Losing weight can be a bitch.
Over the last 4-5 years of my life I’ve worked with hundreds of personal training clients, the majority of whom wanted to lose weight and shred fat.
And many of them failed. In fact, most of them did.
This is super frustrating as a trainer, because I only have access to them for 1-3 hours per week. No matter what type of workout I have them do in the gym, I have no direct control of what they do or eat for the remaining 165 hours of the week.
I tried lots of different approaches. Some worked a little. Others were too much for people to handle, and they just gave up.
Below is the most effective weight loss strategy I’ve tested. It works because it’s relatively easy to commit to and actually follow through on.
Step #1: Audit Your Diet
Far too many people have an unrealistic handle on their diet. Trust me, I’ve gone through this process with all of my clients.
They tell me that they eat a ‘good’ diet at first, and then proceed to get really uncomfortable and list lots of high calorie food items that they eat regularly when I press them to go into more detail.
For this reason, the first step you should take is to get a realistic picture of what you’re eating on an average day.
Simply take a few minutes and write down everything that you ate (and drank) today, yesterday, and the day before. Don’t leave anything out. If you think that the last 3 days were unusual days then keep track for tomorrow and the next day, too.
Seriously, stop reading this article and physically jot this down on a notepad – or at least open up a word document on your computer and type it out.
Step #2: Pick 2-3 Foods to Eliminate
Okay, now that you wrote down all of the foods you usually eat, it’s time to tweak your diet.
Simply pick 2-3 high calorie foods that you eat on a daily basis and make the choice to eliminate them from or diet – or substitute them for a low-calorie alternative.
That’s all. Some common items here include:
- Coffee with cream and sugar (substitute for black coffee)
- French fries (eliminate or sub for veggies)
- Soda, orange juice, or chocolate milk (substitute for water or diet soda)
- Bagel or toast with breakfast (eliminate or sub or oatmeal)
Losing weight is going to take some sacrifice and self-discipline. Here’s where this comes into play with this strategy.
From my experience, far more people are able to successfully cut out a couple of foods from their current diet instead of adopting a whole new diet or having to go through the tedious process of tracking their calories.
By simply eliminating a couple of high calories foods, you’ll easily chop off 300-600 calories per day, and that’s usually enough to drop about 1 pound per week. No, this is not an astronomical rate of weight loss, but it’s a realistic one you’ll actually stick with. And that’s why it’s so effective.
NOTE: See my article on intermittent fasting for another simple technique to assist your weight loss.
Step #3: Train for Effective Weight Loss
The last thing that you must account for is your training. This means getting on a proper strength training routine.
Far too many men opt to do loads of cardio and forego strength training when they want to lose weight. This is completely backwards – it will only serve to keep you looking soft and weak.
You see – when you lose weight without lifting weights, you fail to give your body a reason to hold onto muscle mass. And then it shreds both fat and muscle to make up for the lack of calories in your diet. This will fuck you, and prevent you from getting any leaner and more shredded even though you’re losing weight.
Instead you must lift weights and give your body a reason to hold onto the muscle mass, and instead shred the fat as you lose weight.
Combine your new diet with a solid strength training routine (and a couple days of light cardio per week if it makes you feel better) and you’re well on your path to losing weight, burning fat, and getting shredded!