Life is passing, time is precious, and we are busy. None of us have hours to waste and we all want results yesterday. So, what is the most efficient way to target healthy FAT LOSS without creating the internal metabolic tsunami that occurs from mainstream weight-loss diets? And is there really a ‘secret’ to fat loss or is the process completely different for every single person?
Hmm… Good questions. In this blog, we will look at some of the leanest people in the world and examine the science behind their fat loss, muscle building, and lifestyle techniques. Why? Simple: Why wouldn’t we want to learn from the best of the best; from those that put their knowledge into action day after day? Not to mention the same strategies that these super lean people use, are the same principles that nutrition gurus like Jonathan Bailor, Jonny Bowden, Jon Berardi and Yuri Elkaim preach about for achieving optimal health. The knowledge you are about to learn is pretty powerful. After reading this post, I am confident that you will walk away with some very valuable tools and fat loss strategies that you can easily implement into your own life starting RIGHT NOW.
But before getting into the good stuff I want to be flat out honest with you and I am just going to say it bluntly. FAT LOSS IS NOT EASY. Most experts won’t admit this because the words “effortless and overnight’ are way more marketable then ‘hard work and patience.’ These three words turn people away faster then they can finish their sentence, but hopefully you are smart enough to know that hard work, consistency, and using the ‘right’ tools are the only way to accomplish something really great. Everything worth having in this beautiful life has a price attached to it, and LOSING FAT, keeping it off, and reaping the benefits of the journey, come with a price higher than most
So in other words, stop chasing after the magic food combinations, the outlandish fat burning berries, or weird diet hacks, and instead–lets learn and implement these HEALTHY FAT LOSS strategies while enjoying the process of our own personal transformations.
The Leanest People In the World
When I think of the leanest people in the world I think of bodybuilders, sprinters, and other physique athletes (figure, fitness, fitness model, bikini competitors.) These people have the art and science of fat loss and body transformation down to a tee. In fact, almost all of them are on an EXTREMELY SIMILAR diet and workout plan that I have yet to see fail a single person; yes that’s right–the same list of foods, the same exercises, and pretty darn close to the same results for each individual.
Does their method and process kind of suck, UMM YEAH–no one wants to eat tilapia and asparagus all day or run 400 meters of full blown sprints on a track six days a week; BUT there are plenty of other ways we can mimic these actions to create a similar effect on the body and put ourselves in this “fat utilizing” state that these individuals have mastered. I think it’s kind of odd that no one pays any attention to this when trying to lose weight them selves. I mean hello—these athletes, even the girls, are known for eating a LARGE quantity of food while rapidly changing their physique. Most women are on the other side of the fence drinking green juices and starving themselves all day wishing for the exact same outcome.
I am speaking from experience here. After having an “ah-ha moment’ a few years back I spent two years training with different bikini fitness teams/coaches not to win a competition or really even compete in one, but to master the efficient technique and learn the dirty secrets of building muscle and losing fat in the fastest, safest, most efficient way possible. I wanted to become an expert in this field so that I could share and implement this knowledge with my clients and now YOU. While I am not an expert yet, I have learned some pretty cool things along the way– so lets dig in.
The QUALITY Of The Calorie
The first concept: A calorie is not just a calorie. Calories have impact on hormones– and hormones (particularly insulin), are what drives weight whether it be weight loss or weight gain. For example, eating one thousand calories of sugar has a completely different hormonal effect on your body then eating one thousand calories of protein. The same goes for fats and carbohydrates. This is what we fail to understand as a society when choosing the right diet and the right fat loss plan. Truthfully speaking, unless we are taking into account the hormonal effect of food on our body, we are basically just taking a blind shot in the dark at fat loss.
This is where Bodybuilders have it all right. They literally treat their bodies like metabolic machines. They manipulate their macronutrients (carbs, fats, proteins) just perfectly so that the energy from food can be used as fuel– to build muscle, lose fat, or even just maintain their physique. Most of them have no clue that what they are really doing is optimizing their hormones (insulin, cortisol, testosterone, ghrelin adrenaline) to work optimally for the aesthetic effect that they are going for. Now this is something worth learning!
Here is where the secret lies, where that first door becomes unlocked…You see, these athletes are most likely NOT consuming more actual calories then the rest of us, however, they are consuming more nutrient dense foods. If we end up eating the right foods because of the combination of macro and micronutrients that they provide then even if we consume less calories, we will avoid the metabolic and muscle wasting effects of a nutritionally deficit and caloric restricted diet. Coincidently, we will end up with less calories and more food. This my friends, is the number one key to FAT LOSS sustainability. Stop focusing on eating less calories, focus on eating better quality food.
The “Right” Foods
Good quality foods are whole foods eaten as close as possible to their natural state. Not everything in your diet has to be this clean but it is a great idea to make these foods the majority of your daily meal plan if you are looking for fat loss, amazing energy, and a physique transformation. Some examples of these foods are lean proteins such as chicken, eggs, turkey, fish. Healthy fats such as avocado, nuts and seeds, coconut and olive oils; Carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, sweet and white potatoes, brown rice, quinoa. These high quality calories provide high satiety and are unaggressive–meaning they don’t dump a high percentage of glucose into your body at once, overwhelming it, and causing you to store it as fat. Most processed foods on the other hand, are full of fillers and chemicals that raise your blood sugar and cause uncontrollable cravings. Don’t get me wrong you can lose plenty of weight by eating processed foods and decreasing the amount ‘crappy calories’ that you consume, but this is the weight that will creep right back up faster then you can blink. Most likely this weight lost is not from ‘fat loss’. How many people do you know that have been on the Weight Watchers diet just once? Hmm.. are you still thinking? This middle of the road program will probably never provide long term results because they fail to look at the hormonal effects of food.
So my second key and the fundamental that you need to nail down first, is EATING REAL FOOD. This takes practice. Don’t expect to change your habits over night but start making better choices and slowly start incorporating more whole foods into your lifestyle. I guarantee that you will see changes in your body, energy, and vitality when doing this. However, since we know that each person is as different on the inside biochemically and hormonally as they are on the outside physically, it will take some experimenting and adjusting of macronutrients to find a plan that works well for your unique body.
The Power of Protein
Before I continue further I want to state that these strategies that I am writing about will NOT make you look like a large bodybuilder or a muscly woman. It takes a very hard workout plan and a bit more time and detail to accomplish this. What these small but powerful tips will do is help you optimize how your body burns fat. Let’s move on…
Proteins hold together our cells, organs, muscles, and connective tissues. Almost all of the processes and functions that occur inside our body including our digestion and metabolism are operated by the breakdown of proteins that we ingest (or do not ingest). Protein does not have to come from animal sources but it is ESSENTIAL to have in your diet. It is my number three key to fat loss.
Bodybuilders clearly caught on to the benefits of having a protein rich diet. Besides powering our critical internal functions, the second benefit of protein is that it is metabolically rich, meaning it takes energy and calories to digest and break down inside of your body. For example, when you eat 300 calories worth of protein, your system will burn 70 to 100 of these calories during the process of breaking it down. Wow almost too good to be true. On top of this, protein has the least negative effect on the fat storing hormone insulin, making it pretty darn hard for your body to store it as fat. Choose your sources of protein based on how you feel after eating it. If you start trusting and listening to the signals that your body is sending you, you will find some wonderful clues of which foods, specifically proteins that you digest best.
As I discussed in my last blog, when putting your body even at a slight caloric deficit, you do not want to burn through your precious muscle. The trick to this is keeping those amino acids (protein) present in your blood stream so that they can repair and rebuild your muscle tissue and not slow down your progress. If it is hard for you to get in enough protein during the day, try sipping on branch chain amino acids; these are a wonderful tool to use considering they are virtually zero calories and prevent the body from breaking down your lean tissue! I am going to conclude this point by saying that protein is a pretty safe and essential food choice when dieting.
LIFT..and Lift Your Legs
Next fat loss door to unlock is simple and I know you have heard it before but I am going to give you an extra little tip. Don’t just lift weights, lift your legs. Yup–get off of that dumb elliptical and take your legs through some full body motions. No need to max out on squats or deadlifts every single time you workout but don’t throw around little baby five-pound dumbbells or perform five hundred butt pulses and expect to see big changes. The actual breakdown of muscle fibers from resistance training will signal a positive metabolic response inside your body that will GREATLY speed up fat loss.
Ask any female fitness model how many days a week she targets her glutes and I am sure the number will shock you. After completing my bikini fitness competition programs a few months back, the thought of another deadlift was enough to make me puke–however it sure did get me the results that I was looking for.
Every client that comes to me and says ‘I want a six pack or I want oblique’s,’ is dumbfounded when I hand them a program that contains four days of leg training and one day of core. I stand fully behind the theory that the increase in testosterone and HGH from lifting legs enhances the results of the whole body. Time after time, the successful results of my clients continue to prove this point. Girls, don’t be afraid, I have over a dozen CRAZY lean clients that can vouch that they lift their legs two to four times per week. If you don’t know what exercises to do I have a full list of my favorite legs and glute exercises on my YouTube channel. Get with the program people!
Don’t eat less, eat better; Focus on incorporating the ‘right foods’ at the right time; Consume more protein or try branch chain amino acids; Lift your legs. So I know that my fat loss tips may not be as sexy as the ‘overnight triple berry extract’ that you are tempted to buy from the nightly weight-loss infomercials but I can tell you with all honesty that these strategies are REAL. These are the tools that the leanest people in the world use to transform their bodies and feel amazing in the process. Most people would rather spend time looking for something that works then putting in the effort. HUGE MISTAKE. Stop thinking and start doing and you will be amazed at what other doors will unlock when you put your energy into truly transforming your health and body.