3 Principles for Successful Fat Loss Everyone Should Know
Working towards a body composition goal can be a tricky process sometimes. There is a lot of information out there detailing various methods to get shredded. To be honest, it can get confusing even for someone who has been around the gym scene for a while and stays pretty well-informed.
There are many, many, different methods out there for fat loss that I can think of off the top of my head. I can come up with at least ten different dieting strategies that are popular for gym rats to follow in order to get shredded.
If you were to break all of these methods down and strip away all the hype, there are very basic principles that all diets follow in order for users to lose fat. The key is to find a method that fits best into your lifestyle and make sure that you are still following these fundamental principles that will govern fat-loss for everyone.
Marc Lobliner presents his fat loss tips for the obese and inactive.
Principle Number 1 – Negative Energy Balance
That’s right folks. No matter which method you choose or what diet cult you belong to you will have to obey this fundamental principle. But, we never count calories on the XYZ- diet! You don’t have to count calories to put get into a negative energy balance.
You can count whatever you want, macros, calories, points, blocks, meals, hours between meals…whatever. The point here is that you will have to quantify somehow how much you are eating on average now and subtract a little to get yourself into a negative energy balance.
Some examples of this would be if you are eating six small meals a day cutting back to five could be a good place to start. If you count calories then subtracting 200 is a step in the right direction. If you are counting macros cleaving off a couple grams of carbs or fats should do the trick.
Or, you could not change a thing and add in another 30 minutes of exercise a day so you can dip into a negative energy balance. It doesn’t matter how you get in a negative energy balance to lose fat only that you stay there if you wish to continue to lose fat.
Principle Number 2 – Quality Matters in the Long Run
It’s possible to lose weight eating nothing but Twinkies, Slim Jims, French fries, and beef jerky as long as you create a negative energy balance. In fact, that may be fun for a time. However, in the long run, the human body seems to function better on a diet of whole/minimally processed food.
Vegetables should be a constant in your meals as they are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. The same goes for fruit on a smaller scale. Quality lean meats should also be included in most of your meals from week to week. These minimally processed, nutrient dense, whole foods will provide more benefits than mere fat-loss, they will also provide the benefit of a body that functions optimally and is free of any nutrient deficiency.
If you haven’t been consuming these foods regularly and are used to lower quality foods start by making small changes to you daily food choices and gradually work to replace lower quality foods with high quality, minimally processed whole foods one meal at a time. Trying to overhaul your diet rarely works long term, slow and steady wins the race.
Principle Number 3 – Consistency and Adherence
This is the most important principle when it comes to long term success in fat loss and is where most people fail. This is especially true with the New Year crowd.
When it comes to fat loss, no matter what method you adhere to, you must stick to the plan at least 80% of the time starting out. As you become leaner you will have to stick to it more like 95% of the time for fat-loss to continue. This means that if you eat 42 meals a week (six small meals a day), starting out at least 34 must be on point, and the meals not on point should be small enough to keep you in a negative energy balance.
This is would look like Friday night and all day Saturday off diet starting out and back to work on Sunday. Then you would slowly progress by tightening up your meals on Saturday and only having a cheat meal instead of a cheat day.
The key to a successful fat loss journey is to start with an appropriate number of meals that you know that you can be successful with. Slowly build on that number once you are in the habit of eating higher quality foods and planning your meals out in advance.
When you establish these habits it is a recipe for sustained fat-loss over a longer period of time that will limit any chances of binging or rebound weight gain associated with fad diets and short term, quick weight-loss solutions. The journey to fat-loss is a marathon not a sprint.
Final Thoughts on Fat Loss
So, to bring it all together, if you follow the information presented with these three principles of fat-loss for 2016 your fat-loss goal will become attainable and you will be surprised at how simple it is.
- Get into a negative energy balance
- Food quality matters in the long run
- Consistency and adherence
If you are reading this saying, “Duh!” ask yourself if your body composition is where you want it to be and if not why not? Chances are it is not going to be a problem with whether or not you are doing intermittent fasting or a bro-diet, or timing your carbs in the anabolic window, but rather a problem with one or all of these three principles. Keep things simple to follow, establish good habits, and adopt the mindset that there are no short cuts or quick fixes to fat-loss.
Remember even professional bodybuilders give themselves three months to drop into insane levels of leanness. If you are coming down from a higher body fat level than most pros in the off season give yourself enough time to reach whatever your leanness goals are. Happy New Year and best of luck in 2016.