First and foremost, no matter what the hoopla and malarkey that is touted in books, media, Instagram post “cleanses”, and articles, what reigns supreme for fat loss is being in a caloric deficit.
While biochemistry and metabolic processes are deeply complex, everything that is, was, and ever will be, is controlled by physics.
This includes the law of thermodynamics that the metabolism of every single one of our bodies adheres to. These laws are incapable of being broken.
So, you must eat less than you burn over a duration of time to lose weight.
You hear that everywhere. “I just need to lose weight, I’m cutting back on alcohol or insert unhealthy X type of food because I need to lose weight”
That shows from the beginning they’re not going to succeed. Because they’re not measuring what they actually want.
When people say, they want to lose weight, they’re saying they are fat and want to lose fat.
They want to lose fat. They don’t want to lose weight. You can drop 30 pounds if you cut your leg off. You don’t want to do that.
You want your body to mobilize the fat in your cells you’ve accumulated over time because of eating or drinking X.
No you want to mobilize the fat in your cells you’ve accumulated overtime because you ate and drank more calories than you burned. It has nothing to do with drinking or eating X.
Mistake 1. Calories
Now insulin, cravings, and meal timing do play roles, but no matter the metabolic function, caloric intake is the ultimate decider. That is because physics is the ultimate decider.
So, limiting starch, eating fruit, doing a cleanse is not the means to the end you want. Do not dismiss the main principles. You must be in a caloric deficit to lose FAT. And you do not want to lose weight, you want to lose FAT.
You don’t believe me…
Let’s go to the extremes of body composition.
Their success depends GREATLY on how much fat they have accumulated or stirpped on their bodies. This is the system they use. They don’t use cleanses, smart juices, or aimlessly eat “clean” foods. They systematically reduce their calories.
More on why you want to lose fat here.
Mistake 2: Breaking yourself down rather than fat
You can break yourself down by focusing too much on the scale.
You know those people…
They’re living and dying by the numbers on their scale.
Which doesn’t measure total fat loss.
Now, the scale does help, but it is a single tool. And tools can be over used OR underutilized. You can use a hammer to change your vehicles oil, but its not the greatest idea.
There are two types of people
Weigh themselves everyday
Weigh themselves once a week
Your mindset and approach matters when it comes to the scale
The first mistake begins even before they can lose an ounce. The overall focus should be a on a longer time scale. Most are generally so overly stimulated by some of the nonsense they miss the main principles.
Wanting something instantaneous and having unrealistic expectations “Like drop 20 lbs in 3 weeks” is much more enticing than, “feel good during your slow fat loss” so if they are losing weight, it isn’t fast enough.
If you drop 2 lbs. on your scale, take that as a positive and focus on the next 2 not “ah I just want it to be 4” do you know what would of happened if you would have lost 4? You’re most likely going to wish it was 8.
You have to understand it is a process.
Focus on a weekly goal. The first week is typically a variance of weight loss anyways.
When you do lose 6 pounds in one week. Most of that is water
The scale can be a tool you use but not one you can rely on, at least on a day to day basis. It’s average along with measurements can be relied on.
There are countless people I worked with that live and die by the scale day to day. It effects their mood and their entire day. The body fluctuates in weight by various things glycogen, salt levels, water, the last time you ate and the composition of that meal.
Don’t begin your day with a mindset of failure. If you haven’t lost anything that day, don’t severe your leg or restrict your meals further.
Individuals start their day with a morning weigh in and if they happen to have not lost anything, or gained a single pound it begins their day negatively.
Don’t let this be the making or breaking point. Then you’re approaching all of your following meals as a loss for that day because you didn’t lose weight. No, you progressively are. The body is under no obligation to have a linear slope of weight loss each and every single day to keep you happy.
You have your calorie deficit in place. Don’t be discouraged if you lose or gain a single ounce within a few days. Take the average and if you didn’t lose as much as you wanted, adjust accordingly within a reasonable means.
Now, a sure-fire way to avoid this is take an average of your weight over the course of 10 days. That will show you how much weight you’re losing.
How to make sure you’re losing the right WEIGHT, aka fat. Use the scale and average your weight loss. As well as measuring your waist size.
How to measure your waist size.
Measure yourself around the naval, not flexing or sticking out your gut, just normal posture. This also can be done every 7-10 days to make sure you are progressing.
Ask yourself what you want
The next 8 weeks can be tolerable maybe a little uncomfortable and you have a 80% chance of keeping your results
Or the next 4 weeks can be undeniably painful, not a good experience and the ground you’ve made on your weight loss has an 80% chance of returning back to the way it was prior.
Over a third of lost weight tends to return within the first year and the majority is gained back within 3 to 5 years
I choose the former. And you should potentially do the same.
Fast results typically yield unsustainable results.
Some do great on very low calorie diets, see this post here about losing weight quickly. But there are downfalls to doing this.
But, for the majority of people, crash dieting is painful and should be scoffed at as juvenile. It’s just being impatient.
For example, it is like being rude at the dinner table, while waiting your turn to apply the food on your plate but you’re insisting you get the dishes applied to your plate first or stating snarky comments the entire time about the pace. Sure, you get your food quicker, but everything around is now in a worse state than it once was at the table or could have been if you’d just waited patiently.
The same goes with losing weight, if you rapidly and naively just stop eating or restrict it severely, you’re going to lose your weight, some will be fat undoubtedly, but everything is going to be in worse conditions than it once was or could be.
If you hadn’t been a terse juvenile whose impatience ruined the evening before it even started you could have had a great conversation with all who are partaking in the meal, but now they just all silently are thinking you’re an asshole.
If you’re impatient with your weight loss you’re going to be left with the status you wanted, but everything else is going to be sub-par. You’re going to lose muscle, your interpersonal life will have suffered, you’re going to be incredibly hungry, your energy levels will be down, and your workouts will suffer. For what? An extra 4 lbs. on the scale? I implore you to not be that guy or gal at the dinner table in reality as well as figuratively with your weight loss.
First and foremost do not think of your weight loss needing to be a constant downhill slalom of dropping numbers everyday.
You body is under no obligation to match the weight loss you’re envisioning day to day. You need to AVERAGE on a week to week basis. If you worry about your day to day weight you’re going to go insane.
Think of you chipping away your weight week by week. Avoiding the “Scorch Earth” method of crash dieting.
When you stop focusing on the scale day to day you’re going to have an immense relief. It allows you your sanity.
Understanding you don’t have to be perfect tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next day…..
If you are hungry on a day EAT, just don’t binge.
A single day of eating is not going to throw off your progress (hold your horses do not run away and go binge Funions) for the long term
If you are eating in a calorie deficit for a whole week of 500 calories each and everyday
And then on one of these days have a desert which puts you over your calories burned by 500 calories for that day….
You’re going to still have lost weight on day 7…
That is why averaging works so beautifully. You don’t have to be perfect tomorrow. You just have to be focused enough to keep consistent. In fact, the weight you didn’t lose will be negligible.
Mistake 3: Overtly doing Obnoxious CardiO
People think losing weight requires strenuous amounts of cardio and no weight training.
There’s a mistake that you’re going to have this radical transformation if you just lose those 20 lbs you’ll be muscular. No, you need to be muscular to be muscular. And how is that? Resistance training. If you don’t properly train you’re going to be a smaller version of yourself.
People up the cardio but neglect the part of their bodies they want to keep. More is not better when it comes to cardio. It ups your appetite and runs your body down. Walking is a great cardio to implement if you do want to expand a calorie deficit but not expand your appetite.
If you have not exercised in a long while, or ever. Cutting calories and running long durations on the treadmill is going to shock your endocrine system, have you lose muscle, and going to be impossible to sustain. It does very little for fat loss
What to do
Eat in a calorie deficit
Now, the greater the calorie deficit, the faster the weight loss, but if you make it too great (by eating too little of calories), you’re going to run into numerous issues associated to “starvation dieting.”
but don’t over do it. Resistance training is hard. It is equally hard on your central nervous system and overlaying a calorie deficit on top of it (especially when you have not been accustomed to it) is going to be taxing.
If you are first beginning resistance training start off slow. You would be surprised how much little resistance your body needs to be stimulated and retain your muscle
Eat high protein
Its going to preserve muscle mass
Its going to keep you fuller longer
Be sure to eat around .8 grams to 1.2 grams per lb. of body weight.
If you have these things in place you will be losing your desired weight (Fat, not severing your leg) in no time. Fat loss takes time and consistency be sure to enjoy the time during the fat loss stage because if you’re strenuously beating yourself to death and stressed out about it, what’s the point?
Thanks for reading this article I hope you enjoyed it.
Don’t hesitate to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply each question!
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