“Proven Method to SUSTAINABLE Fat Loss?”
As you well know, we are in the middle of an obesity epidemic. Over 1/3 of the US population is obese and ¾ of the US population is overweight. Even more important than that, we are in a major battle! What battle you ask?
The fitness industry is in dire need of professionals. Instead, it has become a moneymaking scheme whereby different philosophies of fitness and nutrition are using overweight individuals to make money. There is every kind of fitness and nutrition fad under the sun right now. The problem is that most are unsustainable and the rest are phony. So which has the well being of the person in mind and the goal of actual sustainable fat loss in mind?
Being in the industry for over 20 years in some fashion or another, I have seen everything imaginable. What we need are principles not just methods. I often remember a great quote, “Methods are many, principles are few, methods often change but principles never do.” (Alwyn Cosgrove) This is profound.
Despite all the changes in training and dieting methods, here are some principles that have not. I have learned to cut through the junk, made up, homegrown methods and researched some proven fat loss principles.
The first thing to understanding how to lose fat is knowing how the body actually burns calories! This is called metabolism; the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life. This is profoundly important. The largest percentage of your total metabolism (60-70%) is your RMR or BMR. This is the number of calories your body burns at rest. The next part of your metabolism is the Thermal effect of food. This is basically the energy it takes to process food above your RMR. It accounts for about 10-20% of your metabolism. Lastly, the balance of your body’s calories comes from activity, 20-30%. I hope you can see now the importance of each and the detriment of a fat loss program that does not consider each aspect of your metabolism.
Here is a summary:
60-70% Resting Metabolic Rate
20-30% Activity Induced
10% Diet induced
NOW, for the bomb to be dropped on you…
Most trainers, weight loss programs and every other idea under the sun will immediately lead you to believe that if you eat only the calories to match or even go under your RMR will definitely cause you to lose weight (only egg whites and broccoli too) by using all your other calories to create the massive deficit.
This is WRONG. While you do need a gap it should be from a combination of all 3 areas of metabolism. If you eat too little calories for any length of time, you will actually SLOW your metabolic processes and fail in the long run. Most people call those plateaus. It’s really called a failed plan.
Here are some studies:
TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure): CALERIE Study – Results
Calorie restricted (CR) – average TDEE went
down by 209 kcal/day on the 25%
Low calorie diet (LCD) at 890 kcal/day diet
TDEE went down 275 kcal/day
(Redman LM, Heilbronn LK, Martin CK, de Jonge L, Williamson DA, Delany JP, Ravussin E; Pennington CALERIE Team (et al.)
So the research proves that calorie restricted diets actually make your daily energy expenditure go DOWN. This is why the majorities of people hit plateaus and have nowhere to go but to reduce their calories even more and they FAIL.
So what should you do? Here it is and why our system at LEAN Training Studio works and is extremely successful.
We increase activity levels, increasing muscle mass, which leads to increasing your RMR and is a fail-safe approach to fat loss. And…it’s more fun!! Dieting just deprives your body of energy. Even though it may work SHORT term, it will never work long term.
So, here is our secret. I am actually going to give it to you!
Burn as many calories as possible through your RMR by increasing muscle mass or at least maintaining it with a program of mainly heavy weightlifting.
Burn calories by eating, adjusting meal frequency and manipulating macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbs).
Burn calories by a metabolic disturbance using anaerobic exercise!
Creating a gap between calories burned and calories consumed with a caveat: increase calories burned so that calories consumed can be as high as possible. This has to be done by using the body’s fat stores as energy! How?
What does a good exercise program look like?
A weekly schedule would look like this:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday- Lift some weights (heavy enough to challenge your body)
Tuesday, Thursday-Anaerobic exercise (sprints, HIIT circuits, Tabata finishers)
Saturday- Low Intensity Exercise (walking, treadmill, elliptical machine etc.)
The basis for any good program is strength training! As you read above, in order to increase our RMR, we have to build some lean muscle.
What is HIIT? High Intensity Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a system of organizing cardiorespiratory training, which calls for repeated bouts of short duration, high-intensity exercise intervals intermingled with periods of lower intensity intervals of active recovery. On a 1-10 scale of perceived exertion, high intensity can be considered anything over an effort level of 7. When using max heart rate (MHR) as a guide, high intensity can be considered exercising above 80% of MHR.
Below, you will find another reason that HIIT is so valuable!
EPOC-Excessive Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption
Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC, informally called afterburn) is a measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity intended to erase the body’s “oxygen deficit”. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excess_post-exercise_oxygen_consumption)
The research suggests that after intense bouts of exercise, the body is capable of increasing the resting metabolic rate for up to 16-24 hours post workout, which helps to burn more calories and possible burn more fat! (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10939877)
If you were doing HIIT training 2-3 times per week, then your chances would always be higher for fat loss!
Below is an example of a week long program:
|A2||3 point Body saws (leg up)||3||5e|
|B1||Front Squat or regression||4||5|
|C2||Tall Kneeling DB Press||3||8|
|C3||OH Squats (bands or tubing, no weights)||2||10|
|A1||SDLHP (with BB) (KB regression) (wide!)||4||5|
|A2||TRX Knee to chest (ground for regression)||3||8|
|A3||Side lying windmills||2||10e|
|B2||Chin ups close grip||3||5|
|B3||Anti rotation band walkouts||3||3e steps|
|C1||KB Drop lunge (side step up for regression)||3||5e|
|C2||Incline DB Presses||4||5|
|C3||Hips flexed hip rocking||2||8|
|B1||BB Step ups||4||5e|
|B2||SA DB row on bench||3||10e|
|C2||SA DB Bench||3||5e|
|C3||½ kneeling hip flexor/quad stretch||4||20s|
Finisher Day #1
Finisher Day #2
*20 per minute for 5 minutes straight. After your 20, rest until the next minute.
Finisher Day #3
Metabolic Chaos Day 1:
|Metabolic Conditioning Training|
|Horizontal Press||Push-up||40:20||1 set|
|Unilateral Quad Dominant||Walking Lunge||40:20||1 set|
|Horizontal Pull||TRX Inverted Row||40:20||1 set|
|Between-Round Rest & Transition||30 secs|
Metabolic Chaos Day 2:
|Metabolic Conditioning Training|
|Bilateral Hip Dominant||KB Deadlift||40:20||1 set|
|Vertical Press||Tall Kneel DB Press||40:20||1 set|
|Unilateral Quad Dominant||Counterbalanced Squat to Bench||40:20||1 set|
|Horizontal Pull||DB||40:20||1 set|
|Anti-Rotation||Side Plank||40:20||1 set|
|Between-Round Rest & Transition||1 minute|
Strength Days warm-up
|Mobility, Activation & Movement Prep||Sets||Reps||Work||REC|
|1/2 kneeling hip flexor stretch w/ rotation||1||30 sec|
|1/2 kneeling T spine rotations||1||12|
|Bowler squats left/right no toe touch||2||10|
|Sumo squat to hold||2||20 sec|
Conditioning Day Warm-ups
Foam Roll- upper/lower back, It band, quads, glutes, calves
KB Complex- 10 reps each
Yoga push-up 10
Mini Band activation- 20 each
Monster walks forward/backward
Bridge (abduction) 10 reps w/ 3 sec hold
KB Turkish get ups- 3 each side
***Please consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.
Nutrition-One of the Keys
10 Habits Of Healthy Fit People
There are 10 basic habits that we teach at LEAN Training Studio/TFW for nutrition. If you can master these 10 habits, you will be well on your way to the body of your dreams without ever counting calories or weighing food. These habits should guide your eating choices and help you make the right decisions no matter the situation you are in.
You may already be following some of these habits. That is great! If you are, then continue to do so and read on a bit more about each of them. We will be providing you with a meal plan at the end of the book you can use for great results.
You also may not be following any of the habits, and that is OK as well. We all have a starting point, and knowing that point is crucial to our success. If you are not following any of the habits, start with the first one and master it for the first week. Each week, continue to add in one habit until you have mastered all of them! If it takes longer than one week to consistently apply a habit to your life, no worries! Simply try again next week.
We want to focus on successes in this program. Don’t worry about your mistakes; instead, focus on what you did well each week, and build on those successes so that you can continue to grow and learn about your nutrition.
Here are the 10 Habits:
- Eat frequently.
This doesn’t mean that it’s definitive to eat 6 meals a day. That can be overwhelming. We recommend eating every 3-4 hours, but don’t sweat the details. At first, just try to get in consistent meals and one snack each day.
This way of eating will help you keep your metabolism running high and maintain your lean mass. You are also less likely to binge if you eat consistently every 3-4 hours.
A great schedule for this is eating when you wake up at 6 or 6:30am, then again at 11am, then a snack at 2 or 3pm and dinner at 6 or 7pm. This is a simple and easy to follow schedule. You can also eat first thing at 6am, snack at 10am, lunch at 2pm, and dinner at 6 pm. The meals can be moved around to fit your schedule.
You shouldn’t be so concerned about eating at the exact right time that you can’t focus on anything else. The important thing is that you are prepared with your foods and understand when you need to eat.
- Eat a complete protein at every meal /snack.
Protein is the staple in our nutrition plan. It helps support your lean mass and will keep you full. Try to get in at least 20-30g of protein at each meal. If you look on a food label, it will tell you exactly the amount per serving of protein. We will cover what is included on a list of complete proteins later.
You have you remember that 20-30g of protein isn’t the weight of the food you are eating; it is the protein in the food. If you look at the food label, you will be able to see the grams of protein in a given food. You can also use the palm of your hand as a guide for protein servings (a portion the size of your palm will provide approximately 20-30 grams of protein).
One of the biggest objections that we get for this habit is that it is hard to eat protein on the run. That simply isn’t true if you know what you are looking for! There are protein supplements, tons of options in convenience stores, and simple snacks that you can pack to help you stick to your habits.
- Eat vegetables at every meal.
Try to get in two servings of veggies at each meal and snack. This can be one of the tougher habits to master, but you can make it easy on yourself by keeping easy veggie snacks around such as carrots, celery, and other quick to eat veggie sources.
One serving of veggies is about ½-1 cup. So you need to be eating 1-2 cups of veggies each meal. This can easily be accomplished with salads!
Veggies not only help to give you nutrients that you need to get the most out of your training program, but they help give you fiber, keep you full, and provide you with many illness-preventing nutritional components. You won’t have a problem with hunger if you make sure to get your veggies in at each meal.
- Only eat carbohydrate-rich foods after your workouts! (when you deserve to)
Especially if your goal is fat loss, we want to restrict your carbohydrate consumption to within 1-2 hours post workout. This is great news because you don’t have to deprive yourself of carbs, but you have to earn them first in a workout!
The reason that we remove carbs from our meals (other than veggies) outside of workout times is that they increase fat storage because of the effect that they have on our insulin levels. When our insulin levels increase, fat storage increases. This is something we want to avoid.
However, after a workout, our bodies are primed to utilize those carbs for energy and to repair our muscles. This is a great thing! After a workout, we want to replace the glycogen (or broken down carbs) that we used during the training sessions and use them to repair our muscles and make sure we are recovering well. If we recover well, we can come back and train hard again the next time and get better results.
I would try to avoid breads and gluten-based carbs after your workout and stick to things like potatoes, rice, and other non-wheat based carbs as much as possible. The reason is most of us don’t handle gluten or wheat very well, and it can cause some inflammation, which can cause bloating and fat storage (along with other health problems).
- Eat healthy fats daily.
Fats are not the bad guys! You should work to eat a good balance of fats (saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated—just no trans fats!). Fats help regulate hormones in your body and keep you full. It is important that you don’t limit your fat intake to help with weight loss. You should try to get 1/3 of your fat intake each day from each of the types listed above. If you have a carbohydrate-based meal after training, try to limit your fats in this meal if possible.
- Drink Water.
Drink ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water every day. Being dehydrated takes away from your training performance and leads to decreased results. Dehydration causes fatigue and increases your cortisol levels (the stress hormone that breaks down muscle tissue). Your urine should be clear. If your urine is not clear, you are not drinking enough water. You should drink mostly water, but you can have tea and coffee in moderation.
- Eat Whole Foods.
Most of your dietary intake should come from whole foods. There are a few times where supplement drinks and shakes are useful. But most of the time, you’ll do best with whole, largely unprocessed foods.
- Take Multi-vitamin and Omega-3 fish oil daily.
- Drink a Shake Within 1 Hour of Finishing Your Workout.
Use a high quality whey protein shake (with 20-40 grams of protein) mixed with fruit or other recommended carbohydrate. To maximize the effects of your training, do NOT skip this step. You must replenish your body immediately after training with quick releasing carbs and fats to ensure optimal recovery, that’s why a shake is best.
- Keep a Journal of What You are Eating.
This step will keep you accountable and on track. To change your body, you have to keep track of what you are eating so that you can evaluate it and make dietary changes when needed.
The above guidelines are your Nutrition Rules for life. Really get them down and follow them as closely as possible. Your food will fuel your training. Push yourself during workouts, refuel yourself and repeat. Recognize how your body feels when you are following the Nutrition Rules and start to watch your body transform.
Be honest with yourself. Are you following the Nutrition Rules 90% of the time? Using your journal, give yourself a “P” if you followed the Rules, or an “X” if you missed a meal or didn’t follow the Rules. You must have 90% checks to see results.
Following the Rules 90% of the time will put you well on your way to getting the body you desire. This also allows you 10% of the time to splurge! Enjoy your splurges! Do not feel bad about them. Just be on track for your next meal. Live life to the fullest. When you decide to go out and have a good time, relax and enjoy it! You will find that because you have been eating healthy, you feel better and won’t have the cravings.
Let’s run the numbers to make this easy.
If you are eating 5 times per day (3 meals and 2 snacks), you will have 35 eating opportunities each week. If you are following the 90/10 rule that means that you can have 3.5 meals each week that don’t have to follow the habits.
These 3.5 meals can be planned cheat meals, meals that caught you off guard where you didn’t follow the habits, missed meals, or any other circumstance. Following these meals, you should simply move on and get back to your habits at your next planned meal. Remember, these meals are NOT binge meals, they must be the same size of your regular meals. Or…if you really want to splurge, you can just follow the rule of one big BLOWOUT meal weekly! We have seen great success with this.
Sustainability-TEST and MEASURE
One of the most integral components of any fitness and nutrition program is sustainability. Have you ever heard this?
Think about all the times you have heard your friends saying that they lost 20 pounds but gained it all back in a few months. Or, they lost 30 pounds but gained 40 pounds back! I will admit that sometimes it is the actual person that just falls of the wagon but 90% of the time it’s something much bigger.
Jerry joined a Weight Loss contest that was 10 weeks long. He joined a team of people well intentioned on changing their life and getting themselves healthy. They started their program and were given specific instructions on what to eat, drink and how much to exercise on a regular basis.
This consisted of small portions of lean meats, vegetables and some sources of good fats. They were advised to stay away from all starchy carbs. They performed group training with the trainer 2x per week and were instructed to also perform cardiovascular exercise for 2 hours daily every day they were not training.
At first it was great. After about 4 weeks, things began to get difficult but the trainer pushed them to WIN and remember their goals. It got harder and harder and the time commitment was becoming overbearing but Jerry pulled it off! He was super hungry every day but remembered why he joined in the first place. It was only for 10 weeks.
At the end of the contest, Jerry did not win but he did manage to lose 27 pounds! It was an amazing feat and jerry was proud. He was so exhausted from the effort but he was proud of his weight loss and the trainer congratulated him. Jerry could not wait to take the next week off.
A week later when Jerry returned to the gym, he was kind of lost. The excitement and drive of the program was over and he wondered what he was going to do now. Then he stepped on the scale surprised to see that he has already gained 10 pounds back. WOW, he thought.
You know where the story goes from here.
So, let’s get back to sustainability. Do you think that this program was sustainable for Jerry?
Let’s take a look…
- 2-3 hours of exercise daily
- little to NO starchy carbs
- very little recovery time if any
- very low or restricted calories
- No cheat foods??
Probably not. I guess you can guess what happened to Jerry then! The likelihood of any regular gym goer will never sustain this. All that happened here was some short term weight loss, destroyed metabolism, lowered TDEE and a very frustrated and disappointed client.
In summary, here is my take. The best way to lose fat is this:
- Strength 2-3 days per week, anaerobic exercise 2 days per week.
- Have a diet rich in whole foods as often as you can.
- Practice on protein intake for adding lean muscle for increasing your RMR.
- Eat starches pre and post workout.
- Eat healthy fats daily.
- Find the number of calories that is doable for you where you can reach your goals but not feel imprisoned and still perform well.
- Cheat every now and again.
- Balance exercise with eating so you do not have too much of a calorie deficit long term.
- Have measurable and realistic goals.
- Test and Measure
- Repeat based on findings.
Here is the golden rule of fat loss: “If you can’t continue to do what you did to lose the fat, how do you expect to keep the fat off?”
So the question is do you want to know how to lose fat for a period or forever?
For Your Health,
LEAN Training Studio