In case it wasn’t already well known, there are no ‘weight loss secrets’. There’s no trick, or back-door, or secret-path that’s going to get you losing weight. Unfortunately, there are no short cuts to your ideal, lean and defined physique. For most things that are worth having, a level of effort and work needs to be put in. And fat loss is no exception to the rule.
The best way to approach weight loss is to balance your hard work with an intelligent approach that doesn’t make things too complicated or overwhelming.
So here are some easy-to-implement, useful strategies to full-proof your approach to fat loss. Let’s not complicate things. 95% of people who “can’t lose weight” are falling short on one or more of the following:
NUMBER ONE – Eat real food
Eat real, single-ingredient foods.
- Would the food in your shopping trolley be recognised by people 100 years ago?
- Will the food in your shopping trolley rot if left for a few days?
- Does the food in your shopping trolley occur naturally?
If ‘no’ is the answer to any of those questions, leave it in the shopping store.
Note: I’m not saying that ‘non-natural’ foods are inherently evil or that you should christen yourself a “clean eater” and become obsessive-compuslive with your food.
All I’m getting at is that to get your kitchen in order to set you up for fat loss, the majority of your food should be wholesome foods, dense in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants, such as berries, sweet potatoes, nuts, seeds, salmon, eggs … not like ketchup, ready meals and cereal.
The last thing I want to do is encourage orthorexic-type behaviours resemblant of worrying that you may spontaneously combust if you eat anything that isn’t ‘natural’ or ‘clean’, as some may put it! … If you wish to indulge in some of your favourite ‘treat’ foods from time to time, this won’t kill you. If, on occasion, you feel like eating some cereal, toast, chocolate, milkshake or whatever it may be, by all means go ahead! Just try to keep it to a minimum (<10% of your daily calories). For some people, a more flexible nutritional approach like this works very well.
Now for others, with a more ‘all or nothing’ personality type, I would recommend abstaining from junk food as much as you can, until your intake of healthy single-ingredient foods has become habitual.
You need to ask yourself honestly which personality type are you: the ‘intensive’ person or the ‘slowly but surely’ person. The former may do well with cutting out all unhealthy foods so as to avoid a slippery slope, whereas the latter may do well with gradual improvements’. Either is absolutely fine. This is very individual. I’ll leave it to you!
NUMBER TWO – Get up and get going!
Human beings are not supposed to be sedentary folk who sit at office chairs for 8 hours per day, sandwiched by sitting in a car an hour either side of that, and only getting up to walk to the fridge.
We thrive of movement, and should be getting as much of it as possible.
This doesn’t mean exercising 5 times per day, or coating your steps or any other foolishness. It just means being movement-aware. Here are some things you can do:
- spend 5 minutes stretching at intermittent times during the day
- walk into town instead of driving
- join in during light-hearted sport when the opportunity comes your way
- get a pet, if you can!
- get a hobby, if you can!
- Don’t spend too much time sat on your backside!
NUMBER THREE – Your best friends are protein + veg
Skimp out on protein and vegetables, and you miss out on:
- blood sugar control
- increased dietary fibre
- increased intake of vitamins and minerals
- increased intake of phytonutrients and antioxidants
- increased muscle protein synthesis
- synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters
- growth and repair
As you can see, adequate protein and vegetables in abundance is crucial for health. And when it comes to getting in shape, aesthetically pleasing weight loss often follows health optimisation. Whilst a slim body isn’t always a health body, a healthy body will always improve the internal environment favourable to fat loss.
NUMBER FOUR – Train four days per week.
This doesn’t need to be a life-long investment. But it’s something you certainly need until you become more competent and confident enough to train by yourself.
This doesn’t take as long as you might think, either.
NUMBER FIVE – Don’t forget numbers 1-4!
Don’t cheat on any of the above. Honesty is key to success.
If results aren’t coming, the chances are it’s not because you’re different or because you have ‘metabolic damage’ but rather because you’re skimping on one or more of the above points.
If results aren’t coming, should you go straight to supplements to ‘up your game’?
Probably not. Supplements help when you have the basics mastered.
But most people look towards supplements and other advanced strategies as the answer before their nutrition is even 60% on track. Remember that supplementation for weight loss is merely the icing on the cake.
Don’t major in the minors.
If you start your journey in the simple and direct way I’ve bullet-pointed it above, it’s not actually that daunting at all. And although effort does come into it, it’s not as complicated or restrictive as many people think.
People tend to worry too much about ‘calories’ too early on. And yes, calories do matter! But to be honest, the calorie deficit doesn’t need to be great, and for a lot of people, focussing on calories often brings with it a counterproductive level of compulsion and stress.
I find that 90% of people naturally veer into a gentle calorie deficit once they start doing the above (aka training, making healthier nutritional choices). This happens for various reasons such as leptin and insulin sensitivity, increases in adiponectin, reduced oxidative stress, increased production of a hormone called BDNF. The list goes on.
In addition, all of the above will help you control your blood sugar, which is the most important thing when it comes to body composition: i.e. whether or not the weight you lose is fat or LBM. This is how people lose fat whilst not necessarily losing weight or being in a calorie deficit.
In summary: The trick is to move more, get a solid level of healthy nutrition into your life, and to train hard a few times per week. If you do this, you’ll probably lose weight. If you don’t, you probably won’t… Simple.
And never again look at another diet pill, start another fad diet, follow another guru, or search for ‘weight loss secrets’ that don’t exist.
Book a FREE Transformation Session with Jack to discuss your own weight loss / physique goals.