It’s time to get lean and shredded for summer time, so I’m sharing 10 strategies for maximizing fat loss. Whether you’re just getting started with your fitness or looking to take things to the next level, I believe these tips can help you out.
Episode 8 YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/svZMjR6gI-g
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Movie Clips: The Nutty Professor
Editing Animations Thank You: Darin Roberts Misteredit1 on YouTube
Website Design Thank You: DoeringDesign.com
What’s up wise guys and gals? Welcome to another edition of Wise Eats. I’m former fat guy and fitness enthusiast Wes Wise. Today, I want to talk to all of you about fat loss.
Last April, I started a 12-week weight loss challenge in which I tried to shred as much body fat as possible while recording all of my meals, workouts, and results. At the end of the 12-weeks, I had lost 15.6 total pounds and was easily in the best shape of my life. Now to some, 15.6lbs in 12 weeks may not be very impressive, but it is when you consider how much I strayed from my diet during that time and still achieved results. This weight cut taught me many valuable lessons about shredding body fat, and I’m going to share 10 of them with you today. Specifically, I want to talk about my results mid-way through the cut. With any fitness goal, it’s critical to assess your progress and make changes as needed. Midway through the cut, I wrote an article discussing what I was doing wrong and how I could improve results for the second half of the cut, and it made a huge difference.
So, before I get into the 10 tips, let’s take a look at where I was at before the weight cut:
Age: 34 Male
Start Date: 4-2-18
End Date: 5-14-18
Starting Weight: 198.6lbs
Ending Weight: 193.2lbs
Total Weight Loss: 5.4lbs
Avg Cals/Day Prior to Cut: 3,500-4,000
Avg Cals/Day During Cut: 2,500-2,700
High Protein/Low-Fat Approach
Protein 1.2g protein per pound of bodyweight
Protein: 240g Fat: 40g Carbohydrates: 278g
Prior to this cut, I had spent years lifting weights and eating lots of food, which made me fall into a permabulk situation. Eating lots of calories and working out all the time. Sure, I got in pretty good shape doing that, but once I dialed everything in, set this fat loss goal, and focused on what I was putting into my body, the changes came much more quickly. With that said, let’s get into the 10 tips learned from the first half of the cut. Whether you’re just getting started with your fitness or looking to take things to the next level, I believe these tips can help you out.
- Can’t Expect Results Overnight
Total weight loss during the first six weeks was 5½ lbs. Not as much as I hoped for, but it’s still nearly a full pound per week. I also made consistent strength gains in all of my major lifts (bench, squat, deadlift, overhead press), which was pretty surprising since I was in a calorie deficit. Ultimately, slow and steady weight loss is the goal to keep a sustainable, healthy weight. A crash diet resulting in drastic weight loss will burn valuable muscle and will hurt your metabolism. That said, I lacked some discipline during this cut and could’ve achieved results much faster. My biggest downfalls were lack of cardio and too many cheat meals.
- Eating Clean Does Not Guarantee Weight Loss
Although I have tracked my meals every day since 2009, I had gotten away from strict calorie counting in recent years and focused mainly on quality of nutrients. Eventually, this led to excessive caloric intake of 4,000 calories per day or more and accumulation of excess body fat, which is why I decided to start this weight cut. Sure, I’ve been lifting weights like a madman and gaining muscle but didn’t need nearly that many calories in order to acquire the muscle I wanted. Had my calories been around 3,000 per day, I could have still gained muscle without adding so much body fat in the process. In my opinion, it’s valuable to count calories so you know where you’re at, because you can very easily be too high or too low without realizing it. Calculate your baseline needs and adjust from there based on your desire to gain muscle or lose body fat.
- Dietary Fat is Your Best Friend and Your Worst Enemy
Dietary fat has tremendous health benefits, and it’s delicious. Grass fed butter. Avocado oil. Almonds. Coconut oil. Cashew butter, I love it all. But when it comes to losing weight and eating fat, tread lightly. Fat has the highest calorie content out of all the macronutrients at 9 calories per gram. It is also the nutrient most easily converted into body fat, far more than protein or carbohydrates. Leading up to this challenge, I was consuming anywhere from 100-200g or more of dietary fat per day under the assumption that it was clean eating and good for me. During this challenge, I limited my intake to 40-60 grams per day on most days, and this had a major impact on my ability to restrict calories and burn body fat.
- Learning to Utilize Intermittent Fasting
I normally live by the principle that you should eat every 2-3 hours based on your activity level, but intermittent fasting can be a great strategy for lowering your overall calorie intake. By putting off breakfast for a few hours in the morning, you can get a cognitive boost and utilize the many benefits of low intensity fasted cardio, like walking. I have my first meal about 2 hours after I wake up, and love the way I feel during that fasted period, so this is a strategy I’ve continued to this day. Currently, I’m trying to eat in a 10-hour window each day, which is nothing crazy at all.
- You Don’t Have to Starve to Lose Weight
Another thing that surprised me during this cut was that although I felt slightly hungry at times, I was never starving. I used to think that eating needed to be restricted to the point where I was physically uncomfortable in order to lose weight, but that’s just not the case. During this cut, I averaged anywhere from 6-8 meals per day at about 2,500 total calories. There were definitely times when I wanted to eat more, but I never felt truly deprived of anything during the cut.
- Cardio is Not Nearly as Necessary as You Might Think
I did almost no cardio during this first six weeks. I focused strictly on heavy, compound weight lifting 5 days per week. What little cardio I did do involved low intensity bike riding, walking, core workouts, and stretching. In the second half of the cut, I ended up doing more cardio to accelerate fat loss, but losing nearly a pound a week without any cardio is pretty cool. So, before you jump on that treadmill, rethink how you want to be spending your workout time. I recommend weight lifting wholeheartedly, as we learned in Episode 6.
- You Can Actually “Workout” Less, Lose More Weight
Exercise is still a critical component, but calorie restriction alone is enough to ensure weight loss. Prior to this cut, I was killing myself for hours in the gym every day, doing far more than I needed to achieve results. 30-60 mins of focused weight training with proper form and challenging weight are all you need to get strong and lose body fat. For cardio, short, intense sessions lasting 20-30 mins are all you need. Fasted walking first thing in the morning is another one of my favorite options for cardio. This cut taught me that rest and active recovery through stretching, foam rolling, and walking are just as important as strenuous physical activity.
- I Had Epic Cheat Days and Still Lost Weight
I usually try to limit myself to one cheat meal per week, if at all. Most of the time, I just have larger portions of the things I would normally eat. During this cut, I wanted to exclude all cheat meals, but failed miserably. A few dates nights with my wife with drinks and New York Style Pizza plus a couple big dinners with the family. Sure, these meals hindered my progress, but they were amazing and worth it to me. Plus, I still had the cut in the back of my mind. Every time I treated myself, I got right back on track, and was still able to achieve overall weight loss. So, obviously I did not eat perfect, but for the most part, I stayed committed to my calorie and macronutrient goals for the first six weeks.
- Carbs Are NOT Your Enemy
I lost weight during this time while still having plenty of sweet potato, fruits, vegetables, jasmine rice, oat bran, and beans. Carbohydrates fuel your workouts and provide valuable energy but have been bastardized by profit-seeking firms that are usually selling poisons and ineffective diet fads. Make sure you’re eating enough carbs based on your activity levels. During this cut, I had around 278g of carbs per day and felt great doing it. Eat your heart out keto. (Mike Matthews Keto Dieting)
- The final tip that I want to share with you today is that Fitness is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Optimizing your health is a lifelong journey. Focus on constant improvement and measurable results. One rep higher than your last workout. 10 seconds faster or 1 mile longer than before. Keep showing up and get at least 1% better than you were before every time. Small deposits in your physical bank account now add up to huge dividends later. Stay committed, keep making progress, and you will see results in time.
So, those are the lessons I learned in the first six weeks of a 12-week weight cut. I didn’t move any mountains, but did make some progress, which motivated me to keep going and do even better in the second six weeks, which I’m going to cover in a future episode. I hope you can take some of these fat loss insights and apply them to your own life. Health is wealth, so start making some wise choices now! Please contact me with any questions or comments you have over at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to produce the best possible info to help people get healthy and feel great because that’s how we should all be living. Thanks for watching on YouTube, listening on iTunes, or wherever else you might be hearing this. Now get out there, get after your fitness goals, and start making some wise decisions!