Today you’re going to learn how to lose fat fast.
I’m not talking about an unrealistic quick-fix or an extreme diet that will put your health at risk.
I’m talking about a lifestyle change that will turn you into a well-oiled fat burning machine.
A lifestyle that you will be able to stick to long-term.
Here’s how we’re going to break this down:
- Catabolism vs anabolism;
- Basal metabolic rate;
- Calorie intake;
- Macronutrient ratios;
- The ketogenic diet (keto diet);
- The intermittent fasting diet;
- Fat loss workouts;
- Fat loss supplements.
This post contains affiliate links, so I would get a commission if you chose to purchase through a link I provide (at no extra cost to you). Thanks in advance for supporting the work I put into this site!
Catabolism vs Anabolism
First up we need to address catabolism vs anabolism, as there seems to be a widespread misunderstanding.
Catabolism is absolutely central to losing fat.
Anabolism is absolutely central to building muscle.
You need to understand the fundamental difference between the two in order to effectively lose fat.
What is Catabolism?
Catabolism is a metabolic process that breaks down large molecules (fats) into smaller molecules for useable energy (source).
It involves the following hormones (source):
Catabolic State for Fat Loss
Basically, you want to get your body into a constant catabolic state for fat loss because your body will break down body fat for useable energy (if you eat at a calorie deficit).
What is Anabolism?
Anabolism is a metabolic process that builds small molecules (carbs) into larger molecules for useable energy and muscle growth (if you workout) (source).
It involves the following hormones:
- Growth hormone;
Anabolic State for Muscle Building
Basically, you want to get your body into a constant anabolic state to:
- Provide your muscles with energy for heavy lifting;
- Provide your body with the required building blocks for muscle growth.
Catabolic State vs Anabolic State
Your body builds when in an anabolic state.
Your body demolishes when in a catabolic state.
To optimally lose fat you need to be in a constant catabolic state because your body will demolish body fat for energy (if you eat at a calorie deficit).
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s move on and discuss how to get your body into a constant catabolic state.
Basal Metabolic Rate
Hopefully you’ve read all about BMR in my Essential Dieting Principles Guide.
Basically, your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories you need to consume per day to function in a resting state.
But in order to get your body into a constant catabolic state, you need to be eating at a daily calorie deficit.
This needs to be based off your personal basal metabolic rate, so if you haven’t done so already, please calculate your basal metabolic rate HERE.
Fat Loss Calorie Deficit
So what exactly should your calorie deficit be for fat loss?
Well, 1lb of fat equates to roughly 3500 calories.
So in order to lose 1lb of body fat per week you need to be at a calorie deficit of 3500 calories.
I prefer to break it down to a calorie deficit of 500 per day.
You could also aim to lose 2lbs of body fat per week by running at a calorie deficit of 7000 per week / 1000 per day.
Don’t try to lose more than 2lbs of body fat per week though as you will burn yourself out very quickly!
A very important aspect of diet planning is accounting for excess calories.
Many people make the mistake of just deducting their target calorie deficit from their basal metabolic rate, but what about the calories you burn throughout the day?
You need to factor in those excess calories!
This can include your workouts, daily tasks, and even calories burned during your social life.
Total Calorie Intake
With that in mind, let’s see how this works in practice.
Your basal metabolic rate is, in this example, 2200 calories and you want to lose 1lb of body fat per week.
You work in an office job, go to the gym 5 days during the week, and walk your dog at weekends.
- 500 calories during workouts;
- 200 calories during your office job;
- 200 calories walking your dog.
Your weekday calculation should be something like:
- 2200 (your BMR) + 200 (office job) + 500 (workout) – 500 (calorie deficit) = total calorie intake of 2,400.
Your weekend calculation should be something like:
- 2200 (your BMR) + 200 (walking your dog) – 500 (calorie deficit) = total calorie intake of 1,900.
This is just a basic example but I hope you get the gist.
- Calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR);
- Account for excess calories;
- Plan a daily calorie deficit of roughly 500-1000 calories.
Macronutrient Ratios for Fat Loss
Macronutrients are the type of calories you eat – carbs, fat, and protein.
Macronutrient ratios are the percentages of carbs, fat, and protein you eat in your diet.
Why are Macronutrient Ratios Important for Fat Loss?
Losing fat is about the type of calories you consume as well as the amount.
Do you think you’d lose fat if your diet consisted of 90% fat, 5% carbs, and 5% protein? (The answer is no!).
Macronutrient ratios are extremely important for fat loss and the overall composition of your body.
What Are Your Fat Loss Macronutrient Ratios Going to Be?
This leads us nicely into the main crux of the article.
The key to fat loss is getting your body into a constant state of catabolism.
You’re going to do this by adhering to ketogenic dieting principles.
So lets move on and discuss the ketogenic diet in depth.
Ketogenic Diet for Fat Loss
Simply put, to maximise fat loss, you need to force your body to target fat as its main fuel source instead of carbohydrates.
Why is this great for fat loss?
It comes down to what we discussed earlier regarding catabolism. You want your body to be in demolishing mode for fat loss, not building mode.
By eating a high-fat / low-carb diet, your body will adapt and start breaking down fat to convert into energy.
Combine this with the calorie deficit we talked about earlier and your body will target stubborn body fat for energy as soon as it runs out of fat from recently digested food.
Basically, ketogenic dieting bypasses carbs altogether so your body is constantly breaking down fat instead of building energy from carbs.
Let’s do a quick run-down of ketogenic dieting benefits.
Ketogenic Diet Benefits
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood.
Any calories your body doesn’t need after eating are converted into triglycerides and stored as fat if you don’t use them for energy.
Studies have shown a significant reduction in triglycerides on high-fat/low-carb diets. This is very helpful for fat loss.
Decreased Insulin Levels
Studies have shown that high-fat/low-carb diets can lower insulin levels.
Low insulin levels make it easier for your body to burn stored body fat.
Decreased Blood Glucose Levels
High blood glucose levels lead to diabetes so you want to keep it under control!
Studies have shown that high-fat/low-carb diets can reduce blood glucose levels.
Increased HDL cholesterol
Increasing your HDL cholesterol levels can improve your metabolic health. This means that you can eat more calories without gaining fat or eat at a calorie deficit and lose fat even quicker.
Studies have shown that high-fat/low-carb diets can increase your HDL cholesterol levels.
Studies have shown that high-fat/low-carb diet can make you feel less hungry compared to higher-carb diets.
I’m sure I don’t need to explain why feeling less hungry is beneficial for fat loss!
I don’t know about you but I think that’s a pretty damn impressive range of benefits!
Don’t get me wrong, there are many benefits to conventional high-carbs diets too but we’re strictly talking about fat loss.
High-carb diets are better for weight gain and muscle building but high-fat/low-carb diets are undoubtedly better for fat loss.
Ketogenic Diet Macronutrient Ratios
I recommend the following ketogenic macronutrient ratios:
On non-workout days:
- 60%-70% fat;
- 20%-25% protein;
- 5%-10% carbohydrates.
On workout days:
- 50%-55% fat;
- 30%-40% protein;
- 5%-15% carbs.
You can sign up to my FREE 5 Day Elite Body Bootcamp for a fat loss ketogenic diet plan!
Intermittent Fasting for Fat Loss
Calorie intake and macronutrient ratios are the two main drivers behind fat gain or fat loss but there’s an ace in the hole that we haven’t covered yet!
Meal timing can also play a role in fat loss, especially when combined with calorie deficiency and the ketogenic diet.
Let’s talk a bit about intermittent fasting.
What is the Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is based on the idea that you should eat in 8-hour windows and fast in 16-hour windows.
It’s become amazingly popular over the last few years because it’s produced many fantastic results.
Let’s take a look at the science.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits for Fat Loss
Increased Levels of Human Growth Hormone
It’s widely used as a drug in bodybuilding circles because it’s incredibly effective.
I certainly don’t advocate growth hormone drug use, but I do advocate increasing your levels naturally through processes like intermittent fasting.
Rather amazingly, intermittent fasting has been shown to increase human growth hormone levels by up to 5 times! (source).
Calorie Intake Reduction
Intermittent fasting leads to reduced calorie intake because you eat fewer and larger meals.
It’s especially effective if your diet is high in fat and protein, and low in carbs.
Increased Resting Energy Expenditure
Some studies have demonstrated that short-term fasting can lead to increased resting energy expenditure.
This essentially means that you can burn more calories in a resting state during fasting periods.
Decreased Insulin Levels
Some studies have demonstrated decreased insulin levels during fasting periods. This is great because low insulin levels make it easier for your body to burn stored body fat.
There’s no doubt that intermittent fasting is effective for fat loss.
It might come as a surprise to some of you because you’ve probably been told that you need to eat 5 meals a day to “boost your metabolism” and lose fat.
There’s no evidence that 5 meals a day are especially effective for fat loss but there’s plenty of evidence that short-term fasting is.
I can tell you from my own anecdotal experience that my energy levels improved and I lost fat quicker after I switched from 5 meals a day to intermittent fasting.
I haven’t looked back since.
Fat Loss Workouts
This article is purely about fat loss so the workouts I recommend won’t be based on muscle maintenance or muscle building.
Head on over to How to Maintain Muscle While Losing Fat + Bulking and Cutting Cycles if either of those are your goal.
The best type of workouts for pure fat loss are HIIT cardio workouts.
What is HIIT Cardio?
HIIT cardio is basically where you combine high-intensity intervals with short rest periods over a 20-30 minutes.
So you could, for example, run as fast as you can on a treadmill for 2 minutes, rest for 1 minute, and then run as fast as you can again for 2 minutes. You would repeat this pattern over 20-30 minutes.
HIIT cardio workouts like this are fantastic for fat loss.
Let’s examine why.
Total Calories Burned
There’s a common misconception that steady-state is better for fat loss than short, high-intensity cardio (HIIT).
People generally think this because:
When you do steady-state cardio, your body tends to tap mainly into its fat zones for energy.
When you do HIIT cardio, your body taps mainly into its glycogen stores.
So you might be thinking that steady-state cardio sessions are better for fat loss…
But it’s not quite that simple!
Although you would burn a higher % of calories from your fat zones during a steady-state cardio session, you would burn more calories overall during HIIT cardio sessions. And in turn, you would burn more overall calories from your fat zones.
- You burn 300 calories during a steady-state cardio session, 200 of them directly from your fat zones;
- You burn 500 calories during a HIIT cardio session, 250 of them directly from your fat zones.
So although you burned a lower % of calories from your fat zones doing HIIT cardio, you still burned more than you would have done doing steady-state cardio.
You can take a look at this study to see the fat loss benefits of HIIT cardio vs steady-state cardio.
Another benefit of HIIT cardio is time.
We’ve all got busy lives and spending 60-90 minutes at the gym 3-5 days per week just isn’t feasible for some of us.
HIIT cardio is a great solution for this because you can smash out a workout in 20-30 minutes and get back to your busy schedule!
You can sign up to my FREE 5 Day Elite Body Bootcamp for HIIT workout templates!
Fat Loss Supplements
I’ve already written a full article on the 5 best fat loss supplements here so I won’t get too bogged down with detail in this article.
But I’ll do a quick run down of the two I most highly recommend.
Legion Phoenix Fat Burner
Legion Phoenix Fat Burner is a fantastic well-rounded fat burning supplement.
I always rave about Mike Matthews and his company (Legion) because they care about science and don’t sell products that haven’t been fully researched.
Let’s take a look at the benefits.
Legion Phoenix Fat Burner Benefits
Naringin can basically increase the breakdown of fats in your body.
Hesperidin has been shown to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.
How does this benefit you?
Improving your blood flow is important because it helps you break down more stubborn fat.
Studies have actually shown that if you combine synephrine, naringin, and hesperidin you can increase your resting metabolic rate by up to 183 calories. Very impressive!
EGCG can speed up fat loss and reduce belly fat (source).
Forskolin carries various benefits.
Reducing fat mass (source), reducing fatigue (source), increasing lean mass (source), and reducing overall weight (source) are the benefits most closely related to fat loss.
5-HTP has been shown to have a very notable effect on appetite suppression.
Jade Leaf Matcha Green Tea
Jade Leaf Matcha Green Tea is a must have fat loss supplement because it’s cheap and very effective.
Matcha is one of the most concentrated sources of antioxidants on the planet. One of those antioxidants is EGCG.
Most shops sell green tea bags that don’t include the EGCG dose required for it to be effective for fat loss.
This is why matcha green tea is a better option.
Jade Leaf matcha green tea contains an amazing 114-136mg of EGCG per teaspoon. That’s 2-3 times more than most green tea bags!
Jade Leaf Matcha Green Tea Benefits
Green tea can increase the levels of calories you burn from fatty acids instead of glucose (source).
Why is this beneficial? You’ll burn fat quicker if your body targets fatty acids instead of glucose.
Do you want to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill burning glucose (carbs) or would you rather burn fat?
One study found that men who took green tea burned 17% more fat than their placebo counterparts. Very impressive!
Increased blood flow
Increasing your blood flow is important for breaking down stubborn fat.
Do you store fat on your bum or stomach? This is partly due to poor blood flow to those areas.
You need to get catecholamine hormones into your stubborn fat zones to help break them down.
How do you do this? Supplement matcha green tea (source) and increase blood flow to stubborn fat zone areas like your bum and stomach.
Some studies have shown that green tea can raise insulin sensitivity levels.
Why is this important?
The more insulin sensitive you are, the more carbs you can eat without raising your insulin levels.
Low insulin sensitivity levels are a common problem that can cause weight gain (and type 2 diabetes).
Carbs release more fatty acids (which store as fat) if you have low insulin sensitivity levels.
One particular study showed that green tea can increase oxygen uptake.
Why is this beneficial?
Your cardio will improve if you can consume more oxygen per kg of body weight.
This can lead to more weight loss because you’re able to do cardio for longer periods of time.
A study comparing 28 subjects found that those who had taken green tea extract (4g) absorbed 30% fewer carbs than their placebo counterparts.
More research needs to be done though.
How to Lose Fat Fast Summary:
- Get your body into a constant catabolic state;
- Calculate your basal metabolic rate and be calorie deficient by 500-1000 calories per day (catabolism);
- Account for excess calories when planning your calorie deficiency;
- Adhere to ketogenic diet principles;
- Optimize fat loss throughout intermittent fasting;
- Perform HIIT cardio 3-5 times per week;
- Further optimize fat loss by purchasing fat loss supplements like Legion Fat Burner and Jade Leaf Matcha Green Tea;
- Sign up to my FREE 5 Day Elite Body Bootcamp for a fat loss diet plan, HIIT cardio workouts, and more information on how to lose fat fast.
Thanks for reading! Have a great day!