7 Fat Loss Principles No One Talks About

7 Fat Loss Principles No One Talks About October 18, 2018Leave a comment

Look, we get it.

In order to lose body fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit, you need to lift weights, and you need to be consistent.

There’s only so many ‘food swap’ infographics we can take that all say the same thing though.

Because let’s face it, we’re not actually going to eat a cauliflower pizza, are we?

But behind the in-your-face online coaches who scream ‘calorie deficit’ 24/7, there lies some even more important fat loss principles.

The principles no one talks about.

The tenets of fat loss that often get swept under the carpet as green ticks and red crosses and cute looking emojis are shoved down our faces instead.

These principles are far more important than being aware that a ‘healthy’ Chicken Caesar Wrap can, indeed, have more calories than a 6 Inch Steak & Cheese Sub.

These principles are as important as deficits and calories and ‘what progress actually looks like’, yet no one ever talks about them…

1. Learn To Cook

We’re not expecting you to get all Michelin star on us, but learning how to cook is an enormously underrated skill. Especially when it comes to maximising fat loss results.

Learning how to follow a recipe, utilise a variety of ingredients, and produce a hearty meal that hasn’t just been stuck in the microwave for four minutes, will quickly diminish any bad and damaging eating habits you boast.

Studying the fundamentals of cooking will not only open your mind to the fact that eating ‘healthy’ doesn’t have to be mind-numbingly boring, but will make you more self-sufficient at other areas in your life.

The lure of a cheap and convenient take-away won’t be as tempting either.

Cooking opens up your world to infinite possibilities in taste and satisfaction, and will inadvertently help escalate those fat loss results.

 

2. You Have To Constantly Adapt

Setting an initial calorie deficit, an opening protein target, and following a gym plan is easy. It’s what everyone does.

The principle no one talks about, however? Having to constantly tinker with that initial plan.

Things aren’t going to stay the same. Motivation, progress, bodyweight, hunger levels, body shape, and determination are all going to fluctuate, change, and become drastically different to when you first embark on your fat loss journey.

Most people still approach fat loss in month six the way they approached it on day one.

And when they inevitably fall off the wagon, or find themselves stuck in a sticky patch, they don’t adapt or amend their methods; they end up shouting from the rooftops: ‘that diet didn’t work’.

The ones that successfully shed the body fat and keep it off? They’re constantly adapting.

Just because their fat loss plan says one thing, doesn’t mean they have to adhere to that one particular rule for the rest of their life. They can change it. Tinker with it. They try something, maybe fail, amend it, try again, and probably succeed.

For most people, it isn’t a case of if they fail with their fat loss plan, but when.

As Dr Kyra Bobinet, founder of the principle ‘Design Thinking’ (talking on Danny Lennon’s Sigma Nutrition Podcast) says: ‘Just as Apple have different iterations of their iPhones, whereby they’re constantly looking to improve their product, people who succeed at changing their behaviours think like these designers.

Which means they practice or experiment with something, and if that’s something that fails them at some point, instead of thinking they failed, they iterate, they tweak it, they tinker with it, and that’s what sets them apart.’

Fat loss isn’t always so black and white.

Adapting, experimenting, and thinking for yourself is often the game-change people can look to in order to ensure they last well beyond the customary three weeks they’re used to dieting for.

3. The Time Of The Month Matters

Ladies, this one’s for you. Guys, you should still read it, because well, we know they matter for you too.

It’s unfortunately harder for women to lose body fat. While they burn fewer calories than men, and generally have a harder time losing body fat because of the whole survival and ‘having a baby’ thing, one of the main reasons for their struggles, and the factor that is often forgotten about, is the menstrual cycle.

During the 28-day cycle, women’s weight can fluctuate, hunger can rapidly increase, and strength can be affected.

It’s one of the most overlooked reasons for women struggling to lose body fat successfully.

The menstrual cycle has three distinct phases: The Follicular Phase, Ovulation, and The Luteal Phase. While not absolutely essential, paying some attention to how women’s training and nutrition should vary between these phases, can be beneficial for maximising fat loss progress.

The first – follicular – phase is the time in the cycle when females should be able to push harder. Due to elevated estrogen levels, you’ll find you’re a lot more tolerant to pain and have increased strength.

The second – ovulation – phase will be when your strength and performance is at its highest. Hunger, especially cravings for sugar and carbs, will also be higher during ovulation. Making sure you consume enough protein during this period for satiety is vital.

The third – luteal – phase is when women will feel the most lethargic and irritated, and have the biggest sugar and carb cravings. It may be wise to focus on lighter training during this phase and not be afraid to bump up your calorie intake slightly.

While the menstrual cycle does make fat loss a bit harder for women, it doesn’t mean it’s entirely impossible.

Considerations such as when you should decrease or increase calories, when you should be wary of strength decreases, and when it might be wise to track progress, should be considered in order to ensure you’re still making progress.

4. Eat As Much As You Can, While Progressing As Much As You Can

Most fat loss journeys like the principle of acquiring results fast. Like really fast.

While an initial surge in fat loss will improve motivation in the short-term, as a long-term strategy, rapid weight loss seldom works.

While we know that low-calorie, crash diets are a big no-no right now – even if we do still see people embarking on cayenne lemon water diets to lose a few pre-holiday pounds – how can we ensure we create a calorie deficit big enough to see results, but not so big we screw ourselves over in the long term?

Let me introduce Sophie and Zoe, two fitness fanatics who want to shed a few post-university pounds.

They both decide to see who can lose the most amount of weight over the next 6 months.

Their maintenance calories – the amount of calories required to maintain their current weight – comes in at 2200 calories.

In order to shed body fat, Sophie decides to cut her calories by about 300, giving her a total of 1900 to aim for. Zoe, however, decides to cut her calories by about 1000, giving her a required target of 1200.

Zoe sheds a crap-tonne more weight and body fat in the first few weeks. She’s hungry, lethargic, and is constantly missing out on all the foods she’s not having anymore, but she’s happy her clothes are feeling much looser.

Sophie, however, hasn’t lost as much, but is still feeling content with the foods she’s eating and the way she’s living her life.

A couple of months later and they check in with each other again.

Zoe’s progress has stalled. The emphatic results she experienced in the first few weeks are long gone and not only is she miserable, but she doesn’t have any more calories to cut for fear of ending up with a diet of celery sticks and daikon radishes.

Sophie, on the other hand, still hasn’t lost as much weight, but as her progress has stalled slightly as well, she decides to make a change.

Because she’d been eating more initially, she now has more room to ‘manoeuvre’. She can reduce her 1900 calorie target to 1600 and still continue to make progress without feeling deprived.

Zoe is not happy. Sophie is.

The principle no one talks about therefore?

Setting yourself an extremely low calorie target from the off will not only result in feelings of deprivation and misery, but will allow you minimal ‘wiggle room’ later down the line to adjust things when results start to plateau.

You should always aim to eat as much as you can while still progressing.

If you can lose weight on 1900 calories, you’ll be in a better position long term to stick to that, as opposed to automatically starting off with 1200 – or a similarly low figure.

Progress will be longer-lasting, you won’t experience a hefty rebound, and you’ll have more room to play with.

5. Stop Putting Pressure On Yourself

The desire to lose weight, make rapid progress, and look the best you can is relentless.

While we all want to shed some serious body fat, it’s worth noting that sometimes IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER.

The more pressure you put on yourself, the less likely you are to succeed.

Self-pressure is the term used for the mental expectations you have about yourself that differ from what you really need in that moment.

You: ‘Omg you should have lost 2lbs this week, what are you playing at?’

Other You: ‘But I worked so hard and ate so well and didn’t even have a drink at the weekend’

You: ‘Well you need to do more, work harder, and try other things’

Other You: ‘I just don’t think I can. I give up. Give me the wine’.

If you put all that self-pressure on yourself to lose a certain amount of weight by a certain amount of time, all you do is end up feeling guilty, frustrated, and like a failure if that doesn’t happen.

You can’t ‘effort’ the fat off.

And by thinking that more effort equates to more weight loss, all you do is put unnecessary strain on yourself – both physically and mentally.

The moment you rely on the PROCESS to get you through the week, or month, or year, and not necessarily the end goal, the easier you’ll find things.

Self-pressure to achieve a particular target seldom works.

Find the sweet spot of working on the factors that lead to that end goal – getting to the gym, hitting calorie targets, making sure you’re eating enough fruit and vegetables etc.  – and then you’ll start to see those results.

6. Food Quality Matters

The notion that you can ‘eat whatever you want’ and still lose body fat, is still somewhat circling the fat loss internet kinfolk.

While this is, of course, true, the mantra of shoving cakes, biscuits, and protein pumpkin spice waffles down your throat every day, is somewhat flawed.

Food selection can be an important tool in your arsenal when it comes to losing body fat.

Honing in on foods that keep you satiated for longer, avoiding your very own ‘trigger foods’, and prioritising whole, nutrient-rich, minimally processed foods, go well beyond just figuring out your macros and letting the magic of science do the rest.

Satiety

The Satiety Index indicates how ‘full’ a certain food will leave you.

Foods that rank higher up in the satiety index are foods that keep you feeling fuller for a longer. These usually contain high protein, water and fibre content.

On the flip side, hyper-palatable foods like cookies, doughnuts, chips etc. score pretty poorly on the index due to their lack of protein, fibre, and water content.

The reason you’re feeling hungry all the time is because your diet is largely made up of those crappy, hyper-palatable foods. That vicious cycle continues when you try to fill yourself up with, yep, even more hyper-palatable foods.

By centering your diet around foods such as potatoes, meats, fish, fruit and vegetables, you’ll find you won’t be hungry five minutes after you’ve put your knife and fork down.

Trigger Foods

Trigger foods are the foods that instigate a splurge of overeating, after just one bite or smell.

That particular food is highly linked to emotions and sensations of pleasure, and is often caught up in a two-way street: food influences our emotions and emotions influence food decisions.

By setting out to reduce these trigger foods, and not just ‘fitting them into your macros’ will enable you to stick to any calorie or macro targets for longer.

If you know one chocolate biscuit is going to lead to a whole pack of chocolate biscuits, it’s probably best to avoid them.

7. Do The Work Yourself

Personal trainers want to coach you. Diet gurus want you to buy their books. Joe Wicks wants you to follow him on Instagram. Supplement companies want you to buy their latest shark cartilage and castoreum pills.

All of these answers, remedies, and fixes are irrelevant.

Everybody wanting to sell you their ‘fat loss solution’ doesn’t tell you that you’re going to have to put in the work.

‘Doing the work’ is a principle people don’t like to shout about; because it scares people.

Unfortunately, no one is coming to save you.

We can shout about calorie deficits, getting to the gym, and reducing stress all we like, but if you’re not willing to work hard, keep going when shit hits the fan, and give everything you’ve got to the cause, no amount of fat loss will occur.

As Jill Coleman says:

Sometimes there’s no one who can help you. That’s what you’re for.’

So buckle in, prepare for the toughest ride of your life, and do the work.

Adhere to this principle and chances are you’ll soon see the results you’ve been yearning for, for years.

 

This Article Was Too Long And I Didn’t Read It – Can You Summarise It Please

The fitness industry is saturated with the same, clichéd fat loss messages. While they’re of course still important, some of the fat loss principles that don’t get a look in, are just as, if not more important:

Learn To Cook – Learning how to follow a recipe, utilise a variety of ingredients, and produce a hearty meal that hasn’t just been stuck in the microwave for four minutes, will quickly diminish any bad and damaging eating habits you boast.

You Have To Constantly Adapt – The ones that successfully shed the body fat and keep it off? They’re constantly adapting.

Just because their fat loss plan says one thing, doesn’t mean they have to adhere to that one particular rule for the rest of their life. They can change it. Tinker with it. They try something, maybe fail, amend it, try again, and probably succeed.

Periods Matter – While the menstrual cycle does make fat loss a bit harder for women, it doesn’t mean it’s entirely impossible.

Considerations such as when you should decrease or increase calories, when you should be wary of strength decreases, and when it might be wise to track progress, should be taken into account in order to ensure you’re still making progress.

Eat As Much As You Can While Progressing As Much As You Can – Setting yourself an extremely low calorie target from the off will not only result in feelings of deprivation and misery, but will allow you minimal ‘wiggle room’ later down the line to adjust things when results start to plateau.

You should always aim to eat as much as you can while still progressing.

Stop Putting Pressure On Yourself – Self-pressure to achieve a particular target seldom works.

Find the sweet spot of working on the factors that lead to that end goal – getting to the gym, hitting calorie targets, making sure you’re eating enough fruit and vegetables etc.  – and then you’ll start to see those results.

Food Quality Matters – Food selection can be an important tool in your arsenal when it comes to losing body fat. Honing in on foods that keep you satiated for longer and avoiding your very own ‘trigger foods’ go well beyond just figuring out your macros and letting the magic of science do the rest.

Do The Work Yourself – Unfortunately, no one is coming to save you.

We can shout about calorie deficits, getting to the gym, and reducing stress all we like, but if you’re not willing to work hard, keep going when shit hits the fan, and give everything you’ve got to the cause, no amount of fat loss will occur.

How To Win At Fat Loss

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Download my FREE eBook on How To Win At Fat Loss and you’ll learn…

  • Why everyone usually fails when it comes to trying to shed body fat
  • Why you should be lifting weights
  • Why calories are so important
  • Why weighing yourself is a no-no
  • Why mastering nutritional habits are the key to success

All so you can…

  • Finally stop failing and start winning at fat loss
  • Finally shed inches, drop dress sizes, and actually see a change for once
  • Finally transform your body and mind so you’re not constantly battling those dieting demons
  • Finally figure out how to lose the fat, keep it off, and flaunt the figure you’ve always dreamt of displaying
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