All You Need To Know About Fat Loss: The 3 Main Tools

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So you want to drop some wanted body fat? Here i have broken down the process in three different elements that may be implemented in order to successfully reach your fat loss goals.

Just like with any other goal, an intelligent strategic plan must be determined in order to attain it. When it comes to fat loss, you must begin with the things that will have the overall largest impact and utilize the rest of the tools further along the way, as needed.

  1. Nutrition
  2. Training: High Intensity & Metabolic
  3. Cardio: High Intensity & Low Intensity

1. Nutrition

Nutrition will be the foundation of your fat loss journey that will lead the entire way. Like Ying and Yang, nutrition must be set-up based on your training needs. If you are serious about losing fat and getting in shape, prioritizing nutrition will be essential to your success. Stacking up your home and fridge with the right foods and preparing your meals ahead of time will be key to staying on track. Plan, prepare and be consistent.


a. Calories in vs Calories out

In order to start losing body fat, you must be eating in a caloric deficit.

In other words; you must eat less than your body burns in order to tap into the fat stores for energy.

Initial drop in calories should be minimal. The idea is that you want to get the most out of doing the least. If you can lose fat by dropping 100 calories, do just that.

There is absolutely no need to suddenly jump into a big caloric restriction when transitioning into a fat loss phase.

That is the quickest route to hit a plateau and back yourself into a wall which can potentially result in muscle loss, frustration and discouragement.

When you decrease calories, metabolic down-regulation is inevitable. Decreasing calories too much, too soon will slow down your metabolism leaving you no where to go except ramping up a different variable such as more cardio or more weights. Not a good place to be. You may lose a bit of weight initially but you’ll soon plateau with a very slow metabolism. The moment you start eating normally again you’ll gain it all back and some. This should be avoided.


b. Macronutrient timing

Since carbohydrates are primarily utilized as an energy source, they are best consumed around a strenuous activity such as a weight training session or a physically demanding sport. Especially right after to replenish glycogen stores.

Timing your carbohydrates around your workout session is a great method to make good use of them and improve your performance in the gym. This will allow your body to utilize mostly fats for energy most of the day.

  • Consume a low-carb breakfast that consists of protein, healthy fats and vegetables.
  • Consume your carbohydrates around your workout – within 90 mins pre and post.
  • Avoid eating high carbs (especially sugar) and high fat in the same meal
  • Consume fast digesting carbs post-workout with fast digesting protein. Avoid fats.

Work-out days will be more energy demanding than rest days. Therefore it is the logical approach to consume less carbohydrates (primarily used for energy) and total calories than on training days since the body does not need them.

Cycling your macros will be very beneficial in optimizing your performance in them gym while keeping your body in a fat burning state the rest of the day.


2. Training

If you are transitioning from a growth (bulk) phase into a fat loss phase, training should not be changed. Most people immediately relate fat loss to high rep training which is not the case.

High rep training or metabolic training is only one aspect of it.


a. High Intensity

The larger the muscle, the more energy it will require to function and the more calories it will burn when used. Intense training using compound lifts such as the squat, deadlift and push-press with proper exercise execution will burn the most calories and more importantly preserve lean tissue.

When doing a fat loss phase the goal is not only to lose bodyfat but also to preserve as much lean tissue as possible. Having muscle on your frame is what will give your physique the ‘toned’ and defined look when your body fat levels are low enough to reveal it.

As part of your training plan, it is crucial to utilize some heavy loads in order to adequately stimulate your fast-twitch muscle fibers and maintain your muscle and strength.

If you don’t use it, you lose it. However, this does not mean ramping up your training intensity to the max. Starting your workout with a compound lift and working up to a couple of top sets of 6-8 reps with proper form will do the job.

  • Compound lifts are your friend here
  • Performing higher intensity compound lifts will require a drop in volume to account for recovery
  • Exercise execution must still be priority, not just moving weight from point A to B
  • 2-3 top heavy sets of 6-8 reps per compound exercise will be sufficient

Another great benefit of intense training is it’s effects on the metabolism.

Intense resistance training will induce in what is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), which means your metabolism will be increased and burning extra calories up to 24-48 hours post-workout.


b. Metabolic Training

Once you have completed your intense compound lifts training, incorporating metabolic training would be next in line.

Metabolic training is a form of high intensity training by utilizing lower rest periods. Circuits, drop sets, super sets and giant sets are all a form of metabolic training.

Metabolic training done for 15-30 minutes also induces EPOC allowing your body to burn extra calories even after the training session is finished.

Since the rest periods are much shorter and the reps are usually higher, the weight utilized will naturally be lower.

The “burn” you feel during this type of workout is lactic acid build-up which stimulates many beneficial hormonal responses such as increased growth hormone release and increased lipolysis which further aid in fat loss.

  • Utilize metabolic training in the latter portion of your training session
  • Start low and increase metabolic training as the weeks go on
  • Lower weights, higher reps and short rest period


3. Cardio


a. High Intensity Interval Training

High intensity interval training also known as HIIT is an excellent method for body re-composition and fat loss.

HIIT is a form of cardio which consists of switching back and forth from a short duration of maximum intensity output to a low intensity output. Sprints, windmill bike, battle ropes, rowing machines and sled/prowler pushes are all a form of HIIT.

  • Very time efficient if done right (10-15min sessions)
  • Induces EPOC and elevates your metabolic rate
  • Minimal muscle damage which means recovery is fast
  • HIIT must be done with maximum intensity
  • Avoid doing HIIT right after a heavy leg or deadlift session
  • Utilize HIIT to break through plateaus along the way


b. Low Intensity Steady State

Low intensity steady state cardio also known as LISS is best utilized towards the end of your fat loss phase to avoid dropping calories further. Unlike HIIT, LISS only burns calories during the duration of your cardio session and does not induce EPOC.

When you’ve already dropped down your calories low enough and have utilized the other fat loss tools, introducing LISS will be beneficial in burning some extra calories putting you in a further caloric deficit and continue burning body fat.

  • Easy, safe way to burn extra calories
  • Does not induce EPOC or increase metabolic rate
  • Use as the last tool in your fat loss arsenal
  • Body adapts and becomes efficient fairly quickly, requiring you to increase the duration of your cardio session often to burn the same amount of calories

In order to make a successful physique transformation and accomplishing your fat loss goals, a strategic use of these 3 major tools must be timely incorporated.

Doing too much, too soon more often than not leads to plateaus, frustration and disappointment. Utilize these tools as needed, nutrition and training as your base.

Slowly decrease calories and/or increase work output by introducing metabolic or various forms of cardio to get you past plateaus along the way.

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