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The Essential Step-by-Step Formula for Supercharging Fat Loss - An Active Living Ultimate Guide

The Essential Step-by-Step Formula for Supercharging Fat Loss - An Active Living Ultimate Guide

Want abs? Need to drop weight for an upcoming race? Just want to look better when you're taking mirror selfies?

Then learning the skill of supercharging fat loss is essential to your fitness goals.

Look - Stuff happens. Weight fluctuates. Sometimes you fall off the wagon and let yourself go. It's part of life. You're not always going to be in the best shape of your life.

What's important right now is that you're here, and you're ready to get it all back together.

There are several things you can do to supercharge fat loss, and make sure it keeps coming off day by day.

Some of these you may not like. Most require putting in some extra work, but if it was easy, everyone would look like Ryan Reynolds or Kate Beckinsale, right?

The more you put in, the more you get out, as they say.

Download the Ultimate Fat Loss Cheat Sheet

Here's the perfect companion to this ultimate guide that you can take with you, a one page full-color cheat sheet. Print it out and post it wherever you spend the most time for easy recall of every step you read in this post. Just click the image and enter your name and email address for instant access.

Ultimate Fat Loss Cheat Sheet

Good Habits Are Essential

I also want to point out that losing fat is going to take some habit change. Habit changes typically take about 21 days to get ingrained into your life.

It's sometimes difficult to do all of this at once, so you'll notice this guide is set up to be progressive in three week intervals (21 days).

Start at the beginning, and work your way to the end. Add each piece one at a time and make sure you retain the previous habit.

If that sounds like it'll take too long, feel free to try to shortcut it, but I'll just caution you now that this will be more stressful.

Just be sure to get comfortable with one before you move onto the next step in each phase.

By the time you're finished, you'll be equipped to be the in the next Baywatch movie.

Here are is your essential step-by-step formula for supercharging fat loss.

Fat Loss is 71% Nutrition / 29% Exercise

steak dinner

Ok. I just made those up, but it's probably pretty close in my experience. Who knows the actual percentages? :)

The point is, if you want to get started losing body fat and the first thing you're trying to figure out is your workout plan, you're doing it wrong.

We'll get working out shortly.

That may sound silly coming from a fitness gear website, but it's the truth.

You can work out 6 days a week, and if you don't change your diet, you'll see minimal differences.

Sure, you'll get stronger, but your body will stay essentially the same.

You cannot sustainably outwork poor eating habits.

On the other hand, if you commit to using a proven nutrition framework, you can easily lose a significant amount of body fat without even walking into the gym.

Here are some popular and proven fat loss frameworks to get you started:

  • Paleo
  • Renaissance Periodization (RP for short)
  • Slow-Carb
  • Bulletproof (probably the easiest I've ever done)
  • Eat Real Food

All of these are similar in their focus on limiting sugars and carbs, and allowing nutrient-rich proteins and fats.

Focus on nailing down a nutrition routine for three weeks before you even think about adding fitness into the picture. Changing too much is often too stressful and will cause you to quit quickly.

By the way, I recommend you stay away from the "big box diets" such as South Beach, Weight Watchers, Beach Body, etc. They're engineered to make profits by selling you food and asking you to sell their products yourself, not to help you sustainably lose weight.

Download the Ultimate Fat Loss Cheat Sheet

Here's the perfect companion to this ultimate guide that you can take with you, a one page full-color cheat sheet. Print it out and post it wherever you spend the most time for easy recall of every step you read in this post. Just click the image and enter your name and email address for instant access.

Ultimate Fat Loss Cheat Sheet

Plan Meals and Stick to a Simple Routine

routine fat loss

When making any large change, nutrition included, doing the planning up front with how you'll execute that change is critical to success.

It not only ensures you have a plan, but it also psychologically commits you to executing it, skyrocketing your chance for success.

Take a few minutes to sit down and plan out what you'll eat a few days in advance. You don't have to do all 21 days. Just know what you're going to eat for your next few meals before you are scrambling to not starve. That's when bad things occur.

It also helps to stick to a timed routine if possible. This way you leave nothing to question and your body knows when food is coming (helping your metabolism be more smooth and balancing your energy levels).

For example, here is my Bulletproof Diet routine:

  • 6:30 AM - Bulletproof Coffee
  • 11:30 AM - Light lunch with mostly fats and protein
  • 3:30 PM (optional) - Tablespoon of peanut butter if needed
  • 6:30 PM - Protein and fat rich dinner with light healthy carbs
  • 8 PM - Protein shake if it's a workout day

It's very simple and easy to follow and allows me to stay consistent without much difficulty.

Strive for simplicity in your nutrition routine as well. The simpler you make it, the higher the likelihood is that you'll stick to it.

Drinking Calories (and Alcohol) Will Destroy Progress

drinking soda fat calories

One of the most simple rules to losing fat to take to heart immediately is this one. Drinking calories in the form of soft drinks, foo foo coffe that isn't actually coffee, or other sugary drinks is the easiest way to stunt your fat loss progress.

It's incredibly easy to drink 500+ calories in a day. Save those calories for something that will help your progress, not hinder it.

Sugary drinks (including fruit-based smoothies) also spike your blood sugar, causing you to crash very quickly. This leaves you in an extremely hungry state and causes additional cravings. I don't have to tell you that's a dangerous cycle.

The same goes for alcohol, except it's even worse. Not only does most alcohol metabolize as sugar in your body, but it essentially shuts down your metabolism while your liver processes it - meaning the calories in alcohol go straight to fat cells, as well as anything else you eat or drink during that timeframe (mixers, snack food, pizza etc).

It can definitely be difficult to keep yourself from these drinks. They're chemically designed to make you want to drink them.

Just be mentally strong by keeping your goals in mind. Each time you drink one, you're setting yourself back.

Use an app like Pact to help you stick to a food logging habit.

Download the Ultimate Fat Loss Cheat Sheet

Here's the perfect companion to this ultimate guide that you can take with you, a one page full-color cheat sheet. Print it out and post it wherever you spend the most time for easy recall of every step you read in this post. Just click the image and enter your name and email address for instant access.

Ultimate Fat Loss Cheat Sheet

Learn to Curb Your Cravings

Cravings are a huge part of any nutrition shift. As your body adjusts to using different types of fuel for energy, it's going to crave what you're not giving it.

In the cases when you crave sweets, sodas, cheeseburgers (my guilty pleasure), fried foods, and everything that is toxic to your fat loss, there are a couple of very simple things you can do to prevent yourself from relapsing.

Drink Cold Water - Cold water is magical. It'll fill your stomach and help balance your blood sugar, helping to calm down the craving that you're experiencing. In a few minutes, it'll likely be gone, and you can go about your day.

Eat a Tablespoon of Peanut Butter - Peanut butter is high in saturated fat and has a decent amount of protein, both of which your body uses very well for long period of time for fuel. There is enough fat and protein in just one tablespoon of peanut butter to curb cravings for hours. Just don't overdo it. Peanut butter is really good, and the calories can add up quickly.

Eat a Handful of Healthy Nuts - This is the same situation as peanut butter, just not as good. If you would rather not look like a weirdo eating a spoonful of peanut butter, then just make sure you keep a bag of almonds, cashews, pistachios, or other healthy nuts available to snack on. Just one small handful contains enough fat and protein to hold you over until your next scheduled meal.

Fitness Will Take Your Fat Loss to the Next Level

fitness fat loss

Once you've got your nutrition under control and you've sustainably lost a few pounds, it's time to take the next step.

It's no secret that fitness helps fat loss, but what kind of exercise should you do?

Well, the best wisdom I can give you is this.

The best exercise to start with is the one you will actually do.

For the love of God, remember that.

There are plenty of different ways to stay active, from running, to biking, to lifting weights, to walking, and everything in between.

You've gotta start somewhere. If you're a novice when it comes to using fitness for fat loss, first just focus on getting in a routine of moving for an extended period of time.

Pick something - anything - that you can do 3-4 days a week consistently for 20 minutes (not 5 minutes).

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Rowing
  • Climbing stairs
  • Heavy bag work
  • Kettlebells
  • Short in-home workouts
  • Yoga
  • Anything else that keeps you moving

Do this for three weeks consistently.

If you can maintain that routine, then you're ready to take the next step. If not, just try to learn from what went wrong, and try again until you can.

Now let's talk about getting into specific exercises that will put your fat loss on overdrive.

This is the stuff that most people NEVER learn. If you can achieve the next step, you'll be in better shape than 95% of people will ever be.

Download the Ultimate Fat Loss Cheat Sheet

Here's the perfect companion to this ultimate guide that you can take with you, a one page full-color cheat sheet. Print it out and post it wherever you spend the most time for easy recall of every step you read in this post. Just click the image and enter your name and email address for instant access.

Ultimate Fat Loss Cheat Sheet

You Can Burn (A LOT) of Calories While You Sleep

sleeping fat loss

As we've talked about before, and I'm sure you have heard many times, there is a very straightforward equation to simplify fat loss / gain.

  • Calories In - Calories Out = Fat Loss / Gain

Sure, there's a little more to it than that, but that's an excellent 80/20 rule and is all you need to be successful.

So this basically means if your body uses more calories than it takes in on a consistent basis, weight loss will occur at a very high probability.

So, with that said, there are a two ends to the spectrum of burning calories.

  • Active calories burned, which are calories burned while working out
  • Passive calories burned, which are calories burned while not working out

The first one makes sense right?

If you huff and puff on an eliptical or treadmill machine for an hour, your body uses energy to do that. You burn several hundred calories while doing it.

Not that complicated.

But what is confusing is the second one. How do you burn calories passively?

Well, every system in your body uses energy to keep itself alive and functioning at it's peak, even if you're not actively doing something, especially your tissue system.

If your body is constantly repairing itself, that takes energy, and quite a significant amount of it.

If you've ever been injured or sick, you know how much energy that takes. That's your body desperately trying to repair itself.

The same thing happens when you break down muscle tissue during a workout. Your body recruits A LOT of energy to repair that muscle tissue, and burns A LOT of calories while doing it.

Not only does breaking down muscle burn a lot more calories while you're doing it, but while your body is sore and recovering, it also burns hundreds of additional calories for DAYS following your workout.

Couple this with 3-4 workouts a week, and your body is burning fat constantly as fuel, not just for 40 minutes a day a few times a week.

This is how you passively burn calories. Coupled with a constant calorie deficit through proper nutrition, this is how you torch fat very quickly.

So, how do you break down muscle tissue?

back squat fat loss

Simply put, with weight training or heavy resistance training.

The more muscle groups you recruit, the better the tissue breakdown will be.

Get comfortable doing compound exercises like pushups, kettlebell swings, weighted squats, deadlifts, bench presses, power cleans, dips, etc.

If you're worried about getting bulky, don't. You won't unless you're eating 3,000 calories a day.

If you're worried about doing the movements correctly, that's good. Ask a trainer at your gym to teach you, and start light. You can also take a few minutes to look up any movement you want to learn on Youtube.

You'll burn 5-7 times more calories during the day as your body recovers from the tissue breakdown.

Additionally, each pound of muscle you put on will raise your base metabolism. Adding just 3 pounds of muscle can help you burn 150 additional calories a day passively, plus you'll look a lot better too!

Shoot for simple 4 x 7 sets of a couple of exercises each session to keep it simple to start (4 sets of 7 reps). Use a moderately heavy weight to challenge your muscles, but to also stay safe.

Do 30 minutes 3 times a week coupled with good nutrition and you'll become a fat burning machine.

Let's Optimize!

Once you've established these three key habits, now it's time to optimize.

Go back and examine your nutrition and activity habits and look for things you could be doing better to get more out of them.

  • Could you eat better foods?
  • Could you learn easier recipes?
  • Could you learn more efficient exercises?
  • Could you make your schedule more efficient?

Look for any gaps where you can make things easier on yourself. This is what will ultimately allow you to sustain your new habits. This is absolutely vital for long-term success.

You can do anything for a couple of months, but if you can't optimize it to make it sustainable, then you'll just end up right back where you were at this time next year.

Spend a few weeks working on small tweaks and optimizations to help you stick to your routines. Identify anything that is difficult for you to do, and figure out a way to make those things easier on yourself to pull off.

For example, I built a small home gym in my garage so I could work out on a more effective schedule.

I also have a few simple go-to healthy meals that take about 15 minutes for those busier days.

Think about things you can do that are similar to this to help you stick to your habits over time.

So, Let's Review

This step-by-step formula is all you need to supercharge fat loss. Keep it simple. Stick to a routine and there's no doubt you'll be successful.

  • Get Your Nutrition Under Control - 3 Weeks
  • Then Incorporate Light Physical Activity - 3 Weeks
  • Then Add Weight Training - 3 Weeks

Each new habit builds on the previous one. Make sure you can stick to your new habit for a period of 21 days before moving onto the next. You don't want to try to do too much at once.

Continue to eat well, maintain a small calorie deficit every day, and continue to be active, and you'll hit your fat loss goals in no time.

Download the Ultimate Fat Loss Cheat Sheet

Here's the perfect companion to this ultimate guide that you can take with you, a one page full-color cheat sheet. Print it out and post it wherever you spend the most time for easy recall of every step you read in this post. Just click the image and enter your name and email address for instant access.

Ultimate Fat Loss Cheat Sheet


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