3 Key Things All Fat Loss Programs Have In Common

Fat loss seems to be very complicated, and it can be, but there are basic principles you need to know.

Excess body fat is stored energy and you have to tap into that stored fat and use it for fuel and in order to do that, there must be a shortage of incoming energy.

Fat loss also includes burning body fat, not muscle mass. Therefore, we have to come up with a way to have an energy deficit from either a nutritional standpoint or exercise and still preserve the muscle.

Here are three key things all fat loss programs have in common:

1. [Slight] Energy deficit – [unless you are already eating too few calories] – No crash diets! If you’ve ever read the equation 1 pound of fat equals 3500 calories so decrease your calories by 500 per day and after a week, you’ll have lost 1 pound. It looks good on paper, but the body isn’t so linear. The person who cuts 500 calories per day slows their metabolism, retains water and typically can’t sustain it. Decreasing calories slightly by cutting out highly processed foods is a great place to get that deficit.

2. Positive nitrogen balance (feed your muscles with protein)- The three macro-nutrients, carbohydrates, fat and protein, all contain hydrogen, oxygen and carbon, but only protein has nitrogen. Our bodies require nitrogen for building and maintaining muscle and so getting enough protein is a requirement and a key component of all fat loss programs. If you don’t get enough protein, the weight loss you experience is roughly 25% muscle mass.

3. Exercise that burns calories and signals the body to make and maintain muscle (resistance training) – Resistance training signals the body to maintain the muscle mass. We want the energy deficit to come from fat stores, not from muscle.