#1 Achieve a calorie deficit
Most of you I’m sure already know that you’re going to have to create a calorie deficit.
And to create a calorie deficit you don’t need to do intense workouts.
Most of the calorie deficit that you create will be from changes to your diet rather than changes to your training routine.
All you need to do is figure out how many calories you need to consume to be in an optimal calorie deficit for fat loss.
You can use either my calorie calculator or another one that you find online. It should give you an idea of how many calories and macros you should eat daily to burn body and belly fat.
I’m sure a lot of you don’t want to count calories. I no longer count calories myself. And you don’t really have to for very long, even if you’re a beginner.
I just want you to get an idea of how many calories and macros are in the foods that you typically eat.
This usually takes a few weeks tops, because most people routinely eat the same meals and dishes on rotation without even realizing it.
To make sure that you reduce your calories in a way that’s still enjoyable for you so you can stick to it, I like to recommend cyclical dieting approaches rather than continuous dieting approaches.
Of course, both can work equally well depending on your preferences. But most people already know about continuous energy restriction.
These are diets where you reduce your calories by a certain number per day, like 500 calories per day to burn off 3500 extra calories per week.
Cyclical dieting on the other hand achieves this same 3500 calories, except the number of calories you get per day varies depending on the day, the week, or even the month.
A pretty common cyclical dieting strategy that works well for many people is carb cycling.
There are many ways you can carb cycle. But the general idea is that you would vary the amount of carbs you have per day.
You would go from high, to medium, to low or no carbs. And then repeating the cycle.
Another tip is MATADOR dieting, which stands for Minimizing Adaptive Thermogenesis And Deactivating Obesity Rebound.
In a nutshell, it’s set up to help you keep the weight off after you lose it. MATADOR has much longer cycles.
First, you apply a more aggressive reduction in calories.
So, normally, you would reduce your calories by around 20 percent from maintenance to see noticeable changes over time.
But with MATADOR, for the first 2 weeks you’re going to be more aggressive and reduce by 30 percent from maintenance.
Then for another 2 weeks, you bring your calories back up to maintenance levels. And you just do that back and forth on a cycle.
Two weeks is the ideal time to implement these diet breaks. That’s because two weeks is around when your metabolism will become fully adapted to the number of calories that you’re eating.
So by dieting in 2-week intervals, there’s much less of a negative effect on your hormone health and metabolism than there would be with most traditional continuous energy restriction strategies.
It also gives you a mental break which is one of the biggest benefits of any type of cyclical dieting.
And even though studies show that matador is very effective, the key is to find something that aligns with your preferences for you to stick to it.
Intermittent fasting is another example of cyclical dieting that you can try instead.
One form is the 5:2 Diet where you either eat zero or very few calories 2 days per week and then eat more freely 5 days a week.
There’s one meal a day, where you’re essentially cycling between 23 hours of no food and then 1 hour of food.
And of course, there’s the lean gains method which is the most common approach to intermittent fasting. Here you cycle between 16 hours of feeding and 8 hours of fasting every day.
These are my favorite cyclical dieting strategies that can help you easily reduce your calories while still having cheat meals, larger portions, and diet breaks.
And I know I just went over a lot of options and that’s because the truth is there’s no single best cyclical dieting strategy.
This is why we customize different dieting styles for our clients based on what will work best for them. And if it doesn’t fit, we change it.
Once you know which one of these is a good fit, there are few other crucial tips that’ll make it easier to reduce your calories and burn fat.
Sugar is very easy to overeat since it’s not satiating and it digests very quickly.
Most people don’t recognize how much sugar they have throughout the day. The average American takes in 270 calories of added sugars every day.
That equals to 1,890 calories per week, which is the equivalent of a little over 0.5 pounds of body fat every week.
It might be in your coffee, in your soda, or even the power bar that you thought was going to help you lose weight.
But for sure, the thing that has the most impact is the sugar you get from beverages.
People that drink sodas and other sugary beverages tend to weigh more than people that don’t. (1)
Fortunately, the solution is easy – replace sodas with non-sugary options like water, coffee, tea. Alternatively, if you do crave something sweet, a sugar-free diet soda is fine as well.
#5 Get rid of junk food in the house
A great tip that can make it much easier to avoid high-calorie foods is to get rid of the junk food that you have lying around.
Research shows that obese people tend to have more junk food in their house compared to people that maintain a healthy body weight. (2)
Correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation. But this is an interesting relationship – one you might want to use to your advantage if you want to lose belly fat.
The reason for this is because you’re much more likely to eat junk food if it is laying around.
But when that junk food is out of sight, you’re less likely to crave it. And you’ll be able to choose when you want to have cheat meals and diet breaks on your terms.
#6 Stock up on healthy foods
Instead, stock up on foods that are filling and unprocessed. The general rule of thumb is that you want to go with single-ingredient foods that you find on the outside perimeter of your grocery store.
The best of these highly filling foods per calorie are usually vegetables as well as some fruit.
Imagine your appetite and your stomach requiring 100 units per day to feel full.
Each food you eat will add a certain number of units towards filling your 100-unit tank that represents your appetite.
Some foods will satisfy hunger and fill the 100-unit tank better per calorie than other foods and we can use that to our advantage.
On a per calorie basis, fruit and vegetables are the most satiating. This is why basing much of your diet around fruits and vegetables helps you stay in a calorie deficit, without feeling hungry.
Hence why research shows that eating more fruit and vegetables can help people lose weight and make them less likely to gain excess pounds. (3)
The main factors that influence how full you feel after eating fruit and vegetables are the high-fiber and water contents.
The fiber slows the digestion process, literally keeping your stomach full for longer.
The water activates the stretch receptors in your gut which signals your brain that your stomach is full. This in turn leads to a reduction in hunger.
Aside from fruit and vegetables, you’ll also want to fill your house with high-protein foods like chicken, fish, pork, meat, or vegan sources of protein like seitan, tofu, or quinoa.
Protein is extra important because it increases satiety and causes you to automatically consume fewer calories.
It’s been proven that just by bumping up your protein intake from 15 to 30 percent of your daily calories you’ll likely save up 441 calories throughout the week. (4)
Plus, the calories from protein are tougher for your body to digest so part of those protein calories are burnt off just during the digestion process.
Taking in enough protein also helps maintain muscle mass while you get leaner, which is beneficial for keeping the lost pounds off.
A good guideline is to aim for at least 0.7 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.
#7 Drink a glass of water before every meal
This is another simple tip that is proven to help fill you up and reduce calorie consumption.
Just like fruits and vegetables that have a high-water content, drinking water directly, right before your meals, will also reduce your appetite and calorie intake.
This works just by filling up and stretching out your stomach.
In a study where participants drank half a liter of water before breakfast, they automatically reduced calorie intake from that meal by 13 percent. (5)
In another study, drinking the same amount of water before each daily meal led to almost an additional half a pound lost per week for 12 weeks. (6)
Now so far I’ve given you actionable tips for your diet. But there’s also no reason why you shouldn’t be performing workouts right at home.
Even though diet plays a bigger role in creating a calorie deficit, your workout plays a huge role in maintaining and gaining some muscle mass as you drop body fat.
This is extremely important if you want to maintain your results long-term and not get trapped in a vicious cycle of constantly having to reduce your calories.
Muscle is more metabolically active than body fat. So you can maintain a higher metabolism by maintaining more muscle.
Luckily, you can incorporate resistance training and get an effective full-body workout by using just your bodyweight at home.
Examples of excellent exercises are push-ups, chin-ups, inverted rows, lunges, and pistol squats.
You can adjust the exercises that you do based on your current strength level and progress from there.
For example, a more advanced variation for the push-up is a decline push-up, then an explosive push-up, then a clap-up.
People often overlook sleep. But in terms of building muscle and burning fat, sleep is right up there with diet and exercise. It’s that important.
Getting enough sleep helps reduce your hunger hormone ghrelin while raising a bunch of satiety hormones making it easier to maintain a calorie deficit. (7)
Studies show that sleeping just 40 fewer minutes per day from Monday to Friday can shift the ratio of muscle loss to fat loss from 20 percent to a whopping 80 percent. (8)
And cutting sleep down from 7 hours to just 5.5 hours a night can increase muscle loss by 60 percent. (9)
Unfortunately, there’s no number that I can give you as the “best” amount of sleep. It really depends on several factors, including your genetics.
But generally speaking, you should aim for around seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
#10 Set a good and achievable fat loss goal
Finally, it’s very important that you set a good and achievable fat loss goal.
Over 1,000 studies have consistently shown that setting high and specific goals is linked to increased performance, persistence, and motivation, compared to vague or easy to achieve goals.” (10)
To take advantage of this, follow 4 steps when setting your goal.
- Be clear on exactly what you want to achieve in the short term, like the next month, as well as the long term, like the next year. Write it all down because that increases the likelihood of achievement by 42 percent. (11)
- Write down why you want to achieve these goals.
- Tell a friend or family member.
- Be clear on how you will measure progress. For example, In the case of losing belly fat, you might decide to measure the size of your waist once every two weeks. This will help ensure that you’re continuously making progress.
That about wraps it up. I really hope you start following these simple steps to start burning fat today.
If you want any extra help with your diet, we can customize the ideal plan for your body and your preferences.
These may be intermittent fasting, carb cycling, keto, vegan, or a variety of other options.
If you decide to work with us for 6 weeks, you can get the entire plan and a coach for free just by sticking to the program.
We refund your initial deposit for the program at the end to incentivize you to actually complete it and get the results you want.
Our clients routinely lose 20 pounds or 5 percent body fat with our 6-week shred program.
After the 6 weeks, most people are so blown away by the results that they want to continue training with us.
And that’s our secret hope, we want to prove ourselves to you.
But there’s no obligation to stay at the end.
To find out more, you can click the link below.
- People who drink soft drinks and other sugary beverages tend to weigh more than those who don’t.
- Research shows that obese people tend to have less healthy foods but more junk foods in their house compared to those with a healthy body weight
- Eating more fruit and vegetables can help people lose weight and make them less likely to gain excess pounds.
- Bumping up protein intake from 15 to 30% daily may save up 441 calories throughout the week.
- In one study, subjects drank half a liter of water before eating breakfast. This reduced calorie intake during that meal by 13%.
- Drinking the same amount of water before each daily meal increased weight loss over 12 weeks by 4.4 pounds.
- Getting enough sleep decreases ghrelin while raising various satiety hormones. This makes it easier to stay in a calorie deficit.
- One weight loss study found that sleeping 40 fewer minutes per day from Monday to Friday shifted the ratio of lean to fat mass loss from 20% to 80%!
- Another study revealed that sleeping 5.5 instead of 7.5 hours a day increased fat-free mass loss by 60% while raising the fraction of weight lost as fat by 55%.
- Setting high and specific goals is linked to increased task performance, persistence, and motivation, compared to vague or easy goals.
- One study found that writing a goal down – as opposed to keeping it only in your head – increases its achievement by 42%.