I have the fortunate opportunity to interact with so many women on a daily basis and, obviously, the most common inquiry I receive is “how do I put together a fat loss program?”.
In my opinion (and experience), a fat loss plan that yields results and is long lasting (i.e. lifestyle) should be one that is simple to follow, offer plenty of food flexibility, an open mindedness in understanding that it is also going to be a lot of hard work for the purpose of embracing new behaviours, and a strategy that adapts with you.
1) Diet on as many calories as possible so you’re not creating such a large energy and nutrient drop. Your deficit should be reasonable and don’t panic by drastically reducing calories when weight stagnates because, like all diets, it will. Stay the course.
2) Traditional cardio should be used strategically and as a last resort once Diet and Resistance Training is fully optimized.
3) Do not eliminate food groups or even foods you like. Keep flexibility and variety available. Quantity trumps quality meaning how much we eat is more important than what we eat when it comes to fat loss.
4) Focus on losing weight at a slow rate. Gauge changes in appearance and also how your clothes fit to better determine progress – aim to be tighter, not lighter.
5) Exercise with a strategy by preventing loss of lean muscle (i.e. a weight lifting/resistance training component) and focusing on increasing resting Metabolic Rate.
6) Induce Muscle Protein Synthesis by consuming quality protein with every meal. Protein is perhaps the most important macronutrient when dieting/training because not having enough of it yields muscle loss! When protein intake is low, that means we consume too many carbohydrates and fats.
7) Track everything – Dietary Adherence, Pictures, Measurements, Strength Progress, etc. (** but don’t be a slave to the scale **)
8) Periodic carbohydrate refeeds are necessary to keep hormones balanced and responsive to dieting (keeping leptin levels elevated and ghrelin levels decreased). We love carbs!
9) Manage stress levels and get sufficient sleep to aid in recovery and lower cortisol levels.
10) Make sure to have balance in your life with family, friends, activity, and fun that is non training and nutrition related.
Programming a successful fat loss strategy doesn’t have to be overly complicated and especially restrictive.
And, of course, there also isn’t a “one size fits all” kind of strategy so there are still plenty of variables to consider in how the final program is laid out and set up for an individual but I do hope these basic rules and principals provide more insight on your fat loss journey.
And to find our more about my exclusive Weight Loss Coaching Program, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.