Summer is quickly approaching, and that means that a lot of us are going to start cutting (aka losing fat) soon! If you are one of us, this post is for you. Now, before we dig into it, I just want to tell you one thing: if you really want to properly lose fat and get that summer body ready, start now!! I don’t want you to be one of those people that leave everything for the last minute and start eating right and exercising on May 28th to look good on June 7th… you can’t do in a month what you should have done in 3.
So, if you want to get summer ready, photoshoot ready, show ready or you just want to lose fat for whatever your personal reason is, the first thing you need to remember is that IT TAKES TIME. Give yourself enough time and don’t rush things!
There is no magic pill, food, supplement or workout plan. It takes hard work, consistency and time!!
That being said, let’s get started!
1.- Caloric deficit is everything.
Without this, you can’t lose fat. It’s that simple. A caloric deficit is when you consume less calories than you burn (or you burn more than you consume, however you want to say it). The result is a negative output in your daily caloric balance.
Your body needs X calories a day in order to stay in your current shape. If you eat below that number, you lose weight. If you eat above that number, you gain weight.
Notice how I wrote weight? I wrote weight, and not fat, because when you gain/lose weight it doesn’t necessarily have to be fat. It can be fat and it can be muscle. And that leads to my next point.
In my opinion and personal experience, a 300-500 kcal deficit is the best option.
2.- Eat better, not less.
If you want to lose fat, you need to eat in a caloric deficit and you need a proper macronutrient (carbs, proteins and fats) distribution that supports your goals. That means eating enough amounts of all three macronutrients so your body can function correctly, and you can properly eliminate fat.
You want to eat enough amounts of proteins, because you want to preserve your muscle mass; you want to eat enough amounts of carbs, because you don’t want to feel like a zombie and want to have energy during your workouts; and you want to eat enough amounts of fats cause you don’t want your hormonal system to go crazy, amongst other things.
That means, you need to eat enough of everything, while being in a caloric deficit.
No, you don’t have to starve 24/7 to lose fat. Don’t drastically decrease your calorie intake thinking that by doing that you are going to lose more fat. That is unhealthy, not sustainable and the worst possible protocol when it comes to fat loss. The best fat loss nutritional plan is the one that is enjoyable, sustainable and healthy.
Besides, you need to eat enough in order to maintain your metabolism healthy in the long run.
I would recommend you to start with 20% fats, 50% carbs and 30% protein and adjust according to your circumstances, results and depending on how your body responds.
3.- Track your food.
Count calories, count macros, follow a meal plan, whatever you want to do, but make sure you know exactly what you are eating. It is very easy to lose track and to not be aware of the “hidden” calories. “A bit of this here, a little bit of that there, a few extra grams of this… it won’t hurt much right?!” and boom, you’ve consumed 300 extra cals that day. It may be tedious at first, but when you adopt the habit it is just automatic. Learn to track the food you consume.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a social life and can’t go out to have dinner with your friends every now and then. This means that you need to be aware of that and you need to adapt to the circumstances. It maybe means eating less during the day in order to save calories for that meal, or maybe means prolonging your workout and/or doing some extra cardio in order to pre burn the excess of calories you are going to have later, etc. How you adapt is your personal choice. But adapt yourself to the circumstances. You control your diet, your diet doesn’t control you ;)
4.- Train with the weights!!!
Remember that you want to lose fat, not muscle. So, you MUST train with weights in order to tell your body that it needs to preserve your muscle mass. Weight training will give your body the proper stimulus to make it maintain as much muscle mass as possible during your fat loss phase. Building muscle can be very hard, so the last thing you want on a cutting phase is to lose it.
Also, an hour of intense weight lifting burns more calories than an hour on the treadmill (based on average training in both cases), so don’t go to the gym just to do some cardio. Cardio is just a tool that helps you to increase your total daily caloric deficit. But your main method for burning calories should be regular weight lifting. If you want to burn more calories, grab the weights and start lifting!!
5.- Make it your lifestyle.
If you want long term results, you need to adopt the lifestyle. You need to understand that this is not something that happens overnight, it requires patience, consistency and hard work. Yes, that sounds very cliché. Yes, it is the truth. Stop looking for shortcuts, stop looking for miraculous pills or products. It requires time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Make permanent changes in your food choices and create nutritional habits that will help you live a better and healthier life. Learn about nutrition and about exercise, try to understand how your body works and how it responds to different foods, types of exercise, etc. Make it part of your life.
I know this is easier said than done. Specially if you have developed lifelong poor nutritional habits, changing your habits now and start eating healthy can be a real challenge. I haven’t always eaten like I do now, and I know how hard it can be to truly create new and better nutritional habits that substitute the old and bad ones. If this is you, don’t rush things, just take one step at a time and treat each day like small victory. If you lose a battle don’t panic, what’s done it’s done. Focus on the next one.
Daily victories is what will make you win the war.
That’s it for today’s post!! If you have any doubt, question, suggestion or constructive critic, please do not hesitate to let it in the comments section or use my social media.
And don’t forget to share the post!
See you in the next one! :)