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Shedding excess body fat is a goal for many, and it doesn’t have to be a scary or complicated journey.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the key components of a successful approach to fat loss, complete with actionable insights and practical tips. 

Whether you’re aiming to lose a few kilograms or embark on a significant weight loss transformation, the fundamental principles remain the same.

The core principle: Create a caloric deficit

At the heart of effective fat loss is the concept of a caloric deficit. 

Simply put, this means consuming fewer calories than your body requires each day. By doing so, you prompt your body to tap into its stored energy reserves, also known as body fat, to fuel your day-to-day activities. 

While this concept sounds straightforward, the prevalence of obesity and the challenges faced by millions worldwide highlight the need for a nuanced approach to help get you over the line with your fat loss goals and create sustainable change.

Nuances of fat loss: Nutrition, training, and lifestyle factors

1. Nutrition

Calorie deficit awareness

We know it is not always easy or ideal to track your food, but when you’re first starting out, tracking your daily intake will help you ensure you are consistently in a calorie deficit.

This doesn’t mean you need to meticulously weigh out every single gram and ounce of food — simply having an accurate awareness of what you’re consuming daily will help you to implement some small, measurable changes long-term.

Macronutrient considerations: protein, carbohydrates & fat

You can focus on preserving muscle mass by prioritizing your protein intake, aiming for approximately 0.82g per lb of body weight, or 1.8g per kg. 

Your carbohydrate and fat ratios don’t actually make a huge difference in your rate of fat loss, but it is still important to consume an adequate amount. 

That adequate amount is a personal number based on factors such as training and preference. With more exercise often comes more carbs to fuel intense workouts, especially if they are highly glycolytic (demanding of carbohydrates for fuel, e.g. resistance exercise, CrossFit, metabolic conditioning). 

With lower-intensity, skill-based, or flexibility-focused training, you could choose to reduce carbs to prioritize fats. 

Meal timing

Despite the hype around the “best” number of meals a day and the “best” windows to eat and fast, meal timing is less critical than commonly believed.

The bigger focus: ensuring whatever you eat helps you stay satiated between meals and perform in and out of the gym with energy.

You can take out the guesswork, download Ganbaru Method and utilize our FREE macro calculator. It provides detailed guidance on setting up a personalized nutrition plan or a personalized simplified portion plan.

2. Training: Cardio or weights? 

Activity is important for general health, appetite regulation, overall mood, and energy levels. But in terms of what you do — cardio, weights, powerlifting, calisthenics, gymnastics or bodybuilding style training — it doesn’t matter as it doesn’t change the fundamental goal for fat loss: eating less than what your body requires every day.

There is no best choice, so choosing the training style that you enjoy and can stick to is your own best choice. (Don’t be afraid to mix training styles! We have articles all about cross training.)

Beyond that, you should prioritize training styles that help you preserve lean muscle mass. While muscle building may be slower during a fat loss phase, it is still possible. With the right training, you will still be able to build considerable amounts of strength while dieting.

Use your FREE Ganbaru trial to get access to our diverse library of programs and workouts designed by expert coaches. Receive a balanced, progressive system to follow that is both fun and catered to your goals.

3. Lifestyle & habits

This is possibly the most significant yet overlooked variable — the way you live. This includes factors such as sleep and stress management, components that will impact your ability to get results and adhere to plans long-term.

If you’re sleep-deprived and stressed, your body will be fighting against you. The fluctuations in hunger and hormones, sleep crashes, and inconsistent energy levels will impact your activity, mood, and performance. All of this often means your fat loss may end up coming from your muscle stores instead of your fat stores.

Set yourself up for success with these starting points:

  • Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep, ideally at similar times each day
  • Partake in a mindfulness-based practice that helps you wind down from being constantly switched on (e.g. meditation, coloring books, journaling, reading, playing guitar)

Conclusion: A holistic approach to successful fat loss 

Fat loss is a multi-faceted journey that extends beyond dietary adjustments. Understanding the core principle of creating a caloric deficit and addressing the nuanced nutrition, training, and lifestyle factors, allows you to pave the way for sustainable change. 

Remember: the key is not just losing weight, but doing so in a manner that preserves your health, promotes adherence, and enhances your overall well-being. As you embark on your fat loss journey, embrace these principles, stay consistent, and enjoy the positive changes that follow.

Track your nutrition, get workouts, and stay accountable with Ganbaru. Start your 7-day free trial today.

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