Thanks to the wealth of information on the Internet complete novices and advanced trainees have started majoring in the minors far too much when it comes to things like dieting, training, and supplementation.
Part of this is due to the fact that effective marketing relies on using sexy sales tactics, which is why there are so many of those annoying “1 weird trick” ads that show up all over the Internet.
The other part is the basics just aren’t sexy. Not only that, most people tend to think they’ve already got the basics covered when most of the time that’s hardly the case, even if you think you are advanced.
So let’s get back to the basics, specifically when it comes to eating for fat loss, and take a look at the order in which you need to get things handled first and foremost. For some of you, the order of things might be a bit challenging to believe, and that’s the point.
- Food choices
- Total calories
- Macro breakdown
- Meal frequency
Sound confusing or a bit controversial? Good. It should. Let’s look at each point more in depth.
- Food choices.
The macro, calorie, and low carb vs. low-fat debates are all fun to have for various people, but they’re missing the point entirely. Because even if you can look great while eating nothing but refined foods, chances are it’s not doing your overall health profile any favors.
The fact of the matter is that if people paid far more attention to their food choices they would become leaner, stronger, and healthier overall. And by paying more attention to food choices I mean eating things like lean animal proteins, vegetables, fruits, whole food fats, and starches that are grown from the earth.
Will doing this get you as ripped as the guys on the cover of magazines? Probably not, unless you’ve got some awesome genetics. But here’s the truth about those guys as well: they all look like that for about 48 hours, tops. Eat for health and performance, choose mostly real foods, and your physique will develop in ways that you never imagined.
- Overall calories.
Somehow some way there are still people out there who hold steady to the belief that they can eat unlimited quantities of food, so long as those foods come from the right sources. This is patently false.
You can’t outsmart the laws of thermodynamics. If you’re eating 4,000 calories a day when you should only be eating 3,000 then you’re going to wind up gaining fat. No matter where those calories come from.
I also get that it may seem like this law flies in the face of the first point, but with some intelligent reasoning, you’ll see that they work in conjunction. When you’re eating a diet of mostly whole foods, your body begins regulating appetite the way that it was meant to from the beginning. This is thanks to those foods being satiating and full of the nutrients your body needs, which makes going over on total calories far more difficult than if you’re eating a diet full of refined and processed food.
- Macronutrient breakdown.
Should you go low carb? What about low fat? How much protein should you eat? These questions are at the crux of determining how many macros you should be eating, and they can play a large role in determining your rate of progress.
Recently I’ve been experimenting more with using a very high carb and low-fat approach when dieting for fat loss, and seen awesome results with it.
But at the same time, plenty of people have gotten ripped by dropping their carbs incredibly low and eating over 1,000 calories from fat. It all depends on how advanced you are, what your training looks like, as well as factoring in things like taste preference.
- Meal frequency.
Gone are the days of when people preached the gospel of 6 meals a day, and we’re now moving out of the period of Intermittent Fasting, when it was en vogue to eat 1-2 meals a day.
The truth is that both approaches tend to work well for various people, but the more I’ve worked with various clients the more I’ve seen that people respond better to frequent meals when it comes to fat loss.
Much of this is due to the fact that calories are already at a premium, so by allowing yourself to get some much needed calories in before training, you wind up having higher quality training sessions, which leads to better overall results.
If you’re a devout disciple of Intermittent Fasting then there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you haven’t quite gotten to the level that you want to reach, then maybe giving the frequent meals thing is worth a try.
This is last on the list, just as it should be. Some supplements absolutely have merit, but most of the time they’re nothing more than paying top dollar to trick yourself thanks to the placebo effect.
Fat burners that contain things like caffeine, yohimbine, and green tea extract are typically going to be your best bet. On top of that, using fish oil has been shown to aid in fat loss. Other than that, most of the stuff you’re buying is probably a waste of hard earned money that could be spent at the bars after you’re ripped.
Put these fat loss laws into practice bros, and I can assure you that you’ll wind up with results that you’re happy with.