So when it comes to fat loss there are many different dietary approaches. In the past I’ve tried many of these different methods. For example I’ve done the low carb (keto) thing, eating no more than 50g of carbs a day. I would eat a high protein and fat diet with a lot of broccoli. I would only eat a small amount of oats for breakfast as my daily carbs. This method worked but for me it’s not a realistic sustainable approach, I love carbs too much and from a scientific perspective the body’s primary source of fuel is glucose….which is what carbs turn into when your body breaks them down.
I’ve also done flexible dieting where I was eating ice cream and Milo every night with 2 massive refeed days (pancakes!) a week. This wasn’t so bad, I ate small meals during the day which consisted of only protein, fats and vegetables. Then I would eat my carbs pre workout, post workout and before bed. I enjoyed this but at the same time eating junk food everyday isn’t a very good way to maintain overall health. Think about it, eating calorie dense but nutrient poor food isn’t going to keep you healthy.
Now that I eat a plant based vegan diet it would be virtually impossible for me to follow a ketogenic diet even if I wanted to.Not to say it can’t be done, just for me it wouldnt be easy and I’m all about doing what’s easy. Around 60% of my daily calories come from from carbohydrates so if I had to cut that down to 5-10% I would have a hard time coping as all I would be eating is tofu, avocados, flaxseed meal and some veggies. No thank you I like my rice, oats, bananas, beans and sweet potatoes too much.
So the approach I’ve taken to my current shred is keeping my macros at 60 / 20 / 20. However to create a calorie deficit I’m slowly tapering my calories down every couple of weeks. When I started I was eating around 3200 calories a day, after 2 weeks I cut that down to 3000 and again 2 weeks later down to 2800 which is where I’m at now. In a week or so I’ll drop it again to about 2600. However as my calories will be dropping my macro ratio will slightly change because to create the deficit I will be cutting my calories from my carbs. However as a lot of my carb sources are also my protein sources my protein will be dropping slightly as well but it’s not going to cause any muscle loss as the amount is too small and I’m eating more than enough protein. So now that I’ve discussed my current approach I want to touch on some key points to remember when you want to lose fat.
The goal is not weight loss it’s fat loss, so what that means is you’re not trying to make the number on the scales go down – that number is deceiving and can fluctuate too much depending on time of day, food intake, water intake, training, etc.
So losing fat and maintaining muscle should be the goal, that means you need to be consistent with your weight training, keep lifting heavy and don’t miss a scheduled training day.
Keeping the muscles stimulated while in a calorie deficit will help you maintain that hard earned muscle. Keeping them stimulated will promote protein muscle synthesis which is basically your muscles utilising the amino acids from protein to repair themselves.
Utilising cardio at the right time is a valuable tool aswell. If you start out doing 2 hours of cardio a day at the start of your cut you’re going to end up doing more damage then good. For me I like use cardio as a tool when you need it, so when you’re hitting a plateau or sticking point adding in some extra cardio can help burn some extra calories which can help create that deficit for continued fat loss. So you don’t need to do cardio at the beginning of your cut but can add it in as the weeks go by. If you don’t like doing a shit tonne of cardio then you should stick to HIIT. A good example of utilising HIIT in a 8 week shred phase would be like this:
- Week 1 & 2 – no cardio
- Week 3 & 4- 1 HIIT sessions (10 mins)
- Week 5 & 6 – 2 HIIT sessions (10 mins each)
- Week 7 & 8 – 3 HIIT sessions (10 mins each)
Now as I mentioned before about protein, you never want to lower your protein past a certain point and you can read more about that here.
When you want to maximise fat loss you also need to keep your hormones balanced, this means sufficient rest, keeping stress low and keeping your testosterone high. I take DIM which is a naturally occurring substance found in cruciferous green vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and kale. But by supplementing with DIM (diindolylmethane) you will be helping keep your estrogen low and your test high.
Now I hope I’ve covered everything I wanted to talk about and helped explain my approach to fat loss. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me as I’m always happy to chat!
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