To lose fat, you need to eat less calories than your body burns. Pretty obvious, eh?
Having a ripped beach ready body when you do drop the fat requires a well planned and executed weight training program.
To lose fat and keep it off you must make sustainable changes that you can do and enjoy for the for the rest of your life. Learning to eat well and having an active fitness lifestyle that incorporates weight training and physical activity will help you get and keep the body you want.
There is no quick fix to fat loss despite what many fad diets claim. Do not fall into the trap of following the latest low carbohydrate plan, juicing scheme, detox program, crash diet or trend of the day.
These fad diets are not sustainable in the long run. Picture your self hitting you goal body weight on one of these trendy diets. Now, do you see yourself following this fad diet plan for the long term? Will this plan help you maintain your weight or lean bulk? I am thinking no.
Sure, you can lose fat using an extreme diet and hit your goal weight. Guess what happens when you reach your goal? You go back to eating just like you did before, and you gain the weight back. Maybe more.
These diets deprive you of foods you enjoy, encourage you to use expensive supplements or eat in a way that does not teach you how to maintain your healthy weight afterward. You need a plan that will show you how to get and keep a lean, muscular body while having a normal life.
The following strategies can help you reach you fat loss goals and set you up to keep the fat off.
Would you like to be able to eat the foods you love while losing fat? You can.
Thousands of people, including myself, have found flexible dieting to be the easiest strategy to lose fat and while building healthy eating habits.
Flexible dieting gives you the tools to create a caloric budget. That budget is split between the macronutrients, protein, carbohydrate and fat, in proper ratios to fuel your body and promote fat loss. You get to decide which foods and beverages you enjoy while staying within your budget.
Want a donut? You can have it.
Love pizza? You can have that too.
Flexible dieting is not a free for all where you eat as much junk as possible. The key is eating minimally processed foods 80-percent of the time and enjoying less healthy foods on occasion.
By sticking to a sustainable caloric deficit, you will lose fat and not feel deprived while being able to enjoy tasty foods. Your energy levels are kept as high as possible while getting a lean body that turns heads.
When you have reached your goal physique, you now have the tools to maintain your weight or go on to lean bulking where you put on muscle with minimal fat gain.
For fat loss, the main goal of flexible dieting is to set protein levels high enough to keep you satiated and protect the muscle you have. Carbohydrates are set as high as possible to keep your energy up at the gym. Healthy fats are consumed to keep your hormone levels balanced which helps to make you feel better and perform better at the gym.
Do you want to eat large meals leaving you feeling fuller?
Intermittent fasting is a strategy where you skip breakfast and eat all your meals in an eight-hour window. By reducing the period during the day you eat, you can have larger meals when you do eat.
You do have to stay in a caloric deficit for this strategy to work.
By eating your meals during your feeding window, you avoid insulin spikes and keep your body burning fat for a longer time during the fasting period. The more time you are able to burn fat, the faster you can lose fat.
Additional benefits of fasting are cellular regeneration, increase in growth hormone and possible life extension.
Do you want to have a chiseled body with impressive muscle when you are done with losing fat?
To protect or even gain muscle during your fat loss period, you must perform strenuous weight training.
When losing fat, some of the energy burned while in a caloric deficit comes from your body consuming muscle. The body does not want to give up its protective fat stores. So, it will go to consuming muscle during a cut. However, by lifting weight, you protect your muscle mass that would be otherwise burned for energy.
A bonus of lifting weight and getting stronger during a cut is you can build muscle and burn calories while exercising which will help to burn fat faster.
If you put in solid effort and stick to a proven workout plan, you can end your cutting period with a body that has definition and turns heads wherever you go.
Strategic Cardiovascular Training
Do you like performing long traditional boring cardio sessions? I assume you said no.
Low Intensity Steady State cardio (LISS), like jogging, is not the best method to lose fat.
While being in a caloric deficit, stress hormones are already elevated and LISS training raises stress hormones even higher. Also, traditional cardio tends to increase food cravings which is the last thing you want when restricting your caloric intake.
You do not have to do cardio for fat loss. Restricting calories is all that is needed to lose fat.
However, if you feel the need to burn extra calories, you may strategically add walking or high intensity cardio to increase fat burning and improve heart health.
Walking an hour a day, two to three days a week is enough exercise to boost your metabolism and drop fat. Think of this as a time to destress and get outside and see what is going on in your neighborhood. Walking is easy on your body and does not cause cravings.
If you are looking to incorporate athletic conditioning into your workouts, consider High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This is a method where you do all-out intervals of sprinting, swimming, cycling or your activity of choice for 30-60 seconds followed with 30-60 second slower paced active rest periods. Repeat these intervals several times in a session. As you get stronger and faster, add more intervals or up the intensity.
HIIT burns more calories in the same amount of time or allows for shorter workouts. HIIT stimulates more fat loss for the amount of time spent and creates a metabolic effect that can increase your fat burning for hours after your workout. Since HIIT sessions are intense and typically shorter, they do not affect your appetite too much.
Putting this together
To lose fat and get the body you want to show off in public requires a solid plan to get you to your end goal. Strategically setting up a flexible diet, intermittent fasting, with strength and thoughtful cardiovascular training, you can help you to achieve the body you want.