In this article, you’ll get some of the best advice towards how to lose fat, under the form of 9 applicable tips.
Before you go on, it’s important to note that whatever advice you decide to follow, it will require consistency if you want to see results. You won’t find any “secrets” or miracles here – just plain diet and training science.
The information has been brought together into a gorgeous infographic for you to read, download, and print if you wish.
Eat in a caloric deficit (calculate TDEE)
Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is an estimation of how many calories you burn per day when exercise is taken into account. It is calculated by first figuring out your Basal Metabolic Rate, then multiplying that value by an activity multiplier.
Since your BMR represents how many calories your body burns when at rest, it is necessary to adjust the numbers upwards to account for the calories you burn during the day.
There are a bunch of TDEE calculators online which will give you similar results. An approximation is fine however. You don’t want to be stressing about exactly how many calories you are getting in.
You need to have an estimation of your maintenance calories for each day (which is what the TDEE calculator will give you), and then eat 300-500 calories less than that, to be in a caloric deficit. Remember, you also don’t want to spend your day counting every calorie you eat to be as accurate as possible. This will only make it harder for you to remain consistent and you may give up altogether or get tired of counting.
You can use MyfitnessPal to count calories of your average meals a few times to get an idea of how many calories you are getting in, but that’s it. Don’t worry about counting absolutely everything, just try to estimate how much you are getting in everyday, trying to remain in that caloric deficit of 300 to 500 calories.
Eat a balanced whole food diet.
Most foods today are processed and composed with a mix and mash of transformed and/or harmful ingredients. A whole food diet is optimal for nutrition and your own health. It will provide you with all the right nutrients (fiber, vitamins and minerals, and more) you may have been lacking from on a regular, transformed food diet.
Here is a small list of processed foods vs whole foods taken from Verywellfit.
- Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and beans are whole foods. Fruit Rollups, fruit drinks, “bean chips” and soy sausages are not.
- Milk is a whole food, while processed cheese is not (regular cheese is minimally processed, with the “processing” caused mainly by bacteria, molds, etc.).
- A grilled chicken leg is a whole food, while a chicken nugget is not.
- A potato is a whole food, while a flavored potato chip is not.
- Corn on the cob is a whole food, while corn flakes or anything that includes high fructose corn syrup or other molecules derived from corn is not.
- Brown rice, quinoa, and barley are whole foods. Products which include refined carbohydrates or processed grains such as puffed rice, brown rice syrup, or anything made with white flour are not.
- Anything with added sugars, including anything from the list of hidden sugars, is not a whole food (honey is arguably an exception).
There are different ways to fast, some involving not eating for a day or more at a time, and others for a certain amount of hours after you wake up or restricting your calories on certain days. All however, involve decrease in insulin levels, increase in human growth hormones, and production of Norepinephrine. These promote and facilitate fat loss.
The main reason that intermittent fasting works for weight loss, is that it helps you eat fewer calories. All of the different protocols involve skipping meals during the fasting periods. Unless you compensate by eating much more during the eating periods, then you will be taking in fewer calories.
Find a type of training you enjoy and stick to it
When trying to lose weight, it’s much more effective to pair a proper diet with exercise for faster results. Now when most people think of exercise and weight loss, they immediately imagine they have to wake up everyday at 5 AM and run for 2 hours, until they are so miserable and sore that they give up altogether.
The truth is that it doesn’t have to be something you dislike, and that it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are moving your body, and enjoy what you are doing.
Everyone has their preferred method of training, you may enjoy swimming, tennis, wrestling, sprinting, table tennis, football, calisthenics, weightlifting, boxing, whatever – the only thing that matters is that you enjoy it enough to keep doing it.
High intensity interval training is an anaerobic form of cardio that is requires short bursts of high intensity effort. This can be done with sprinting, rope jumping, burpees, swimming, and more. During these short intervals of high intensity efforts, your muscles are deprived of oxygen, putting them into a constant state of fat burning that can last up to 48 h.
Change your habits
Eat out less often/pick healthier places
Educate yourself on quick prepare meals that are healthier so that eating healthy is an easy choice. Sometimes if you don’t feel like cooking yourself and are tempted to go out to eat, if you know you can prepare yourself a delicious meal just as quickly and for a cheaper price, you will save money and benefit from a more nutritious meal.
If you do eat out, try to stay away or reduce trips to fast foods and restaurants alike. You can pick places that have more whole food based meals such as rice or pasta – Vietnamese, Korean, or Japanese restaurants perhaps?
If you are in America especially, fast foods tend to serve larger portions that anywhere else in the world, more fries, larger drink sizes, larger burger, everything is super sized. Remember that you may enjoy filling yourself as much as possible with huge portions of food, but your body certainly has a hard time digesting it, without mentioning the complete lack in nutrients.
Cut out unnecessary eating and foods
People have different habits and things they like to do almost by automatism when they are bored or feel even slightly hungry. If you are used to downing packets of crisps, or having fizzy drinks, various pastries, cakes, sweets and anything else alike, you could switch to a healthier alternative like nuts, fruits, and water.
You could also switch foods that are unnecessarily high in sugar like cereal, and replace it with a delicious smoothie in the morning. You can put whatever you like in it and there are hundreds of recipes online, but I personally find that bananas, strawberries, blueberries, oats and almond milk go very well together.
You can get frozen fruits for a reasonable price and put those in your smoothie every day. Feel free to even add some kale, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables.
Build discipline and consistency
This one is last on the list, but ironically, it’s probably the most important thing. For without discipline and consistency, everything written above becomes useless. I often see people making goals for themselves (which in itself is great), but going at them the wrong way.
Instead of working on them gradually, step by step, building up the momentum, they will go all out, cutting their food intake dramatically, eating bland, unsatisfying meals, performing horrible, long cardio intensive workouts, getting up unnecessarily early.
What happens is that they maintain this for a few days, weeks, maybe 2 months a most, and then slowly, they will sleep in, they’ll eat more junk, the intensity of their exercise routine will diminish, until eventually, they decide that they aren’t satisfied with their results, stop everything, and find themselves back at their starting point.
First of all, if you want results, you will need consistency. That’s what will keep you working on your goals in a balance way week after week. You can’t eat clean for a week, shit for another, and then clean for another, same with your workouts – you can’t workout for 3 hours on a Monday, to skip every other workout that week.
Secondly, if you are to remain consistent, you will also need discipline. You need to understand that the very motivation that pushed you towards setting those goals and starting a diet and working out is not infinite. On some days you will not want to work on your goals at all, you will hate what you are doing and may be tempted to skip it altogether and get that instant gratification by eating a nice pizza for example, or skip your workout for an afternoon or television.
Although it’s important to find time to do things you enjoy and eat some of the unhealthier things that you may crave, from time to time, it should never be colliding with your goals.
Discipline is built on a daily basis. If you have discipline, you will remain consistent.
How to lose fat – Conclusion
So in this article we have divided weight loss into 3 categories; diet, exercise, and habit. If you work on those accordingly, you will see results.
As you’ve gathered by now, it’s not really that complicated, nor are we delving to deep into the science of fat burning, or making any special promises with “insane 4 week weight loss programs”- keep it simple, keep it effective, and be consistent.
Now that you have this information, will you get to work? comment below!