Trying to lose body fat and achieving results quickly is often seen as a complicated process that only a few really understand.
The truth is that losing body fat is actually simple in terms of planning it is the execution is where we all struggle.
Also there are many approaches to use that will all help you get results if followed correctly but with this much choice it often leads to confusion and a lack of consistency as people continually bounce from one diet plan to another looking for the magic formula that will deliver instant gratification.
Now even though I promote a paleo focused diet approach on this site there is no one size fits all plan that guarantees results for everybody.
However I do believe that whatever diet you follow there is a set of guidelines that can be applied and then tweaked to personal requirements.
This is what I want to share with you in this article. A ten point checklist to help you lose fat in 30 days or less with the option to make changes as and when needed.
I have given 30 days as the minimum to stick with this plan as I feel that is the point where you will start to notice changes and hopefully gain new habits to help you continue on the journey.
Ideally though you want to be taking this approach for as long as possible to achieve very significant and lasting changes to your body shape and composition.
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1. Start a food diary for the next few days and make a note of all the foods and drinks you have every day. Once you have completed this use a calorie counter app or website and get a rough idea of how many calories and levels of nutrients you are consuming. Although I am not a massive fan of calorie counting do do need a rough guide of how many you are eating otherwise you can easily overdo it and stall your progress.
2. Once you know your daily calorie intake then reduce this figure by 15-20%.From this point track results and see what happens. If you are not seeing results reduce by 10% each week until you are regularly losing body fat. Ideally you should be losing 1-2 pounds per week (this may be more if you have quite a bit of weight to lose).
Although this doesn´t sound a lot you will be burning mostly fat and not losing lean muscle and therefore the effect on your physique will be very noticeable.
3. Decide whether to follow the weekly calorie planner where you eat low calories on certain days then increase calories during the week. I recommend choosing Monday to Thursday as lower calories days then increasing calories over the weekend. Alternatively you can decide to eat the same level of calories every day if you prefer or this suits your schedule better.
4.Once you have the calculations of your daily calorie totals design some meal plans. Remember every meal should contain a protein source and not contain the dreaded nutrient combination of high levels of carbohydrates and fats together.
5.With regard protein levels aim for between 0.6-1g of protein per pound of lean muscle mass.There is no definitive number here but I certainly would not drop under 0.6g of protein per pound of body fat during this phase. There are number of benefits to eating more protein which you can read about here.
6. When it comes to protein try to rotate your choices regularly and try to pick quality sources.Focus on a balanced approach between lean meats, fish and plant proteins. If you struggle to eat this amount of protein type foods then supplement with a protein powder. The popular choices are whey, casein and egg protein. However limit you consumption to 1-2 per day.
7. Plan to eat the bulk of your carbs around your workouts or have the bulk of them in the morning and lunchtime. Always try to save some of your allowance for after your workout.
8. Bulk up on green veggies and fibrous carbs. As you are reducing starch based carbs you need to increase the amount of fibrous carbs in your diet. When you eat a lot of this type of food it is very hard to gain body fat because calories per serving is low. If you are going to achieve low body fat levels then lean protein and veggies are going to constitute a large proportion of your diet.
9. Eat small meals and often. I know you probably have heard this already but the reason for this is because it works. Now there has been some debate on how many meals per day is really needed and yes it possible to lose weight just eating 2-3 times a day if you stay in a calorie deficit and reach your nutrient totals.
However the physique athletes will tell you 5-6 small protein based meals a day is the optimal level. I think the best way is too start with a meal frequency that suits you and your lifestyle then change it if you’re not seeing results. For women and smaller men I go for around 3-5 meals a day but if you are athlete of large guy then to fit in your daily macros then aim for 5-7 meals.
10. Plan your meals in advance. I know this can be a pain but if you want incredible results it does take that little bit more effort. Designing a daily meal plan on paper or in a spreadsheet lets you know exactly what is coming so you can stay organised and focused. Often peoples efforts are sabotaged because they don’t know what to eat or having nothing planned. The result is eating out, getting takeaway or just buying something easy and quick to make. This is ok occasionally but if you are doing this regularly every week it will make a difference to your progress.
Remember this is only a framework for you to work within and it will take some testing and tweaking to get things right for you. This is where a lot of people fail at the last hurdle because they set up their diet and everything is great at first but when things start to slow down or stop they just keep sticking with the old plan and fail to change.
However you design your diet plan or workouts this is the starting point from which you begin to measure results.
Follow it consistently then adjust your approach according to your results.
Once you start reducing calories the body can soon adapt. This is even more acute the leaner you get. The energy balance in your body is ever changing so the levels you started with are bound to change as your results progress. Once you have all this mastered you will be losing fat and seeing incredible changes to your body.
Thanks so much for visiting the site, I hope you enjoyed the article and if you have any questions about this topic or anything else please leave a comment below.