There is an OVERWHELMING amount of opinions out there about the best ways to lose fat and keep it off.

And these different opinions are honestly OPPORTUNITIES for us to create the plan that meets us where we are at –

Because one size doesn’t fit all.

We just have to avoid becoming overwhelmed by all the options.

Or allow ourselves to get distracted when we do have a plan in place.

That’s why I wanted to share 10 fundamentals principles that are really what matter for fat loss, no matter your exact dietary preference, preferred training methods or lifestyle!

And these things hold true no matter our age and can even set us up to be leaner and stronger till our final day on this planet, the earlier we embrace them!


#1: Simplify then diversify.

The less you have to focus on, the more focus each change gets. 

While you may want to include a diversity of foods, restaurants, training techniques and tools into your routines, start simple! 

You get good at what you consistently do. And this allows you to get consistent with a few key things.

It also allows you to avoid overwhelming yourself with so many options or variables all at once.

Once you get set meals dialed in, feel comfortable with specific movement patterns, you can then begin to add in diversity so you don’t get bored.

But first dial things back and focus on a few basics to build off of!

#2: Your goal can’t only be fat loss.

Fat loss is slow.

And it should be if you want to truly see muscle definition and lose fat without losing muscle. 

But because results are slow, because we will hit plateaus, the more we only focus on one measure of success – fat loss – the more likely we are to get frustrated and give up when we don’t see progress week after week.

And guess what?

Progress won’t be linear…which is why we so often give up when results are snowballing.

This causes us to be stuck in this horrible cycle of never really getting closer to our goal or maintaining the results we worked so hard for. 

So if you truly want to achieve lasting body recomp, you need to find other ways to measure success and know your habits are working. 

Even set a goal of measuring success by how consistently you simply implement the boring basic habits daily! 

If you do those things daily and can mark off that win daily, results are GOING to snowball!

#3: Track. Track and oh yea….TRACK.

What gets measured, gets managed.

The more accurate the picture of what we are doing, the smaller and more meaningful the adjustments we can make. 

And we don’t end up throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Too often we don’t track so we guess at what is and isn’t working. 

This can lead to us stopping a habit that is building results just because we don’t realize something else is holding us back and needs to be adjusted.

It can also make us feel like we are constantly having to do these massive overhauls, creating unsustainable habits and lifestyles over a small adjustment that could have been the missing 1%. 

So track your food to understand what adjustments you need. 

Track your workouts to see your progress and adjust. 

Track how you feel with different meal timings. 

Or if foods cause changes in your energy or bloat.

But track to see the impact lifestyle practices are having so you have the power to truly adjust and fuel to feel and look your best!

#4: Stop saying you “can’t have” something.

“You can’t have that cookie.” 

The second I tell myself I can’t have it, I want it even more.

Even if I didn’t want it before.

Telling yourself something is off limits makes you feel restricted. 

It also takes away the feeling of control that you truly have over your actions.

Because truly, it’s not that you can’t have something…It’s that you’re CHOOSING not to.

When we’re working to lose fat, we may choose to cut things out at times. Even things we eventually want to include.

But this is a CHOICE to work toward our goals.

And we have to remember at another time we can CHOOSE to take a different action. 

Because what you do to reach a goal is not what you do to maintain it.

But our mindset around new and different actions will impact whether or not we embrace the changes long enough to see results.

So stop saying you can’t have something and remember you are just CHOOSING whether to include or exclude it right now. 

#5: Move more.

I didn’t say workout more.

I didn’t say workout harder.

I said move more.

Too often we put an emphasis on eating less or trying to burn more calories in our workouts, but there is another way to help ourselves see better fat loss and create an optimal calorie deficit…

And that is by simply moving more. 

Being a bit more active throughout the day helps keep our metabolic rate higher and in a way that doesn’t really just stress our body more.

Go for a walk daily, even just 10 minutes. 

Get up and stretch throughout the day. 

Make yourself walk to get water.

By being more active not only do we keep our metabolism healthy but we also often feel better, making it easier to stick with the other habit changes we need to see results snowball!

It can even make it easier to not just reach for that extra snack on the weekend while watching TV at night because we aren’t just being a slug on the couch watching netflix at every opportunity! 

#6: Emphasize recovery.

We can only train as hard as we can recover from.

Losing fat and the workout and dieting practices that help us achieve this goal are stressful on our body.

New habits and changes are hard on us mentally. 

We need to embrace this.

But we realize we can’t just constantly willpower our way through.

This often leads to us working really hard to see diminishing returns.

It’s why we get burned out. 

This is why we need to not only focus on improving our recovery weekly, but we also need to consider recovery weeks in our training and diet breaks.

Don’t ignore the importance of your sleep, hydration and even the quality of your food to help your body recover.

Don’t try to make every workout every day the same intensity and make sure you’re cycling areas worked over the week.

Recovery doesn’t just means days off. 

It means the other habits we are doing to help get our body the tools it needs to repair and rebuild.

It also means even addressing mental burnout through owning our motivation will fade and we have other priorities in life that sometimes need to take precedent to create plans that really help us stay consistent!

But just remember recovery isn’t just about time off from your workouts…it’s about the things you do to fuel that repair and give your body a chance to rebuild! 

#7: Set dietary progressions.

We set workout progressions and change things up. 

We don’t expect to do one workout program forever.

We do different training progressions over the months and years. 

Yet when it comes to our diet we almost take a “set it and forget it” approach.

And then we wonder why we plateau. We wonder why we get bored! 

So we want to use this desire for change or variety strategically to our advantage.

That’s why you want to set dietary progressions or what I call macro cycling. 

This isn’t done daily like carb cycling.

It’s done every 2-4 weeks, especially with changes in workout progressions or activity level in general, where I’ll have clients adjust macro ratios they’re using.

It is often small tweaks, but this can help shift energy sources to avoid plateaus, address activity level changes and even simply give us the opportunity to include new foods. 

Mentally sometimes we need the diversity but simplified into just a few new things.

This cycling may put us slightly lower carb or higher carb to use the best of both worlds while keeping us from chasing a new fad diet or quick fix.

We not only have “end dates” to keep us motivated but we give ourselves checkpoints where we can trust in the process knowing we can make a change at that time. 

It gives us the ability to do something “new” but with a focus on the fundamentals.

#8: Challenge yourself.

Workouts should be hard. They should be uncomfortable. 

If you don’t challenge yourself, you’re not forcing your body to adapt and grow stronger.

You’re not going to improve your cardiovascular health or see improvements in your ability to run or cycle further faster.

Exercise is a STRESS on the body.

But a good one.

Your body becomes fitter by overcoming the stress. 

So challenge yourself to create that good stress BUT…make sure you’re not slacking on tip #6. 

You can only train as hard as you can recover from.

And you want that weekly progression to be able to track how things are going to see if you are hitting that point where you may need a break or change up to keep moving forward! 

#9: Embrace the suck.

Success is struggle.

Change is hard.

As much as we want to create sustainable habit swaps and really focus on that habit build, not everything we will have to do to reach a goal will feel good or easy.

There is a downside to every upside. 

But the more we embrace the hard and push through it to start, the more we often realize the downsides really aren’t that bad.

They were just different.

Sustainable often doesn’t mean easy to start. 

But consider how many times you’ve even said to yourself, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?!”

Well it was probably because you weren’t fully ready to embrace the suck and defaulted back into what you’ve always done which IS what felt comfortable. 

So if you want a new and better result, suck it up buttercup!

#10: Have an exit strategy.

You aren’t going to do one thing forever.

Your body, needs and lifestyle are constantly changing. Your motivation will ebb and flow. 

Along your journey to your ideal body recomp, you won’t approach your goals with exactly the same systems the entire time.

Sometimes you may be more motivated to implement more intensive practices to see results faster. 

You’ll cut out that weekly margarita on date night.

You’ll not have that extra cookie. 

But at other times, you’ll want to add those things in. 

The key is realizing that you are CHOOSING to implement certain habits and that you can work these things in when needed at another point. 

But that’s why it is key you have an exit strategy.

You need to assess what a realistic lifestyle truly is for you at different times of year and even as you reach your goal. 

Because maintaining your results means a shift in habits from your fat loss phase..

You don’t just simply stay in a calorie deficit forever…

But you also don’t go back to what old habits you were doing before.

This is why we need to constantly be assessing and reassessing and considering even what’s up next and how we can “exit” from our currently plan without just falling back into patterns that will sabotage us! 

Stay focused on those fundamentals and always focus on what YOUR lifestyle actually looks like to make adjustments.

And then don’t get distracted by all of the options out there. See the opportunity they offer while focusing on these principles!

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