Tired of bullshiters trying to sell bullshit? Great Freakn’ news! In this article, you will learn how to lose body fat by setting the order of priorities correctly.
Here is a fun factoid for you:
The Federal Trade Commission conducts a survey every couple of years about consumer products in the United States and over the last several surveys the NUMBER ONE form of fraud is in relation to weight loss.
Body wraps, detoxes, cleanses, weight loss belts, teas and crap like that.
I am constantly forced to witness the general public fall face-first for these unfounded ideas, products, and protocols.
In this article, I will go through the annals of research and teach you the order of priorities when it comes to losing weight (from the most important to the least). It’s the answer to “how to lose body fat” question that you need to hear to get to Shredsville.
1. Calorie Deficit
As James Fell puts it, you can tell me all about your invisible friend that you pray to, and I’m cool with that. I will be respectful. I won’t think you are delusional. But if you start denying calories in – calories out (CICO), I’ll tell you to get outta my face with that bullshit.
Because we’re talking about knowable vs. unknowable, and CICO is very knowable and has been proven to hell and back, which is why Gary Taubes needs to STFU.
If you are not currently suffering from a rectal-cranial inversion, then you know that CICO is all that matters to losing body fat.
You might have brainstormed this Q:
“…but what about low-carb or keto diet? They say it’s all about carbohydrates and insulin…”
Let’s unpack this bullshit.
Like I wrote in “How to Lose Weight in 40 Pages” book, studies that show low-carb superiority compared to high-carb have failed to match calorie intake (which is a MASSIVE study design flaw). That is, EVERY low-carb group was put on a lower-calorie diet compared to the high-carb group.
And studies that matched calorie intake, failed to equate protein intake either. Low-carb groups were given more protein compared to high-carb groups. Again, an issue of an epic proportion (read this article by Revive Stronger about demonized carbohydrates).
Higher protein intake means higher satiety, bigger energy expenditure via TEF (thermic effect of food), better muscle retention/gain and more fat loss.
CICO is a direct representation of the first law of thermodynamics, the one that says energy can neither be created nor destroyed. We are not talking about a hypothesis here or even a theory, but a physical LAW OF THE UNIVERSE.
No matter what some weight loss guru tells you, the science of how to lose body fat comes down to making this energy consumed versus energy expended mathematical formula work for you.
Here is a simple way to find your calorie intake to lose body fat:
Since this formula is geared toward figuring maintenance need of targeted body weight (TBW), it eliminates the need to add or subtract calories if you want to gain/lose weight.
This formula accounts for training volume, intensity, and target body weight (TBW).
Target BW x (8‐10 or 9‐11 + avg. total weekly training hours)
The lower range (8-10) is more suitable for women since they have a higher percentage of body fat than men, and thus a lower proportion of lean mass.
Each range has a certain margin to account for differences in intensity. Low, medium, and high-intensity work can be factored in by using the low, middle, or high end of each range, depending on where your training sessions average during the week.
Here is how I would find my calorie needs for weight loss.
I weigh 205 pounds and my TBW is 185 pounds. I lift weights 4 times per week with high intensity, thus:
185 x (11 + 4 avg. total weekly training hours) = 185 x 15 = 2775 kcal
More about calorie intake for fat loss read this article.
2. Protein Intake
Why is that, you wondering?
The bulk of the evidence points to a higher thermic effect (TEF) of protein which is about 20-30% whereas carbohydrates are approximately 5-10%, and fats 0-3% (source).
This means that if you were to consume 1000 calories from protein, your body would burn 200-300 calories to metabolize it (50-100 calories for carbohydrates and 0-30 calories for fats).
Higher protein intake also improves lean body mass preservation while being in a calorie deficit. This might lead to more fat loss and less muscle loss (source). This, in turn, may help to maintain the metabolic rate better.
Another question is how much protein do you need?
This number is sufficient to keep your satiety in check and retain muscle mass.
Brad Dieter has a more in-depth article on protein intake for fat loss here.
3. Strength Training
John Lennon was right: all you need is love—the love of exercise.
And to me, strength training is a MUST. It’s non-negotiable. Exercise improves diet, which reinforces exercising, which improves diet, which… creates a virtuous cycle.
Here are some fun factoids why every online client of mine HAVE to exercise:
- Exercise increases your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure);
- Exercise inhibits the development of fat cell number (source);
- Exercise diminishes hunger, helps fighting food cravings, and changing eating behaviors.
Now, exercise — in all forms — will give heaps of health benefits, but the TYPE of exercise you choose will have a major impact on FAT loss outcome.
You see, dieters who ONLY use cardio usually turn into Skinny-Fat. I’m sure you know it’s a pretty ugly thing but in short, people can get the relatively skinny upper and lower body but they still have a gut popping out…
If you already messed up and got that jelly jiggle, read this article on how to get rid of it.
Not that sexy, if you ask me.
They do everything right when it comes to nutrition just to end up losing more than just fat…
They lose muscle tissue too.
The only way to prevent that is by lifting heavy ass weights (read this article on how to create your own workout plan).
If you haven’t clicked off this article from pure boredom yet, then NEAT is a broad category encompassing the calories burned through leisure, occupation activity, basic activities of daily living, and fidgeting.
Now, anybody with half a brain knows that once you put yourself in a calorie deficit, your body starts to adapt.
Like I mentioned in my book, NEAT is the most adaptive component of metabolism, and it decreases significantly in caloric restriction.
Unconsciously, you walk less, take an elevator instead of stairs, you choose to become a couch potato after work.
NEAT is what tends to take the biggest “unintentional” hit when people diet, and it also is the trickiest aspect of TDEE to account for.
Many people are completely unaware of changes in NEAT. Thus, there’s the common yet erroneous blaming of a “slowed” or “damaged” metabolism for slow-downs and halts in weight loss.
Maintaining an awareness of the potential impact of dieting on NEAT can go a long way toward maintaining progress or pushing it forward.
– Alan Aragon
According to this study (source), if overweight individuals adopted the NEAT-enhanced behaviors, they could expend an additional 350 kcal/day from these numerous small low-grade activities and movements.
350 kcal/day could become almost 2500 kcal/week! This alone would be enough to lose a good chunk of weight without even cutting on food intake.
Hopefully, I have painted a pretty clear picture of how NEAT can improve your weight loss. That’s exactly why my clients and I have to report to each other a step count at the end of the day.
Here are two ways to boost metabolism via NEAT:
1. Walk more
8,000-10,000 steps/day isn’t a bad shout. This translates to 300-500 additional calories.
- Go for a 30-minute morning/evening walk = 200-300kcal.
- Go for a 20-minute walk at lunch = 100-200kcal.
- Shoot for 8,000-10,000 steps/day.
2. Stand more
If you stood for 4 hours rather than sat during the day, that would translate to about 170 more calories a day and over the week that adds up to over 1000 calories more!
- Get a standing desk.
- Set an alarm to go off every hour, get up and walk to the toilet, coffee machine, etc.
- Stand in public transport.
- Shoot for 4 hours that you might otherwise be sat = 170kcal.
Did the above raise an eyebrow? I bet it did. In fact, you must have looked like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson while reading it.
But it’s true. If you are wondering how to lose body fat, cardio comes as the least important factor. As I said in cardio vs. weight lifting article, you can easily lose fat without it.
Cardio can enhance weight loss in two ways:
- Burning calories and…
- Speeding up your metabolic rate
Both can be achieved by lifting weights. Weight lifting also helps to build lean mass and that I would pick every day of the week, my hypothetical reader friend.
Make no mistake, I have no problems with cardio. If you enjoy doing cardio and you hate strength training, kudos to you, keep doing it.
But if you are like me and would rather stick hot needles in your eyes than run a 5k, stick to weight lifting. You will get much closer to the kick-ass body by just lifting weights.
Weight loss marketers spend billions to perpetuate the myth of a “quick and easy” fix when it comes to dropping fat. They do this because it’s profitable and people fall for that.
But it’s not you, my friend. Now you know that there are no magic fat-burning wizards. You know what your priorities are.
Frustrated and upset by the number of self-proclaimed “experts” who prey upon the gullibility, ignorance, and desperation of people to sell quick fixes, fads, and “simple” solutions?
Jump on board for my online coaching program where I teach you everything you need to know to lose fat, build muscle, and maintain it for a lifetime. In a SUSTAINABLE WAY.