Fat loss can be a stressful journey, especially if you don’t have an understanding of the basics. It can also be pretty easy to fall into old habits, even after you have achieved your weight loss goals. After all, fat loss is not easy and it requires consistency.
It takes work and dedication, but following a few basic rules can make the difference and get you closer to your goal. If you ignore the basics, chances are you will struggle a lot more with weight fluctuations. So let’s get into the unchanging laws of fat loss to get you set on the right path.
#1: Calorie Restriction
Calorie restriction is a normal part of fat and weight loss. In fact, The most basic rule of fat loss is governed by energy balance. Energy out is the calories burned through daily energy requirements and exercise. Basically, if you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming, you should rapidly lose fat.
The Slow Carb Diet: The slow carb diet eliminates most starchy carbs, sugars, and fruits to limit the number calories you take in per day.
The Atkins Diet: The Atkins diet severely limits carbohydrate intake to restrict eating options and drive caloric intake down.
Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting limits the amount of time you can eat in a day, making it much harder to eat too much.
Obviously you don’t necessarily have to go on a diet to lose fat, but you do need to track and limit your calories.
#2: Eat Real Food
I’m sure you have heard it time and time again, but a healthy balanced, “clean” diet is crucial for fat loss (not necessarily true, as energy balance NOT food quality governs weight loss/gain).
However,eating real food, not only processed food, is a very important aspect of weight management nonetheless. Eating real foods cools inflammation and reestablishes proper hormone communication, which automatically helps your body release fat it doesn’t need. It is also much harder to overeat when your diet consists mainly of a lean protein source, veggies, and a clean carb source (based on your activity levels).
Although that doesn’t mean you can never eat those processed and sugary foods. Really it all comes down to balance. As long as you limit your calorie intact, you will lose weight. However if you want to stay healthy and feeling good, it’s best to try and stick to a balanced, healthy diet of whole foods.
#3: Build Muscle, Reduce Cardio
Muscle burns fat, plain and simple. The more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn daily. While you may be a bit hesitant to build muscle, it is really important. It’s so easy to get stuck in those long cardio sessions, but in the long run they are counter productive.
After all, we’ve seen how long, slow cardio destroys your body and depletes vital fat-burning hormones like triiodothyronine (T3), growth hormone, and testosterone. While a little bit of cardio is great, too much of it can actually hinder the weight loss process. So try branching out and lifting some weights or doing some basic strength training. You won’t regret it!
Remember as well, that any muscle you build will be the shape or “toning” you will have once you shed your excess bodyfat to reveal it underneath.
#4: Flexible Dieting
While having a healthy and balanced diet is important, it’s not the only thing that matters. Adopt a flexible dieting approach and forgive yourself for diet slip-ups. My definition of flexible dieting is eating right 80-90% of the time, then allowing yourself the occasional cheat meal before getting back on your diet. After all fitness should improve your life, not consume it.
Try your best to stick to your diet most of the time. But if you have a slip up every once and a while, it’s okay. Make sure to forgive yourself and do better next time. One meal won’t ruin a diet and one Oreo doesn’t need to be a whole carton of Oreos. Just try your best to stay on track.
If you are tracking your calories (which you should be if your goal is to lose bodyfat), you will have the ability to fit some of those foods and beverages you love into your overall diet strategy as well, and still continue to make progress.
In short, fat loss requires dedication and consistency. If you make sure to keep track of your calories, have a balanced diet, and build muscle, fat loss is definitely possible.
Interested to find out how I can help YOU achieve your fitness and fat loss goals while still living your life? Check out my 28 Day Fat Shredder Program which has helped hundreds of busy parents just like you shed pounds and pounds of ugly, oozing bodyfat while still enjoying the foods and beverage that they love.
Author: Chris Friesen
Chris Friesen is a gym owner, personal trainer, online fitness coach and former “fat dad” living on 60 beautiful acres of countryside in rural Canada.
He specializes in helping busy parents shed body fat quickly, WITHOUT becoming gym rats OR giving up the foods they love to eat.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids, sitting in his hot tub out in the snow with a glass of bourbon, and yelling at his (many) misbehaving barn cats.