Fat loss is easy when you’re doing it right. Except that “doing it right” means eating nutrient-rich foods, finding the best workout routine, and changing your lifestyle for the long haul.
But wait. You clicked on this fat loss guide for a reason. And we’re going to take that as a cry for help.
We’ve summed up a ton of fat loss secrets and tips that won’t just jump-start your fat loss journey but also keep you there. Plus, we’ve debunked the misconceptions of the weight loss world, like losing fat without exercise (nope, it’s not a scam).
So, if learning how to lose fat FAST means you get to buy yourself a mean pair of jeans, start scrolling.
How Is Fat Loss Different From Weight Loss?
Literally, weight loss is a drop in your body weight. That’s it.
It can be due to decreased muscle, water weight, and fat loss. On the other hand, fat loss is a type of weight loss from fat. It’s also more specific and healthier compared to weight loss.
Whichever your goal is, the challenge is telling why you’re losing weight. While many programs can help you lose weight, it could be because you’re losing water and muscle. Also, relying on the scale doesn’t do much, as it doesn’t tell you how much fat you’re losing.
The thing is, losing muscle is dangerous as it’s one vital health component. Maintaining it is beneficial as it can keep healthy fat levels and reduce high blood sugar levels. Moreover, muscles also help reduce age-related muscle loss that results in potential disability.
Not only that but muscles help with burning calories, decrease your risk for chronic diseases, and reduce fat regain.
Ultimately, your goal should be to lose weight from fat loss. You should make it a priority because your fat-to-muscle ratio is vital in achieving excellent overall health. Besides this, fat loss is healthier and also more sustainable in the long run.
How To Lose Fat: Fat Loss Step By Step Guide
While you can find a fat loss program that suits your needs, it might not work for you. However, you don’t have to worry because there are many things you can do to lose fat fast. You can also lose fat and gain muscle!
If you want to know how to lose fat and be successful in your fat loss journey, read our step-by-step guide below!
1. Eat cleaner and cut back on processed food.
If you want to lose fat fast, eating cleaner and healthier is a prerequisite. Clean eating simply means choosing foods that are minimally processed, which, in turn, provides you with maximum nutrients. The main idea of eating clean is to consume foods in their freshest and most natural state.
If you don’t know how to start, first cut back on processed food. These are your typical packaged foods, including crackers, chips, and granola bars. While they taste good, they provide little to no nutrients and tons of unhealthy ingredients. Also, try to steer away from any form of sugars.
Besides these, you should also decrease your alcohol consumption and drink lots of water. It’s the healthiest beverage known to man as it doesn’t have any sugars, additives, and other unhealthy preservatives. If you want something with flavor, you can go with unsweetened coffee and tea.
Now, there are more ways to eat cleaner. You can use vegetables for your recipes instead of using refined grains. For example, you can replace pasta with spaghetti squash or make rice out of finely chopped cauliflower.
Eating cleaner is just eating healthy and nutrient-filled foods. Just be creative with your recipes, and you wouldn’t have to worry about unwanted fats.
2. Control your portions and track your calories.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to lose fat is to go on a calorie deficit. No matter what you eat, as long as you’re in it, you’ll be able to drop the unwanted fat.
Additionally, energy balance is essential for losing fat, as it comprises 90% of fat loss. This makes a calorie deficit necessary when you’re trying to lose weight.
However, keep in mind that you have to be careful when practicing a calorie deficit. While going too low on your calories can help you lose weight faster, it comes with losing muscle mass.
Ultimately, your goal is to determine precisely how many calories you can consume daily to lose fat. Of course, your deficit should be large enough to stimulate fat loss without making you constantly hungry.
To find your daily calorie intake on a deficit, you can use a calorie calculator. There are also other ways to do this, including manual computation. To do the math, multiply your current body weight by 15 to estimate your daily calorie needs. Then, deduct your target deficit, which can range from 300 to 500 calories.
Keep in mind that a calorie deficit isn’t a fat loss diet. Generally, going on a calorie deficit means that you have to eat nutrient-rich foods but are low-calorie. These include:
- Vegetables: green leafy vegetables, starchy, red, orange
- Whole grains
- Whole fruits
- Proteins: lean meat, eggs, legumes, soy products, nuts
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy products: milk, yogurt, cheese
- Healthy oils: olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil
Also, make sure that you increase your activity level if you have a sedentary lifestyle. Physical activity is vital not only for weight loss but for your overall health, too. Start gradually by trying activities such as brisk walking, biking, or even doing house chores.
Lastly, don’t forget to drink enough water and get enough sleep.
3. Consume enough protein to maintain and gain muscle mass.
Besides energy balance, consuming macronutrients is also beneficial when it comes to fat loss. Macros are the 2nd most essential nutrients in the nutrition pyramid.
Among the various macronutrients that you can find in food, protein is beneficial, especially when you’re on a calorie deficit. Additionally, you can find it in many delicious and healthy foods, so it’s pretty easy to find. Not to mention that it also keeps your appetite in check, which, in turn, reduces your daily calorie intake.
According to a study conducted in 2013, eating lots of high-protein foods helps you boost your metabolism and maintain muscle mass. With this, consuming protein is a top fat loss tip that you can follow. If you want to lose fat and gain muscle, you have to eat about 1 gram per pound of your weight. Also, make sure that you do strength training at least thrice a week.
Now, to consume enough protein, here are some protein-rich foods that you can add to your grocery list:
- Poultry products (eggs, chicken)
- Lean beef
- Nuts (peanuts, almonds)
Just a word of caution: make sure that you don’t consume too much protein, as it can do you more harm than good. According to Gail Butterfield, Ph.D., RD, too much protein can stress your bodily systems.
Moreover, a separate study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that eating more protein than you need doesn’t give you additional gains.
4. Fill up on soluble fiber.
Eating soluble fiber-rich foods not only helps you lose fat but also helps you improve your overall health. What is soluble fiber, you ask? It’s a type of fiber that moves slowly throughout your digestive system. As it travels inside your body, it absorbs a healthy amount of water, making you feel like you had a heavy mean.
Increasing your daily soluble fiber intake speeds up fat loss, according to a study conducted in 2012. Moreover, the study’s participants lost 3.7% percent of their belly fat over five years without making diet and workout changes.
The same study also showed that the participants lost almost 2 kilograms in a 4-month time frame. So, if you want to lose fat fast, increase your fiber consumption.
To do this, fill up on these fiber-rich foods:
- Whole grains
Aside from the benefits mentioned above, eating fiber can also help you stay lean. It also helps with reducing your appetite and even fighting inflammation. Overall, fiber is a great nutrient that you can incorporate into your fat loss diet.
However, keep in mind that you can only meet long-term results if you pair them with lifestyle changes. While there are many fiber supplements out there, the fiber-rich foods listed above are a better source of fiber.
5. Take in healthy fat.
Fat plays a vital role in your fat loss diet. While going on a low-fat diet can help you, focusing on eating healthy fats and limiting bad fats can be more beneficial. In case you didn’t know, not all fats are created equal. While some can be harmful to the body (like trans fats), others are actually good for you.
There are two kinds of good fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These fats are suitable for the body because they help with keeping your heart healthy. They also help with cholesterol levels and your overall health. Additionally, good fats also help with the following:
- Reduces your risk for heart disease and stroke;
- Reduce high LDL cholesterol levels;
- Increases HDL levels; and
- Reduces blood pressure.
A study has also shown that it takes longer for you to feel empty because fat stays in your digestive tract for a long time. What this means is that good fats fill you up longer and suppress hunger. To add good fats to your diet, eat more of these foods:
- Olive oil, sesame oil, and peanut oil
- Fatty fish (tuna, salmon, sardines)
Just remember that while these are healthy fats and promote sustainable fat loss, some are still high in calories. Thus, a little goes a long way. Keep in mind to eat everything in moderation.
6. Do resistance training.
Like we’ve mentioned earlier, physical activity is necessary for fat loss. If you’re on a fat loss diet or a calorie deficit, losing fat will be easy. The next step to this is making sure that you maintain your muscle mass, which is where resistance training helps.
If you want to maintain your muscle mass while you’re on a diet, you should prioritize resistance training. Resistance training your body’s survival tactic. This type of training tells your body that you need to maintain your muscle to survive.
While some people think that resistance training is all about getting jacked, it’s a misconception. Resistance training helps your body resist force better, helping you lift weights or support your own.
Moreover, a study has shown that ten weeks of resistance training is linked to an increased number of calories burned at rest by 7%. Additionally, the same study found that it can reduce body fat by 4 pounds.
The most common type of resistance training is weight lifting. But if it’s not your thing, you can try other training methods, such as yoga, exercise bands, or even rearranging furniture. Whatever method you try, resistance training is an excellent way to boost your fat loss journey.
7. Try HIIT.
HIIT, also known as high-intensity interval training, is kind of a high-energy workout routine. It’s a combination of high-intensity exercises and low-intensity, short resting periods to keep your heart rate up and to pump. Typically, HIIT workout routines can range from 10 to 30 minutes, so it’s high-intensity and time-efficient. Despite the short duration of HIIT workouts, the benefits are limitless.
For one, doing HIIT burns a lot of calories in a shorter time frame. In fact, a study found that a 30-minute HIIT routine burns 25-30% more calories than other traditional workout routines. Also, HIIT routines allow your body to burn more calories without having to spend hours in the gym.
Not only that, but another study also found that HIIT can help with reducing body fat and waist circumference. What’s impressive about this is the 17% reduction of the participants’ visceral fat.
That being said, you have to get started on HIIT. Here are a few examples of how you can incorporate HIIT into your everyday routine:
- If you have a stationary bike: Maintain pedaling as hard and fast as you can for 30-40 seconds. Afterwhich, reduce your speed to a leisurely pace for two to four minutes. Repeat for at least 15 minutes and at most 30.
- If you like running: Go jogging as a warm-up. Then, sprint faster for 15-20 seconds. Stop, then begin walking or jogging at low speed for another minute or two. Do it again for about 10 – 20 minutes.
8. Sleep more and get better sleep.
Here’s another fat loss secret you might not know about: getting enough good sleep matters. If you’re trying to lose fat fast, the amount and quality of sleep you get are as crucial as your diet and workout routine.
Why? Because insufficient sleep increases your appetite. A study found that sleep-deprived people have increased cravings due to two hunger hormones, ghrelin, and leptin. Additionally, a separate study found that poor sleep increases your risk for weight gain and obesity. In fact, getting less than 7 hours of sleep makes you more likely to gain weight.
With this, getting quality sleep is a must. It’s also essential when it comes to keeping the fat off. To get better sleep, here are some tips you can follow:
- Don’t consume caffeine during the late afternoon and evening. Drink caffeinated coffee if you’re craving it.
- Don’t eat late at night. Eat at least 4 hours before your bedtime.
- Decrease your daytime naps. Long and irregular naps affect your sleep.
- Try to sleep and wake up at consistent times of the day. Your circadian rhythm is set on a loop. Thus, being consistent with your sleeping and waking times will help.
How To Measure Body Fat
Before we dive into ways to measure body fat, you have to keep in mind that body fat is essential. While there’s a lot of negativity around it, body fat helps with your body’s energy storage. With this, you must know what the healthy body fat percentages are. You can check this article out to find out.
Now, how do you measure body fat? There are a few ways to do this, and we’ll go over them one by one.
1. Caliper Test
The old-school and traditional way to measure body fat are by a caliper test, which is tricky. The caliper test requires you to pinch your fat at different parts of the body. It also involves measuring the thickness of your skinfolds. The thing is, caliper tests are inaccurate and, often, error-prone.
2. 3D Body Scan
In contrast to the old-school caliper test, a high-tech way to measure body fat is using a 3D body scanner. 3D body scans allow you to compute fat, lean, and bone masses in as fast as 35 seconds. Not only that, but they’re also non-invasive. Additionally, these scans can gather millions of data points to measure your body’s circumference accurately.
However, the downside to this is that 3D body scans are expensive. Also, you’ll most likely find scanners at the gym.
3. Smart Scales
If you’re looking for a more affordable device to measure body fat, worry not. Smart bathroom scales are available almost everywhere. Most of these have body composition features that allow you to count water, muscle, and fat in your body. Of course, it also tracks your weight.
Your reading will vary depending on the software. Like we’ve said, smart scales are affordable, so it’s worth getting one so you know your progress. Just keep in mind that there might still be inaccuracy and that you don’t have to step on the scale every single day.
How Do You Know If You Are Losing Fat?
There are several ways to know if you’re losing fat. Here are the most common ways to tell you’re actually dropping the unwanted fat:
1. You lost pounds.
A significant fat loss sign is when you’re dropping numbers on the scale. The rule of thumb is that for every 3,500 calories you burn, you lose 1 pound of weight. Of course, some of that will come from fat loss. However, according to Pamela Peeke, M.D., how much fat you lose depends on your body composition.
For instance, if you’re overfat, each pound you lose means you’ve lost almost a pound of fat tissue. On the other hand, lean people lose a smaller percentage of fat for every pound they lose. Nonetheless, a lower number on the scale indicates a successful fat loss.
2. You lost inches.
In some instances, scales won’t reflect even the most drastic weight loss. In this case, a way to tell you’re losing fat is if you’re toning up while slimming down. This means that you’re building muscles while burning fat, thus reducing the overall fat levels in your body. However, chances are, these might not show up on the scale.
With this, you can look at your body proportions. Your clothes will start to fit better, and you’ll lose a few inches.
Fat Loss Related Questions
Like we’ve said, fat loss is an easy goal, especially with the right mindset and lifestyle. Now that you know some tips and tricks on losing fat, you’ll surely be successful in your fat loss journey.
However, there might be some things you want to know about. Here are some of them.
How does fat leave the body when you lose weight?
If you’re curious about where fat goes, the simple answer is it’s released in various ways. Fat doesn’t magically disappear from the body.
When you lose fat, 84% is transformed into carbon dioxide, which you exhale. The remaining 16% leaves the body as water. When energy is converted, the body produces carbon dioxide and water as byproducts. Thus, these can be excreted by the body through urine, sweat, and exhalation.
According to research, the fascinating thing here is this: fat leaves your body primarily through the lungs. This is because, as mentioned, 84% of your fat goes out of your body as carbon dioxide. With this, look for ways to increase your oxygen intake, which include working out.
Where do you lose fat first?
The simple answer is it depends. Where you lose fat first primarily depends on your genes. According to Mir Ali, M.D, genes take control of where and how your body fat is stored. Thus, your genes also control how you lose fat.
But, here’s the thing: there are general results regarding where people lose fat first. Generally, according to Dr. Ali, women are more likely to lose fat first from their lower bodies. This includes the hips, butt, and thighs. On the other hand, men generally lose fat first from the abdomen. However, keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all result when it comes to fat loss.
How can I burn fat without exercising?
You can try plenty of ways to burn fat without having to hit the gym. If you don’t have the time to slip in a few minutes of exercise to your daily routine, you can try doing these things:
- Add probiotics to your diet. Research has shown that consuming probiotics is linked to weight loss and improved brain functions. Foods rich in probiotics include fermented ones, such as yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha.
- Cut out sugary drinks. Consuming sugary drinks is linked to higher body fat, the research found. With this, find healthy alternatives to sweetened beverages.
- Use smaller containers. By reducing the size of your plate, you can consume fewer calories.
Why won’t my stubborn fat go away?
There are many reasons why your fat won’t go away, your age included. As you grow older, the way your body gains and loses weight changes—your metabolic rate declines, which means that your body needs a different calorie requirement to function normally.
Additionally, being stressed is another reason why this might be happening. When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol, a stress hormone that increases the amount of fat in your body. Also, individuals with high cortisol levels have been linked to having more visceral fat. Thus, losing unwanted pounds is more complicated.
Keep in mind that these are only two reasons why you’re not losing fat. You should pay attention to other health-related reasons, like eating too many processed foods and not getting enough sleep.