If you take a short look on the internet for the so called best ways to lose weight, there are countless articles that tackle this subject from all sides.
What I continuously fail to understand is why are people overcomplicating this simple matter?
And I say simply because I see it like that.
How come people fail to get to a standard answer? And because of this, everybody has its opinion.
The opinion that can be partially accurate, biased, or false.
I don’t want to bash people, and say that my approach is the best or the only one that works, but I can vouch for it with my body and experience. Not only that but I like to keep everything simple. And that’s what I also did with my FREE step by step method for fat loss named the DTM method.
Let me show you what other people recommend as a best way to lose weight and fat before I give you my 2 cents:
- Some people say to avoid eating between meals
- Approaches like carbohydrate cycling that means you’ll eat a high carb diet on your training day, and a low carb diet on your rest day
- Use certain supplements for weight loss
- Tell you to increasing water intake
- Cardio for x amount of minutes every day
- Intermittent fasting
- High protein diets
- High protein breakfast
- Avoid sweets
- Avoid pasta
- And many more
Sadly, they all forget the most important ingredient when it comes to any diet. Most advice doesn’t take into consideration the social, psychological, and financial status of the people that read those articles.
I would simplify all of it into something that’s easy to understand like my DTM method for fat loss.
Alright… alright. What’s the best way to lose weight, and why?
First of all, I want to clear something up: there’s no best way to lose fat or weight. There are just ways to lose weight that are right for you in your current life condition.
A weight loss approach that works for a friend of yours, might not work in your case. It all has to do with the way you create, and adjust your diet and training. And I’ll show you how to do all of that in a moment but before that…
Here are two things I want to note:
- Losing fat is not the same as losing weight – weight loss is a reduction in your total body weight. This means you lose fat, muscle, water weight, etc. Fat loss is the process of losing pure fat without anything else.
- You should keep the weight lost, permanently – this is ideal because you want to keep it off with a solid diet and exercise plan (like my DTM method.)
What Is The Main Cause For Weight Loss?
The math is quite simple here, and it all has to do with the thermodynamics equation:
If you require 3000 calories every day to keep a certain weight, you must eat fewer calories than that to lose weight.
For example: If you burn 3000 calories over a 24h period but you, only consume 2000, you are in a 1000 calorie deficit. That deficit has to come from somewhere. And your body will drive energy from its reserves to meet that deficit.
Those reserves can come from stored glycogen or body fat.
Your body can use fat, glycogen, or protein (via a process called gluconeogenesis) to sustain itself during periods of caloric deficit.
The Mainstream Fat Loss Methods
- High protein diets – When you eat a high protein diet, your overall consumption of fats and carbohydrates goes down. Not only that but your general satiety goes up. And if you want to hear the best part, these diets force you to restrict your diet to only certain foods that are high in protein since most foods have carbohydrates and fats. This means you’ll have a lower overall caloric intake. This means weight loss.
- Low Carbohydrate diets – these diets work. But not from some sort of magical combination or secret. They work because they “trick” you into reducing your caloric intake by removing one of the most consumed macronutrient: carbohydrates. This means you’ll also reduce the stored muscle glycogen which translates into loss of water weight. I call it a low-carb diet, any diet that’s comprised of less than 100 grams of carbohydrates per day
- Low Fat Diets – since you reduce your fat intake, you are also reducing your caloric intake. Fat is the most caloric macronutrient because it offers you 9 calories per gram. And if you stop eating it, it’s logical that you’ll drop the total caloric intake
- The “eat healthy” diet – the most common diet out there. This simplifies approach to dieting works in certain cases, but it usually is a recipe to fail. This diet mostly works in people that completely change the way they eat. From a diet that was previously full of fast-food, processed foods, junk, and sodas, to a diet that’s mainly based on the so called healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats. Etc.
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The Fad Dieting Hoax And How To Avoid Them
Here’s a quote I want you to see (from my simplified approach to fat loss called the DTM method)
Every diet does this one important thing with or without you knowing:
It TRICKS you into eating less energy than you expend.
I don’t want to trick you. I want to educate you so you can make the best nutritional choices for your body.
While these authors don’t necessarily have bad intentions with their diets, you have to know the truth. For any successful fat loss, you have to understand the main reason why you are getting results.
In a sense, fad diets try to do just this thing: make you believe there’s a magical ingredient, the combination of macronutrients, or you have to stop eating something to lose weight in the best way.
Ever tried of heard about the Paleo diet?
It’s a diet based on lean protein, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, fish. But you are not allowed to eat foods like refined sugar, legumes (peanuts, lentils, soy), grains (oats, wheat, etc.), vegetable seed oils, dairy.
While this diet can be better than most diets out there, it still lacks something: full flexibility. And I say this because some of the limitations it puts you on.
The restrictions are based on certain beliefs that our ancestors haven’t eaten certain foods, and that neither you should eat them.
You don’t have to eat as your ancestors because you have easy access to a wide variety of foods without being in a situation where food is scarce or a matter of life and death. More than that, the foods that are limited by the paleo diet are healthy:
- Potatoes are perfectly healthy to eat, and a major source of vitamin B6, potassium, copper, vitamin C, and many more
- If you are not lactose intolerant, dairy products play a major role in your overall meal planning: it contains high quality protein, vitamin B12, iodine, vitamin B2, vitamin D, it supports bone health and many more. For example, milk is high in protein, low in carbs, and contains healthy fats that are essential for optimal hormone production, and are not the cause of heart disease like many other people state.
- While I won’t talk about all grains here, I’ll write some notes on oats. Oats are almost universally considered a superfood. Not only that but they are high in protein, phosphorus, manganese, molybdenum, magnesium, fiber, zinc, and much more.
Just 3 example of foods that are forbidden by paleo dieting that are perfectly fine to eat. Not only that but these foods that are “forbidden”, also promote health.
Other types of fad dieting:
- The atkins diet – you eat protein, and fat, and ditch the carbohydrates. It’s basically a low-carb diet disguised under a different name. It doesn’t mention calories. Just eat protein and fats. I had a friend doing this diet, and it worked for him for like 2 months until his motivation dropped to 0. No carbohydrates? Heck, most people eat them. I eat them. And everybody can get lean even if they eat carbs so no point in excluding them from your diet.
- IIFYM – Also known as if it fits your macros, first appeared in 2009-2010. Nothing is off the list on this diet. But you must eat a certain caloric intake, and target a certain macronutrient ratio. Have to eat 2000 calories to lose weight today? You can pretty much eat 3 chocolate bars that are around 1500, and you’ll lose weight because you are in a caloric deficit. This diet usually promotes eating junk food, and it is not sustainable in the long term. I did it in the past for more than 1 year, and staying on the right track with this diet is a feat. Not only that but you are missing essential vitamins and minerals that can come from whole foods.
- Food combinations – there was this idea that combining certain foods can make you gain weight. Mainly, combining carbohydrates with fats. This idea is a myth, and you shouldn’t follow it. Eating too many calories over a period is what makes you gain weight, and not some magical food combination technique.
- Following fat loss meal plans – following a meal plan you can find on the internet might not work for you for multiple causes. And one of the most important cause why meal plans don’t usually work is lifestyle conditions. Do you eat chicken and rice 3 times per day as I might eat? Can you eat 5 eggs every day if I say so? Meal plans are limiting. Unless someone is making you a meal plan after he analyzed your lifestyle, the foods you eat, your social, economic, and psychological status, most meal plans don’t work. Or you can just create your own flexible meal plan.
Why People Fail To Lose Weight With “Quick Fixes”
Most people that follow “quick fixes”, fail in the long term.
Most people going on that path can’t sustain that level of modification. Not only that but they don’t understand the reason behind those diets.
These “quick fix” diets almost never work. Your willpower, social, lifestyle, and financial circumstances will almost always win. Of course, you can get some results in the short term. But in the long run, you will most likely gain the weight back and feel even worse than when you started the diet.
People do the mistake of believing that a particular diet is the right way to go when they want to lose weight. They hear that all that ever matters is to eat in a certain way dictated by a so-called “fat loss guru”, and that calories are not that matters the most.
Making you believe that a certain food is good or bad is limiting and dangerous by itself. Because it can create certain mental barriers that can be hard on your idea of eating a balanced diet. And it also adds stress.
And the results?
They either don’t do nothing; they don’t get the results they expect; they get fat, and they simply let go of all their attempts to go towards a successful transformation. And this is where I come into play with my DTM method for fat loss
The (MY) Best Way To Lose FAT And Keep It Off
DISCLAIMER: The success of any diet you try is primarily based on your ability to create a constant habit of applying healthy dieting principles over an extended period of time. Thus, my “keep it off” statement applies if you are consistent enough to make it work for you.
Since I like to keep things simple, following this simplified approach to dieting will ensure you get successful at losing weight (and if you do weight training, only pure fat).
Here are the steps to YOUR best way to lose weight, and keep it off permanently:
- Determine, and track your caloric intake
- Make better food choices, and moderate any necessary junk
- Weight train 3-5 times per week
- Proper Rest, Sleep, And Recovery
- OPTIONAL: Low intensity cardio (as much as you enjoy doing)
Determine And Track Your Caloric Intake
The easiest way I know to find out an approximation of your necessary caloric intake is to take your body weight, and multiply it by a certain number.
- Weight in pounds x 15-16
- Weight in kilograms x 33-35
You first have to understand that this is just a guesstimation.
There’s an old saying I learned when I graduated from the Management University: “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
If you are not tracking your caloric intake, you can’t possibly know the real reason why your diet works. Or even know if your diet is created correctly.
It’s like the most common approaches to fat loss that I listed a few lines above: eat healthily and hope you’ll lose weight. You can call it hope weight loss or hope dieting.
It’s like sitting on a sofa, looking at the sky, and ask for a piece of bread to fall into your lap. Or ask God to help you drop 1 pound of bodyfat without doing anything else. Good luck with that.
Tracking your caloric intake allows you to make educated changes to your diet and training based on the results you get.
You should try to find that caloric sweet spot where you can eat the most food you can while also losing fat. You should start with the higher numbers (x16 or 35), and adjust from there. Slow and steady is the way to go.
NOTE: This applies to active people that train 3-4 times a week. For an even easier approach, I included a calculator in my DTM method for fat loss – and it’s totally free.
Make Better Food Choices
A long-term diet that helps you move closer to your target bodyweight and physique should be constructed with the long-term health in mind. That’s why I am an avid supporter of eating whole foods.
I am also not so narrow-minded not to see that current modernized lifestyle can make us slip sometimes. Also, having access to a wide range of foods can sometimes make you crave something you like.
As long as it fits your macros, and it doesn’t affect your diet, eat it. I try to keep a positive balance of eating whole foods at least 80% of the time and leave the rest 20% for occasional cravings or sweets.
And this happens only from time to time.
A diet that’s comprised mainly of whole foods will offer you the advantage of satiety, and also a complete profile of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for optimal performance and health.
Whenever I decide to start another fat loss period to get myself into that lean and ripped transformation-ready state, I make a list of the foods I would like to eat in the following months.
Whole foods mainly. I try to stay away from supplements as much as I can because the clear advantage whole foods have over supplements: they are more satiating, more nutritious, better for body composition. I won’t list all of them here because it will make this page even longer to read. So I made a PDF named “The grocery list for successful fat loss nutrition”, and you can download it from below:
Consistent Weight Training
In my opinion, weight training is the perfect strategy for creating the best diet for fat loss. Not only does it make you burn more fat, increase bone strength, strengthen your body, but when you are on a diet, weight training also helps you maintain your muscle mass.
Essentially, you won’t use your muscles for fuel to get over a day. Your body will hang onto muscles because it will consider them crucial for its survival since you have to exert force to push external stressors (weights).
Embarking on any diet without doing a proper weight training routine is a recipe for disaster.
You are shedding fat and muscle from your body, and you do nothing to shape your physique for a particular goal. Don’t do it. Join a gym no matter what.
My recommendation: create a constant habit of going to a gym 3-5 days a week for 1 hour or even less than that. As long as you are consistent, you will see results. If you need a weight training routine, I talked about the same one I used 3 years ago when I first got to 6% bodyfat. It’s all written in the 2nd part of my DTM method for fat loss which I made it free HERE
Proper Rest, Sleep, And Recovery
Since your body repairs, and recovers itself during periods where you rest, it is important to talk about a strategy to do it as best as possible to ensure optimal recovery.
Your overall recovery comes from the way you are feeding, and resting your body.
- If you can recover properly until your next workout, then you are less likely to feel tired, demotivated, or feel a lack of energy.
- If you can’t recover properly for your next workout because you missed nights, or didn’t ate the right amount of calories and nutritious food, then you are more likely to not be able to maintain a high intensity of weight training. This means you’ll stop getting positive results, and pure fat loss. You’re more likely to lose muscle mass.
Not only that but sleep is important for performance, hormones, mood, and optimal body functions.
The how-to is simple: make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Optimally between 7 and 10.
One trick that I learned in the last month is meditation. Trust me, meditation looked like a time waster for me until I started trying it. But after I tried it, my recovery, sleep, concentration, and energy went UP! Here’s what I had to say after just 1 day of meditating:
The benefits of meditating are numerous: it increases your energy, focus, improves your self-awareness, reduces stress, reduces anxiety, improves your sleep, adds mental stability, and it is one of the most effective forms of therapy against mental disorders.
The Optional Cardio
One of the forgotten requirements for a successful fat loss diet is recovery.
Most people don’t even talk about this. Heck, recovery is crucial when it comes to losing fat. If your body can’t keep up with your training program, you’ll fail sooner or later.
That’s why it is important to watch how your body handles weight training and cardio.
Your body changes as you rest and recover. It doesn’t change when you are running on a field or you are sitting under a barbell.
Cardio is not necessary the evil here, but you have to moderate it. Don’t throw as much cardio as you can just because someone told you that it burns fat. Or that it is the best way to lose fat. That’s nonsense. I got to my 2016 physique without an ounce of cardio.
Here’s what you have to do cardio wise: when you see that your fat loss stalls, or if you lose fat too slowly, just add 1-4 low-medium intensity cardio sessions per week. Nothing too major.
Friendly advice: the usual mentality of doing more equals better results doesn’t work with dieting and training. And it can set you up for disaster. Don’t attempt to do more training or slice the calories too much. While it can give you a short-term boost, in the long term it will be harder to continue with a diet, and training that’s too harsh on your body.
I believe that a moderate caloric deficit, and a medium volume weight training session should be enough. It’s exactly what I recommend in my No Bs Flexible Formula To Six Pack Abs.
What’s the best way to lose weight in your opinion?