TheĀ Inside Out StrengthĀ Blog

Simple and practical strength training, nutrition, and mindset content for the busy dadĀ looking to build muscle and burn fat effectively

Fat Loss Checklist

Mar 14, 2024

It's normal to overcomplicate what's really needed to burn fat, build some lean muscle, and boost your overall energy and confidence

I believe the more simple and sustainable you can make things, the better off you'll be.

To be honest, losing weight isn't that hard.

If you called me, started working with me, and followed exactly what I said: I could coach you on how to burn through fat in a very predictable manner.

I would have no problem helping you lose 10, 20, or 40+ lbs (assuming you have that much to lose)

The kicker is this: you probably won't do exactly what I say.

Most clients don't...they're human.

You're not a computer or a robot, you don't live in a bubble, and it's not always as easy in reality.

If you simply follow the checklist below the odds of you losing weight is very high.

However, getting clients to follow through on what I tell them is one of the major challenges I face as a coach.

And while losing weight is easier than you think, keeping the weight off, in a sustainable way that you can stick to long-term (while not being miserable) - that takes a little more work.

This is the second major challenge as a coach, and one that I love tackling:

How do you learn what it actually takes to maintain a healthy body and physique year after year?

The more complicated I've made something, in any area of my life, the worse my results have been

There are some 'must haves' when it comes to losing fat

Well, at the end of the day there is really only one necessary ingredient to fat loss:

You must be in a calorie deficit.

Said another way: you must consume less calories than you're burning.

There are thousands of ways to achieve this deficit, with some methods being sustainable (and others completely unsustainable)

If you found something that's worked for you to help you burn fat, that you have been able to stick to long-term, then don't go complicating things and changing it up: stick with what works.

If you need a specific starting point to help you get going, follow this FAT LOSS CHECKLIST that can help you burn through fat in a sustainable way:

  • Consume 10-12 calories/pound of bodyweight

While there are a bunch of variables that determine how many calories you burn at rest, and therefore how many calories you need to eat in order to stay in a calorie deficit, this is a great starting point for most people. If your goal is more aggressive weight loss, choose 10 calories per pound of bodyweight. If you want to lose weight with less hunger, opt for 12 calories per pound of bodyweight

*note: these are just starting points. I spend an entire chapter in my upcoming book detailing out all the reasons you might not be losing weight. Pick a number, test it, and adjust accordingly to meet your goals. A calorie tracking app will be your best bet to start, but here are some other options you could consider as well.

  • Consume 0.7-0.8 grams/pound of bodyweight

Protein is KEY to long-term weight loss. Especially when you're cutting calories. Protein leaves you feeling more full, it burns more calories to digest, and it helps you preserve lean muscle mass as you lose weight (which helps you look better and lose more weight in the process). If you're serious about losing fat while maintaining strength, 0.7 grams per pound should be your minimum amount of protein you're eating.

  • Fill in the remaining calories with fat and carbs to your preference

Low Fat and Low Carb zealots can keep fighting - most research shows there is no difference in fat loss when calories and protein are equated for. Choose an approach that works best for you, just remember that at the end of the day: calories still matter more than specific macros.

If you find it easier to maintain a calorie deficit with higher fat, then go for it. If you find the opposite is easier or helps you perform better in the gym, do that. Don't overcomplicate the things that don't need to be complicated.

I was a low carb-er for many years that now finds my best results eating at a balanced approach (and even slightly lower fat)

  • Eat 1-2 fist sized portions of veggies with each meal. As a good rule of thumb, aim to eat 15 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed

Veggies with your meals allow you to eat a higher volume of food, packed with fiber, that is lower in calories. This greatly helps dietary adherence for most people, keeps your blood sugar and hunger levels more level, and provides you with important micronutrients to stay healthy long-term.

  • Lift weights 2-3x/week

If you want to look your best, feel your best, and make it easier for you to lose fat long-term, then resistance training must be on your fat loss menu.

You shouldn't be exercising to burn calories. That's a short-term strategy that will blow up in your face at some point sooner or later

You should be training to build muscle - which helps you look better and burn more calories at rest (a true long-term strategy)

2-3x/week of strength training is more than enough to see serious results over time.

If you need more help, check out this 2x2 methodology to help you maximize your time (while only working out 2x/week)

  • Walk 30-60 minutes daily

I always say, if you want to lose weight, here's a good formula:

Move more. Don't exercise more.

People burn themselves into the ground running, on cardio machines, and squeezing in extra workouts

Walking is one of the best physical (and mental) activities you can do regularly when it comes to getting healthy and losing fat.

This allows you to burn more calories over time without leaving you more hungry or more beat up after extra workouts

Start where you can start. If that's 15 minutes, start there. Building up to 60 minutes or more is an investment, but it can change your life.

  • Drink 0.5-1 oz of water/pound of bodyweight

I know you've heard the importance of staying hydrated before. It can help you fight off hunger, and helps just about every other system in your body work better. If you're sweating a lot, make sure to add some electrolytes into your water to maximize hydration.

  • Sleep 7+ hours per night

Sleep for weight loss? You got it. This is one backed by a lot of science - but you can test it out yourself too.

Try sleeping for 4 hours, then try sleeping for 8 hours, and see which one helps you eat healthier.

There's your fat loss checklist.

Simple? Yep.

Easy? That's for you to decide.

I'm thankful to be able to help people all the time burn fat and build muscle in a sustainable way

The key is getting started.

If you want to tackle it on your own, start from the top of the list and work your way down.

If you need help - I help men just like you find the last program and eating style you'll ever need to both get results and maintain your results for good.

If you're interested in learning more how to burn fat, build muscle, and maintain it for life - click here to fill out a form and set up a time to chat.

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