This will be a quick article with some tips about burning fat through diet and nutrition.
Why the quick article? Because you’re busy and I want you to get some value out of this ASAP. There’s plenty of 5,000 word essays on the internet about nutrition.
This isn’t one of those. You’ll be able to read through this in a few minutes and have some fat burning knowledge to improve your health.
Not bad, eh?
There’s a thriving industry of “experts” who are more than willing to sell you their overly complicated plans for proper diet and nutrition.
While some of these people know what they’re talking about, and some of their plans certainly have merit, the reality is that it doesn’t have to be complicated.
In fact, there really are only three things you need to do to have a proper nutritional foundation for any health-related goal you want to accomplish.
Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, become a better athlete (the Lean Warrior lifestyle), or anything else, your nutrition will be the most important factor.
Lowering Body Fat Is All About Calories and Key Nutrients
Above all, it’s critical that you consume the proper amounts of calories, protein, fats, carbs, and micronutrients to achieve your goals.
If you don’t, nothing else will matter much, and you’ll struggle for years on end to achieve the lean physique that you desire.
And, with Summer quickly approaching, you probably want to be in your best shape ever, right? Right.
Get Your Daily Calories Under Control
If you want to lose weight, you need to consume moderately (about 20 percent) fewer calories than you burn, given your present level of physical activity.
And that’s the tough part: figuring out how many calories your body needs on a daily basis. This number varies between each individual. There is no set number. You must figure this out through trial and error.
If you add a couple of interval training sessions each week, you can increase the speed of your metabolism. This will alter how many calories you need per day to maintain.
I highly recommend both men and women to add a 2-3 HIIT sessions per week. They only require 10-15 minutes each, and you’ll accelerate your fat loss.
Maintaining weight is easy. Simply do what you’ve always been doing that’s kept you at the same body type for years.
But, you’re reading this because you want to change your life. Therefore, clean up your diet and burn more calories. This can be accomplished through either more exercise or simply eating less food.
The Power (and Truth) of Protein
Consuming enough protein accomplishes several things: First, your body needs it for critical metabolic processes.
Second, your muscles require it in order to grow. If you want more muscle, increase your protein intake – about .8 grams to 1.3 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
However, these days I really believe you’ll be perfectly fine with .8 grams. No need to go higher unless you want to.
For some people, eating a lot of protein helps with fat loss. Why? Because if you’re replacing crappy, useless carbs with protein, you’re eating healthier.
Third, protein helps you feel satiated for longer periods of time, which in turn will help you cut down on the number of empty calories you’re eating.
The biggest problem I’ve noticed with my clients is that they have trouble eating enough protein. They find it difficult to get enough of these foods.
The solution is quite simple: have 1-2 protein shakes per day. These alone can add 60 grams of protein to your diet (assuming each shake is 30 grams of protein).
If your goal is 120 grams of protein per day, which is ideal for a 150 pound male, then you already got half of your protein from two simple shakes.
The rest of your protein can come from eggs, ground meats, sliced deli meat, protein bars, fish, and so on.
Fats Are Friendly!
It’s important to get about 20-30 percent of your total calories from fat, in part because (like protein) fat makes you feel full.
Moreover, fat is crucial for the body to properly absorb fat-soluble vitamins and produce critical hormones. You can also lose weight eating fats since it’s all about calories.
Unlike what you may have learned growing up, saturated fat is not inherently bad; our bodies actually need it in small amounts.
So, eat both saturated and unsaturated fats. Eat meats and eggs and fish because these are good saturated fats.
Be sure to include omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Eggs and fish have both of these. Supplement if needed.
Carbs Won’t Make You Fat
Speaking of things you may have heard, carbs are not inherently evil, either. In fact, our bodies need them for energy, especially during athletic activities if we want to perform up to our potential.
However, our society is saturated with crappy food that’s full of refined sugar. These are, of course, carbohydrates.
But, they the “bad” kind of carbs. You can still get away with eating sugars sparingly, but they shouldn’t be a large part of your diet.
For the most part, you should get your sugars from fresh fruit. The occasional ice cream sundae and bowl of cereal is okay as well.
Remember that fat loss is all about your total daily calorie intake. As long as you’re getting enough protein in, you can have a high-carb diet as long as you remain in a caloric deficit.
Don’t Forget About The Micronutrients!
Micronutrients are additional nutrients that include vitamins, minerals, and a host of other things your body needs.
Although it’s possible to track your consumption of every essential micronutrient, this is difficult, time-consuming, and unnecessary.
Instead, just eat a balanced diet with the proper amounts of calories, protein, fat, and carbs, from a variety of whole foods – and be sure to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables.
Dietary supplements can provide micronutrients you’re missing, if any. But, you should never supplement if you can get the real food in your body.
Dieting Should Be Easy. Keep It Simple.
There are about a million diet plans, and all of them probably work for someone.
The thing is, most of them probably won’t work for you. That’s because we’re all different – different schedules, eating habits, health objectives, and challenges.
So, the best way to accomplish the first goal above is to do it in the way that is most convenient, fun, and sustainable for you.
This doesn’t mean you can sit on the couch and eat pizza and ice cream. Remember, the goal here is to consume the right types and amounts of calories and key nutrients, starting with at least 0.8 grams of protein PER DAY.
There are a variety of ways to do this, so find what works best for you over the long haul. This is the only way that you’ll build the consistency needed to lose weight.
Adjust when and/or how often you eat, whether you go gluten-free or low- (but not too low) carb, whether you use supplements, how much “cheating” you allow yourself (but not too much), whether you eat a greater or lesser variety of foods, etc.
The point is that you can adjust all of these factors, within reason, and still meet goal #1. If you’re doing that, you’re on your way to a healthier, more fit body.
Understand that losing weight is a lifestyle. I’ve been “dieting” for almost 16 weeks at the time of this writing. And, I’m going to keep going until I hit my goal of 8% body fat.
Believe it or not, goals 1 and 2 are all you need to meet pretty much any diet-related health goal you set your mind on.
Even though there are more diet plans, tips, lists, books, blogs, and magazines than anyone could read in 100 lifetimes, it doesn’t matter.
If you’re following what I’ve taught you about fat loss in this article, you can ignore everything else.
In fact, you should ignore everything else. At best all of that extraneous information will confuse and frustrate you, and it worst it will make you waste time, effort, and money on bogus advice that isn’t going to help you get healthier.
So, keep your eye on the ball; consume the right types and amounts of calories and key nutrients, and do so in a way that’s most sustainable for you.
What’s your experience with burning fat and losing weight? How long have you been dieting? Comment below and share your story.