Losing Fat

This is the fat loss addendum to a handbook that begins here.

The reality of getting fat

Although I’m sharing straightforward and effective advice for losing weight, the majority of overweight readers will not accomplish their fat loss goals after reading this.

Typically, one becomes overweight and stays that way due to a lack of will, a lack of self-control, and a lack of diligence. Not because they didn’t have access to dieting advice. They know how to lose fat if they wanted to: they can exercise and eat less.

Nor do they get fat because of a “slow metabolism” (unless you have hyperthyroidism).

(In fact, genetics only play a small part in your propensity for obesity, and such a predisposition is actually canceled out by living even a lightly active lifestyle (article). To repeat: Having “bad genetics” won't make you fat if you’re living and eating well.)

Some overweight people do have the self-control when it comes to eating, but they lack the will and the diligence to lose the weight: Ultimately, they don't realize how much they're eating. Research shows that overweight people chronically underestimate how many calories they eat (study). This is either because they don’t know how many calories are in their meals, or they don’t realize how often they eat.

The first step to improving self-control, will, and diligence is to be more self-aware. Easier said than done, of course. And, let’s be honest, it's common after work to be too stressed to stick to a diet. You want a pick-me-up, and a delicious, high-calorie meal does the trick. This happens to everyone. 

But, when this happens to fit people, they say "no" more often. That’s self-control. Also, when fit people do indulge, they don’t do it excessively. There’s no tub of ice cream for dessert. It's just a couple scoops. That's diligence.

As you can see, improving your self-awareness (and finding your fat loss motivation) is too multifaceted for me to help you with. All I can tell you is to focus on why you want this, and to draw inspiration from friends and family — the people who want what’s best for you. Ultimately, if you’re suffering from anxiety that triggers compulsive eating, you'll need to talk to a therapist. Crack open Yelp and find someone.

Before we continue, know I’m neither a doctor nor a nutritionist (disclaimer), so this is not professional medical advice. Consult a doctor to address your personalized needs.

On a chemical level, most people are completely mistaken about how fat is actually lost. Check out this awesome TEDx talk for some scientific insight:

But, how do I get muscular?

If you landed on this page and are new to this guide, start with part one: It introduces the most efficient muscle building plan for both men and women.

← Start with part one

When to lose weight

When you are confident you have the will and self-control to adhere to a fat loss diet, you must decide whether to lose the fat before you start this program or afterward. Never try to lose a lot of fat while on a muscle building program because it will conflict with your calorie requirements for muscle gains, and it will make arm muscle measurements invalid because your arms will be shrinking from the lost fat.

If you’re ~25lbs+ (11.34kg+) overweight, consider losing the fat before this program so your weekly muscle gains will be more visually evident to you. The less fat you have, the more your muscles show. This keeps you motivated. Another reason to lose weight upfront is that losing a significant amount of fat in a short time also reduces muscle mass. We don’t want to lose the muscle we’re working so hard to gain on this program.

Use the calculator below to roughly estimate how overweight you are...

To continue reading this bonus content (and get the podcast), scroll down to the next section.

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