FAT loss is the main fitness goal most of my clients and the general population have. It seems easy in theory, but in reality, its actually a lot tougher to achieve
The basics of fat loss are constant, have a decent amount of good quality protein, eat plenty of greens and ensure you are in a calorie deficit.
In addition to these, there are several other factors you need to take into account.
Here are my TOP five:
1. You’re Eating Too Many Calories
This sounds too simple, but most people have no idea how many calories they are eating, and they don’t realise the constant snacking through the day adds up significantly.
This is especially true with new clients who come to me, who up till then had thought eating well Monday to Friday was sufficient.
In 90% of clients I take on who are trying to lose fat, it’s almost always the weekends that really let them down.
If you’re dieting hard Monday to Friday, but like to relax on weekends, all too often this can bring you out of a weekly deficit and into maintenance.
There’s also a belief in many people that if you don’t eat carbs, you can eat all the protein and fat you like. This is false – calories do count!
Controlling your calories is still the easiest way to drop body fat. To keep an
eye on them, start keeping a food journal and write down everything you eat.
This can also be done on my custom CJ coaching APP, this is available on any of my Custom Programs
2. You are not ACTIVE enough!
People complain about their “slow metabolisms”, generally unless they have been diagnosed with a metabolic issue their real issue is a lack of activity!
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR), plus the thermic effect of the foods you eat, added to something known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) makes up your energy requirements.
This NEAT is an important part of the equation, and where you can easily get tripped up. Depending on how active you are, it can make up anywhere from 15-50% of your total energy expenditure, which can really make the difference between a caloric maintenance and deficit.
It essentially counts for all the ‘non-intentional’ exercise you do in the day.
Almost all our clients, when they sign up, are sedentary office workers who may or may not ‘workout’. Their NEAT is also extremely low, which can make losing body fat tougher later down the line, as the energy deficit is less established.
The best solution here is to start tracking your steps, I would aim for 10k steps a day, all of the latest smartphones will track your steps or alternatively, you can get a smartwatch such as a FIT bit or an Oura ring.
How can you fit this in your schedule?
Start walking to the station, taking the stairs instead of the lift, go out for lunchtime walks etc. The possibilities are endless. The main factor is to structure this activity into your daily schedule.
A more extreme example of the importance of NEAT is in the latter stages of transformations when the low calories and body fat can really drain your energy.
You may start feeling lethargic, tired and lazy and will unintentionally move a lot less. If you’re not careful, you may reduce your calorie deficit and slow down fat loss.
This is when you need to be conscious of staying active, going for walks, and hitting your step targets.
3. A food that is healthy is calorie free!
For those new, to fitness, it’s easy to be scammed by marketing from the supplement and food companies.
The promotion of ‘healthy foods’ may be close to the worst.
‘Healthy’ salads, ‘healthy’ teas all sold in ‘healthy’ shops all around major cities. The problem is when you add up all the ingredients packaged inside, it can account for a lot more than you might think.
The other issue we almost never fail to see is the over-consumption of ‘healthy foods’ such as nuts, nut butter, and dried fruit.
These foods are great but incredibly calorie dense.
If you’re not exerting portion control on your nuts, it’s very easy to finish a bag of 100 grams which can add up to well over 500 calories in one hit.
In fact, in the past, we used to advise a ‘handful’ of nuts to go with your meat in the morning for breakfast. What we found was that a client’s ‘handful’ was very different to what we had in mind, and would end up throwing their calories way off balance.
If you’re going to add nuts or nut butter to your diet, either weigh it out or be very diligent with your portion control.
4. Consistency is KING
The most dramatic changes always occur in the final phases of a 12 or 24-week transformation
. When I put my clients through 12-16 week transformations
, we always see the most dramatic changes occur in the last four weeks.
What the exact science is, we’re not sure, but there’s always something magical about the way a transformation comes together in the closing stages.
Our guess is it has to do with the incredible consistency and diligence we expect of our clients over a long period of time.
In the age of information overload, programme hopping is one of the biggest roadblocks.
During our initial interviews with clients, the confusion surrounding fitness has led them to try almost everything under the sun but never sticking with one.
How Tom achieved his incredible 13kg weight loss with CJ Coaching
Here’s how it goes:
You start a diet and lose two pounds in the first week, great.
Following two weeks you lose 1 pound per week, great.
Following week you lose nothing, doubt.
Following week you lose a half pound, panic.
You feel disheartened, binge, and start a new, different diet.
This vicious cycle is an epidemic and one that needs to break.
Its super important that you find one knowledgeable resource of information, follow their advice and plan, be consistent and stick to it for at least 12-16 weeks!
When you become consistent you then ingrain good habits! These habits will then stay with you and keep you in shape after the transformation
Eat every 2 to 4 hours.
Every meal must contain protein
Eat veggies at each meal
Eat a mix of healthy fats daily
Keep your carbs around the workout window, fast acting carbs only post
5. No goal and No Accountability or Support
Everyone would love to be self-motivated and internally driven, but even the most driven individuals need someone to give them a kick up the backside when required, myself included.
Its human nature that as soon as we are accountable to someone else we will increase our efforts and ensure we don’t let the other person down!
This is the main reason my clients are sooooo successful! It’s the continued support over a period of time keeping them accountable that gets the results!
How to Set Your Goal?
SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time) principle is a good place to start. Just saying you want to ‘lose some body fat’ is a recipe for zero progress.
A better goal would be:
‘I want to lose 15 pounds (specific) of body fat in 10 weeks (measurable,
achievable, time) so I can look great on holiday! (Relevant).
Once you’ve set the goal, you need to create accountability.
One way is telling all your friends and family what you’re trying to do, which will not only build accountability but also create a support network to help you achieve your goal.
The social element of body transformation is underrated. Your social support can really make or break your goals, so it’s vital you’re surrounding yourself with the right people and the right information! Be wary of who you follow or listen to on social media