5 (Real) Tips to Maximize Fat Loss Diets For Beginners
Almost everyone who's getting into fitness (or even in fitness) wants to look more jacked, more ripped, more like that they're in fitness. That's a great goal, I'm not here to judge you, there's nothing more noble about being in fitness for your general health over wanting a 6 pack, lets stop pretending that we don't have some level of vanity we want to fulfill through our cardio sessions and squat workouts. So here are 5 practical ways to maximize your Fat Loss Diet.
5. Be Prepared
The Boy Scout Motto is as useful in Dieting as it is in wilderness survival. If you're not prepared with your diet, you're more likely to fall off track and not make any progress. Meal prep is key, for beginner and veteran alike.
For beginners, meal prep shouldn't be too extravagant, and should be more about getting enough food ready to last a week than trying to portion everything out to the hourly meal. Keep it simple, invest in a large Crockpot, a pressure cooker, and rice cooker. All these things can cook massive amounts of food quickly (relatively speaking for the crockpot), make them delicious, and you'll be done with your meal prep within a few hours with minimal exertion, and while you can binge watch the new season of Game of Thrones.
When your food is done, don't go overboard and try and pre-pack everything at once, you'll waste a lot of time, and more likely get tired and frustrated right off the bat. Get giant tupperware containers, put your meat and carbs into separate ones, and portion them out the night before, or the morning of if you're an early riser.
4. Keep Your Meals Simple
While it would be great to make meals that look as fantastic as the fitness pros on Instagram, the reality of the situation is A) You don't have as much free time as them and B) Your food is going to get messed up during travel anyway, so making it pretty or extravagant looking is just a waste of time.
Your best bet, and easiest way to stay within your calories and macros, would be to stick to simple meal plans - 1 source of protein, carbs, fats, and veggies. To keep it even cheaper and simpler, when you choose your meats, choose meats that have fat with them, like pork loin or chicken quarters with the skin still on. This will give you sufficient fat to protein and carb ratio typically, and you don't have to spend a ton of money on extra stuff like Grassfed Butter or cooking oil, especially if you mass meal prep.
Plus, sorry to say, your meals don't look as good as Gordon Ramsay's instagram, so either choose improving your fitness or your culinary skills, but don't do both if you're not a professional chef.
3. Understand Your Calorie/Macro Breakdown
If you're looking to get anywhere with a diet, you need to understand your caloric intake and macro balance. For all intents and purposes for the beginner, these are the same thing. Actually, even for advanced dieters, this is the same thing too. People take the line "not all calories are equal" a little too far in their ideology, but it applies here.
You need to know how many calories you need for fat loss, as well as your Macro Nutrient break down for achieving that loss. Sure, you can lose weight by being in a 500 calorie deficit daily, but are you going to make the weight loss mean something if it's only poptarts and chicken thighs you're eating all day every day? No. Luckily, the First Attempt Diet Calculator can make this step easy for you. Once you know what you need to be eating daily in terms of Protein, Fat, and Carbs, you're 90% of the way done to getting started.
There are also plenty of free apps out there to help you with counting your Macros so you can make sure that you're hitting the right amount.
2. Cheat Meals are Treat Meals
This is a tough one for a lot of people to understand, but if you're serious about losing weight, Cheat Meals shouldn't be a regular thing, and by regular, I mean doing a cheat meal regularly. If your goal is something reasonable, like 15lbs of weight loss in 3-4 Months, then Cheat Meals can be apart of that, just not a regularly as you think. People often use the weekends or Fridays to enjoy themselves and let loose, and don't necessarily go way of track with their diet. It's not like everyone enjoys eating a Crave Case from White Castle every weekend, or a whole box of doughnuts. If you're having all you can eat buffets, food challenges, or getting a pint of ice cream multiple times during the weekend, then it's no longer a Cheat Meal, it's a Cheat Day, or Weekend in some cases.
I know I'm sounding like a stickler here, but it really depends on your goals and how fast you want to get to them. Personally, having a pint of ice cream every Saturday night like I used to was great, for a while. Then it lost it's magic and meaning, and I really grew sick of my favorite ice cream for a bit. Food is not only a way to sustain yourself, but it should also be enjoyable, which leads to the last point....
1. Don't Be Too Tough On Yourself
While it would be great to look like Danny Dbol and Annie Anavar on instagram, it won't happen overnight. Or in a month. Or in a year. Even with pharmaceutical as my joke implies, it takes long stretches of time and discipline to achieve the physiques you see online, or even the strength of your favorite athletes if you're less aesthetically inclined. Patience is the key, and even veteran dieters like myself need month long stretches to get back to looking ripped after a period of less than strict diets, or in my case, not caring about my diet at all in the last few months.
It's not easy putting in effort day after day, week after week, and only seeing a slight tick on the scale, or barely one set of abs pop up, and that's ok. I believe that anything that's easy to do isn't worth doing, and won't be around longer than the time it took to do it. Don't view things like forgetting to pack your food, or meal prep, or having an extra bowl of ice cream, as set backs; view them as a new challenge to overcome. Wake up earlier to get meal prep done, try and pack your daily meals up the day before you go to work, try having one bowl of ice cream with extra toppings to avoid having 2 bowls.
Take one step of the dieting process, whether that's hitting you macros, or meal prepping, or only having one cheat meal a week, is the key to success. Take one step, and make it your goal to do that maybe 3 days a week for a month, then 5 days a week for a month, and then 6 days a week for a month, and then add in another step. It's said that it takes 6 months to make a behavior habit, so invest accordingly, and make sure that the step you choose is the one you know you can do at least 90% of the time, and build from there.