Some of you will know I used to be pretty heavy.
I was always a hefty young man but when I hit 20/21 I took things a bit too far…I got fat.
University life + lager + kebabs = 125kg of bulk.
Alas! I managed to lose a significant amount of weight and (for the most part) keep it off.
At my lightest (see photo) I got down to about 85kg for a total weight loss of 40kg (disclaimer I’m hovering around the 97-98kg mark right now but thats because I’m trying to be strong…a story for another day).
Combining my experience of losing tonnes of weight and training hundreds of people who have also been successful in their weight loss, I’ve compiled this list of 7 ESSENTIAL factors for successful, long term fat loss.
If you can tick these off, you’re onto a winner.
1. Calorie deficit (aka burn more calories than you eat)
I’ll get the boring one out of the way first.
To lose weight/fat you HAVE to be using more calories than you’re eating. It’s just science.
There are a million and one ways to restrict your calorie intake (low carb, low fat, high fat, paleo, etc etc)…but you need to find a method that suits you.
Restrict your calories, be more active. Easy peasy
2. Lift weight to lose weight
While lifting weights isn’t essential to lose weight, it’s definitely recommended.
Weight training will increase your metabolism (burn more calories throughout the day), improve insulin sensitivity (less likely to store fat) and help maintain what muscle you already have.
3. Be accountable
Accountability is often overlooked.
It’s a fact that you will be much more likely to succeed if you make yourself accountable.
Check in with someone regularly – a friend, spouse or coach – tell them of your goals and you’ll be more likely to stick to your plan if you know if you have someone to report to.
4. Take sleep seriously
Another basic but VERY important one.
Sleep is oft overlooked when embarking on a fat loss mission.
When you get too little sleep it messes with the hormones that affect your appetite and desire to eat.
Low energy levels which come from a lack of sleep will also leave your body craving energy from an external source…i.e sugar.
This makes life a lot harder if you’re trying to restrict your calories.
More sleep=best chance of success.
5. Don’t be so emotional
Try to remove the emotion from your fat loss journey.
Treat it as a puzzle…What’s helped your progress? What’s has hindered it?
Monitor how your body is reacting to the plan…if your progress stalls, step back, be objective and work out what could be improved.
Play the long game…don’t get all emosh and quit whilst crying into a tub of Nutella.
FAT LOSS SECRET – it takes time.
Patience is a virtue in this game.
Don’t buy into the fads…sustainability is key!
Most successful diets will INCLUDE all the things you like, not exclude them.
All successful training programmes need to fit in around your current lifestyle, not vice versa.
If you can’t see yourself continuing with your current diet and training programme for the next 6 months, it’s probably not going to work out.
7. Planning for the win
Last but certainly not least, you need a plan!
Something to work to, something you can adjust as and when it needs to be.
For best results…get someone to help you write a programme.