I recently shared my mission to shed 20 lbs of body fat and thought I would share a little more about what I’m doing. If you have a goal to lose some weight, you might consider experimenting with this plan for a few weeks.
This plan was designed around what I refer to as, “Fat Burning Days.”
A fat burning day is a day dedicated to burning body fat. The absolute best way to burn body fat is through fasting. Yes, I know everything else we read and see indicates the best way to burn fat is through intense exercise and/or fat burning supplements. These messages about fat loss aren’t accurate. Exercise may be helpful, but it isn’t the best way to burn fat. I’m not even going to comment on fat burning supplements. Don’t waste your money.
A fat burning day is a day where you combine 30-minutes of cardio exercise with fasting. For me, I will do my cardio workout in the morning and then fast until dinner. For dinner, I’ll try and eat a smaller meal with little-to-no carbs. My favorite dinner on a fasting day is bacon and eggs. Steak and eggs works, too! The goal is not to overeat, which isn’t too hard to do when you skip carbs.
These fat burning days are extremely effective.
Here’s how I schedule the week:
Monday: Lift weights – no fasting – eat high protein throughout the day
Tuesday: Cardio – fast until dinner – lower carb/higher protein dinner
Wednesday: Sprints – no fasting – eat lower carb/high protein throughout the day
Thursday: Cardio – fast until dinner – lower carb/higher protein dinner
Friday: Life weights – no fasting – eat higher protein throughout the day
Saturday: Walk/Hike – no fasting – eat lower carb / high protein throughout the day
Sunday: Cardio – fast until dinner – lower carb / higher protein dinner
You can see the bold days are fat burning days. They are always scheduled on days where I don’t lift weights. There are three of these days in each week and I’ve found you can typically lose about 1 lb of fat on each fat burning day providing for weekly fat loss of around 2 to 3 lbs.
Here’s what I’ve found following this approach:
1. Fasting gets easier the more you do it.
2. Coffee and green tea help to minimize hunger.
3. You’ll begin to really appreciate food. You won’t have this same appreciation without fasting.
4. You don’t have to be super strict with food. You can have 50 to 100 carbs on your non fasting days and it won’t set you back too much.
And probably the most important takeaway is…
Fasting makes eating lower carb a lot easier. On fasting days, you’ll probably look forward to the next day where you can have breakfast and lunch. Lower carb food options will actually seem awesome. When you don’t fast, a point in time may come where you get bored eating the same lower carb foods over and over again. Removing these foods on a fast day makes you enjoy them more on a non-fasting day!
Now, let’s talk about exercise for a minute.
It’s important to understand that exercise isn’t super effective for fat loss. So it shouldn’t be the focus of any fat loss plan. Trust me, I know this from helping members of my gym lose weight. You should exercise and this is because it provides dozens of health benefits. Plus, exercise makes you feel awesome!
You can see in my plan that I do exercise 6 days a week. These exercise sessions are usually around 30-minutes per day. I follow three basic when it comes to exercise:
1. DO NOT INJURE YOURSELF. Injuring yourself will set you back further than anything else you could possibly do. Right now, I’m struggling with a rotator cuff problems and hit impacts many areas of life including my sleep. There is absolutely no need to do anything that has the potential to cause injury.
2. Don’t overdo exercise. There is no need to kill yourself. I’ve run marathons, Tough Mudders, triathlons, and more. None-of-this is necessary for fat loss. In fact, overdoing exercise may actually cause you problems. You’ll feel burned out and wont’ have much energy. In other words, overdoing exercise will make you feel like crap. You might also set yourself up for injury, which is the first rule of fat loss club. About 30-minutes a day is all you need for all of the numerous health benefits. This level of exercise may also help you lose a little more body fat, too. So you don’t need to go run 10 miles today.
3. Do what you enjoy. If you enjoy running, run. If you enjoy lifting weights, lift. If you enjoy biking, bike. If you enjoy group fitness classes, go to class. Exercise should be part of our day-to-day lives. We should look forward to exercise because we enjoy it and it makes us feel good. Trying to force yourself to do exercise you hate, it is plan for failure.
I try to mix up the exercise and you can see this in how I’ve structured the week. I do suggest resistance training of some sort at least once or twice a week. A great resource for minimal weight training is the book, Body By Science.