Every day I hear individuals talking or telling me that they ‘simply can’t lose fat’…
These people are quick to blame it on genetics, their budget, how busy they are and a plethora of other ridiculous factors.
They say they’ve tried EVERYTHING.
I’m calling bullshit.
You can lose fat, anyone can.
You’re Not Losing Weight – Here’s WHY
Want to drop 5lbs? Shred down to single digit body fat? Fit in that tailored suit of yours again?
You can do it provided you follow the basic principles of fat loss and remain consistent.
If you’re giving it your all and you’ve plateaued in your fat loss check to ensure you’re not making any of the 5 common mistakes listed below (in no particular order).
Recovery is more important than you think, if you’re constantly on the move, don’t have any scheduled downtime from training or find yourself getting by on only a few hours of sleep consistently don’t be surprised when you struggle to lose any of your remaining fat – this lack of sleep and rest in general increases cortisol levels in your body which reduce the rate at which fat is lost.
If you’ve been on a ‘starvation’ diet (placing your body in a huge 1000+ calorie deficit) chances are you’ve damaged your metabolism, slowing it to a halt. Rapid weight loss challenges and competition prep coaches that have no idea how to coach their clients are the 2 main causes of gym-goers with damaged metabolisms I’ve seen.
If you’re suffering from metabolic damage you need to understand that the fix involves taking 1 step backwards before you can take 2 steps forward, this is achieved by increasing your caloric intake slowly over time before re-commencing a cutting (fat loss) phase again.
Note: I’ll be doing a more detailed post on overcoming metabolic damage in the near future.
In a Caloric Surplus
To lose fat you need to be in a caloric deficit, period. You can eat 8 small meals a day if you wish or 1 large meal, but if you’re in a calorie surplus you won’t be getting anywhere in terms of fat loss. The ‘sweet spot’ for fat loss from my experience and from a number of studies I’ve seen is 500 calories below your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). By ‘sweet spot’ I’m referring to consistent fat loss at a reasonable rate without damaging your metabolism while maintaining as much lean muscle mass as possible. For a fool proof guide to calculating your calories refer to my previous post here.
Not Utilizing Cardio
Yes, you can lose fat through diet alone, no arguments there – as I said it’s all a game of calories in vs. calories out. BUT why not utilize cardio so you can eat a bit more and increase your cardiovascular health at the same time? Eating 400 calories under your TDEE + performing 200 calories worth of cardio per day is the equivalent to simply eating 600 calories under your TDEE.
Eating slightly more and off-setting the calories with cardio is a far more sustainable way to lose fat than by continually plummeting your calories because you’re too lazy to do some hill sprints.
Fat loss comes down to consistency. If you’re following your diet and training schedule Monday through Friday yet party like an animal, drink, disregard sleep and eat whatever you want over the course of the weekend don’t expect to make any significant progress – consistent fat loss comes down to making the right decisions each and every day.
Yes, the occasional cheat meal is acceptable and keeps us sane however, the whole ‘because I ate well yesterday it won’t matter if I cheat today’ mindset needs to be abolished.
Have any questions about losing fat? What troubles have you encountered on your fat loss journey?
Let me know in the comments below!
PS: My definitive guide to fat loss is now available!
Grab your copy of .F.U. Fat now while it’s on special, I GUARANTEE you it’s the only book you’ll ever need to get shredded!