Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. Often times the best behavior modification advice is actually very very simple. However, for most people behavior modification is very difficult. Why is that? I’m sure there is a very scientific psychological response to that question. Instead of taking the scientific approach, I want to get really practical with this blog. During today’s blog, I want to attack fat loss from both sides. I want to provide you with some tools to overcome the difficulty of a fat loss transformation as well as provide you with some ways to simplify the process. Education is only half the battle (arguably the easier half). Once you know what to do, you still need to overcome the difficulties of behavior modification (which is why most people fail).
The topic of health is so incredibly dense. There are so many factors and angles involved when tackling a seemly simple issue. In regards to fat loss, there are a ton of processes that happen inside the body. Furthermore, just because you are losing fat doesn’t necessarily mean you are optimizing internal bodily systems (there is so much more to health than physical appearance). For the sake of simplicity and quite frankly rabbit hole material, I want to propose a fat loss “cheat sheet”. This sheet is science and experience based. The simplicity of this 'sheet' isn’t meant to demean or downgrade the difficulty of fat loss. Simplifying fat loss will actually help you focus on controllable variables and ultimately see better results. It can be extremely easy to lose focus and motivation when the process becomes extremely complex or overwhelming. Without further ado let's jump into it!
Create Caloric Deficit
The law of energy balance! You need to be eating less calories than your body burns. For fat loss, I recommend the Mifflin Equation. This is an energy expenditure equation that will estimate how many calories you burn on a daily basis. If you want a more general recommendation, take your body weight and multiply it by 12 for your daily caloric deficit goal. Again, this is just an estimate as there are tons of variables (activity level, lean muscle mass, exercise history etc).
I recommend focusing on protein intake for numerous reasons. First off, protein will keep you full throughout the day which makes caloric deficits much more sustainable. Secondly, protein will help maintain lean muscle mass during a transformation ensuring you lose primarily fat (which is the goal in fat loss). Third, protein has an extremely high thermic effect when digested. That means you burn more calories digesting protein than you do carbs or fats. This will help you create caloric deficits while still enjoying food! I suggest anywhere from .7-1.0 gram per pound body weight. If you are extremely lean and have an extensive exercise history than this number can be slightly higher.
This is just one of the habits of lean people. They drink a ton of water throughout the day. If you want to be rich it makes sense to look at the habits of wealthy people. The same logic applies to fitness goals. Water has so many benefits that support the goal of fat loss (satiety, longevity, etc.). Aim for at least 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water per day.
Micronutrients (fruits and veggies)
Make sure you are getting adequate vitamins and minerals in throughout the day as well. Personally, I didn’t care much about them growing up. After pursuing multiple fitness endeavors I can honestly say that was a huge hole in my fitness plan. Vitamins and minerals have so many hormonal roles. They keep everything running smoothly under the hood. If you are nutrient deficient for long periods of time then you won't be able to sustain your results. Plus high amounts of micronutrients tend to make caloric deficits much more enjoyable and thus more sustainable.
Develop sound habits in these four areas before diving into more advanced information. This cheat 'sheet' has more than enough direction to see tangible results. Remember, just because it’s simple doesn’t mean its easy. Which brings me to my final point. Behavior Modification!
If you can stick to a caloric deficit, adequate protein, water, and micronutrients for an extended period of time without any roadblocks you are in the minority. For the rest of us, the difficulty comes in the implementation of these principles.
Quite simply, you need to find what is realistic and sustainable for you based on your lifestyle. I can’t do this part for you. You need to trial and error your way through different methods. Pay attention to the flow of your day and find out what principles are the hardest to implement. Once you create awareness you can begin to piece the puzzle together!
Find 1 new habits that you can implement each week. Pour all your energy and focus into this one area. Once you find a rhythm with it then move onto the next habit. Starting small actually leads to very big results.
If i’m being completely honest, comparison was a huge reason why I didn’t see the results I wanted to see when I was growing up. I was always comparing myself to others instead of focusing on my small improvements throughout the weeks. Focus on your individual journey and you will be more consistent, happy, and healthy. Not to mention when you view your own individual journey you will actually be able to see tangible results. Progress comes in many different forms (not always the scale right away). If you are too concerned with other human beings and what they look like then it diminishes your ability to see your own personal progress.
Develop The Right End Goal
What is the end goal of you losing fat? What are you hoping to achieve? What is the point? This is huge. Make sure you develop the right mindset when it comes to reaching your goal. I can’t tell you what your end goal is but I can say this… You aren’t going to be inherently more happy. You have everything you need to be happy right in this moment. Many times people think they will be more fulfilled when they achieve their goal on the scale. They claim they have all this new confidence and happiness and blah blah blah. The happiness and confidence isn’t a result of a number on a scale. These qualities are gained when you believe in something, achieve something, and recognize the journey that got you there. Don’t chase the scale, chase the journey! Chase the act of progress. Chase discipline and sacrifice. Ironically, when you don’t chase the scale you end up seeing way more results!
I truly believe this will be your best year yet. If you need free help with developing some strategies or systems for your wellness journey please hit the button below and let me know how I can help you. Also, take a look at our 12:12 teams. This is an online weekly wellness community that contains everything you need to see results (exercise, nutrition, stress management, content, community, and connection). Be the person today that your future self will thank you for! Your best is yet to come.