How much fat you lose depends on a caloric deficit. This is the "calories in minus calories out" rule. For most people, a caloric deficit of 500-1000 kCal can speed up your fat loss at 1-2 pounds per week. Add regular exercise to the program and you'll achieve a greater deficit in a shorter time. Follow these five cardinal rules of fast fat loss to prevent sabotage of any hard-earned gains:
1. Know the Basics of Macro Tracking
First, determine how much proteins, carbohydrates, and fats you need to lose weight. Then, track every food item at every meal. Guidelines from the Food and Nutrition Board state the following: no less than 1200 kCal per day for women and 1400 kCal for men. For an accurate measure of your macros, buy a food scale.
- Use a food diary app
- Read food labels
- "Eyeball" portion sizes during food prep
The key is to remove the guesswork from the equation and have control of your fat loss.
2. Learn to Love Low-Carb
One fat loss diet option would be a true low-carb ketogenic diet, to potentially increase the speed of your body's fat burning processes. Studies show that consuming high dietary fats (avocados, coconuts, nuts, butter, meats, fish, etc.) can help speed up fat loss, by converting your body's main energy source to fats rather than carbs. To lose fat fast, consume 50g or less of carbs with moderate protein and high fats. Be sure to do plenty of additional research on the ketogenic diet to utilize it properly and safely.
3. Understand the Difference between Water Loss vs. Fat Loss
Water loss accompanies fat loss on a low-calorie diet, leading to a false reading of total fat loss. Unlike water, body fat doesn't fluctuate and takes time to burn. To lose 1 pound of fat you must remove 500 calories from your diet for 7 days. This means, if you lose 10 pounds in that week, 9 pounds is water loss with 1 pound fat loss. Counting water losses will distort your true gains, leading to poor planning and fitness strategies.
4. Avoid Fruits in the Early Stages of a Fat Loss Plan
Recent studies show fructose activates enzymes such as fructokinase, which is utilized for carb metabolism. Unlike glucose, excess fructose is generally stored as fat. This can cause rapid weight gain if macros aren't tracked properly. In fact, animals eat fruits to gain fat in the fall to stay warm during winter. Fruits are high in micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.), so be sure to implement plenty of vegetables into your diet, as well as a multi-vitamin, to optimize overall health and function.
5. Perform HIIT Exercises and Weight Training
Lose an estimated six times more body fat and prevent plateaus with high intensity interval training (HIIT). Popular among elite athletes, a 20-minute HIIT program performed to muscle fatigue does more to shred body fat than moderate aerobic activity. For a steady burn, keep your body guessing by varying your HIIT program from week to week or session to session.
Utilize weight lifting to maintain strength and muscle shape throughout your fat loss program. A frequently ignored fact regarding weight lifting is the fact that an hour of moderate to intense weight lifting can burn substantially more calories than an hour of steady state cardio.