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May 23 / Jeremy

The Best Diet to Lose Weight Fast

I have received a lot of questions lately about what people should be eating when they are trying to lose weight and going back through my blog posts I have realized that I haven’t provided much info on this subject.  Well, this post will change that.  Below I will outline the best diet to lose weight fast that will ensure you not only lose weight, but will make sure the weight is lost from your stored fat and not from muscle or water loss.

The Weight Loss Formula:

Anyone who has downloaded our free eBook on weight loss will be familiar with this formula:

Calories Burned > Calories Consumed = Weight Loss

This formula has been true since the dawn of humankind.  However, the actual weight that is lost in this formula could be fat, water, or muscle.  I am going to assume that you want to target fat loss and limit or prevent entirely, muscle loss.  If that is the case, then the above formula is not quite sufficient for your purpose.  Instead you need a formula that will ensure your body burns fat as a result of your achieved caloric deficit.

The Fat Loss Formula:

To target fat loss and prevent muscle loss you need to make sure that your body has no choice but to turn to stored fat cells as a source of energy when you are maintaining a caloric deficit.  To do this you need to do the following: 1) create a significant caloric deficit 2) severely limit your carbohydrate intake and 3) use your muscles regularly.  The fat loss eating formula looks like this:Calories Burned (through resistance training and intense cardio) > Calories Consumed (very few carbs + a lot of protein + some fat + intermittent fasting) = Fat LossThe first part of this formula, calories burned (through resistance training and intense cardio), is all about exercising for fat loss.  Since this post is focusing on what to eat to lose fat we will be breaking down the second part of the above formula, calories consumed (very few carbs + a lot of protein + some fat + intermittent fasting).

The Best Diet to Lose Weight Fast:

The fat loss eating formula, then, looks like this:

very few carbs + a lot of protein + some fat + intermittent fasting = fat loss caloric deficit

Let’s explore the details of each section of this formula.

Eating for Fat LossVery Few Carbs

This is actually a very simple concept, but one that many people struggle with in practice.  When I say “very low carbs” what I mean is vegetables should be your primary source of carbohydrates.  To do this, replace all grains and cereals in your diet with vegetables. No bread.  No breakfast cereal. No pasta. Only vegetables.  You should be consuming somewhere 50-75 grams of carbohydrates per day, maximum. Why? The answer is simple.  Your body will always choose to burn carbohydrates before fat.  If you are constantly bombarding your system with carbs then it will never turn to your fat stores for energy.

A Lot of Protein

Protein is a great fat burning nutrient for a few reasons.  One, it keeps you feeling fuller for longer which is extremely helpful when you are trying to eat less throughout the day.  Two, it helps keep your hormones in fat burning mode since protein will not spike your insulin levels.  Three, coupled with regular resistance exercise, it will support maintaining your muscle mass even when in a severe caloric restriction. The best protein sources are leans cuts of meat and fish.

[This is a fun video that does a good job of explaining why keeping insulin low is important for fat loss.]

Some Fat

Fat as a nutrient has a completely underserved reputation.  People’s fear of fat is usually based on the idea that fat consumed goes directly into fat storage.  This could not be further from the truth.  In fact, it is far more likely that the fat you are trying to get rid of came from excess carbohydrates and not fat.  Like protein, fat does not spike your insulin levels.  This means consuming fat actually promotes burning fat as long as it is not eaten with a lot of carbs.  Some healthy sources of fat include olive oil, cottage cheese, butter, avocados, and eggs.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is one of the best tools available when eating for fat loss.  I suppose this is a bit ironic since intermittent fasting is actually about NOT eating, but it is still an extremely important part of an effective eating plan for fat loss.  Intermittent fasting can be done in many ways.  For some, it simply means skipping a meal every now and then with no real plan or schedule to it.  Others like to have more structure and will choose an eat stop eat style fast where you go 24 hours consuming zero calories one or twice per week.  There are also other structured intermittent fasting options all of which vary in length of the fast but which all attempt to achieve the same end.

The overall goal of intermittent fasting is to put your body into a fasted state for long periods at a time and reduce the amount of time you spend in a fed state.  This has many benefits.  1) if you follow a low carbohydrate diet then your body will quickly burn up all of the available carbohydrates and will then be forced to turn to stored fat cells as its source of energy thereby increasing the amount of fat you burn in a day. 2) It helps you to achieve your target caloric restriction by reducing the number of meals you will eat in a week. 3) It saves you money because you do not have to pay to feed yourself as often. 4) It reduces inflammation which has been associated with heart disease and muscle loss.

BONUS DIET TIP: Drinking for Fat Loss

Though not specifically mentioned in the formula above I think it is important to mention a few key points related to drinking and fat loss.  When you are serious about losing weight the worst thing you can do is sabotage your efforts by consume a bunch of empty calories through drinking.  I don’t just mean alcohol, though I definitely do mean alcohol.  But other beverages are just as full of empty calories that can destroy your caloric restriction efforts.  Black coffee is perfectly acceptable as it contains zero calories.  However, put cream and sugar in that coffee and it will add over 100 calories to your daily consumption.  Buy a flavored latte from Starbucks and you might as well have eating an entire meal.  It is just not worth it. Juice can be just as dangerous.  Not all juice is loaded with sugar, but a lot of it is, and it is probably a good idea to avoid juice until you reach your target weight.  To really maximize fat loss all of your beverages should be calorie-free.  Stick with water, black coffee, and diet sodas.  Beverages do not fill you up and they do not provided essential vitamins and nutrients.  Eating the proper foods will give you all of the vitamins and nutrients you need.

The Best Diet to Lose Weight Fast in Action

So what does this look like in practice?  What does this formula actually look like on a plate?  Below is an example of two days’ worth of meals.

Day 1:

Breakfast: Extreme Veggie Scramble

Lunch: Avocado chicken salad dressed with olive oil and cider vinegar

Dinner: Grilled rosemary and lemon fish fillets with a side of sautéed zucchini and squash

Dessert: 1 square (not 1 bar) of +75% Dark Chocolate

Day 2:

Breakfast: Fasting

Lunch: Fasting

Dinner: Rib-eye steak with roasted vegetables and a side salad

Dessert: 1 square (not 1 bar) of +75% Dark Chocolate

Two Final Tips

Following the above diet to lose weight will ensure that your body drops pounds quickly.  However, there are still two very important things you need to keep in mind to make sure you are effectively maximizing fat loss.  First,  you need to know either your Basil Metabolic Rate or your Resting Metabolic Rate.  These rates will give you an estimate of the number of calories your body burns in a day at rest (assuming no exercise).  This number will help you determine the total number of daily calories you should be consuming on average in order to guarantee your calories burned are greater than your calories consumed.   Second, you need to exercise regularly and in a way that also maximizes fat loss and helps you maintain muscle mass under sever caloric restriction.  You can check out some of our other posts that will help you understand how to exercise to maximize fat loss.

Feel free to share any thoughts, questions, or comments below.  Thanks for checking out this post and we hope to see you back here again soon!

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One Comment

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  1. Mike / May 16 2013

    For me, it’s intermittent fasting. By far the easiest way to lose weight and keep it off in my opinion. I love Brad Pilons Eat Stop Eat, although I do prefer Martin Berkhan’s Leangains approach. 16 hours a day fast is super easy for me to do 🙂

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