Your goal is fat loss
So you’re looking for the secret to fat loss. You’ve tried it all. Low carb diets, low fat diets, intermittent fasting, ketogenic diets, six small meals per day, low GI diets, not eating after 6pm, you’ve even tried “cleansing” and “detoxing”. Nothing seems to work. Those (insert number here) pounds you’ve been trying to get rid of for, well, forever, just won’t budge and your long-sought six pack is nowhere to be found.
Don’t despair. You are not alone! In fact, research shows that most people who are trying to lose weight and keep it off are failing miserably.
The fitness industry sucks
The fitness industry is, of course, doing its part in misinforming and confusing you as much as possible.
Because the fitness industry is packed with con artists and charlatans who are trying to make a quick buck by selling you crap that doesn’t work, whether it’s a supplement, book, 21-day fix or “cleansing” product.
And people are falling for it. Every. Single. Time.
Now, we’re not here to judge you. We are here to make sure that you are getting fitness information that is objective, unbiased and always up-to-date with the latest scientific research.
Ready for the secret to fat loss?
Enough talk, then. Time to reveal the secret to fat loss we’ve promised you. Are you ready for it? Drum-roll… and…
THERE IS NO SECRET.
That’s right. There is absolutely no secret, so stop looking for one. The mere mindset of looking for a secret or quick fix is distracting you from what you really need to be doing and sabotaging your fat loss efforts from the get go.
What really causes fat loss
Fat loss is and has always been about the same thing: sustaining an honest energy deficit in the long term. Simply put, it’s about eating (and drinking) fewer calories than you are burning.
Contrary to most of what you’ve ever been told, fat loss is NOT about special food combinations, unique macronutrient percentages, frequent or infrequent meals, and so on. Instead, it is primarily about routinely putting less energy into your body than what comes out of it.
In fact, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that any dieting approach that helps you increase dietary adherence and achieve an energy deficit in the long term will help you lose weight.
It may not be the shockingly amazing super awesome secret you wanted to hear, but it’s the truth.
In the words of Lyle McDonald:
…no matter how much you don’t want to believe it, or see claims to this effect, the only way to lose fat or weight is to create an imbalance between energy intake (from food) and energy output (from activity). No study in the history of ever has found an exception to this and every study has shown that this is what causes fat loss: a chronic long-term imbalance between intake and expenditure.
Now, don’t get us wrong. We are not saying that creating and sustaining an energy deficit is always simple or easy. However, with a few science-based weight loss tips, it doesn’t have to be as difficult and complicated as it’s made out to be.
Is it just about calories?
Now, you may be asking yourself: “are calories ALL that matter”?
Absolutely NOT! Calories matter, but they are not the only thing that matters.
You see, on its own, a hypocaloric diet is unlikely to give you an amazing body. Yes, it will result in weight loss, but other factors come into play when improved body composition is the goal.
For example, notice how, on the image above, we made sure to specify that a hypo- or hyper-caloric diet will result in a change in “body energy stores”, not necessarily in fat stores.
In reality, things like the amounts of each macronutrient you are taking in, the type of training you are doing, food quality and even meal timing will affect your body composition.
We won’t get into all that in this post, however. Building a great physique is a big topic and can’t be covered in just one blog post.