I’ve had a lot of people asking me about how to lose weight. Almost two years ago our good friend Willem was trying to lose weight, so I put him on a program that had him down 20lbs in a month. No supplements or gimmicks. Just a simple diet consisting mainly of chili and a light workout program. A year later another friend, Payam, was after the same thing. I put him on a similar program and he lost 18lbs in a month. If you aren’t a 6’0 athletic male, don’t worry. It’ll work whether you’re male or female, buff or a chubster, an ectomorph or an endomorph, a busy businessman or a beach bum. Jared’s 5′ girlfriend lost 9lbs in a month and shrunk out of her clothes faster than she could replace them. More importantly, not only did they all get quick results, they’ve all maintained or improved upon the weight loss! Willem’s stomach went from a blob to a scary looking washboard in a couple months, making him the perfect poster boy for a blog post about healthy weight loss. I just finished a cutting phase. I lost 12 pounds of fat in 3 weeks, maintained my muscle mass, and improved my strength—all while working 12 hour days for clients who needed rush jobs done. Since then we’ve experimented with several new techniques (such as those presented in The 4-Hour Body, by Tim Ferriss). If you follow the tips and tools in this post you can expect even better results than we got. Whether you’re a beginner or a fitness freak we’re confident that these methods will get you to your body fat goal in no time.
. . . But only if you diet smart. I’ve seen people go on insane fat loss training programs that involve mind numbing hours of jogging, experimenting with raw foods, intermittent fasting, low carb diets, low fat diets, paleo diets, eating every three hours, etc. There are a hell of a lot of approaches to dieting out there, and I’m going to say something a little controversial here: most of them work (at least in the short term).
See, there’s one thing that will always cause your body to lose fat: calorie restriction. So long as a diet involves calorie restriction your body will turn to your fat stores for energy, you’ll then mobilize and oxidize those pesky fatty acids. Presto—fat loss.
“You want to be eating frequently.If you don’t feed your body every few hours it goes into starvation mode and begins storing fat. If you keep your body consistently well-fed then it starts getting rid of its fat stores. It knows that it won’t be starved, so it doesn’t need the fat stores anymore.”
You’ve probably heard some variation of that if you’ve been trying to lose fat for a while. Turns out that’s a myth. Meal frequency doesn’t affect your metabolism. In fact, you could go 3 days without eating and your metabolism would remain the same. This is why intermittent fasting works just as well as other nutrition strategies when it comes to fat loss. Unless you’re an extremely advanced dieter (think 4% bodyfat), meal frequency is irrelevant.
The theory behind dieting, when it comes down to it, is pretty simple. You need to burn more calories than you take in. You can accomplish this in two ways: first by reducing the amount of calories you take in, and second by increasing the amount of calories that your body uses. The first you accomplish through your diet. The second you accomplish through diet, exercise and supplementation. By the time you get through this article you should understand how to go about it and a month from now you could be 10-30 pounds lighter! The heavier you are the faster it will come off!
Now, this article isn’t just about losing fat, it’s also about maintaining (or even building) muscle. We’re trying to come up with a lasting and healthy solution that has you coming out looking like an athlete, actor or fitness model. Most people that go on these diets don’t want to diet down to the point that they look like the emaciated actor DJ Qualls, they want to look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie—Batman, not the Machinist. Most dieters end up destroying all the muscle hidden under the fat, so when they finally get rid of all their fat they have that unhealthy underfed look combined with the remnants of a pot belly. Not to mention they feel unhealthy, distracted and unproductive. To make matters worse, a year later they’ve usually rebounded back to their former weight.
Most people forget that their best ally in the fight against fat is muscle. Muscle acts like a calorie furnace. It increases your metabolism and steadily burns away your fat stores throughout the day. If you’re trying to lose fat you want to keep that muscle right there next to you, because it will make things a lot easier, quicker AND you’ll look a lot better by the end of it, male or female. You’ll look healthy, not scrawny. What guy doesn’t want guns, and what girl doesn’t want buns, right?
How do you maintain your muscle mass while dieting? There are just two things you need to do:
a) Train 3 times per week using a kickass weight training plan designed for muscle stimulation and growth. Even when eating drastically reduced calories your body won’t all of a sudden get rid of muscle when it knows it needs them. It can instead use your fatty acid stores (flabs) as an energy source.
b) Eat a balanced diet that includes at least a moderate amount of protein (20% of total calories). If you have a lot of muscle mass, more protein may be recommended, and there’s no downside to consuming even up to 50% of your calories from protein when trying to lose fat.
1. Understand How Food Affects You
You don’t want to be haphazardly skipping meals or even having tiny little gimpy meals. You want to be eating lots of protein, a fair amount of healthy fats, and an enormous amount of fibrous vegetables (salad, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, etc). Don’t get me wrong, calories DO matter, but the type of calories you take in can have a profound impact on your body composition as well. If you’re eating excess amounts of simple sugars you’re going to fill up your liver and muscle glycogen stores with glucose—this is good. The problem is that once those stores are full your body will convert the excess sugars into fatty acids (fat stores). Simply put, if sugar rushes into your system faster than your body needs it, it takes the excess and stores it as fat.
If you’re a healthy individual who exercises and habitually eats balanced meals, you don’t need to worry too much about blood sugar levels. Our bodies are well equipped with a system of hormones that keeps everything in order, and we’re actually quite good at regulating blood sugar, unless you have a condition, like diabetes, which affects insulin. Insulin is an extremely important hormone and plays a huge role in both muscle building and fat loss. Many dieters know this and worry obsessively about eating frequently in order to prevent insulin spikes. Don’t focus on that.
Don’t freak out about having to eat every couple of hours, just try to focus on healthy whole foods. Your meals can be small and frequent or larger and less frequent.
So let’s cover the macronutrients: protein, carbs and fats. Micronutrients are important too. I recommend taking a greens supplement if you aren’t regularly eating a couple servings of vegetables with every meal. What really matters when it comes to weight loss though is controlling the type and quantity of calories that you consume (macronutrients). In order to lose weight you need to be functioning on a calorie deficit. This is achieved by combining two things: a controlled diet with a limited caloric intake, and increasing your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which can be done through diet, exercise and supplementation.
Protein digests slowly and gives your muscles the fuel they need to repair and grow. Because it digests slowly it gives your body a steady supply of energy, and your body needs the protein to maintain your muscle mass. Protein is filling and satiating, generally comes from healthy sources, and it’s extremely hard for your body to convert protein into fatty acids. What’s even more fascinating than that though is that a large amount of the energy from protein (20%) goes straight to heat production, which increases your metabolism. When you’re picking out your protein you don’t need to stress out about it being super lean or low calorie — red meat, Atlantic salmon, cottage cheese and whole eggs are totally cool. Recent research is showing that eating whole eggs is actually far better for both your health and for fat loss than just the whites, so enjoy them! There are lots of great lean protein sources too, like chicken breast, turkey breast, whey protein and greek yogurt. These are all relatively high calorie foods, and this is where the bulk of your calories should come from. As a starting point I’d recommend that you get 40% or more of your calories from lean protein. More if you’re a vegan (non-animal protein has less leucine, and thus you’ll need to eat way more of it). Less if you don’t have much muscle mass (as your body won’t need to maintain as much muscle). That should keep you feeling full and full of energy.
Carbs are a little tricky. I recommend that you get about 30% of your calories coming from carbohydrates. The tricky part is that you really need to watch what kind of carbs you eat. Like a mentioned before, eating excess amounts of starchy carbohydrates will cause the glucose that your body creates to overflow out of your glycogen stores and be converted into fatty acids. If you’re eating something like leafy vegetables on the other hand, your body actually has such a rough time tearing the nutrients out of them that it expends more energy breaking them down than it gets out of them. Eating a massive pile of green beans will actually leave you with an energy deficit while providing your body with the volume of food that it needs to feel full. It will trick your digestive system too. It will keep your body acting as a fat burning furnace. So my advice on carbs is to stick with green leafy vegetables whenever possible. Plain yogurt (with the fat left in but no sugar added) and milk are also great sources of carbohydrates, and they have some protein in them too.
Stay away from starchy carbohydrates (potatoes, legumes, fruits, rice, pasta, etc) except immediately after a strength training workout. After a workout you want to be consuming a ton of these (100-140g), as your body will be primed to store them as liver and muscle glycogen (due to glut4 transponders that are activated during resistance training). Occasionally eating plenty of starches will also positively affect production of the hormone leptin, which can decrease when you eat a calorie restricted diet that’s low in carbohydrates. If you can maintain high levels of leptin you’ll lose fat much more quickly, as leptin is the hormone that your body uses to indicate to itself whether it should be storing or releasing fatty acids. If you work out three times per week and consume plenty of starches afterwards you’ll actually be accomplishing a really advanced “carb-cycling” technique.
Fats used to be a tricky issue. People used to think that eating fats made you fat. It’s well known now that excess starchy carbohydrates consumed at inappropriate times are actually the main offender there. Healthy fats (like olive oil, nuts, dairy, eggs, fish, avocados, etc) won’t make you fat. In fact, they can actually make you thinner. Your body communicates with itself using hormones, and fats are what keeps that communication system working properly. Eating health fats will encourage the release of positive fat burning hormones, like testosterone and hGH. Fats are generally high in calories though, so keep the volume low. You’d be surprised. A tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil has 120 calories — more than several cups of green beans. Fat should make up the remaining 30% of your calorie intake.
So how many calories should you be eating? That really depends. Take your weight, in pounds, and multiply it by 15. Start there. Gradually work your way down to 10 times your weight if you aren’t losing as much fat as you want to. So if you weigh 150 pounds, start at 2250 and gradually lower it to 1500. Don’t ever go any lower than that. If you still aren’t losing the kind of weight you want you can accelerate it with more exercise.
2. Don’t “Get in the Zone”, Unleash the beast! HIIT + Kettlebell swings
Cardio these days is undergoing a revolution when it comes to both health and weight loss. Marathon style weight loss programs are on their way out, and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is on its way in. If you have a passion for running marathons there are some things you can do to make them better for you (drinking sugar and protein as you run, for example), but if the goal is to lose weight or to be healthy, then HIIT is your best bet. You might notice that most olympic marathoners are scrawny emaciated people. Not the picture of health. More so the picture of world hunger. Sprinters, on the other hand, are well muscled guys with ridiculously low bodyfat percentages. Why is that?
Steady jogging for 45 minutes uses slow twitch muscle fibers—the endurance ones that are small in size. That’s only part of the reason, though. Jogging for 45 minutes calls on your body for all sorts of energy. Your body simply can’t break down fat quickly enough. Fat is supposed to be a slow and steady supply of energy, but jogging needs a lot more than that. Your body will start breaking down the next best source: muscle. And that’s bad for fat loss. Remember that muscle is one of the things that will help you steadily break down your fat stores 24 hours a day. Not to mention that when you finish your transformation you’ll probably want that muscle to have stuck around for the ride. You want to be revealing the abs under the flabs, not your ribcage, right? You girls might be thinking that you don’t want the muscle, but being an emaciated woman looks just as unhealthy. The way to burn fat is to increase your resting metabolism. The main benefit of cardio is that it increases your resting metabolism for up to 36 hours afterwards, but jogging isn’t the only way to do that. In fact, recent research shows that marathon style exercise actually slows your metabolism and can cause your body to store more fat so that it has more energy available for the next excursion.
So why is high intensity interval training (HIIT) the way of the future? HIIT is about doing high intensity exercise for a very short period of time, resting, and then doing high intensity exercise again. An example of this is sprinting for 30 seconds, briskly walking for 90 seconds and then repeating that cycle for 16 minutes. Another example is strength training. Lifting really heavy weights for a few repetitions and then resting for a few minutes. What this does is stimulate fast twitch muscle fibers: the larger ones. That’s one reason why sprinters are bigger. The main benefit of HIIT though is that the fat loss effects last for up to 36 hours after you finish, your body is never starved, no muscle loss occurs, and it only takes 16 minutes! Do three 16 minute HIIT sessions a week and that’s all you’ll need to lose massive amounts of fat. 48 minutes of working out in a week is all it takes. I much prefer it, too. I’ve always found jogging rather boring and unpleasant. I don’t like feeling cramps and discomfort for 45 minutes. Pushing through 16 minutes of exercise is much more enjoyable than 45 for me, and only FOUR of those minutes are high intensity. HIIT will lower your blood pressure, keep your cholesterol in check, and improve your cardiovascular efficiency, too.
Slotting these HIIT workouts into your fat loss program is pretty simple. You can go for a run, hit the gym, or do what I did, and run up and down your apartment building’s stairwell. You can do them at any time of the day, although you might want to keep them a few hours away from your bedtime, so as not to disturb your sleep. If you’re a muscly guy trying to do a bodybuilding-style cut, have some simple sugars and some quickly digesting protein before and after, too. You don’t want to be starving your body in any way. You can have some Gatorade and BCAAs (broken down protein), or some corn sugar (dextrose) and some whey protein. 30g of sugar and 30g of protein should be enough.
Kettlebell swings are another great option, and only involve an hour of working out per month. ONE HOUR a month! The kettlebells themselves can be a little pricey, but you can make them yourself really easily for a fraction of the price. Check out Jared’s blog post about how to put one together here. You’ll want a weight heavy enough that you can do between 20-30 repetitions with perfect form, but no more. Once you’ve got the kettlebell or t-bar you’ll want to work your way up to 50 consecutive swings per session (a session lasts about 5 minutes). Do that three times per week (15 minutes per week). That’s all. It’s that simple.
3. Should I Use Weight Loss Supplements?
So we’re controlling your calories to make sure that you’re functioning at a deficit and losing weight, we’ve made sure that fat is the type of weight that you’re going to be losing, and we’ve given you HIIT to help boost your metabolism even further and accelerate your losses. This is the time to consider supplementation. If you don’t have your diet in place there’s no point considering supplements, but if you’re following everything else and losing weight already you can add them in to further improve your results.
Don’t believe the supplement ads. Most of the supplement models are on steroids, which accelerate fat loss and muscle growth like no other, and many of the before and after pictures are taken on the same day. Plenty of trickery and photoshopping are involved in the billion dollar supplement industry. Do some of them work? Absolutely. But don’t believe what the ads claim, believe the research. You can find it in medical journals and in university databases. Before you take any supplement you should do some research to find out two things: does it actually work and is it safe for you.
So which ones work? Arguably the best combination out there is the ECA stack. Ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin. You have to buy them separately, as the mix isn’t legal. Ephedrine is legal in Canada, but only as hay fever medication. You can find it at most “health” food stores though, ironically enough. There are lots of alternatives and many popular weight loss products out there are based on the ECA stack but use alternate “herbal” ingredients that do the same thing—and have the same risks. As for which supplements are safe for you, that’s something I can’t answer. Ephedrine is the active ingredient in the stack, and also the potentially risky one. The caffeine, while it has fat burning properties of its own (thermogenesis), is used to further enhance the fat burning properties of the ephedrine. The aspirin keeps the ephedrine and caffeine active in your system longer, enhancing the duration of the effects. I tried the stack for two weeks—I wouldn’t recommend going on it for any longer than that—and saw results. Not significantly more results than the week that followed though, so while it may help it really isn’t necessary. I didn’t feel any adverse effects while on it, although the day after I stopped I felt really lethargic from dropping my caffeine intake from 600-800mg per day down to 0. That was rough. Whether you do it is up to you. It really isn’t very expensive at all. If you want to know how to take it just look up ECA stack on wikipedia. Ephedrine is a scary supplement and taking tons of caffeine can be pretty bad too. It works. It works really well. So what’s the point of all these products? They increase your resting metabolic rate. This means that your body uses more energy. This results in a steady increase in the amount of fat that you can burn throughout the day. There ARE alternatives though. Alternatives that are actually really healthy and pleasant to take.
PAGG, as described in The 4-Hour Body, is what I’m recommending to people these days. Policosanol (20-25mg), alpha-lipoic acid (ALA: 100-300mg), green tea extract (decaffeinated with 325+ mg EGCG), and garlic extract (200 mg). You’ll want to take AGG (no policosanol) 3 times a day before your biggest meals. So take the combo once before breakfast, once before lunch and once before dinner. Before bed do PAG (policosanol, ALA and garlic). I have to admit I’ve never tried policosanol. I just did the AGG four times a day. The side affects are pretty great. Bulking up made my acne act up. When bulking my testosterone production went through the roof. Combine that with my naturally acne prone skin and sweaty training sessions and … well. My acne substantially improved when I tried adding AGG to my regime. I’m not trying to lose fat at this point, but one of the main reasons why AGG worked is that it re-directs your calories into muscle instead of fat stores. It also kills shrunken fat cells, preventing the fat rebound that many dieters experience. Dieting typically reduces the size of your fat cells, but they don’t die. This makes it extremely easy to put the weight back on. Supplementing with the green tea extract will actually help your body get rid of those pesky shrunken fat cells for good. I couldn’t be happier with it. And I mean… ALA is packed full of antioxidants, green tea is a superfood (and supplementing with it is FAR healthier than drinking it as a tea) and everyone knows of the many benefits of garlic (improved immune system being one).
If you want to be dropping weight as quickly as possible they might be a good addition to your fat loss arsenal, but both Payam and Willem managed to drop 20 pounds in 30 days on a chili diet with some cardio thrown in! Supplementation isn’t necessary, and if your diet isn’t in place, it’s a waste of your time and money.
4. Bonus Tricks, Health Add-Ons & Magic Herbs
So supplementation might not be for you, but you might still want to throw a little extra flare into your program. While these tricks might not be enough to create a drastic change in 30 days used on their own, they’ll certainly help. Even if you decide you like your gut and you want to skip the rest of the program, you might find some useful tips here that you can incorporate into your life to keep you healthy.
Drinking lots of water has been known to speed up weight loss and improve health. Water allows your body to flush out the toxins that it doesn’t need and it keeps your system running smoothly, allowing you to lose weight faster. Hunger is generally an accurate representation of when your body needs food, but thirst isn’t. You should be drinking water long before you get thirsty. Most people are in a constant state of mild dehydration.
Spicy food has been known to accelerate fat loss. You’ll notice that a lot of weight loss supplements have cayenne pepper added to the mix. How effective they are at burning fat hasn’t really been determined scientifically yet, but they have been proven to cause your body to produce heat, which increases your metabolism. You might notice you sweat when you eat really spicy food. That’s one reason why that happens. To get the most out of this trick you’re going to have to eat REALLY spicy food, so this solution isn’t for you if you have a weak digestive system.
Cold Exposure, such as cold showers—and I mean EXTREMELY cold showers—will stimulate your “brown fat” which is a type of healthy fat that’s used to create heat. By taking extremely cold showers you can increase your metabolism substantially for the next several hours, as it will be creating heat to warm you back up. What you’ll want to do at the end of your shower is gradually turn the water as cold as it can go and focus the nozzle on your upper back, shoulders and chest. 30 seconds of excruciatingly cold water should be enough. I’ve tried this. It was ..er. Well. Try it out for yourself. Drinking 500ml or more of ice water on an empty stomach when you first wake up will do it too. So will placing ice-packs on your upper back for 20-30 minutes in the evening while watching TV, reading or writing. If you’re really intense and want even better results you can do 20 minute fully-submerged ice baths 3 times a week. This works. Add this to your fat loss program and watch your fat just melt off.
Cinnamon has been known to decrease insulin resistance, making your body less susceptible to insulin spikes. This will not only help accelerate your fat loss but it’s great news if you’re diabetic (type 2), as it naturally reduces blood sugar. A half teaspoon of cinnamon a day can lower LDL cholesterol, too. And it’s a great source of manganese, fiber, iron and calcium. What you’ll want to do here is take the cinnamon with your coffee in the morning (and have protein too), or before a big meal. While there are health benefits to doing this, like anything else, you need to make sure you consume it in moderation. Don’t consume more than 4g per day (one and a half teaspoons).
Drink coffee. Coffee is almost calorie free (2 calories per cup) and the caffeine in it will reduce your appetite. It’s much easier to control the calories you’re eating if you’re drinking coffee, and the caffeine has the added benefit of increasing your metabolism through thermogenesis. This doesn’t include those sugary Starbucks coffees. I’m talking about plain black coffee with no additives. There are actually a lot of great health benefits to drinking coffee too — antioxidants, improved heart health, and a reduced chance of developing Alzheimer’s!
Or Tea. Coffee not your thing? Drink lots of green tea. There are small amounts of caffeine in green tea which, like coffee, will produce thermogenesis, and it also has epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which studies have shown can also produce thermogenesis. The main benefit of green tea though is to your health. The antioxidants found in green tea make it one of the healthiest drinks out there. Like I mentioned earlier, though, the health benefits of tea are greater when taken as a supplement. Green tea extract is the way to go.
Air Squats, Push-ups and Pull-ups. During the end of my last year of university I had the habit of eating a tub of vanilla ice cream with frozen raspberries every night. I’d then have a few glasses of wine and some dark chocolate. I was working extremely hard to finish up all of my projects, prepare for our design grad show and prepare for exams, and by the end of the day (2am, usually) I really just wanted to relax and unwind before bed. I had this crazy idea that if I did push-ups and pull-ups before eating the ice-cream that the calories would go to my muscles instead of into fat stores. I had heard that after a workout it was important to consume simple sugars and quickly digesting protein, so I figured if I wanted to eat a tub of ice cream all I needed to do was some physical activity first. I didn’t gain a single pound. And these are full tubs of double-churn ice cream. Crazy, right? I’ve just recently discovered the science behind it. It has to do with bringing glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT-4) to the surface of muscle cells. I don’t recommend eating ice cream while dieting, but this is a great way to control the damage if you slip up or take a break: 60-90 seconds of push-ups, pull-ups or air squats a few minutes before you eat, and another 60-90 seconds an hour and a half after you eat.
5. A Day in the Life of the Shrinking You
So you’d wake up in the morning after sleeping for 6-8 hours feeling refreshed, hopefully, because your sleep should be improving on the new plan. It’s important to eat breakfast right away, so grab a bowl of muesli with milk and gulp down some chocolate whey protein mixed with water. In a rush? You could always opt for just a slim fast shake. Or, if you feel like cooking, you could whip up some whole eggs. Have a green apple too. Maybe a glass of skim milk. The tricky part with breakfast is usually the protein. You should be shooting for 20-40 grams, depending on how big you are. You don’t need much fat with breakfast. Focus on the carbs and the protein. Breakfast should leave you feeling full. In fact, when you wake up you might not even feel hungry yet, so you might need to push yourself here. Have a multivitamin, too.
A couple hours later have a weight loss shake, or some cottage cheese, or some almonds. Mix and match if you want. This meal can be small, or it can be a regular size meal, depending on how you’ve broken up your calorie intake. Make sure there is protein in this meal. Make sure there is protein in all of your meals.
When lunch rolls around you can hop down to Subway and order a 6″ turkey sub on 12 grain with double turkey, some cheese, and lots of veggies. No sauces. You could go to McDonalds and get a grilled chicken salad. You could warm up some chili you brought in a thermos. You can have a lean burger without the bun along with some vegetables. You can have a protein bar.
When your “smaller second lunch” timer goes off, like it did for Payam on the big screen while he was running a photography seminar, it’s time for another small meal. This could be any of the meals I mentioned earlier. It doesn’t need to be complicated. A handful of almonds really CAN be a snack. Those guys are jam packed full of calories. Add in some skim milk too, and you’ve got a balanced snack consisting of healthy fat, healthy protein, and healthy carbs.
The workday might be ending soon after, so you can head home, throw on your shorts, and go for a HIIT run around the block if you didn’t do it in the morning. Have some gatorade and some whey protein mixed with water. Half before the run, half after.
When you get back you can cook yourself a fairly regular dinner. Have chicken breast, a lean steak, white turkey meat or a salmon fillet. If you’re a vegetarian life is tricky, so you’ll have to find a substitute. Either way, pair the protein with some veggies or a salad. You can add in a tablespoon of olive oil or flax oil either on top of the protein or on top of the vegetables. If you’re a big guy and you have some calories left over you can have some brown rice or half a sweet potato. Both are good forms of carbs. Generally on an intense weight loss diet you’ll want to be saving those calories for massive amounts of green vegetables though.
So you have one little snack left. Right before bed what I do is have a bowl of cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is full of casein protein, which is the slowest digested protein. It should give your body a bit of energy throughout the night so you wake up feeling refreshed instead of starved. You can have a tablespoon of olive oil or a couple almonds along with it. Almond butter, so long as it’s pure almond butter, is good too. You don’t really want many carbs before bed. Fats and proteins mainly. This meal can be quite small.
You don’t need to be PERFECT, either. Try and follow the diet 90% of the time. Twice a week if you go out with friends and want a beer or a dessert after your meal don’t sweat it. Just keep it in moderation. So long as 90% of your plan is in gear the losses to your weight loss should be negligible. Alternatively, you can do what we did and take 1 day off per week. On that day have a healthy breakfast, eat whatever you want all day long, and then finish ‘er off with a healthy pre-bed snack.
6. A Day in the Life of the New You
So it’s 3 months later and you’re 40 pounds lighter and feeling pretty happy with your sexy flat stomach or monstrous sixpack. Do you need to keep that schedule up? No. You can add more calories into your diet, since you’re trying to maintain weight now, not lose it. You can add in a dessert after dinner—every day, even. You could still eat 4-7 meals a day, because that’s the healthiest way to live, but you have more freedom with what you eat. You should keep exercising too, but you can find something you like. HIIT, if you can incorporate it into your life, has many many added benefits, especially as you age, so I recommend you keep doing that at least once a week too.
Maintaining weight is usually pretty easy. You don’t want to resort to the habits that made you fat, but you also don’t need to be an angel when it comes to eating either. Your life doesn’t need to revolve around fitness. You can put it on the backburner and if you notice your body starting to slip you know exactly what you need to do to fix it. It doesn’t need to be an issue ever again.
You’ll do fine in the long run (and you don’t even need to go for long runs!).
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