So you want to know how to lose 20 pounds or more from your frame… Well, after reading this article, you will have 4 skills and the 8 best practices required to do just that.
I think I know what’s on your mind right now:
“Egis, you’re a brainless fucknut! I want to lose more than 20 pounds…”
By saying “you” I mean “they” because, since you’re reading this article, you must be smart enough to know that the skills and practices you are about to learn apply for ANY goal – from losing 20 to 200 pounds. From nutrition to gymnastics.
So even if your goal is to lose the extra 120 pounds from around your waist, here is how you are going to do that:
Goal setting is often where most dieters stop. To really attain your goal, you have to build your skills for goal achievement.
This goes a few levels deeper:
- What’s the goal that you want to achieve (eg. lose 20 pounds)?
- What are the skills required to attain that goal?
- What are the daily practices (habits) that will help you to build those skills?
Now, I know that building skills and learning daily practices approach isn’t as sexy as “six-second abs” and magical raspberry ketones are but this is how you achieve LASTING results. This is how you keep weight off.
Eliminating carbohydrates or fasting is simple but it teaches you absolutely NOTHING. If your goal is not only to lose 20 pounds but keep it off too, you have to learn a helluva lot of skills and daily practices.
Continuing in this vein, let’s dive into the first set of skills and practices.
Skill #1: Eat Mostly Whole Foods Consistently
Like I wrote in How To Lose Weight In 40 Pages ebook (shameless plug), there is an overabundance of desperate dieters wondering what foods will give them the magical weight loss advantage, and which foods in any amount will doom them to a fate of obesity.
The truth is, you can eat absolute rubbish and still lose weight because, at the end of the day, a caloric deficit is what matters. (source).
If you don’t know how much you should be eating to lose fat, shoot me an email at email@example.com.
The only food that is “bad” for weight loss is food that you tend to overeat. Burgers, cupcakes, fries, white bread, etc. are only “bad” if they add heaps of calories to your diet and take you out of a deficit.
That said, you should still base your diet mostly (~80%) around whole foods because QUALITY affects QUANTITY.
Now, every sustainable diet method out there has some things in common. And the following daily practices are among them:
Have Lean Protein With Each Meal
Protein isn’t just for getting jacked. Higher protein intake has been consistently proven to be more effective for fat loss too1, 2, 3, 4, 5 . There is enough research supporting this concept to choke a Sarlacc—the nasty pit-of-death monster that Jabba the Hutt wanted to throw Han Solo into.
Absolutely every meal of yours should have a protein source – lean meat, low-fat cottage cheese, soy products, low-fat Greek yogurt, white fish, eggs, tofu, etc.
With that said, when building your meal, look for a protein source and get that on your plate. Next, have a serving of a whole food carbohydrate source. Finally, add some veggies and colors to your plate.
Eat 5-10 Servings Of Vegetables & Fruits A Day
Every client of mine knows the rule of “volume” which states:
When calories go down, food volume goes up.
This is important because once you cut your calorie intake, hunger kicks in. That’s where fruits and veggies come in. With the massive volume that they provide, you get only a fraction of calories.
The good news is eating the right amount of fruits & veggies don’t have to be complicated. Here are some examples of about one serving:
Skill #2: Minimize Highly Palatable Foods
Palatable foods are the ones that have a “perfect” mix between sugar and salt. These are the foods that you would refer to as “mouth-watering”. Think of chocolate, ice cream, cupcakes, pizza, cheesecake, etc.
A review of human laboratory studies showed that greater palatability results in higher short-term calorie intake6.
Before I get my ass handed to me for telling you to give up your favorite cheesecake, remember that you only need to MINIMIZE it. Not necessarily eliminate. A too rigid diet is a one-way road to weight regain city.
Here’s cut from my book:
Rigid control makes you become fixated on foods that you can’t eat. When you tell yourself that you can’t eat ice cream, it becomes of higher value to you.
Your mind starts to focus on what it is that you are missing out on. It drains your willpower the fuck out.
Eventually, you will have that one taste of something forbidden and go on a Blizzard binge that makes you sick.
— Egis R.
With that being said, here are the daily practices to minimize palatable foods in your diet:
Make Smart Carbohydrate Choices (most of the time)
To the people who villainize carbs and postulate that they make you gain weight:
Satan is watching you and shuffling papers on his desk and thinking, “Shit… I’m not even sure we have a level of Hell for people who do that.”
Carbohydrates don’t make you fat. Nor insulin or sugar. Overeating does! (carbohydrate myth here).
That’s why I said you need to make smart carb choices MOST OF THE TIME. It’s totally fine to have “fun” foods here and there as long as you are aware of your daily caloric budget.
That said, base your diet around whole grains and fruits. Do that and you will minimize palatable and calorie-dense food intake by default.
Eat Healthy Fats
Highly palatable foods are often full of trans fat. These are the fats that have been shown to increase the risk of coronary artery disease in part by rising levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, often referred to as “bad cholesterol”).
So, you want to avoid these fuckwits and get more healthy fats from avocados, cheese, whole eggs, fatty fish, nuts & seeds, etc.
Just don’t overdo them. They’re friggin’ awesome but they also contain 9 kcal/gram. This adds up quickly.
Skill #3: Hunger & Appetite Awareness
Weight loss is simple in theory but no walk in the park in reality. You will feel hungry. And that’s TOTALLY FINE. That’s one way to tell you are in a caloric deficit.
What you don’t want is for your hunger to be so hiked up that you end up rubbing chocolate-covered ice cream on a stick all over your face…
Excess hunger driven by drastic caloric deficit can put an extra-tempting spin on highly palatable foods, lead to binge eating, make you feel too weak to give it your all during a workout, and can actually torpedo your weight loss once you end up on a binging frenzy.
Here are two daily habits to control your hunger and appetite:
According to Zane Andrews, an associate professor of physiology and a neuroscientist at Monash University, it’s not until the food gets into the stomach and into the gut that it starts to release satiety hormones which signal back to the brain to tell you you’re full.
It usually takes about 20 minutes to feel full once you start to eat. With that being said, here are two ways to eat slower:
- Use a smaller spoon/fork
Steamy load of bunk you think? Nope. I got this from my girlfriend. I used to stuff a bowl of oats down my gullet in 5 minutes. Now that I switched to using a teaspoon, it takes 10-15 minutes.
- Put down your spoon/fork after each bite
Simple yet powerful trick that I’ve learned from my fitness teacher, coach Landon Reading, back when I was in college.
Say you eat oats. Nine times out of ten you would put a spoon of oats in your mouth and then the second without swallowing the first. Every time you take a bite of something, put your spoon/fork down. Chew whatever you have in your mouth, swallow it and only then pick up a spoon/fork!
Eat Until You’re Satisfied, Not Stuffed
Remember that you have a choice; you don’t have to finish every last bite every time you eat!
If you’re someone who has trouble with stopping at satisfied, try portioning out the right amount of food in advance. Once you’re done with it, remove yourself from any additional food temptations whenever possible.
Since the goal is to achieve a caloric deficit, you want to feel just a bit hungry after every meal you have (unless you’re tracking your food intake).
Pro tip: The one time it’s fine to be hungry is before bed. It can be a powerful weight loss tool that can stop you from stuffing a few hundred unnecessary calories.
Skill #4: Plan Healthy Meals
Like Alan Lakein once said…
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail
When I say “plan,” I don’t mean you have to eat out of a Tupperware container for each meal. It’s not something like a big tabbed binder with a full month of meals either.
What I mean is that you should have some REGULARITY and STRUCTURE with your meals. You should know an exact (more or less) hour that you’re going to have your meal. You should know what you’re going to eat too.
Here are two practices that will bring some regularity and structure in your diet:
Track Your Food Intake
If you spotted “track your food intake” and you are itching to yell out “I hope you drop dead, Egis. You’re an epic douchebag! I am not going to count calories”, hear me out.
Here is another quote from my book:
Your goal is not to count calories or macros. Your goal is to use it as a tool to create awareness and a system in your daily life.
The more automatic you can make this process – the more likely it is you sustain behaviors, create habits and instill permanent change.
Don’t think you will have to count calories all the way to a retirement home. It’s only a tool to teach you what are the proper food portions. Once you learn that, you are welcome to start practicing mindful eating.
— Egis R.
Whether it’s having a food diary, taking photos of what you eat or tracking calories with an app, learning to track food intake is a MUST skill to adopt.
If I can drop weight eating whatever foods I wish, and the cost is spending an extra 10-15 minutes a day weighing out food portions & logging it, I’m fine with that.
Struggling with tracking food intake? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll master that.
Plan Meals In Advance
Again, this doesn’t mean you have to prepare meals for the whole week (though there can be a place for that too). Planning meals in advance shouldn’t drive you bugshit bonkers.
Here is the best tip I can give you on meal prep:
EAT SIMILAR FOODS from day to day. There’s a fine line here, though. If there is too little food variety, your diet becomes inflexible and unsustainable long-term.
Research shows9 that eating similar foods can lower hunger and reduce calorie intake as well as cravings. Also, it makes the whole “tracking food intake” thing easier because if you eat similar foods each day, it means similar portion sizes.
Sit down and make a list of foods that you love. Make these foods your priority each day and cycle them every day and every week.
I’m well aware of the fact that your goal is to lose 20 pounds or more. By any means necessary.
Despite that, if your goal is to keep those pounds off, you should ditch the idea of a quick fix. Focus on the mastery of specific skills and daily habits to attain your goal.
You are the sum of your daily habits, so focus on these skills and habits I highlighted instead of listening to the hot girl on Instagram.