Do a Google search for "how to lose fat." I dare you.
You will find thousands upon thousands of different sources, with tons of different answers. If you took the time to compare and contrast all of those different answers, you'd find tons of similarities, and tons of differences. The problem is...
Since you have other important things to do, I'd like to make your life a bit easier. Below is a list of 5 things you should be doing to lose fat easier. If you turn these items into habits, the fat will stay off easier, too.
Lifting weights is going to be one of the best things you can do for your health and fitness no matter what your goal is. I don't care if your goal is fat loss, muscle building, or getting out of your car without groaning. You should be lifting weights.
When we introduce something to our body, it sends a signal telling our body to adapt. If you perform endurance running, your body will receive a signal telling it to adapt by improving its energy efficiency (your metabolism will slow down). If you perform mobility and stretching consistently, your body will receive a signal telling it to adapt my improving the muscles' ability to lengthen and create stability in those lengthened positions. The same concept applies for resistance training. When you lift weights, you send a signal to your body telling it to gain strength and build muscle. As a result, you will become stronger, and carry more lean tissue. This is beneficial for fat loss for one major reason. Resistance training promotes a faster metabolism, as well as muscle building. Muscle takes a lot of energy to maintain, so your metabolism will increase as a result of your increased muscle mass as well. In short, you'll build a fast metabolism, and as you know, fat loss is much easier with a faster metabolism.
Before I move on, I want to clarify something. When I say building muscle, I specifically mean adding ANY amount of lean muscle to your body. This applies for women wanting to increase tone and definition, as well as men wanting to get jacked. Any sort of increase in lean tissue (even if it's a small increase) will lead to a faster metabolism. You'll also look great, too. So that's nice.
TRACK YOUR FOOD
Tracking your food intake is something I believe EVERYONE should do. It is the best way you can get an extremely good idea of how food affects your internal health as well as fat loss. Tracking gives you an opportunity to know what and how much you're currently intaking, and also allows you to see what tweaks you need to make in order to lose more fat. We've been trained to mindlessly eat since we were kids. You'll be astonished by what you discover when you finally decide to keep a log of your food.
Here's the thing. Fat loss and finances are similar in many ways. If you want to know how to save money, you're going to want to track your spending and create a budget in order to save more money. Similarly, if you want to lose fat, you're going to want to track your eating and create a "budget" in order to burn more energy than you consume in a day. In both scenarios, playing the guessing game is dangerous and will most likely put you in a bigger hole than you're in now. Take responsibility, get determined, and take note of what you do so you can make accurate and beneficial changes.
BOOST YOUR METABOLISM
I briefly discussed this before, but I'll go over it in more detail.
In the context of modern life, speeding up your metabolism is one of the best things you can do. It will make getting lean and staying lean much easier. Why? For starters, we are more sedentary than ever. In addition, food is more readily available than ever before. Simply put, we are moving less and eating more. So, having a faster metabolism will make it easier for you to burn more calories without sacrificing your lifestyle.
Two things you can do to boost your metabolism include eating more food and performing resistance training. If you do things the right way, you'll see your body's ability to burn through calories increase like crazy. While performing your resistance training program, slowly add volume to your workouts once your body begins to adapt. Increases in volume have been proven to enhance strength and muscle mass, which are going to help your metabolism. You can add volume to your training by adding weight, sets, reps, or a combination of the three. While tracking your nutrition, make sure you're eating enough protein, carbs, and fat for your desired outcome. The goal is to maintain your current weight week after week as you eat more food and add volume to your training.
This one is simple. If you're consistent, you'll see positive change. If you're inconsistent, you won't. It is better to be 90% consistent consistently than to be 100% consistent inconsistently. Don't stress too much about the BEST workout ever. Don't stress too much about the BEST nutrition protocol ever. Instead, focus on eating well 80% of the time, and getting all your workouts in. Even if that's too much, find ONE simple change in your training and ONE simple change in your nutrition that you can be consistent with. Once those changes have turned into habits, build from there.
HAVE YOUR EYES SET ON THE LONG TERM
Can you lose 20 pounds in two weeks? Yup. But you don't want to go down that road. Short-term, get fit quick routes will lead you to hole that will take years and years to dig yourself out of. If you want to build a lean body and be able to easily maintain it down the road, have your eyes set on the long term. If you want that kind of change, you need to accept the fact that you are going to make a lifestyle change. Lifestyle changes are no joke, and they take time. Once you have your long term goal and you've accepted the fact that you're making a lifestyle change, break things down a bit. Make daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Also, it may be a good idea to create behavior-based short-term goals for your outcome-based goals. Let's say your outcome-based goal is losing 50 pounds of body fat in a healthy way over the course of the next 2 years. Your behavior-based goals can be things like getting all your workouts in, meeting your macronutrient goals each day, and getting your body composition tested every month. Whatever you choose to do, create some behavior change. Outcome-based goals are achieved far more often when there are detailed behavior-based goals to go along with them.
If you want to lose fat and keep it off, make sure you implement these five things into your life.
Track your food
Boost your metabolism
Have your eyes set on the long term
If you do these things (even on a small scale) and slowly build, you will see great change in your health and fitness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam is a fitness professional, baseball fan, and cookie fanatic based in Fort Collins, Colorado. After hanging up the cleats, he found a strong interest in the human body and how it performs. Since then, Adam has been transforming lives through fitness in a fun and encouraging atmosphere. As an ACE CPT and Fitness Nutrition Specialist, he is constantly moved to help people improve in all walks of life. If you’re interested in hiring Adam as your coach, fill out an application here.