They have been my guiding anchor for the entirety of my career.
And they haven’t ever let me down yet.
When it comes to the Calorie Deficit Diet there is one guiding principle that you must acknowledge before we go any further.
“A Calorie Deficit is simple, but its not easy”.
I have written on the topic of what a Calorie Deficit is many times before.
And you are welcome to read it…once you have finished with this story first.
I am sure I will write about a Calorie Deficit at least once a month for the rest of my life because it is that complex.
Now I need to cue some irony because I am going to try and make the Calorie Deficit as simple, as accessible, and as easy for you to follow as I possibly can.
But please remember this. When you get to the end of the article, you will be pumped, inspired, and excited to get started.
But this is still difficult to adhere to consistently and patiently to allow yourself the real-time that fat loss needs.
This is an amazing starting point, and this should be your constant solid foundation, your comfort blanket for Fat Loss results.
If you want the video version of this article you can grab that right here:
So let's get started.
These are in no particular order of importance. They all require as much time and attention as the next one, and if you favor one over the other then you are very much cheating yourself out of success.
Awesome Rule For Fat Loss Life #1
You need to be in a Caloric Deficit.
Every rule hereafter will help you be in a Calorie Deficit.
But you cannot lose bodyweight, burn body fat, and try to change that scale number if you are not being adherent to a Calorie Deficit.
So how do you know if you are indeed in said deficit?
The crucial understanding for this is the principle of Energy Balance.
This dictates the following:
- Energy In = Energy Out = Calorie Maintence
- Energy In < Energy Out = Weight Loss
- Energy In > Energy Out = Weight Gain
Therefore by understanding this you can manipulate your Caloric Intake to make sure that you keep your calories where you want to achieve your goals.
Personally, I suggest tracking your calories each day using an App like MyFitness Pal.
However there a few considerations you need to have when using MyFitnessPal.
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- The Caloric Goal it will set you is too aggressive for long term sustainable weight loss. So please ignore it. Instead, use the following formula:
2. Calories are the most important for your goals.
3. Secondly its Protein, however Protein doesn’t have to be your biggest Macro Nutrient. Yes, Protein is important, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the biggest part of your diet. Then your Carbohydrates and your Fats. These are all just targets. Not pass/fail markers. If you don’t manage to hit your targets, don’t worry as long as your Calories are still in the right place.
4. Ignore Calories Burned from exercise. MYFP will take into account the calories you are expending from exercise, and then it will encourage you to add that against your calorie targets. Please do not do this. The whole point of your movement is to help you get into a Caloric Deficit, if you eat it all back…then what are you gaining if you are after Fat Loss? Added to that MYFP pulls in that Data from your smartwatch and these have been proven time and time again not be very accurate at calculating calories burned from aerobic exercise.
5. Remember you will never get it right. It is quite literally your best guess. All the time. Breaking down your homemade meals is a pain and it can become time-consuming and frustrating. Bear in mind you are using it as best guess, that its never going to be perfect will help take the pressure off you.
6. You only have to do it for a month — six weeks. This isn’t, and nor should it be a life long sentence for you to track your calories. All you need is to get yourself more calorie educated in two departments: Portion Control and Calories in your favorite foods. Once you have spent time educating yourself on these things then you will have a much better idea of where your calories are at each day.
7. It will take time out of your day. But don’t forget the big picture. 10 minutes a day for 6 weeks is little time invested compared to years of half arsing it and struggling along because you haven’t taken a moment to get educated and understand the process enough.
Awesome Rule For Fat Loss Life #2
3 Liters of Water A Day
Water has zero calories in it. As does Diet Soda.
The reason I am saying to you to drink more water is not because of the nonexistent calories in there.
It’s because Water will help you with a number of “negatives” that you might get when you start a Calorie Deficit.
Being in a Calorie can and will cause hunger as well as ever so slightly lowered energy levels.
Being hydrated will without a doubt help you curb your hunger, which in turn helps you stay adherent to a Calorie Deficit.
But it will also give you energy. The difference between you being hydrated and not being hydrated will become clear…when you become hydrated. A lot of people think that 3 liters is too much water, and can find it hard, to begin with. I understand that, so build-up to it. Take it steady, and add 500ml of water each day as you build slowly until you hit your 3 liters.
I had a client once who told me she would drown if she drank 3 liters of water a day. She also told me that she would get water intoxication.
I bargained with her. It will feel like a huge change and a large amount of liquid. But you will always look for reasons to not do something. You will always fight drastic measures to a degree. And you are right to do so. But in my 5 years of working with people…I have never had anyone say to me that this is a negative aspect of their work.
I told my client to give it a go, build slowly, and see what happens. She went on to lose 10kgs working with me, and she drank her water.
It's not a magic number. Everybody is different, and every body is different. But it’s a good baseline. It’s a number that is high enough to make you increase where you are currently at, its a good amount so you can get the benefits from it, and is achievable.
Here are some tips to help you get that water intake up:
- Start early. Wake up and get 500ml into your system from the off.
- Get a water bottle you enjoy drinking from and is at least 750ml big.
- Build slowly.
- Drink clear water on top of other liquids throughout the day. Don’t include Coffee, Tea, Juice as part of your 3L.
And here is the best bit.
You will be drinking more. Which means you will be going to the loo more.
When this happens and interrupts work etc…
Just remember Elmo.
Awesome Rule For Fat Loss Life #3
Protein and Veggies at every meal
In truth, I don’t care what you eat if you are working on a Calorie Deficit, as long as you are sticking to your numbers.
But…and this is a big wallopping Kim Kardashian “but”.
What you eat will make your life on a Calorie Deficit either a lot easier…or a hell of a lot harder.
There’s a fantastically huge amount of people out there who will set your deficit too low, tell you to eat Mars Bars and Donuts, and still lose weight.
Sell you the perfect dream.
You will lose weight, and they will get some great Work In Process Pictures from you. But they quite simply are not caring for your needs, and if you are willing to submit yourself to such torture, then you aren’t caring for your needs either.
This is why I don’t ever dictate to clients what foods they should be eating…but ask them to stick to some guidelines. And one of these guidelines is the following: Protein and Veggies at every meal.
Build your plate wisely.
I want you to feel the best you can whilst trying to lose weight, both mentally and physically.
This means eating protein because protein is satiating, it will help you preserve muscle and is always a good thing to eat.
There are many theories out there on “how much” protein you need. With this, like everything, do your best.
Whether its 1g per lb of bodyweight. Or 2g per lg of bodyweight.
Don’t lose sleep over it. Just remember, a lot like getting in 3L of water a day, we need you to aim for something more than you are currently doing, and whatever you achieve will be great. The percentage of Protein in your Diet will very rarely be higher than your Carbohydrate intake — that's ok.
Then let's add Vegetables. A good solid source of Carbohydrates, they are extremely nutrient-dense and don’t carry with them lots of calories.
From there…I always say that Carbs can come long for the ride. You can sprinkle in some rice, bulgur wheat, couscous, pasta, bread, or whatever. Sprinkle it in once you have your plate built with Protein and Veggies first. This way you will really give yourself a big tick in terms of portion control.
Awesome Rule For Fat Loss Life #4
10,000 steps a day.
Good old FitBit. Good old activity trackers. Good old 10k steps a day.
I’m sure you are starting to see a theme here.
10k steps a day is not a magic number. If all you do right now is 1k steps a day…then getting you to 10x that is wholly unrealistic.
But the benefits of increasing that are still huge.
The technical reason this is in there is known as your NEAT; your Non-Exercise Thermogenesis. This basically means all movement you do which isn’t prescribed training. Which isn’t lifting weights.
This is the part of your Metabolism that you have the most control over…and is part of your Metabolism that many people don’t pay enough attention to.
For more information on your Metabolism and whether or not it is “broken”. Then read this article of mine that has helped 100s of people understand what to do in order to keep their metabolism burning body fat.
I want you to move more. I want you to allow movement to become part of your life. Whether that means doing the gardening, climbing the stairs at work or parking further away at the Grocery Store…if you do all of them then you are well on your way to increasing your NEAT.
Don’t feel defeated if you don’t hit the magic 10k.
As long as you are increasing and building this up from the moment you started your Calorie Deficit from where it was before…you are winning.
Awesome Rule For Fat Loss Life #5
7–8 Hours Sleep A Night
Sleep. The final frontier.
If you fail to make Sleep something you are willing to focus on when trying to lose weight, then you are basically doing the following to your success.
I fully appreciate and understand that sleep is harder to come by for some people due to little children and young families.
And I empathize. I really do.
But if you want to make Fat Loss as easy as possible then you need to understand that making sleep a priority is really really important.
Without the re-charge. Without the deep NREM sleep that you can achieve you aren’t going to wake up with enough energy for the next day.
And that energy isn’t just to workout.
It comes down to your willpower.
A tired person is a hungry person.
A tired person is a caffeine reliant person.
A tired person is a more stressed person.
A tired person is a person who’s calories will increase.
That's the be-all and end-all.
If you are tired. Your calories will increase.
So how do we manage your tiredness? Like most things, prevention is better than reaction, and improving your Sleep Hygiene will be a huge win in your column.
I am going to write a list of optimal behaviors for your sleep. You don’t have to follow them all…but again, that's up to you. If you do follow them all you will be in a much more advantageous position than if not. But I’m not here to tell you what to do. I’m here to empower you to make the best choices for yourself.
- Electronics off at least 60mins before bedtime.
- Dim the lights of an evening
- No caffeine after midday.
- Meditate Daily
- Listen to a Sleep Story
- Try to get to sleep before midnight
- Don’t drink alcohol
- Exercise during the day
- Get the sun on the skin
To be able to sleep you need to inspire your body to send Melatonin through your body. This comes from the Pineal Gland and is sent through the bloodstream. Melatonin is released when the body realizes it is indeed bedtime, and there are many cues that can occur for that. Having a pattern of behavior really helps your body sense the signals to release Melatonin into your system.
This is why bedtime habits are really important, and in your day defining the difference between Night and Day really helps.
If you start implementing some better habits around your bedtime then you will start to sleep like a baby.
This is it. Five ways to make your Calorie Deficit Diet easy without working out.
And, just because you can lose weight without working out doesn’t mean you should.
The benefits of looking after yourself physically in this manner are far too plentiful for it to be ignored.
If you want the best results possible, then combine this list of Rules with a very well thought out Strength Programme.
Stick to what I have outlined in this article and you will do really well.
But remember these five rules aren’t really rules.
They’re more like guidelines…
PERSONALIZE YOUR FEED
Article written by:
I empower busy stressed-out people to learn how to fit fitness into their lives.