If you haven’t already checked out the introductory article to K.I.S.S make sure you have a look before reading this post!
This addition to the K.I.S.S series is brought to you by Sam over at The Man Blueprint and will cover fat loss – the fitness industry’s most convoluted and twisted topic. Snake oil salesmen have been trying to make a profit from fat loss since the dawn of time itself and have left a lasting murkiness around the whole topic thanks to their magic pills and potions that do a whole lot of nothing. Their essential products are only good for burning one thing – a hole in your pocket.
Luckily for you, I am here to guide you on your quest to blast the blubber, fight the fat, pound the podge & lacerate the lard. I could go on forever with them but then I wouldn’t be keeping it simple would I, stupid?
There’s three steps you need to be taking on your quest to lose fat, let’s get to it.
Step 1 – Food
You need to eat less calories than you burn per day.
This is weight loss 101 right here. Work out what your baseline calories are (more on this later) and eat less than this per day. You should be eating a larger percentage of your calories from protein when you are in a calorie deficit in order to preserve muscle mass and optimise fat burning.
You should eat mostly whole foods that’ll keep you full for as long as possible in order to minimise the feelings of hunger. I find it beneficial to drink 1-2 cups of black coffee per day to stave off hunger. I drink this during my fasting window, whereby I abstain from calorie consumption up until around 2pm every day. You can read more about the benefits of Intermittent fasting here.
The best sources of protein are beef, chicken & eggs. For those who shun animal products, your best bet is chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans. All these sources pack lots of vital nutrients that will keep you healthy during your dieting down phase.
In terms of fats and carbs, eat as much veg as you like and lots of berries with a couple of bananas to meet your vitamin quota for the day. I prefer to load up on olive oil, butter and avocados as my main fat sources and then opt for rice, potatoes and berries for carbs. Of course you can always follow The 80/20 principle and reward yourself with a few treats every week to keep you sane – just make sure they fit your macros.
Finally, chances are that you’ll miss some nutrients one way or another. Buy a multivitamin to fill in the gaps and your body will thank you. Having fully stocked levels of nutrients in the body will keep you motivated, strong and healthy – the three most important factors when embarking on a diet. Throw in some fish oil and vitamin D and you’ll feel like you could bench press your nan.
Step 2 – Exercise
Keep your exercises the same as when you weren’t trying to lose weight.
If you’re already in the gym X amount of times a week hitting the weights will all the gusto you can muster, then don’t change what you’re doing. There’s no such thing as shaping or toning exercises so keep it heavy. By constantly challenging the muscles it gives them no reason to atrophy, meaning you’ll keep hold of as much of that hard earned muscle as possible.
If you are however, not a gym rat then do not fret. Simply getting out and doing some walking will be a great start to losing fat and getting fit. You can then take up some bodyweight exercises at home – A great beginner circuit would be 5 rounds of 10 push-ups, 20 jump squats and 10 pullups. If you can’t do pull-ups then jump up to the top of the pullup position using your feet and simply do the lowering portion of the lift.
Over time you can work on doing these without the jump. You can also make the push-ups harder by doing incline, Hindu & one-arm variations. Same with squats – make these harder by doing them with one leg, holding weights in each hand etc. Then when you feel ready, you can make the jump to the weights room – Stronglifts 5×5 & Wendler 5/3/1 are my two recommendations for building muscle and strength for beginners and intermediates.
Step 3 – Track
Track your weight every day, track your food intake every day & track your measurements every month.
By tracking your weight every day, you allow yourself to counter any weight fluctuations that may occur and can create an average weight at the end of each week that allows you to measure how effective your weight loss is.
You should be aiming to lose around 0.5lbs to 1lbs a week. If you’re a more robust character you can probably double this, but if you’re looking to preserve muscle and simply target fat, these are the numbers you should be hitting.
By tracking your food intake every day you can see whether you are hitting your correct macros and calories. You should work out your baseline calorie intake and then subtract 200-500 calories from that. The best technique is to taper the calorie deficit by 200 up to 500 in a controlled manner every fortnight to keep the fat loss steady.
Finally, by taking measurements every month, you can see whether you are losing optimal amounts of fat in comparison to your muscle. If your waist is decreasing at a slower rate than your arms and chest, you’re probably not taking in enough protein OR you are in too large of a deficit. By analysing your measurements, you can counter these discrepancies before they become a major problem.
- No need for weight loss pills & potions.
- Eat less calories than you burn.
- Eat 30-35% of your calories from protein.
- Get 80% of your calories from whole food – beef, eggs, oils, fruit, veg & wholegrains.
- Try intermittent fasting supplemented with black coffee.
- Use intelligent supplementation to fill in nutritional gaps and optimise your diet.
- Keep your physical activity simple – no shaping or toning nonsense.
- LIFT WEIGHTS.
- Workout your macros.
- Track said macros every day.
- Eat 200-500 calories less than your maintenance every day.
- Track your weight every day.
- Take measurements (and progress photos if you dare) every month.
- Look shredded all day every day.