Who better to sell your body fat loss, than a salesman.
We’re proud to share with you Team Revive Stronger member; Chris Wirth aka The Shredded Salesman.
He’s dropping in for a guest post about mindset and food tips during a fat loss phase.
So without further ado, take it away Chris…
DISCLAIMER: The Holy Grail of Fat Loss is being in a calorie deficit (Example: Eating less calories than your body requires to maintain weight). Adhering to the information below will do nothing if you aren’t eating the appropriate number of calories.
The information below is simply a collection of tips I’ve gathered from my own experience and people who have gone through successful fat loss phases and I hope it helps to make your journey easier. This is designed to SUPPLEMENT being in a calorie deficit, not replace it. Since this is geared towards the general population, some of the info may not apply to the bodybuilding/athlete community.
1.] Accept it
You have to want this and accept that some stuff in your life is going to be different. What you were doing before wasn’t working. How can one expect changes without making changes?
2.] SUCK IT UP
Hit your calorie goal EVERY DAY during a fat loss phase. Nobody enjoys being in a calorie deficit so the more adherent you are, the sooner it will be over. It’s quite easy to maintain weight after fat loss phase as calories come up significantly (think 500-1,000 more/day). If you have been dieting for years, something is broken. Losing fat is very straightforward. Again, fat loss is SHORT TERM. You crammed for that test in college, worked 60 hours/week during tax season, etc. You can do this!
3.] More is not always better
Especially when it comes to a calorie deficit. If I tell you to eat 2,000 calories/day and see that you are eating 1,000/day because you figured you can lose weight double as fast, there will be hell to pay. Eating in a calorie deficit for all intents and purposes is controlled starvation. The goal is to eat as much food as possible while still losing fat each week. There are a certain number of calories your body requires to simply pump blood, have your brain think, etc. that you can’t go below. Hell, your brain needs 400-600 calories alone! Cutting calories to an extreme is both dangerous and stupid.
4.] Stay occupied
Keep busy with stuff unrelated to exercise and nutrition. If you’re counting down the minutes to your next meal, this is going to be a brutal undertaking.
5.] Learn Hunger
Learn the difference between psychological hunger (mental) and physiological hunger (physical). Mental hunger is simply the desire to eat food out of habit or craving. Physical hunger is going to rear it’s ugly head in the form of stomach emptiness, hunger pangs, feelings of weakness, etc. Listen to your body – if the hunger you are experiencing is deep physical hunger, then eat some damn food!
6.] Push a meal back
If you don’t train in the morning where food is necessary, try not eating your first meal until lunchtime. Drink black coffee (with 0 calorie sweeteners if you’d like) to blunt hunger during AM hours. This way you split your calories up over fewer, much larger meals. This is especially useful on the weekends and around holidays where you know a larger amount of food/alcohol will be consumed later in the day. You may be very hungry the first few times you try this but your body will adjust. You will also notice how mentally sharp you are in the mornings you don’t eat so be productive.
7.] Take diet breaks
These are week long period eating at maintenance calories, use them around holidays and multi-day social events (vacations, bachelor parties, etc.). The stress that comes with restricting food intake is not worth it when your goal should be enjoying that time with family and friends. Strategically plan these breaks every 8-12 weeks to avoid diet burnout. Just add 500 calories to your current intake, that should put you roughly at maintenance.
8.] Be flexible
You can most definitely vary daily caloric intake throughout the week if it helps adherence. Weekly caloric intake is what’s most important. Ex- you know you are going to the Giants game on Sunday aka a food and booze fest. If you are eating 2,000 calories/day that is 14,000 calories/week. By simply dropping calories to 1,800/day Mon-Sat leaves you with 1,200 extra calories (3,200 total) for game day! That’s a lot of Miller Lite and Wings! Rule of thumb- don’t reduce your daily calorie number by more than 20% for the low days.
While we are on the topic of alcohol– MODERATION, like anything in life, is key. You can drink in MODERATION as long as you track it. A can of Miller Lite is 100 calories and that pulls from your daily calorie total. I’ve seen examples of where people have used half their calories in a day on alcohol. That is OK once in a blue moon but if you are doing that regularly, there are several issues going on here. 1) there’s probably an alcohol dependency problem that is well beyond my paygrade 2) alcohol has next to no nutritional value unlike food and 3) alcohol interferes with many bodily processes (most important being sleep). I am going to define MODERATION as 1-3 drinks in a given day. If you are going to drink, elect for low calorie options like light beer or hard liquor with zero calorie mixers (club soda). If you simply cannot give up excessive drinking, you are not ready for a fat loss phase. Did you notice how many times I referenced MODERATION? 4 times to be exact!
10.] Avoid the weekend binge
Eating strict during the week and going “HAM” on the weekends is probably the worst approach one can take. You can wipe out the calorie deficit you worked so hard for all week in one drinking/eating binge over the weekend. Again, SUCK IT UP – this is a short-term project. If you can’t control yourself in a short-term fat loss phase, you aren’t mentally ready to undertake one. See varying calories entry above.
11.] Track so in future you don’t have to
You don’t have to track/weigh your food forever. Tracking/weighing 1) ensures accuracy during a fat loss phase and 2) teaches you invaluable lessons about food so you have the tools necessary to not track in the future (think meal composition, portion sizes, hunger cues).
12.] Lift and eat protein
Lift weights at least 3x/week and make sure you get at least 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight. Without this, your body has no reason to hang on to muscle and will burn both fat AND muscle. You want fat loss, not weight loss. If you don’t want to get too muscular, don’t worry, you won’t – adding quality muscle is extremely hard to do. Lifting weights/eating protein will preserve the muscle you already have so you don’t end up skinny fat.
13.] Lose the “I’ll sleep when I die mentality!”
Everyone thought Bill Clinton was the man for not sleeping while president until he had a heart attack. Good quality sleep is needed to repair, recover, and regenerate. Shoot for 6-8 hours/night of QUALITY sleep. Start dimming the lights a few hours before bed and set your electronic device to night mode which replaces the stimulating blue light for a mellow amber light.
Food Specific Tips
14.] Create a Calorie Budget
Think about your calories as a money budget for the day. If you have $100 to spend, you can buy those Jordan’s (ie. eating those donuts) but will only be left with a few singles for the rest of the day to pay for gas, lunch, etc. Or you can spend $33 on New Balances to have money left over for your other expenses. Most days should be New Balance days, Jordan days occasionally. Choose wisely.
15.] Be precise
Make sure the foods you eat the most are tracked the most precisely. Eating 8oz of chicken every day for lunch but only tracking it as 6oz is going to add up over time.
16.] Weigh everything you eat at home on a food scale.
Eating out is a guesstimate so you want to be 100% accurate when you are controlling what you eat at home. The people that poke fun at you for doing this are just jealous that they don’t have the willpower to make a change in their life like you.
17.] Avoid cups/spoons
Measuring cups/spoons are not as accurate as a food scale. This is a fine method for maintaining/bulking but for fat loss you want precision.
18.] Eat mostly nutrient dense whole foods.
They aren’t inherently “healthier” but you will be able to eat much more/feel fuller than with processed food/snacks.
19.] Plan backwards.
If you want pizza tomorrow, enter that into My Fitness Pal first and then build the rest of your day around it so it fits
20.] Eat when hungry
Eat your largest meal/calories at the time of day you are typically the hungriest.
21.] Make meal frequency personal
The amount of meals you eat per day should be based off personal preference. Eating 2,000 calories in one meal or in six meals is going to have the same effect on general fat loss. That being said, I’ve seen people have more success eating less times per day (think 2-3 times) than more often. This is probably due to the meals being larger thus leading to greater satiety.
22.] Give up snacking.
Eating morning/afternoon snacks are going to make your normal meals that much smaller. Snacking is more habit based eating than actual hunger- like smoking a cigarette, pacing, etc. it breaks up the day. Drink a cup of coffee or tea instead.
23.] Enjoy your diet
Make sure to eat foods you enjoy EVERY DAY. If you don’t enjoy the process, fat loss phases are going to be miserable.
24.] Make your life easier
Try having “staple meals” that you eat most of the time. This will make food planning less stressful and more sustainable. Example – eat the same things (or close to the same things) every day for breakfast and lunch.
When eating out; restaurants use a ton of oil! Their job is to make the food as tasty as possible, not to help you hit your macros.
26.] Use cooking spray
Use PAM spray when cooking, don’t waste the calories on oils (120 calories per tablespoon).
27.] Weigh meat raw.
If weighing cooked meat, add +25% to it (ex- 4oz raw would be entered as 5oz in My Fitness Pal). Another option is to use a “cooked” entry on My Fitness Pal, just make sure it doesn’t have the same calories/macros as a raw entry of the same size.
28.] On the side, always
Get dressing on the side and use a little bit. Like oil, they have a ton of calories.
29.] Track everything
Track EVERYTHING that goes in your mouth. You will be surprised at how quickly even the little things add up!
30.] Low cal doesn’t = better
The lowest calorie option isn’t always the best option. Don’t always sacrifice taste/gratification just to save calories. Choose low calorie with taste neutral foods (ie. Sugar free ketchup, Walden Farms syrup, Bolthouse Farms dressing).
31.] Don’t drink Calories
Drinking calories are a waste of your food budget. If you drink something other than water, make sure it is 0 calorie (diet soda, Vitamin Water Zero, etc). 50g of carbs from soda could have been replaced with 50g of carbs from rice. Which do you think will fill you up more?
32.] Don’t stress the small stuff
Don’t stress about sodium, sugar, etc. Calories are king. The person that is telling you that sugar is bad is focusing on polishing pebbles instead of laying bricks for a foundation!
More from Chris:
Join our free facebook group or add us on snapchat (revivestronger) and ask your question there, I will respond asap. Or if you’re after a fresh training programme we have a free 4 week plan using DUP that you can download for free here.
One more thing…
Do you have a friend who would love the above? Share this article with them and let me know what they think.
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