Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss

Ep 40: Everything You Need to Know About Fat Loss (Simple Strategies for a Fitter, Leaner Body)

January 10, 2023 Philip Pape Episode 40
Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss
Ep 40: Everything You Need to Know About Fat Loss (Simple Strategies for a Fitter, Leaner Body)
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Show Notes Transcript

Whether you're trying to lose extra weight, switch to a fat loss phase after building muscle, get lifestyle lean, or finally achieve success with your new year’s resolution, this episode will help you get there.
You will learn everything you need to know about fat loss so you can lose the weight and keep it off sustainably, efficiently, and in a way that actually improves how you look and feel for the long term.
This is NOT a “rapid weight loss” prescription. This is a “fat loss for life” approach that I use with clients that you can use on your own with a little bit of knowledge, practice, and accountability.
Also, I'm starting my own 12-week fat loss phase the week this episode goes live and will be adhering to these principles, so if you want to follow along and see updates of my journey, make sure to join our free Wits & Weights Facebook community. I also made a Fat Loss for Life Guide I can send you after joining the group.

Just check out the links below to join our free community or apply for one-on-one coaching. Enjoy the episode!

You'll learn all about:

  • The 3 principles that make fat loss possible, easier, and maintainable
  • The most important behavior to maintain muscle during fat loss
  • Which macro is the "body composition" macro and how much you need
  • What data to collect to maximize your results and consistency
  • What to do before you actually start a calorie deficit
  • How fast you can and should lose weight
  • The most important consideration when selecting foods during a fat loss phase
  • The easiest way to boost your metabolism during fat loss
  • What you're doing TOO MUCH of, and what to do instead
  • The simplest way to reduce overall stress and also belly fat!
  • How to avoid diet fatigue

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Philip Pape:

Welcome to the Wits& Weights podcast, where we discuss getting strong and healthy with strength training and sustainable nutrition. I'm your host, Philip Pape. And in each episode, we examine strategies to help you achieve physical self mastery through a healthy skepticism of the fitness industry, and a commitment to consistent nutrition and training for sustainable results. Welcome to another episode of Wits & Weights. This is another live training in the Wits & Weights Facebook community, which is totally free, it gives you access to lots of free valuable content, challenges, guides, nutrition, blueprints, even early access to podcast episodes. And you can see me posting regularly to follow along with my upcoming fat loss journey if you would like. So just click the link in the show notes to join. Again, it's the Wits & Weights, Facebook community, which you can also just search. And my name is Philip Pape. I'm a certified nutrition coach, body composition expert and founder of Wits & Weights. And as always, I would be very grateful for your support. And the easiest way to do that is to submit a five star rating and review on whatever platform you use to listen to your podcast, and then tell others about the podcast if you find it helpful. So with that, let's get into today's topic, which is everything you need to know about fat loss. Now this is going live in January 2023. When everyone's making new year's resolutions, the most frequent one being to lose weight by starting a weight loss or fat loss phase. And we're going to make a distinction between what we mean by weight loss versus fat loss. Whether you're trying to lose extra weight, or you're trying to switch to a fat loss phase after building muscle like I'm doing, or you want to get lifestyle lean or shredded, or you finally want to just achieve success with your New Year's resolution. I think this episode will help you get there. And you may want to listen to it a second time and take notes to to really let it sink in. So I think you're going to learn everything you need to know about fat loss so you can lose the weight and keep it off sustainably efficiently. And in a way that actually improves how you look and feel for the long term. And I realize everything saying that this is everything you need to know is a presumption of statement. But when I was preparing this episode, I tried to think of all the things that really matter, based on experience based on the evidence based on other experts that I listened to or watch and read so that you can refer to this episode in the future as sort of a definitive guide. Now, this is not a rapid weight loss prescription. This is a fat loss for life approach that I use with clients that you can use on your own that I use on myself. And if you have a little bit of knowledge, practice and accountability, you can incorporate this, these practices. As a body composition expert, I work with clients who want to eat more and enjoy their lifestyle, but they also want to improve their physique. They want to have more energy, I want to have more self confidence. And this really requires a focused, disciplined and evidence based approach to fat loss, that prioritizes strength training and body composition. That's where it's at. That's where the magic happens. And you're gonna hear a lot of emphasis on that today. You may have heard some or all of these principles and strategies before, but I'm going to lay them out in a way where you can refer to this episode in the future as a fat loss blueprint if you ever get stuck. And as I mentioned before, I am following my own 12 week fat loss phase starting this month, and I will be adhering to these principles and the strategies. So if you want to follow along and see updates of my journey, make sure to join our free Wits & Weights Facebook community, I also made a fat loss for life guide that I can send you after you join the group associated with this episode. So just check out the links in the show notes to join our free community or to apply for a one on one coaching if you need that extra boost of support. Okay, so before even considering fat loss, let's review three principles that we are going to adhere to throughout this process three principles that I think govern a lot of why we do it this way and what the strategies are. So the first principle is that building muscle increases your metabolism and that's going to make fat loss easier. Muscle burns more calories and fat. Having more muscle allows you to carry more weight and be leaner but have a higher BMR higher baseline metabolism. More muscle means you're more active more muscle means you can push more in the gym. More muscle means higher bone density. More muscle means deeper sleep and additional recovery. and all of these mean, easier fat loss. So that's the first principle is that building muscle makes fat loss easier. Principle number two, you can't improve your body composition without building, or at least preserving muscle. Okay, so this is sort of tied in with principle number one. We don't, we don't just want to lose weight, right? We want to lose fat. And the vast majority of people we're talking 95% of people or more, have been doing it the wrong way, right? You've been either crash dieting, or dieting very quickly, without regard for protein training steps, any of these other things, potentially do a lot of cardio. And every time you lose 20 3040 pounds, you lose a lot of muscle in the process. I mean, I've said this many times before, but I can't overstate it enough. If you lost 30 pounds, doing it that way, you might be losing 15 pounds of muscle. And it's easy to lose fat and muscle. It's hard and it takes time to build muscle back. So let's not lose it in the first place. Okay, so that concept of body fat overshooting, which I've talked about before, and I think one of my recent episodes was a replay on Paul Hinton's podcast, where I talked about it as well. The idea that every time you lose weight, you lose muscle. And every time you gain weight back, you're gaining mainly fat, and you're constantly getting worse in terms of body composition. And what we want to do is principle number one, build muscle. And then principle number two, preserve, build or preserve that muscle as part of the fat loss phase. So if you're doing it for the very first time, if you've never built muscle, yes, you can get leaner and improve your body composition, just by doing what we're going to talk about today. And focusing on fat loss and holding whatever muscle you have, it's not much muscle you have I get it, but you're gonna hold on to it, which you've never really done before, when doing a traditional approach or crash diet type approach, or a restrictive diet, okay, now, this is going to get you what I'm going to call skinny lean, not skinny fat, right? skinny fat is what's been happening over the years of yo yo dieting when you lost fat and muscle, and you keep getting what seems to be fluffier, even if you're at the same weight, I'm talking about skinny lean, meaning wouldn't cut fat hold on your muscle, and you're going to reveal some of that little bit of muscle you have. However, I would suggest going back to principle number one, building muscle first at some point, and then revealing that muscle with fat loss and periodized in your training, and periodized in your nutrition. That's the way I work with my clients at least. And I highly recommend it. But either way, we're going to at least preserve the muscle we have principle number three, okay, you cannot maintain your results, your fat loss results using traditional restrictive dieting approaches. We don't want to arbitrarily cut out food groups, like all carbs, or pick a one size fits all low calorie target, you know, like a, like an 800 Calorie target that optive via and these other damaging, highly dangerous programs use. We don't want to rely on a packaged food service where we don't really even know how to make our own meals. And I'm not talking about food delivery. Where do you still make the meals and they serve the ingredients I'm talking about? Programs are you spending hundreds of dollars a month and they're delivering all your food and telling you to eat it this specific way. And then we don't want to use something like fasting as a primary fat loss technique. It's a tool in the toolbox for certain people, but it's generally not something you need. And it's not the you know, sure way to to fat loss. So those those things I just mentioned, that's just a few of them are all short term fixes. I guarantee that you will lose weight on those, but at a huge cost to your metabolism, to your behaviors to your lifestyle, and really to your ability to maintain results once those diets are done, or whatever approach you're taking. Because then it's like what do I do now? Instead, we need a flexible approach, right? We call this flexible dieting, a flexible approach that lets you enjoy Dining Out social events, food and drinks you prefer and maybe not those that you don't prefer. And something that works whether you are losing, maintaining or gaining weight. So in other words, we are going to learn the skill of manipulating your nutrition to fit whatever dietary pattern makes sense for you and your goals. And by definition, this can change with your goals. So it's a flexible approach. So those are the three principles. Okay, principle one, building muscle makes fat loss easier. Principle two, you can't improve body composition without building or holding on to muscle. And number three, you can't maintain your results using a crazy restrictive prescription. So that brings us to the strategies. Okay, and I'm going to start with the first three strategies, which I think you're going to want to put in place Before you even think about dieting, and by dieting, I mean going into a calorie deficit. Okay, so the first strategy, start strength training now, and always train as if you're building muscle, even when you're dieting. So I'm gonna, I'm gonna go through what I mean by others. But basically, if you're not strength training, look to do that first. Seriously, I am, I am that guy who, who says strength training is so pivotal to this, even as a nutrition coach, that I want you to be doing that from the beginning, because it makes everything else work better, it makes it easier, and so on. So no matter what people tell you, if your goal is to lose fat, to improve body composition, you have to have a strong muscle building signal, period. Refer back to principle number two, that you have to build a preserve muscle to prioritize fat loss, or you're just going to lose muscle defeating the entire purpose of this exercise. Even when you're losing weight, if you have a strong muscle building signal, that is what's going to retain your muscle, that's the most important thing. Even more important than protein, believe it or not, protein has a lot of tolerance behind it. shocking is that maybe, to hear from me, you know, I've come to realize from from the evidence that the training signal is the is the most important thing. Our goal when we train, whether we're gaining or losing weight doesn't matter. Our goal is always muscular tension, and progressive overload, meaning we have to prioritize a mode of lifting that has high intensity, intensity, meaning meaning weight on the bar, relatively heavy for us, 60 7080 90% of our max, which would put you into a range of somewhere between, I don't know two to six reps as your baseline, before you start stacking other types of rep ranges and movements on to that. And that's going to that's going to give you the muscular tension you need, we're not necessarily talking going to failure all the time, we're talking about recruiting as much muscle mass as possible. And then giving ourselves the chance to increase that weight over time, or increase the reps over time for progressive overload, even when we're in a fat loss phase. Okay, because when we're in a fat loss phase, we're not getting much nutrition coming in, we're having a stressor on our body. And there's going to come a point where it's going to be very hard to make further gains or any build any muscle. And all we're trying to do is hold on to the muscle. So what we need to do is lift probably three or four days per week, I would say at least two but almost anybody would benefit optimally from three or four days per week. So that's like three to five hours in the gym with a high load based program. foundationally based on the compound lifts, right, the squat, the deadlift, the bench press. And then I also loved the overhead press. I actually posted in the community group, not long, I think it was last week about my own switch from in my programming from a four day power building program where I was going an hour and a half to the gym, to a three day basic barbell programming, but in a low rep range to give me plenty of stimulus to hold on to that muscle during the dieting phase. So it's probably the opposite of what a lot of you are thinking, you're thinking, oh, I need to go with, you know, more cardio, more endurance, more reps to burn the fat. No, we need to go heavy to give the stimulus to muscle so that you maintain that muscle. Alright, so that's strategy number one starts training right now. And always train as if you're building muscle, even when you're dieting, and it's hard to do. So. Number two, consume sufficient protein to maintain muscle while dieting you knew this was going to be next. And by the way, you're gonna hear a lot in here, a lot of detail. I'm going to summarize all this later in the episode, you can skip to that if you want, you're gonna miss a lot of nuance and context, just warning you. But you will have that. So consume sufficient protein to maintain muscle on it. Now protein is what I call, or a lot of people call the body composition macro, right? It's the one that lets you really control your body composition. Now studies have shown time and time again that a higher protein diet leads to more lean mass retention, and more fat loss during weight loss. So it's very well established. Also, protein naturally leads to eating more whole foods. It's a nice side effect, because you're trying to get all this protein from animal sources like meat, eggs, dairy, and also from plant sources. You know, legumes, some grains have proteins, vegetables that have proteins and so on, kind of forces you into making choices that incorporate more whole foods, which is a great side effect. Protein also forces you to establish appropriate meal frequency and timing because To get enough protein, you have to eat a certain amount of times per day. And then that forces you to kind of time your meals throughout the day to optimize muscle building and muscle retention, which, which is simply another way to say, of just having enough protein spread evenly throughout the day. And then it also crowds out other foods that don't serve your goals, which kind of tied to the first thing I said about it gets you to eat more whole foods. Now, I suggest building your protein habit as follows First, just get protein every time you eat. Okay, a lot of people aren't doing that, right now, if you think about your three or four meals a day is their meal, it just doesn't have protein for a lot of people. That's breakfast, right? Bagel muffin cereal, oatmeal. I mean, oatmeal has a little protein, but it's like trace amounts. And you realize, well, if you don't have eggs, or cottage cheese, or meat, or even a protein shake, whatever, you're probably not getting protein at that meal. So the first thing is just get protein at every meal, then we step it up, and we say, okay, let's make sure to eat four or five times a day, where there's always protein, and one or two of those maybe just protein and maybe just a bowl of Greek yogurt, right, and maybe just a whey protein shake. And then the next step up from that is to actually track your protein, which is going to be in the third strategy I'm going to cover in a second. So the goal of how much protein to get, I've said it many times, and I'm gonna continue to use the same window that I think is supported by the evidence. And that is 0.7 to one gram per pound of target bodyweight. So if you a 250, and you want to lose 50 pounds and get to 200, you're aiming for between 140 and 200 grams of protein, pretty straightforward. And it's a big range, if you're on the lower end of that range of most people are perfectly fine. Okay, I'm not going to be a zealot about the one gram per pound, if that's just such a far cry from where you are today. Or if you're dieting, and we're talking about fat loss, and you don't want to have so much protein that it crowds out the fats and carbs. So there's a fine balance there. Now leaner individuals, or people further into a diet may need to actually have higher protein, just to continue to retain as much muscle as possible. That's where we get worried about the muscle loss accelerating. So keep that in mind. So that was a strategy number two is to consume sufficient protein. Strategy number three, is checking my notes here. Strategy number three is to use data to maximize your results and stay consistent. Okay, so notice I'm making the strategy somewhat generic. And then I'm diving in with specifics that I recommend. But the principle of the strategy is that the more information you have about your body and how it's changing, the more you can respond to it, and continue to make progress toward your results. As well as stay consistent and hold yourself accountable. Whether you're working with a coach or not. Having that data will give you its feedback, right? It says, Okay, I'm not doing what I need to be doing to get from here to there. And I have a process to follow in the data I'm gathering every day is telling me how I'm tracking on that process. So here's what I recommend. I recommend tracking at least calories and protein. But go ahead and just track all your macros, because it's so easy to do with technology today. Why limit yourself to calories and protein? That's my opinion. Having said that, if you know your calories, and you know your protein, to track calories, you're going to have to track the calories and the food, which generally comes along with the macros. And then you're going to know what your fats and carbs are anyway, even if you don't care where you fall on those fats and carbs, you feel me there. So it kind of all works out anyway, because calories and protein are what's most important to hit. The fats and carbs are much more flexible. Now what I recommend, I recommend an app called macro factor. So in the past, I've lately suggested it more and more I'm coming to find that not only does everyone I know on this planet who've used it preferred over all the other apps. I've seen coaches who are just diehard My Fitness Pal users and chronometer or RP users switch to macro factor and they're all like, okay, we're not going back. It's just that helpful. Like, I rarely see something that's designed with what we are trying to do so clearly in mind, right, the developers, the team behind it, the owners, the community is just all toward this. So I'm an evangelist for it. I admit, macro factor, I do have a code and affiliate code that will give you an extra free week in your free trial, although you're gonna end up wanting to buy it anyway. But you can use my code Wits & Weights, when you sign up for the free trial. It also supports me so I really appreciate that. But heck, I'm a user. I've used it since day one. I still use it. I'm going to continue using it in my upcoming fat loss phase that you're going to follow along in our group with if you want And all my clients use it. So everybody that I recommend use this. And when people reach out to me asking for help, like I'm having trouble with my protein, I'm having trouble with this. First question is, are you logging? Are you tracking? Because how do you know what you're eating the quantities, the macros the balance, unless you track we are terrible, terrible at estimating calories. That's just a fact. And as much as you want to do intuitive eating, you can't do it without the intuition developed first, that skill of okay, I'm going to intuitively eat do I even know how many calories or macros are in this food on my plate? No, generally you don't, unless you've tracked it. So use something like macro factor to track your macros and calories. And then the other thing you want to track is your weight. Okay. Now, I know there's a lot of coaches and a lot of programs that are all about getting rid of the scale and not using the scale. And, you know, especially I note, a lot of them are marketed toward women, like, you know, start, you don't have to obsess over the scale, etc. I'm, I'm not going to trash any of those whatsoever, because the principle behind them is totally sound that you don't have to weigh yourself to put in the principles for fat loss. Totally true. However, I'm a big fan of understanding what's going on with your body specifically, why do we get bloodwork? Why do we get our blood pressure checked? Right? Or why do we measure our resting heart rate? Why do we measure our steps? Why do we measure our lifts in our in the gym, so that we know what's happening. And we can make adjustments. Same thing with weight, I would recommend weighing as frequently as you can, ideally every day. And the reason I support weighing yourself every day is because it makes it a habit that you start just not having to think about meaning you actually start to reduce your obsession with a scale because it's now a daily thing. And then the second part of that is you see the number fluctuating up and down and up and down and up and down. And you realize, heck, this number doesn't mean a whole lot in the short term. And instead, I need to know what's happening over roughly a three week period to see how my body's responding. So if you're using an app like macro factor, it uses something called trend weight, which is a 20 day exponential moving average. And I tell you that and it's no secret, because you can reverse engineer and they've admitted it, you can do this in a spreadsheet, you could do it in Excel or Google Sheets, if you just want to do it on your own, track your weight every single day and apply a 20 day moving average Exponential Moving Average formula. Okay, why am I telling you all this, because at the end of the day, the daily weight on the scale, isn't that important at all, it's the 234 week change in your weight, that's important. Once you have your calories in, and your weight, which is the output of your energy, then that will let you monitor your current daily metabolism, you know, daily or weekly, whatever resolution you're using. If you use macro factors every day, if you do it on your own manually with the spreadsheets roughly every week, you're gonna get some decent data. And macro factual calls this dynamic maintenance. And what this allows you to do is see exactly how your body is responding to everything, to your activity, to your food, everything you do, so that each week you can adjust your calorie intake and keep progressing toward your fat loss goals. So that really is kind of the crux of why data is important, isn't it? Alright, so I just shared the first three strategies. And I want you to put these in place before you continue to the remaining strategies. So number one, start strength training properly. Number two, consume sufficient protein. And number three, use data, track your calories and macros and track your weight. So that you have what you need to make adjustments and to stay consistent. Because we truly are trying to do this as effectively and efficiently as possible as quickly as we can. We're not trying to you know, go for months and months and months and hope that we lose weight and fat because nobody wants to be hanging around that long in a diet. Hey, this is Philip Pape. And if you feel like you've put in effort to improve your health and fitness but aren't getting results, I invite you to apply for a one on one coaching to make real progress and get the body you desire. We'll work together to figure out what's missing so you can look better, perform better and feel better. Just go to wits & weights.com/coaching to learn about my program and apply today. Now back to the episode. So once you've used those, once you've done those first three things, we get to strategy number four, is to spend time finding your true maintenance before you actually start the diet before you go into a calorie deficit. I would say four weeks is usually a good timeframe for a lot of people. And if you're using macro factor, you don't have to do anything like reverse dieting or You slowly up the calories over time, and it kind of takes forever to get there. No, just eat at your dynamic maintenance, you're going to know week to week what your maintenance is, maybe you overshot a little, maybe you under shot, you're not going to gain a whole bunch of weight, it's going to keep you roughly in your maintenance level. And in about three weeks, maybe four weeks, you'll know exactly where you need to be to start your diet. Alright, so the, all of these prerequisites are going to help you they're going to set you up for success. And they're going to set you up for retaining that muscle and losing that fat. All right, strategy. So strategy number four that I just mentioned, is spend time finding true maintenance. And if use macro factor, it's going to happen pretty quickly. Number five, is now we're gonna go into the diet. So this is critical on like all that restrictive diets out there, or the names diets where you're not counting calories. And you really don't know how quickly or dieting or slowly maybe you're going to slowly we're going to use a known moderately aggressive deficit, moderately aggressive as the word I like to use, meaning we want it to be aggressive enough that we get it done quickly, that we get the fat loss done as quickly as we can, but moderate enough to avoid losing muscle, and also to keep it sustainable, right, because if it's too if it's too aggressive, you may also feel like you're suffering, because you're just not eating anywhere close to where you would feel good. So it's that fine balance between, get it over with and keep it going. Right. So the the, what am I trying to say here, if you're training, and if you've got the protein, you're in a great position. And what we're going to aim for here is 0.25 to 1% of your weight per week, I find I found through experience and working with clients that 0.5 or 0.75%, kind of in the middle is the sweet spot where they can do it consistently and see the fat fall off, but not feel like they're suffering. And it's just a constant like, oh my god, I binged and I couldn't help myself, because I'm so hungry, you know, we don't want to be in that state. So the range is point two, five to one, find a sweet spot. So for example, I'm, I'm at 185. And I'm going to go pretty aggressive at maybe point eight, or maybe one person, maybe the full 1%, because I want to get it over with in 12 weeks. But I'm also dieting on way more calories than I used to. Because I've added muscle you see, this is where it comes in handy. Because I can diet on something like 2200 calories and actually lose 1% Somebody else might have to go down to 1400 calories, it's a big difference in your ability to do the diet. So number five is using a moderately aggressive energy deficit. Number six is to select foods to prioritize appetite management. So this is the only strategy I'm actually talking about the food you eat. And you'll see why I think this is really important. We, you when you think of named diets like keto or vegetarianism, or whatever, they're all about cutting things out. Or there's good and bad foods or there's clean and dirty you know, the you know, clean eating or just just just cutting something right so something crazy. So it's not about that. What we want to do is select foods that we prefer that meet our calories and macros, but that minimize our hunger as much as possible. I think appetite management is one of the primary drivers during fat loss of selecting foods that meet all your other needs. Protein micronutrients, hydration, you know, calories and mitigate the most important adaptation that negatively affects us during a diet which is hunger really, hungers? The big thing? Yes, adherence is important. And all these other things I'm talking about have to do with adherence. But managing hunger is probably the biggest thing that comes from hormonal downregulation when we're dieting because all of our all of our hormones are leptin, ghrelin, cortisol, thyroid, everything, they all tend to gang up on you to make you want to eat and survive because you're like, come on, you're not bringing in enough calories, we're gonna have to keep pulling from your fat cells. Well, that's what we want. That's the trade off we want is the fat cells to shrink. But as a result, we get these other symptoms and we get some adaptation. So we're going to select foods and minimize hunger as much as possible, which then generally results in you eating a wide, diverse variety of Whole Foods very much like protein gets you to eat more whole foods. So what does this look like okay, foods that are higher and fiber, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, making smart decisions to say go from you know, white bread to whole grain bread or go to white rice to brown rice or you know, start eating Oh, For quinoa, right, substituting starches and grains for vegetables where you need it. So the further you are into the fat loss phase where you have low calories to do to work with, you know, if you're dieting on 1600 or 1500 calories, you don't really have a lot of carbs in there anyway. And the carbs that you do you want to get full from. So you're going to want to prioritize vegetables, or even something like potatoes, potatoes are very high and in fullness, as long as you don't put butter and sour cream all over them. So substituting vegetables in using something like vegetable soups where you're combining the benefit of water and hydration, filling you up with filling vegetables like zucchini, for example, zucchini, tomatoes, and so on. On the other hand, which is kind of the opposite of soups, eating foods that are harder in texture. And I hear Eric Trexler mentioned this all the time, harder, texture will slow down your eating will allow you to chew for longer, it'll lengthen the amount of time you eat. And it actually increases your sensory satisfaction, it sends a signal in your brain that you're actually eating food and you're eating a decent amount of it. You're chewing and swallowing, chewing swallowing. And this can actually manage your hunger make you feel like you've tricked yourself into feeling like you've eaten more. What's What's another thing, staying hydrated. So when you're hungry, sometimes you're thirsty, just drink a glass of water, or drink a glass of water before every meal, for example, stay really hydrated. I like to use a salad every day at lunch. If you know when I'm in a building phase, I don't do that. So often when I'm in a fat loss phase, I plan to incorporate lots of greens with my protein at lunch because they're fibers and they fill you up, shift toward lower or zero calorie drinks. Okay, this can make a big difference because drinks don't really fill you up. But if they have calories, they give you calories that don't fill you up. So going from soda to diet soda, whole milk to 2% milk or almond milk, coffee with cream to Coffee with half and half an IPA in terms of beer to like a light beer or god forbid, a an alcohol free beer. Guinness is alcohol free beer is actually not bad. Also whole versions instead of ultra processed highly palatable foods. So this would be okay, if you really have a craving for something sweet or pop tart or something like that, you know, instead of a Strawberry Pop Tart have strawberries. Now, obviously, that's a bigger leap. But these are the kinds of decisions and swaps we start to make on a diet to make sure that we manage appetite as the main driver of why we're selecting all these foods. And then ultimately, that allows us to get through the diet successfully. And in the meantime, we've transitioned our overall dietary pattern to one that supports optimal health, good nutrition, plenty of micronutrients, and so on. Okay, so that's it. That's all I'm going to say about food. Notice I didn't I didn't really tell you exactly what foods to eat, but more how to pick foods. Strategy number seven, incorporate movement into everything you do. So usually I make this very specific about steps. And it will come down to that from a tracking perspective. But the idea is, the more you move with everything, like just think of what you're doing right now you're listening to this podcast, are you watching it, you could be walking around your house, holding your phone and watching this. And if you're not doing it right now, and you're watching this on your phone sitting on your couch, Get up right now, it's our pacing around for the rest of the podcast, I probably have another 2030 minutes, or you're gonna you're gonna get like two 3000 Steps doing that. Okay. So incorporate movement and everything you do. I think steps on a wearable are the best proxy for that, right? It's not super, super precise, but it's enough to tell you how your patterns are changing. So if you always get two or 3000 steps, and you change your movement patterns, and now you're getting six or 7000 steps, while you're definitely more active, based on step count, like it's plenty accurate enough to tell you that. So do all the things that get you to move more, go listen to episode 34, which was another live that I did and recorded it it was all about walking. And it's more exciting than it sounds a lot of great stuff in there and strategies and things you can try and why walking itself is so beneficial, but really anything you could do to move that's not intense cardio, which I'm gonna get to in the next strategy. So the other thing okay, why are we doing this? Well, steps or movement is a great way to boost your metabolism it really is. Yes, you are going to burn more calories moving around. And that's not the only reason we do it. We do it for health and to avoid sitting down too long. It helps with your heart rate helps your cardiovascular health and lots of other things but it also burns more calories. Let's admit it and in a fat loss phase you may need the extra two or three or 400 calories a day to ease up on your diet or to speed up the fat loss however you want to use it. So that brings us to strategy Number eight, which is to use cardio strategically, and not excessively. So remember the point of cardio is to improve your conditioning, your cardiovascular health, not to burn calories. That's not really the point. Because the amount of calories you burn burning cardio in a half hour of highly stressful movement on your body in a fat loss phase, you could just eat a little bit less, and not have all that stress and have more recovery and better sleep. And it's not really a great trade off. But a little bit of it can go a long way. And a little bit of it also prevents you from adapting to it, such that your metabolism actually comes down and you don't want that. So I liked the advice from Mike Matthews of Legion athletics, he always says to live up, limit your cardio to half of the amount of time that you lift. So if you're lifting three to five hours a week, limit cardio to an hour and a half to two and a half hours a week tops, avoid forms of cardio that impact your recovery, or cause additional muscle stress and tearing like running, it really isn't great for you if you're a lifter. But if you really, really like hard running, and it's just like, it makes your day reduces your stress. And maybe you're pretty good at it. And maybe you're an athlete, so I'm sure incorporate it and do it in an intelligent way. Do it with Sprint workouts. You know, just don't Don't be running half marathons, you know, a couple of times a week, unless you're training to be running athlete. So good examples. Alternatives would be biking, swimming, or pushing or pulling a sled or Prowler in the gym. These are all good, concentric only movements. You can also use high intensity interval training, if you need like a calorie boost a couple times a week. And it's something fun. I mean, a lot of people don't really find it that much fun, to be honest. You know, I did CrossFit for eight years, I was doing it constantly. But I wouldn't necessarily just sign up for it. But even that is not super effective. Like you're gonna find that maybe bodybuilders deeper, new cut, have to pull out these extra things. But you don't have to do them. I mean, if you just don't want to do cardio at all, go for a lot of walks, do all the stuff I'm talking about here and you're gonna lose fat just fine. All right, number nine, strategy number nine is to get plenty of high quality sleep, you knew this one was coming like Oh, there he goes again, on sleep. Maybe I maybe I could have made this number one, like before even do anything, fix your sleep issues, so that you get recovered and improve your fat loss. But a lot of people have trouble with this some for some people, it's really a process over time of improving sleep, and I get it. So I'm just gonna throw a couple of things at you here. There's a study done last year by Avacyn at all. Hopefully I pronounced it right. That found that participants in the study that were sleep restricted, they had just over four hours of sleep. They, they and another group that got about eight hours of sleep, they both gain the same amount of fat, okay, in this case, they were just eating whatever they wanted. And they were all over eating slightly. So they all gain fat, but they gain the same amount. The Sleep restricted group, they gained more than three times of that fat in the abdominal area, then the other participants so so the body fat gain was the same, but the belly fat was up by 9% in the sleep restricted group, and it was only 2.6% in the normal full sleep group. So even if you're doing everything right, and you're the right calories and all the other stress, just not getting enough sleep can cause you to store fat in your belly, which I know is a problem for a lot of people especially you know women, especially in perimenopause and post menopause, it becomes an issue because of the effects of the reproductive hormones and estrogen for that fasters. But men as well right with the beer gut, think about it, see pas how big of an impact. The other thing is. So if you're not really tracking and saying top of all the other things, which we are right, we're going to be doing that sleep deprivation can cause people to just eat more calories, it just makes you hungry and makes you eat more. It lowers your metabolic rate. This is a hormonal thing and down regulate your hormones. It causes the appetite, it causes the metabolism to go down. Okay, just like other stressors on the body. So sleep is the biggest thing. If you have other chronic stress in your life that is hard to get rid of, because of your job or your family sleep can be that big mitigator of the negative effects from that, like the negative effects of cortisol, your stress hormone, when you're stressed all the time and it stays higher than it needs to be and it doesn't come down enough at night. And then you don't get good quality sleep well if you can kind of turn that around a bit by focusing on scheduling in enough sleep. Okay, we're talking seven to eight hours of sleep and no screens 30 minutes before bed. That's the bare bones thing you can do to improve your sleep. If you want to learn a lot more beyond that, I do did an episode quite a while back about sleep that has like, you know, 20 things, you can try all the little subtle things. But getting enough and avoiding screens before bed will go a long way toward this and getting enough sleep will really help with fat loss, help with hunger. And it'll definitely help with your recovery during a time when you don't have a lot of other resources coming in. Okay, strategy number 10. This is the last one. And then I'm going to summarize everything okay, this strategy is to use diet breaks to conquer those mental demons of dieting. So we already talked about selecting foods for hunger, that's going to help a lot. Having said that, though, it can get tiring it can get fatiguing. When you're on going on 1012 weeks or 14, like maybe you have a little more weight to lose, and you're going for a 16 week fat loss phase was the maximum I would ever recommend to be honest. But I've seen people I've had clients, I can go well beyond that, because we're managing all the biofeedback so well, that it's okay they can keep going in their body responds just fine in the metabolism isn't too low, etc. But what you want to do is monitor all those things we talked about, monitor your hunger, your energy, your recovery, tracking everything, monitor your performance in the gym, that's one of the most important things to be honest. Because as soon as you start to degrade on your lifts, and you start to feel tired in the gym, that tells me you may be starting to lose muscle. If any of these things go past the point that are comfortable for you. Take a diet break. Okay, so if your biofeedback is poor, like like your recovery, your hunger, your energy performance, and so on, or you're just getting tired of dieting, or you want to align a break in your diet in with a special event or holiday, right, we just had Thanksgiving Christmas here. And those are good times to take a diet break so that you can eat more food and enjoy without too much pressure. Or if you're traveling right. Or if you have a lot of weight to lose, and you need to break it up into phases, take a diet break, there are a lot of ways to do this, the easiest way to do it is just eat at your maintenance calories, by increasing your carbs to get you to those calories. So let's say you're you're dieting on 1600 calories, but your maintenance calories are 2200 Just get 600 more calories of carbs per day during the break. So 600 divided by four, that's going to be two, that's gonna be 150 more grams of carbs. So if you were at like, you know, 100 grams of carbs, now you can have 250 grams of carbs during the break, that's going to refuel your glycogen, that's going to give you more energy to cut is going to help bring your metabolism up all these things for a while before you get right back to dieting, and everything adapts right back. It's a good strategy to try. There are many more advanced, what are called nonlinear dieting strategies. You can look up nonlinear dieting or reach out to me for questions, I have interesting schemes that could use like interval dieting, where you you're aggressively dieting for two weeks, and then maintenance for two and then aggressive, or five to dieting, or you pick two high calorie days during the week. There's a lot of ways to do this. But I don't want to get into the weeds today. Just know that that strategy is available to you. Okay, so we just went through 10 strategies, we established three principles for fat loss. And I'm going to summarize all of this because it is a lot. And again, I recommend going through this again in the future, if needed. And I will also have a guide a fat, fat loss for life guide available. If you join the community and just reach out you can get it. Here we go. Number one, always train heavy, and train hard. Use low intensity, I mean sorry, use high intensity that's weight on the bar, low to moderate volume programming, so that you can recover. So this is going to be training as if you're building muscle. Number two, track your calories, protein and weight. So that you know your dynamic maintenance for for your metabolism before we go died. So this is actually number two and three, I just I'm sorry, this is number two and three. So number two is protein. Number three is tracking. Alright, so getting sufficient protein, and tracking. Number four, do the first three things first, and then try to find your true maintenance calories spend time getting to true maintenance. Using an app like macro factor makes it really easy to do. I generally recommend something like four weeks for this phase. Number five, use a moderately aggressive energy deficit. Okay, point two five to 1% per week. Number six select foods that mitigate hunger. So you want to prioritize appetite management. Number seven move just move Get It steps, aim for somewhere around eight to 10,000 steps, but get steps and movement, however, you can get more than you get now, and then get more than that later and keep pushing yourself to get more movement in. That's low intensity. The next one, this is number eight, use cardio, strategically limited, so like half the time you lift. And if you need to use something like hit, do it. If you want to do medium intensity cardio, go with a high recovery, low impact one like swimming, biking or Prowler pushing. Number nine, get seven, eight hours of sleep and limit screens at least 30 minutes before bed. And then number 10. Use diet breaks at maintenance calories by increasing your cat carbs whenever you need to, to remain consistent and continue dieting. All right, there you have it a lot I know. But hopefully it was organized well enough that you can absorb it all and apply it to your own life. And that's my attempt at providing everything you need to know about fat loss, or at least the things that really matter. And I would say rather than try to implement everything at once, work your way down the list and incorporate these over time. I ordered them in a way that I think is effective, useful and doable. maybe with the exception of sleep, sleep maybe could be higher on the list, but you really can customize it to what makes sense for you. And if you want that free fat loss for a life guide that goes along with this training, just join the Wits & Weights Facebook community, the link again is in the show notes. And if you want more support than this, because I know it's hard to do this on your own, it really can be hard you may have tried in the past, and you just want to do it in the most effective time efficient way possible. I do have a few spots open for one on one coaching, where we're going to work together on all the things I talked about in this episode. To get you the results the body you deserve a sustainable plan to maintain those results. For the rest of your life. The easiest way to get in touch is go to wits & weights.com/coaching, where you can fill out an application or DM me directly. And then I'll just set up a quick call with you and see if it's good fit. And then if it is, we'll get started. Again, just go to wits.& weights.com/coaching. If you have any questions about any nutrition or fitness topic, go to wits & weights.com and look for the Ask Philip section on the homepage. And lastly, I really do want to thank you and I do appreciate you for taking the time out to listen to or watch this episode. And as always, stay strong. Thanks for listening to the show. Before you go, I have a quick favorite ask if you enjoy the podcast. Let me know by leaving a five star review in Apple podcasts and telling others about the show. Thanks again for joining me Philip Pape in this episode of Wits & Weights. I'll see you next time and stay strong

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