The simple answer is to create and maintain a large calorie deficit. Read about losing weight fast here. It is important to understand this one basic point because it gets lost in all the hype and mumbo-jumbo you read on the internet. To lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than your body burns. Now there are many tactics and ways to get at producing a calorie deficit but it is the deficit that produces your fat loss.
What is the best exercise to lose fat fast?
One answer is the exercise you will stick to and make a habit. Because there is nothing like consistency to help you lose fat fast. There is a great saying in fitness and I’m paraphrasing-
A short, simple workout done consistently will always outperform a long, intense workout done sporadically.
Another answer is an exercise that uses large muscle groups and compound (multi-joint) movements. These are the best exercises for fat loss. The dead lift is a great example.
How much weight should I lose?
This is like asking an overweight woman if she is pregnant. You just don’t go there. You tell me how much fat you want to lose and I’ll create a plan for you to get there.
Now, having said that, I will offer this. You should lose enough weight to reduce your waist to hip ratio into a healthy range. Calculate it here.
What is an ideal weight or BMI?
Again, this is a personal decision. Don’t worry about BMI. It tends to be a misleading number. And I’d focus more on body fat % than body weight. Get your visceral fat down into a healthy range so you’re not first in line for cardiac arrest. Read about it here.
How many calories should I eat to lose weight?
See #1. Create a calorie deficit of between 400 and 600 calories a day. This will work for most people.
Why have I always failed at losing weight?
You did not create and maintain a calorie deficit over time.
You tried some over-hyped diet that restricted calories so severely that you couldn’t keep it up so you eventually gave up.
You implemented tactics like eating small meals, eating low fat, eating low carb, not eating late at night or flushing your colon with some whacky cleanse but you never accomplished the strategic requirement of a sustained calorie deficit.
Can I lose weight and build muscle at the same time?
It’s possible. If you are carrying a lot of body fat, you can do it. Engaging in a muscle building program while also maintaining a calorie deficit will accomplish your goal. You have to get your macro nutrient ratios right to do it.
If you are not really overweight, it is harder to do because muscle building requires additional calories in your diet while fat loss requires a deficit. It’s possible in the first case because there is so much stored energy available in your body fat.
What should I eat to lose weight?
Theoretically, you can eat anything and lose weight. As long as you don’t eat too much of it. But what you are really asking is “What should I eat to lose weight and be healthy?“
Just hit your calorie target and desired macro nutrient ratios. Read here how to do it.
I am a “Paleo Like” eater but you don’t have to be. Just eat real foods. Limit the stuff that has multiple ingredients, words you can’t pronounce and comes packaged in boxes and bags.
Am I always going to be fat?
Since you’re asking the question, I am going to say no. You’re asking to find a way to solve your problem. So you’re motivated. See #1.
Should I cleanse to lose weight?
No. The cleanse business is all hype, no science. I believe in evolution and I am certain 2.5 million years of evolution has produced a colon that can clean itself.
What diet is the best for losing weight?
This is similar to the “what is the best exercise for losing fat” question. The best diet is the one comprised of real food that you like well enough to stick to. Adherence beats dogma every time.
Second, you try to force the change to happen using willpower alone. Willpower can work for awhile but it is not unlimited in supply. You have to develop good habits to replace the bad habits that got you to where you are in the first place.
Should I take supplements to lose weight?
In general, anything touted as a fat burner or specific weight loss supplement is BS. Garcinia Cambogia, newly discovered berries from South America and proprietary blends of Asian roots and herbs are all crap.
Caffeine actually does work to burn fat. It is a stimulant and has a thermogenic effect (creates heat) but here is the bottom line: If you are looking for a pill or herb or secret trick to blast your fat away, you are barking up the wrong tree.
Want to lose fat? See #1.
How many workouts per week should I do to lose fat?
Small Rocks. This is the wrong question. It’s what I call a “Big Rocks, Small Rocks” comparison. Big Rocks are creating the calorie deficit over time. You can do it any way you want. Actually there are four ways.
Eat Less and Exercise More. This is usually best.
and Eat More and Exercise a Lot More.
Small Rocks are the specifics of how you do any of this. Make it work in your life so you can stick to it.
Are my genetics to blame for being fat?
Partially but don’t blame your parents. First, genetics is not the biggest factor affecting your outcome. It’s your lifestyle. Second, you can’t do anything about your genetics anyway so stop worrying about it. The fact is you can improve your condition by just doing sensible things.
How much cardio do I have to do to lose weight?
None. See #2. You can lose weight by just moderating your food intake if you want. But it is better to add an exercise program as well because there are many other benefits to being fit.
Your exercise program doesn’t have to be running or biking or something considered as “cardio.” You can just walk or play tennis or lift weights. You’ll be surprised at how much you can gain from just moving around more.
Can I lose fat without running?
Yes. See #16.
I am obese. How do I even start to lose fat?
Everyone starts from where they are. You start by creating a calorie deficit. See #1.
And you start walking. Go out and walk for 5 minutes. Add a minute each day. In a month, you’re walking two miles. This is your start.
I am 59, out of shape and want to go hiking with my son. Can I build muscle this old?
Yes. You can build muscle at any age. Engage in a resistance training program. Body weight exercises are fine. Eat enough protein to ensure muscle repair will be fed properly. You’ll get stronger.
I have a big belly. Can I get rid of this fat in 2 months?
Probably not. But you can lose some of it. Trying to lose a large amount of fat in a short period is never a good idea. Your body has to adjust to being “less fat” so planning a gradual but steady decline is better.
Remember this is not a single event where you drop the fat and then return to your old ways. Permanent weight loss requires a lifestyle modification.
I seem to get hurt when I workout. Can you really lift weights after 50 and not get hurt?
First, being sore and getting hurt are two different things. Sore is expected. Getting hurt is not in the plan.
If you are getting hurt, you’re going too fast or lifting with bad form. Quite often mobility issues may drive bad technique. So perhaps you should start working on improved range of motion first.
The bottom line. You can definitely lift weights after 50 years old, build muscle, get strong and not get hurt. You should expect to feel a little sore after lifting.
I am tired all the time. How do you get the energy to work out?
There is mental tiredness and physical tiredness. Quite often they are related. You start by forcing yourself, using willpower, to just get started. See #18.
Once you get going physically, your attitude gets a lot better and the mental drain goes away.
I don’t have the time to work out. How much time needs to be invested to make it work?
First rule of fitness: Anything is better than nothing. So walking 10 minutes a day is better than sitting on your ass.
The Spartan Method can get you really fit in less than 90 minutes a week. And I guarantee you can come up with 90 minutes if you really want to.
I can’t figure out what to do. Everyone says something different.
See above. The Spartan Method works because it is tailored to your unique needs.