This is a good question.
The most rapid method of fat loss (without a medical procedure) is through the combination of diet and exercise.
I’ll elaborate more on both of these in just a second.
However, when fat loss (not weight loss) is the goal there are two big things to keep in mind.
Dieting for fat loss
The best way to create an energy deficit is to simply eat less. However, this advice is vague, and you can’t just “eat less” forever.
Your body is smart, and will adapt pretty quickly to a decrease in calories. This usually results in the body slowing down your metabolism, to make better use of the limited calories and energy supply it has.
This is why starvation diets fail.
A better approach for dieting for fat loss is to use a calorie cycling approach.
Calorie cycling simply means eating more on the days you workout hard, and less on the days you don’t workout, or have an easy workout.
Calorie cycling is a great way to create a long-term, sustainable energy deficit, that will set you up for fat loss success.
Now, you may be wondering what foods to eat.
The actual foods you eat are highly subjective, and will vary from person to person. However, below are two important guidelines you can follow, which fit into whatever food choices you prefer:
#1. Eat protein with every meal→
Make sure that you build each meal around protein first. This can be meat, eggs, seafood, vegan, protein powder…etc. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you get protein with every meal, first.
How much protein should you eat?
Again, this number will change from person to person, but a rough rule of thumb regarding protein intake is:
Women- aim for 0.7–0.9g per pound of bodyweight, per day
Men- aim for 0.8–1.0g per pound of bodyweight, per day
#2. Yo-yo fats and carbs →
What does this mean?
It means that when you eat a lot of carbs with a meal, you drop fat intake.
And, when you are having high amounts of fat with a meal, you drop carb intake.
Basically it’s a simple equation to keep your caloric intake under control.
Remember, first build each meal around protein. Then, if you are going to eat more carbs with that protein, drop fat intake pretty low (for that meal). And vice versa.
Makes sense, right?
Just to recap the dieting for fat loss piece:
You need to eat less food (overall) than you burn. The ideal way to create a calorie deficit (from food) is to use calorie cycling. Calorie cycling means eating more on the days you workout hard, and less on the days you don’t workout.
The actual foods you eat are up to you, but you should build each meal around protein sources, first. Fat and carbs are up for grabs, but should follow a yo-yo approach. Meaning, if you eat more carbs (with the protein) you eat less fats for that meal. And vice versa.
Exercising for fat loss
Now that you have idea about dieting for fat loss, lets shift gears and talk about the exercise part of the equation.
What are the best types of exercise for fat loss?
People may suggest different types of exercise, but here are my 3 recommendations:
#1. High intensity interval training
#2. Weight training
#3. Brisk walking
The ideal exercise plan for fat loss should involve a combination of these 3 types of exercise.
High intensity interval training, aka “HIIT”, has been proven to be an effective means for rapidly stripping bodyfat. The power of HIIT comes in the “afterburn” effect. Which essentially means your body will burn more calories at rest, after a hard HIIT session.
Ideal length for a HIIT session is 10–30 minutes, and should involve periods full out work, and periods of rest. An example of a HIIT session could be 10 rounds of 30 seconds of kettlebell swings, followed by 30 seconds of rest.
Go hard and rest often during HIIT. These workouts don’t need to be complicated.
When you are in an energy deficit your body will burn fat as fuel, but will also want to breakdown muscle tissue as well. To prevent this, it’s important to add in a weight training routine to your overall fat loss plan.
The ideal weight lifting routine is the one you will actually do (consistently), but a good starting point is the classic hypertrophy approach of:
2–3 sets per exercise, using 6–12 reps per set.
The goal from weight lifting during periods of fat loss isn’t so much to build more muscle, as it is to preserve the muscle mass you do have. Once you have slimmed down to your desired bodyfat percentage, then you can shift gears and start weight lifting for muscle gain. That’s another topic for another day, though.
And, lastly, use brisk fitness walking to fill in the exercise gaps during the week. Brisk fitness walking is an ideal form of low impact exercise, that works surprisingly well for burning off even the most stubborn of body fat. For best results, aim for brisk walks lasting between 20–60 minutes.
Sample template for successful fat loss
Ok, you’ve covered a lot of info in this post. Lets put it all together in a sample template which you can use right out of the box, or model to create a framework that best suits your life.
Day 1- Weight training + higher calorie day
Day 2- High intensity interval training (20–30 minutes) + moderate calorie day
Day 3- Brisk fitness walking (20–60 minutes) + lower calorie day
Day 4– Weight training + higher calorie day
Day 5- High intensity interval training (20–30 minutes) + moderate calorie day
Day 6- Brisk fitness walking (20–60 minutes) + lower calorie day
Day 7- Rest day + lower calorie day
Again, you can use this template as is or modify it to better suit your preferences and lifestyle.
Hope this article helps you find success on your quest to banish body fat.
Burn more calories in 20 minutes from home, than most people do in 60 minutes at the gym.
Find out how by grabbing the [FREE] high-intensity workout guide below