Article last updated: February 2018 by Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer
One of the biggest mistakes I did in my 4 years of training was bulking before I got lean. If you’re skinny-fat, the first thing on your to do list should be to lose fat, not bulk up to look like a teddybear.
In this article I will share 10 simple fat loss tips that you can implement TODAY. You don’t have to implement ALL of the tips at the same time, but the more tips you use from this list, the faster your fat will melt off.
I have personally used the 10 tips posted here to lose 60 lbs of fat and gain a tremendous amount of muscle while staying lean.
Let’s get started:
1) Eat Maximum 3 Meals A Day
It doesn’t make sense to eat MORE meals throughout the day to LOSE fat. You lose fat when you eat LESS, not MORE – that’s just how the body works.
I used to do this whole 6 meals a day thing, getting protein every 2-3 hours, filling myself up on dry chicken breast and protein shakes, but I made no progress. Then one day I made the switch to 3 meals a day with no snacking between meals and as a result my fat loss took off. The reason why big meals worked better for me is that I could finally eat until I got full which removed the need to snack.
Solution: Pick 3 times a day you eat and stick to them. To avoid snacking, try chewing gum between meals to keep your mouth occupied.
2) The Importance of A Balanced Diet
If you see a diet that is “low” in something, then you know your body is going to miss something:
- Low calorie diets are difficult to stick to and unhealthy
- Low carb diets are not good if you’re training hard
- Low fat diets will result in low testosterone levels
- Low protein diets will make it difficult to gain and maintain muscle
The best diet is the one where EVERY meal has a good mix of protein, carbs and fat.
Solution: Start reading labels of foods so you know what different foods contain. I like to have one food that gives me fat and protein and one food that gives me carbs in every meal.
- Protein + Fat Sources: peanutbutter, red meat, eggs, fatty fish
- Carb Sources: white rice, rye bread, whole wheat pasta, fruit
3) Are You Drinking Your Calories? Stop It, Now.
Drinking your calories is a waste, since you have a limited amount of calories to consume during fat loss. If you’re used to drinking a lot of soda or sugary juice, you may see a reduction in body fat simply by eliminating those.
Furthermore, you want to reduce alcohol consumption since it’s diffcult to lose fat if you get drunk several times a week.
Solution: Instead of drinking sugary drinks you should be drinking a lot of water. Limit alcohol consumption to once a week.
4) Eat The Same Foods Day In Day Out
By eating the same foods everyday, you will get bored of them, but that doesn’t matter if you’re serious about losing fat. When food get’s boring, you won’t go into the kitchen to make a meal just because you THINK you are hungry. You will only want to eat when you’re actually hungry. An additional benefit of this tip is that you will eat slowly and this will result in eating less.
Solution: Find 3 balanced meals that taste good to you and are satiating. Those are the meals you’re going to eat every single day from now. Feel free to mix it up by using different sauces, spices or ways of cooking, but don’t change the foods. To ensure that you don’t get any vitamin deficiencies, simply take a multivitamin in the morning.
5) Fat Loss Starts At The Grocery Store
Instead of buying useless junk like candy and pizza, you should stock up your kitchen with solid and satiating foods, such as red meat, eggs, rice, peanutbutter and rye bread. This will completely ELIMINATE the option of eating junk while being at home.
Solution: To make sure that you stock up on the right foods, always make a shopping list before you go to the grocery store and stick to it.
6) Sleep More to Reduce Your Appetite
If you have trouble controlling your appetite and you tend to crave a lot of junkfood and candy, then you’re most likely not sleeping enough. Don’t make fat loss harder for yourself by not sleeping enough. I used to sleep 6-7 hours a day, but now a days I get 8-10 hours of sleep and as a result I rarely crave junkfood and sugar.
Solution: Stay productive throughout the day. Get a good sweat through exercising daily and don’t forget to exercise your brain aswell by reading and learning. If you do those things everyday, you should be tired in the evening and fall asleep early.
7) Give Yourself a Break
To lose fat you need to be in a caloric deficit, but that doesn’t mean you should be in a deficit every single day of the week. It’s perfectly okay to take 1 or 2 days where you eat more food to “reset” your body. By reset, I mean ensuring that your hormonal balance doesn’t get out of control. When you are in a caloric deficit everyday, your body may make up for the deficit by producing less testosterone, and trust me, you don’t want that.
Solution: The 1 or 2 days a week where you eat more is the perfect time to eat some of the unhealthy foods you miss.
8) Skip The Cardio
When some of you think about fat loss, the first thing that comes to mind is spending hours on the treadmill every week. Not only is cardio boring but it will increase your appetite, which will make you eat more food and thereby ruin the purpose of burning the calories in the first place.
Solution: Do strength training since that will enable you to maintain and possibly build muscle mass. Also, your joints will get used to training, so once you get lean enough to bulk you will be ready to train hard.
9) “You’re The Average of Your 5 Best Friends”
If you spend most of your time around people that order pizza for dinner and snack on candy throughout the day, then chances are you will pick up on those bad habits yourself.
Same goes for family. If your mom bakes a cake every weekend and you have candy, chocolate and junkfood lying around the house then it’s going to be difficult to lose fat.
Solution: Spend less time with friends that eat junk and move out of your home as soon as possible if your family is making it difficult for you to eat right. It’s a waste of time to try and change people that don’t want to change, but it’s not a waste of time to change yourself.
10) Ignore The Mirror, Measure Your Progress in Hard Numbers
Avoid using your mirror to evaluate progress during fat loss, it will just screw with your mind. The thing with fat loss is, that in the beginning you will look worse. Instead of looking leaner, you will start looking like a smaller skinny-fat version of yourself. You will probably think “shit, I’m losing muscle during this cut, I better start bulking again to make up for it“.
Don’t bulk, you are most likely not losing muscle. You are just experiencing the transition phase from a high bodyfat percentage to a lean bodyfat percentage. During this transition phase you don’t look leaner, you just look smaller. However, once you reach a certain bodyfat percentage you will start looking lean instead of skinny-fat, patience is key here.
Solution: Measure your waist, hips and weigh yourself once a week in the morning on an empty stomach to track your progress. Weekly measurements don’t lie but looking at yourself in the mirror everyday is a recipe for disaster.
How About Counting Calories, Macros and Weighing Meals?
Some people prefer to measure and count everything – that’s perfectly fine if it works for you. The reason why I don’t do it, is that I don’t need to when I follow the abovementioned tips. This gives me more mental energy to focus on training hard.
However, for beginners, I would recommend following a full diet plan including calories, macros and weigh meal for at least 3 months.
Because by doing that you will learn…
- The functions of proteins, fats and carbs.
- What foods contain proteins, fats and carbs.
- How many calories, proteins, carbs and fats there are in all the foods that are most important for you.
- How many calories you can eat to lose fat, maintain weight and gain weight.
I wish that I had started off this way. It would have saved me many years of headaches with dieting.
Final Note On Hunger
The title of this article “10 Simple Tips to Lose Fat Without Starving Yourself” is both true and false. If you follow the abovementioned tips you will be able to lose fat without starving yourself every single day, however you will still experience hunger some days of the week if you’re used to eating a lot. Tolerable hunger is normal when you are in a caloric deficit, and that’s the price you will have to pay to lose fat.
You should only get worried if you experience intolerable levels of hunger.
Be proud but stay hungry,