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MB #009: How To Lose 10 lbs Fast (And Keep It Off)

exercise food lifestyle mission briefing Jan 29, 2023

Read time: ~5 Minutes

Today's issue is brought to you by Mission-Fit Dads Coaching. A private coaching experience that helps men clarify their vision for the future of their fitness, family, and lifestyle, identify the blockers, audit systems and habits in order to tweak or establish new ones, and craft a personalized program and pathway to success. 

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In today’s issue, I’m going to share about the fastest way to lose fat (in a healthy way) so that you can lose the next 10 lbs in 2-4 weeks and keep it off - so you don’t have to do it again.

There are a few reasons you want to know the pathway below, one being that the more fat we carry around the higher our risk of all sorts of diseases and dysfunction in the body. The other is that there is so much noise out there about weight loss and a lot of it is crap that leads people down the wrong path. Having this in your tool belt means you can go to it any time things get off track, and you’ll have the plan to reset. 

Most men don’t have much success for a couple of reasons

  • Don’t know their numbers - or the right numbers
  • They overcomplicate food
  • They’re doing the wrong kinds of exercise, with the wrong frequency, and the wrong dosage
  • They’re missing the small things

The great news is it’s not complex to lose weight, and I’m going to show you all you need to know to get started. 

Here's the step by step:

Step 1: Know your numbers

The only way to lose weight is when the calories you are burning are more than the ones you’re taking in through food and drink. So you need to start with tracking your calories, but what most people don’t know is that nutrition facts are allowed by the FDA to be off by up to 20%. So your 100 calories snack, could be 120 calories. Things like that add up if they’re happening 10x/day with different meals and snacks. So be diligent with knowing your intake and always account for possible overages. 

Additionally, you need to know your body fat %. We’ll talk about exercise in a moment, but if you’re losing fat and gaining muscle, the scale won’t tell you the whole story. Some folks get discouraged because the scale isn’t moving as much as they’d like but they might also be adding lean muscle that is critical to the fat loss equation. This is especially true if you’re new to weight training as you’ll gain muscle much faster than an experienced lifter.

Total weight x body fat % = lean mass vs fat mass

180 lbs x 10% body fat = 18 lbs of fat and 162 lbs of lean mass

If you aim to lose 10 lbs of pure fat, you’d drop to 170 lbs with 4.7% body fat (that’s bodybuilder-level leanness!) So you need to know what’s realistic before you begin and be able to track what’s actually happening. 

Aim for a 500 calorie per day deficit, and expect that if you fix your food intake, you’ll likely lose 5-7 pounds in the first week due to some additional shifts in fluid retention - depending on what your nutrition looked like before starting this.  

Step 2: Do the right kind of activity

Cardio is a helpful fat-loss tool, but it’s not the best. The reason is that if you’re not lifting heavy weights, your body will begin to think that the most efficient thing for it to do is decrease the “excess muscle” you’re carrying around that’s making you inefficient. 

Excessive cardio (which is a lot less cardio than you probably think of as excessive) will also raise your cortisol levels and keep them higher, meaning your body will fight to store more fat and offload muscle as a defense mechanism. Eventually, you’ll be working against yourself in an uphill battle. 

The best approach is 30-60 minutes of weight training 4-5x/week with 3 of those days being full-body heavy sessions. Triggering muscle protein synthesis will increase caloric expenditure as your body tries to build muscle, and help maintain your strength and muscle mass as you lose weight - which will help you keep it off.

Step 3: Don’t overcomplicate food

I personally like to keep food simple for most as it can be the most confusing and frustrating part of a health journey. 

Have you ever eaten a lot of pizza or chips and been hungry an hour or two later? I know I have. In the past, I would be known to eat an entire large pizza and be full but still feel like eating. 

One of the biggest problems we have is malnourishment. We often eat lots of foods that are void of the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, etc., that we would normally get from healthy meats, fruits, and veggies. 

If the body is still void of nutrients it will seek them out - impacting your hunger levels. 

If you aim to avoid all packaged foods and instead eat whole food (single ingredient foods - usually found in the outer ring of the grocery store) over time your appetite will normalize and you’ll find that you crave less, eat less, and feel 100x better. 

Without being able to get into specifics for an individual to dial this in further as one might do with private coaching, this is the #1 recommendation I would make to any person who wants to get healthy, cut fat, and improve their fitness.

Step 4: Don’t miss the small things

Sunlight: Early morning sunlight will help normalize your circadian rhythm so you optimize hormones, sleep well, and maximize vitamin D. 

Sleep: Without 7-8+ hours of effective and efficient sleep you’ll be fighting an uphill battle with fat loss as your cortisol levels stay higher and fight against your fat loss efforts. One study showed 2 groups of people on a weight loss plan - with those in the group who slept optimally, losing far more body fat. 

Walking: In our current workplace environments, more and more people are sitting for 8 hours+ per day. Get up every hour and walk around for a few minutes, stretch your legs, and get fresh air - as a bonus, if you have time, go on a walk with your family and get 30 minutes in. 

Micro-workouts: Another “hack” if you will is to incorporate micro-workouts into your days. Take 3 minutes a few times per day to do some pushups, sit-ups, and squats. You’re not breaking a sweat but you could burn a couple of hundred extra calories per day and keep your mind alert and fresh throughout the day.

Water: Most Americans are actually chronically dehydrated and don’t know it. Water can help you with fat loss in two ways. 1. Cut out all other calorie-containing drinks. Drink black coffee instead of adding sugar and creamer. Cut out alcohol, juices, sodas, energy drinks, etc. 2. Hydration is critical for the proper functioning of all of our body systems, by staying adequately hydrated you’ll help support the mechanisms and pathways required to have a healthy and efficient metabolism. 

Reverse dieting: Once you're done reaching your goal weight, you need to slowly add calories back in little by little (50-100 calories extra) each week, until you're back at a prescribed maintenance caloric intake for your size. This will help prevent rebound weight gain that happens over 3/4 of the time when people lose weight.

That’s all for today. 

See you next Sunday.

 

PLUS, whenever you’re ready, here's how I can help you: 

1. If you’re still looking for more traction in your health & fitness and want to stop spinning your wheels, build better systems, and have expert insights and accountability - book a free discovery call to learn more about 1:1 coaching with me. If coaching ends up not being right for you, you’ll still walk away from a call with valuable recommendations.

2. If you’re looking for more “hands-off” ways to improve your health as a busy dad, I’d recommend starting with an affordable course - Learn the 4-part framework to better health and balanced life, in the 'Operation: Next Level' Course. Learn more here.