It’s already summer but it’s definitely not too late to get your beach body on point and get summer ready in your fitness and fat loss journey.
Of course, this depends on your targets and where you are now, but nonetheless, I will help you to be in a much better shape in just 30 days.
Do you really need 10 steps to do this?
You probably need much less but I’ve spread them so I can highlight the importance of each of them in particular.
The fat loss process is overall simple:
Do you want to lose weight? Eat in a calorie deficit
Do you want to build muscle? Eat 1g of protein per lb of body weight and do weight training
Do you want to lose fat and retain muscle mass or even grow your muscle mass? Eat in a calorie deficit, 1g of protein per lb of body weight and weight training
It’s as simple as that, and that is the bottomline of what any personal trainer will do with your nutrition and training plan. But I will structure it into 10 simple rules
Fat loss success list
Give up sugar
This is a mindless advice. We’ve all heard it. However, we sometimes guess if something is sugary or not or we only consider sweets and bars to be sugary.
In fact, a lot of products have sugar and that might add up to more sugar consumption that you would think of.
So always, and I mean… Always! Read the nutritional values of a product.
Give up liquid calories
This is something a lot of experienced people get wrong as well. You might track your calories, but you won’t include the cappuccino, you won’t include the lemonade, you won’t include the tea.
And most importantly, when cooking a meal, you don’t include the oil you use in the pan for cooking. Oil is fat, and although we want to eat fat for a healthy hormone production, fat has 9kcal for each gram and a spoonfull of olive oil might get your calories offtrack.
Bottomline is, use it, but track it. Your fat loss journey depends on this!
Calculate your caloric deficit
There are tons of resources and online free calculators to check your maintenance caloric intake.
Every single one of them will ask for your activity level.
Here is where my trick comes in handy. If you workout 3-4 times a week and that is an option in the form, choose the option before that 1–2 times a week.
This will give you a higher caloric deficit, and it’s because the caloric expense of a workout depends on a lot of factors and cannot be generalised. You might not consume the amount of calories they use as an average so to be sure, choose the lower option.
Track your calories
Once you’ve established the caloric intake with between 500–1000 kcal deficit, you need to track the calories you eat.
The fundamental rule for fat loss is to track every single thing. You have an ice tea, track the exact same brand, count the ice, count any honey you might add, every single thing.
Remember the liquid calories rule and be mindful.
There are multiple apps to do this. I recommend myFitnessPal, it’s free, has a huge database of products and a scan the barcode feature which will be very exact.
Eat enough protein
Protein is the building block of muscle mass and even though you want to build muscle or lose fat, you need to focus on protein.
This is something you’ve probably already heard but let me break it down for you:
- Out of the 3 main macro nutrients, protein has the least amount of calories / gram, which means that eating 100g of protein in a day will mean less calories than eating 100g of carbs or fat a day.
- Second of all, and a very important thing to consider, is that the more muscle you have, the bigger your BMR will be, so you will burn more calories without a workout, in simple terms. So you still want to eat protein, to make sure you still gain muscle (at a lower rate because you are in a deficit), because more muscle will burn more calories and you will reach your goals faster.
Similar to protein, and frankly, for the same reasons, weight training should be the most important part of your training regimen even when you are on a cut.
Besides the caloric consumption which is very similar or even better then some cardio workouts, this will allow you to continue building muscle.
Now, some people will claim you will achieve your Hollywood-worthy physique with their plan, in just 2 weight training sessions per week. Although, that might be true for some people, they are probably in a pretty good shape.
This depends a lot on your BMR, the effort you spend during the day, how sedentary you are, how strict is your diet and what that diet consists of, and what you do in the days off.
My rule is that you require at least 3 weight training sessions per week, disregarding your level. As long as these are well structured.
I personally do Push, Pull, Legs and I will give you a few extra points on why this is useful:
- to build muscle, you need a higher training frequency for that muscle, so you need to train it at least twice a week, so finishing the whole body in 3 days, give you another 3 days (including a rest day a week) to workout the muscle you want again
- it’s more targeted than upper / lower, so it will allow you to do at least 2–3 exercises for each muscle group in the batch, all within an 1-hour training
- it allows you to workout all the muscle groups in just 3 days, which is great for working professionals and people with a busy life.
HIIT / LISS
There is a huge debate and hundreds of studies performed that will advocate in the favour of either of them. This is why I will let you choose.
Similar to everything within the fitness journey, it depends a lot on your body. Some people might see great benefits with LISS and some people will just feel like it’s not enough to get them going.
Some people have more time and therefore will opt in favour of LISS as it’s low intensity enough to handle it, and effective enough for your metabolism.
Some people don’t have a lot fo time and just prefer to squeeze a 15-minute HIIT here and there through the week.
Any is perfectly fine, just make sure to do at least 2 sessions a week of your preferred cardiovascular exercise.
Walk 10k steps
This is probably the most underestimated way of burning calories. Why walk when I can do a HIIT or run on the treadmill?
I was in the same boat, but walking is not to be viewed as part of your training programme! It’s to be viewed as part of your day. This should be a must whether you are training that day or not. It’s just setting your activity level at a higher threshold.
I personally notice that I burn 300–400 kcal from some form of training that day, be it weight training or cardio, or just a sport. And if I also walk at least 10k steps a day, I am reaching another 300–400 kcal. Which is usually almost on par with my training, and boost my caloric expenditure significantly.
Track your activity
This sounds trivial but not everyone does it. A lot of people still play the guessing game and that is almost all the time wrong.
I personally use the Apple Watch but you can use absolutely anything to track your activity. It can be FitBit, Garmin, Samsung watch, anything you have access to. And before you say anything, your phone works as well.
Just have something that tracks your workouts and steps performed during the day, no fancy trackers.
Note that as you go along in the process and you build more muscle, gain weight, lose weight or lose fat, your BMR and caloric expenditure changes. So you need to keep the tracker updated so it can calculate your activity relatively accurate.
Resting is necessary in any kind of plan. Even if you don’t workout, even if you are an athlete, even if you want to be able to drive to your holiday destination, even if you study for an exam. You need to rest!
Now, the amount of rest you need depends on the amount of effort you performed, the frequency, the intensity and the plans you have in the near future.
But there are some general rules you don’t need to deviate from:
- Sleep at least 7–8 hours a night. Ideally 8 but if you can only do 7 sometimes or you work better this way, do 7.
- Each muscle needs around 48 hours to recover. Don’t train arm every day, you won’t get gorilla arms, you’ll just damage your muscle and increase the risk of injury. And your progress might even suffer.
- Don’t overtrain. You did one session today, and you still have energy. Should you do another one? No. There is no reason to do more than 6 training sessions a week, unless you are competing in a body building contest.
These are my main 10 rules for fat loss. It’s simple as it should be, easy to do, doesn’t require you to have more than 1 hour a day, doesn’t require you to be rich, you just need to be consistent.
There were multiple tips and tricks to speed this up, so implement them even though your holiday is soon. Your body will be beach ready in no time and your fat loss process will have enough time to finalise.
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