If you’re just setting out on your fat loss journey, the options can be overwhelming and we want to help you out with offering 10 tips that can aid you in your efforts. Personally, when I first got into the fitness game about six years ago, I tried everything from 6 meals a day, to no-carbs, low-carbs, intermittent fasting, even Paleo for a bit… there are so many ways to approach this, and I’ve been there.
All of these options can work, but usually these plans are too strict for a beginner. If this is the first time you’ve ever tried to lose a little weight, and I tell you to completely eliminate carbs, or eat the exact same chicken and broccoli four times each day, or measure everything you eat, chances are you won’t stick to that very long.
If your goal is to get so shredded you can watch the protein shake you crush after a workout travel through your digestive system, or maybe you want to oil up and be on the cover of your favorite fitness magazine, you will need to use some advanced strategies. However, if that’s not your thing, and you’ve been struggling to drop some weight and just look better naked, this is for you.
The following list of rules has helped plenty of my clients lose weight, absolutely stress free. Read these rules, commit them to memory, and try to stick to them most of the time.
It’s all about developing habits you can stick with for the long haul, which will get you much better results than crash dieting for two weeks, dropping some weight, and gaining it all back plus some when you binge eat two pizzas and a box of brownies.
Start by evaluating your current habits. Write down everything you eat for a week, and then review it. If any of these rules aren’t already a habit, that’s okay. Just pick whichever one you think is most important for you, do your best to stick with it for two to three weeks, then work on another one.
Adding one habit at a time is a great way to change your lifestyle; trying to apply multiple rules at once is setting yourself up to fail.
Finally, the main point. If you’ve been skimming, start here. In no particular order, here are my best rules for sustainable fat loss. Good luck bros.
1. Water, and lots of it. Drink a full glass of water with each meal, and sip water between meals.
2. Portion size is everything. Every meal should contain a lean protein source about the size of your fist, twice as many vegetables, and a thumb-sized portion of healthy fats. Think peanut butter, oil, avocados, etc…
3. You should be resistance training at least three times per week. Cardio is not absolutely necessary if your diet is good, but it can be helpful to add in if you enjoy it. If you want to add it, I recommend using intervals and sprints over long walks or elliptical sessions. Just try to move more throughout the day.
4. Have the right pre-workout meal. Before each resistance training session, consume protein and some starchy carbohydrates, such as rice, potatoes, oatmeal – typical bro food.
5. After your workout, consume protein, and any carbs you want, in moderation. Aim for 40-50g of carbs from any of the above sources, or bread, chocolate milk, candy, whatever you want.
6. You should be drinking only zero-calorie beverages. Water is the best, but diet sodas won’t make you drop dead if you’re really craving one. Try to limit alcohol as much as possible, and if you must drink, keep it to 4-5 drinks per week at the most.
7. If you aren’t losing 1-2lbs each week, write down everything you eat for three days. Look over it, see what you think could be changed, and work on that. Remember, every meal is either a step towards your goal, or a step away.
8. Food choices should be mostly whole, unprocessed food. If it didn’t grow in the ground, has more than five ingredients, or it didn’t walk/swim/breathe at some point, it’s probably overly processed and loaded with chemicals and other ingredients you don’t need.
9 Nutrient timing doesn’t really matter. I recommend 3 to 4 meals a day if you aren’t counting calories, and decide to go with just portion sizes and good selections. Ultimately, results are determined by the total amount of food you take in during the day, not the timing of it.
10. Follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, stick to rules 1-9, 20% of the time, eat what you want, in moderation. If you stress over junk so much you let it make you feel guilty and mad at yourself, you’re creating some bad negative thoughts. If you eat four meals a day, you’ll take in 28 in a week. If three of those aren’t ideal, but the rest are, you’ll do just fine.
Hope that helps you guys out. Ultimately, you just want to create good habits that you’ll be able to stick to, without having to weigh your food every time you eat, carry plastic containers around so you can chow down on your tilapia every two hours, or any other crazy rules.
If you follow some other diet, you enjoy it, and it’s working for you, then by all means, keep doing that. There’s a million ways to lose fat. This is just meant to help those of you who want to look better, without having to overthink anything, follow a crazy fad diet, or make fitness an obsession.