Summer’s coming, so listen up.
You’re *probably* starting to think about how you’re going to get into shape to look and feel better by the time beach season rolls around.
You *probably* want to reveal muscle definition and trim off unwanted fat.
You also *probably* want straight-to-the-truth, no bs methods for losing unwanted body fat in a reasonable time frame.
Good. Then follow along closely to what I’m about to tell you to learn how to put these tips into action so you can feel confident and sexy heading into summer.
Don’t ‘Diet’ Before You Diet
If you’ve already been ‘dieting,’ or trying to diet, and have been eating fewer calories for a long time already, then it’s a good idea to take a break from dieting before beginning another diet.
From a physical and mental standpoint, it’s a good idea to go into a diet feeling fresh and not already run down from lowered calories.
So first things first before you begin this year’s summer fat loss diet is to ensure you aren’t dieting leading up to your diet. That make sense?
For this period before your official ‘diet’ begins, try eating right around maintenance levels. You can get a better explanation of maintenance and starting calories in my free fat loss ebook, HERE.
So for the nutritional side of things, maintenance level calories prior to beginning your diet is a good idea. On the training/exercise side of things, I’d recommend doing some lower volume, strength-focused training during your ‘maintenance’ period.
This will allow your body to lower fatigue levels, develop more strength (which will be useful during higher volume training coming soon), and prime your body for a change in calories and training volume.
You’re basically preparing your body to lose body fat more efficiently.
- Nutrition wise before you begin your diet–aim for maintenance level calories with the idea of keeping your bodyweight pretty steady for 4-5 weeks before your fat loss diet begins
- With training, aim to hit the major muscle groups with compound lifts for sets of 4-8 reps on average with the goal of increasing bar weight week to week. During this time you should be lifting more weight by the end of this phase. This higher intensity/lower volume period will prime your body to respond well to the start of the fat loss protocol.
Turn Up the Volume
Courtesy of Pixabay
A lot of people are afraid to lose strength during a fat loss diet so they continue lifting super heavy while consuming fewer and fewer calories.
I don’t recommend this approach because it can be very taxing on the body and in my opinion, isn’t the most optimal way to lose fat.
Once you’re ready to begin your fat loss diet, you’ll want to use a higher volume, more bodybuilding-esq approach to training.
This is for several reasons:
- Higher volume training helps to preserve lean tissue (aka muscle) while in a calorie deficit
- Lifting super heavy in a fatigued and drained state just isn’t a ton of fun and can be dangerous.
- You *can* still get stronger during a fat loss diet. The primary difference is you’ll be getting stronger in a different rep range than the typical ‘strength range.’
So what exactly does high volume training mean?
To keep it as simple as possible so you can get started right away, think of higher volume training as training where you’re doing anywhere between 8-20 reps on average per set and your total volume of work increases over the course of your program.
For instance, you might do 3×10 in week 1 on a given exercise, 4×10 week 2, 5×12 week 3, and 6×12 week 4.
Provided you kept the weight the same or increased slightly week to week, this would result in more volume which is beneficial for holding onto precious muscle mass while dieting down.
Get a taste of how to set up your program for fat loss HERE.
Don’t Be Overly Aggressive
Courtesy of Pixabay
So you’re pumped and ready to attack this fat loss diet with everything you’ve got.
That’s great, but just how fast should you aim to lose weight?
Some people say you can rapidly lose fat, while others suggest a slower approach. So which is it?
Personally, I think it depends on the individual and their goals, and also their experience level and buy-in.
One thing I do know for sure, however, is that if you start out too overly aggressive with the calorie cutting, you’ll have nothing left to cut to further your weight loss.
Here’s a quick tip: start your diet around your maintenance calorie level to see how the scale reacts to what you’re currently consuming combined with your new training program and exercise.
Then, if the scale stays pretty stable, reduce your calories by 300-500 per day and let that run its course. I actually really like the guidelines of 1-2lbs per week for males and 0.5-1lb per week for females. Of course, these are averages and depending on your total bodyweight might be different.
Heavier individuals can probably lose at a slightly faster rate initially, while lighter individuals will lose slower simply because there’s less weight to lose in the first place.
The goal of your diet shouldn’t be to cut calories as hard and fast as possible. It should be to eat as many calories as possible while still losing fat and getting results.
Use Various Tools to Track Progress
When you get going with your fat loss phase, you’ll definitely want to use various methods to ensure that you are making progress and to also know when it’s time to modify your training or diet.
The scale gets plenty of hate, although I believe it to be an extremely useful tool. Is it the end all be all to judge fat loss progress?
But, it is a useful too so I suggest using it. Along with tracking gym performance, taking progress pictures, and monitoring your energy levels.
Honestly, the scale, progress pictures, and how you feel are *very* good indicators of whether you’re making progress or not.
Courtesy of Pixabay
You’ll definitely want to use a combination of all of them because relying on one method only might not provide enough reassurance that you are actually progressing.
Scale goes up a pound?
No biggie. Keep plugging along and if after 3-4 weigh-ins it’s still the same or has gone up more, then you can adjust your diet and calories.
Pay attention to the week-to-week differences in scale weight rather than day-to-day. Because guess what? The results aren’t going to happen overnight anyway.
Your Diet IS Most Important
The more and more I work with online coaching clients, I find the saying “results are 80% diet and 20% exercise” to be truer than I once thought.
It might be sorta cliche to think that what you eat will make up 80% of your results but it turns out it may actually be pretty accurate.
I mean, how easy it to rack up 500 calories without even realizing it? A couple cookies, some peanut butter, and a glass of milk would probably do it.
So when fat loss is the goal, you really should ‘watch what you eat’ a bit more closely. It’s easier to mind your eating habits than it is spending an extra 3 hours in the gym trying to burn off the extra calories you ‘accidentally’ consumed.
The key to fat loss?
Sustaining a calorie deficit.
The easiest way to achieve that deficit is to reduce calories via nutrition changes. You can take away the guesswork with my free nutrition manual, HERE.
With this guide, you’ll learn how to establish your very own fat loss diet including target macronutrient amounts and how to structure your diet to help keep you consistent and on track.
Embrace the Journey
I said I was gonna give you the no BS truth so here it is.
Most progress pictures you see of incredible transformations and shredded abs took wayyy longer than a month or two.
Heck, when I got to my all-time leanest last year, I had been hard at work for over 6 months. While that isn’t a super long time, it isn’t the ‘overnight’ results we hear about way too often.
So keep your expectations realistic yet challenging. If you’re 30% body fat, don’t kid yourself thinking you can get to 10% in a single 10 or 12-week diet phase.
Because that just isn’t likely to happen.
If you do your first diet and still want to lose more weight at the end of that diet, simply maintain your new weight for a month before beginning another period of focused fat loss.
DO NOT try to lose everything in one fell swoop because it’ll be miserable, unnecessarily tougher than it has to be and mentally draining. Not to mention your rate of fat loss will really slow down.
Instead, plug along at a steady clip and just keep putting in the work. It may take a couple ‘fat loss’ diets to get there but eventually, you will, no doubt about it.
Enjoy ‘Healthier’ Treats to Stay On Track
Seeing as the food part of the whole ‘losing body fat’ thing is the most difficult for people, don’t be afraid to mix in some healthier/lower calorie ‘treats’ to help you keep your sanity while you lose weight.
Now, I’m not against having regular treats from time to time (if you can control your intake), but for many people, having some higher calorie foods leads to eating more higher calorie foods.
So if you have trouble keep things under raps, try some lower calorie options.
One of my favorite new discoveries is Enlightened ice cream. They really should be paying me for the number of times I’ve told online coaching clients about their ice cream and bragged about it on Instagram. Oh well haha. I’ll keep buying it because it’s delicious and easily fits into a fat loss diet.
Here’s a recent pic of one of my shopping excursions 🙂 Let’s just say I stocked up 😉
Summer is coming, will you be ready?
If you’re anything like me, then you want to look good and feel confident by the time the clothes come off when summer gets here.
Using these tips and the ones you’ll learn in the ’10 Commandments of Fat Loss’ manual below, you’ll be well on your way to your leanest, sexiest body yet.