1: Sleep- When you’re short on sleep your insulin sensitivity decreases and your cortisol goes up. Both leading to less than optimal fat loss.
Also you miss out on the critically important Growth Hormone boost that comes during deep sleep. If you want to lose more fat you have to get more quality sleep. Most people will ignore this and some of you are probably up reading this at midnight. The reason this is number 1 is because it’s most important.
More sleep improves EVERYTHING. Make it a priority.
2: Protein- Generally females eat less protein then males. The average female who can’t lose body-fat usually eats a bowl of oats for breakfast with an egg.
One… single… egg.
Then she’ll have a sandwich for lunch with a can of Tuna.
For dinner it will be a salad with low fat dressing and 100g of chicken or fish.
The above example would total around 50 grams of protein per day so she is falling a fair bit short of where she needs to be.
Although, in all honesty they may skip the protein all together and just have a salad for either lunch or dinner. Let’s assume she weighs 60kg. Most experts would agree that she would need to consume at least 120 grams of protein per day.
Females often freak out when you tell them to eat double the amount of protein per day but when you break down the numbers for them and reveal just how many calories they’re eating it should make more sense.
People who eat a sufficient amount of protein usually end up having an easier time getting ripped than those who don’t. Make sure you’re getting enough.
3: Carbs- This should be pretty obvious to most people by now, but there are still the old die-hards out there who swear that everyone should be consuming two grams of carbs per kilo of bodyweight every day while maintaining a low fat intake.
Most people have a terrible tolerance for carbs, poor insulin sensitivity and simply don’t do enough physically taxing work to warrant too many carbs.
If you want to get lean cutting carbs is usually one of the first and most important steps you need to take. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t or can’t have any but you need to make smart choices and they need to be taken in at the right times.
The more training you do and the leaner you are the more carbs you can tolerate. If you have a lot of fat to lose, limiting carb intake is a very important first step to take.
4: Carb Timing- If you’re above 15% bodyfat you need to limit carbs. In that case I would only recommend a serving or two of fruit each day, vegetables and 50-100 grams of starchy carbs from sweet potatoes or rice with your nightly meal or post workout. Another option is to go three days with no starchy carbs then load up on day four known as carb loading. When you get down to 15% you can increase the amount of carbs at dinner or in your reefed/ cheat meal.
Everyone else should limit carb consumption to post workout and night time. During the day you want to be alert and focused, which is one reason why you don’t want to be scoffing down starchy carbs during this time. Save for them for the night time when you want to optimize serotonin production and relax, sleep and recover.
5- Fat intake- Some people limit carb intake and assume that they’re good to go and there’s nothing else to worry about. Unfortunately, the low/no carb diet isn’t much fun, as anyone who has tried will know.
Fat contains calories; nine per gram to be exact. At the end of the day total calories still matter. Calories in verse Calories out and if you’re eating more than you burn you’re never going to get ripped.
Please don’t mistake this as my advocating a low fat diet. That’s just as bad, if not worse, than eating too much fat.
A minimum of 20% of your calories should come from healthy fats like pastured egg yolks, wild caught salmon, grass fed beef and coconut oil to ensure optimal health. Just be careful about going overboard with it and thinking that low carbs automatically leads to single digit body-fat.
Keep in mind total calories.
6- Nuts- The problem is nuts have a ton of calories.
You’re better off filling up on nutritionally dense foods that don’t pack a lot of calories, like green vegetables. If you’re dieting you need to limit your nut consumption to about ten almonds per serving.
Not too many people can eat ten almonds. Most people eat ten handfuls
Nuts can be very problematic for a lot of people, especially those with digestive or auto immune issues. As Paleo Solution author Robb Wolf has noted, nuts should be used the same way you use condiments- sparingly.
7- Fruit- Don’t get me wrong, fruit is healthy and can be eaten by lean individuals in limited amounts but any type of excessive fructose (a sugar found in fruit) consumption will lead to fat gain.
Fructose can only be processed by the liver and once liver glycogen stores are full the excess gets converted to triglycerides and stored as body-fat. If you want to get ripped cut fruit completely for a while or limit it to two or three servings per day. Just be sure to really up the vegetable consumption so you can keep your vital nutrient uptake where it needs to be.
8- Protein Shakes- When you want to get ripped it’s always better to chew as many of your calories as possible. The very act of chewing and digesting solid food burns more calories than drinking shakes does. Stick to shakes post workout only.
9- Training- When dieting, the primary role of strength training is to maintain muscle.
If you’re a female need to be strong and actually have some muscle mass before you go ahead and do too much cardio, lifting weights should be your first port of call.
If you’re a guy and are trying to lose 5-10kg of body-fat without losing all your muscle mass in the process you should use strength training as a way to maintain size and strength; nothing more, nothing less. So the same principles that helped you get big and strong apply when dieting. Keep the reps in the low to moderate range and the resistance high.
10- Cardio- Excessive amounts of cardio lead to an overproduction of cortisol which leads to more abdominal fat and numerous health problems. If you want to do cardio that won’t actually hurt you and could do you some good, go for a long walk.
Nutrition is the most important thing for fat loss.
11- Stress- When you get stressed your body produces a hormone known as cortisol. This increases body fat storage if it’s not controlled. Most people are stressed out all day long which means their cortisol levels are always high. That leads to an increase in body fat even if your diet and training are perfect. So make sure to take the time to de-stress, mediate, laugh, do something fun and try not to take things so seriously. Stress management is often overlooked when fat loss is the goal.