sacrifice form for reps. Once you start to get sloppy, call it quits.
12. Option 2: For the last set, make movements compound
Turn a squat into a squat + overhead press. Turn a deadlift into a deadlift + bent over row. Etcetera, etcetera.
13. Ditch the steady state cardio and get into intervals
At the risk of sounding like an ignorant DB, I will never understand why people like doing steady state cardio. Personally, I find it torturously boring and physically unchallenging (besides the mental aspect). You can disagree with me all day, that’s fine; you’re entitled to your opinion. But this is my blog and I do what I want! Mix it up with some intervals and sprinting. This is my favorite treadmill routine:
14. If you’re not into spending half an hour on a cardio machine, do a set of tabata (it’s 4 minutes- c’mon)
It sucks but it’s over quickly. You can pick from a lot of different exercises; I recommend a rowing machine, a stepper, or goblet squats. The format is simple: 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest, repeat 8 times.
There’s no need to implement all 14 of these points at once. It’s too hard to keep track of and you have a enough on your mind. Instead, pick 3-5 things that you’re 100% sure you can do. If I were you, I’d say the most bang-for-your-buck points would be 2, 4, 6, and 9. Give it at least 4 weeks and see what happens.