Alright then, if you’re like me, as in, you have a pulse, then at some point in your life you have probably wanted to or needed to lose some weight. And let me just take this moment to say, let’s not call it weight anymore, let’s call it what it is, FAT. Focusing on just weight and what the scale says is a no-no in my book.
So if you want to lose fat and look like you work out, then this guide is for you.
If you want to just decrease the number on the scale and don’t care about anything else, then this guide is still probably for you and I hope by the end of reading this Ultimate Fat Loss Guide for Women, you can say, Screw the Scale!
First things first. What are calories and why do you need to care about them. You’re going to hear lots of differing opinions in the fitness industry about calories and whether or not they matter. They absolutely matter, whether you’re trying to lose fat, maintain your current physique, or gain muscle. Calories Count. Are they the whole story? Nope and we’ll get into that later.
What is a calorie? A calorie is a unit of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius. Therefore all foods have a certain amount of energy. Our bodies, whether from just sitting around or working out, burn calories. If we eat more calories than we are burning, then we gain fat. If we eat less calories then we are burning, then we lose fat. Eating more than we burn is called a calorie surplus. Eating less calories then we burn is called a calorie deficit.
You need to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat. That’s why knowing what your eating is so important for fat loss. Now I want to go a step further and say, eating the right ratio of macronutrients combined with strength training is going to be the MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO LOSE FAT. What does all of that mean? Don’t worry its covered here in the Ultimate Fat Loss Guide for Women.
What are macronutrients?
You may have heard about people “counting macros” or following the “IIFYM” diet. What does this all mean exactly? Let’s first start out by learning what macros or macronutrients are. In a nutshell they are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. We all eat macros, just not all us of track them. The reason people like to track macros and in turn count their calories, is because it makes eating in a calorie deficit or surplus, that much easier and more sustainable.
We all need protein to function, however, most people tend to not eat enough protein. Protein is the macronutrient that makes us feel the fullest. So, 30 grams of protein, think a small chicken breast, is going to hold us over much longer than 30 grams of carbs, think a light wheat English muffin. Each have the same amount of calories, however one is going to satisfy us more than the other. When you’re eating in a calorie deficit, eating enough protein is going to keep you from losing muscle weight as well. When you don’t eat enough protein and you cut your calories you could end up losing muscle and fat, not just fat. And we want to keep the muscle we have (and hopefully add some more). The more lean muscle you have the more calories you need to eat in a day to maintain your physic. I don’t know about you, but I am all for needing to eat more calories than less.
Ahh, the dreaded carb, probably has the worst reputation in the entire food kingdom. Carbs make you fat, gluten makes you fat, ugh……… no EATING LIKE AN ASSHOLE makes you fat. Carbohydrates for the body is what gasoline is to cars, it’s our main source of energy, and our bodies love it. The reason why carbs get a bad rap is because whenever someone goes on a low/no carb diet, they instantly lose 5lbs. It’s like magic and thus they feel like carbs are the enemy.
When we eat a 1 gram of carbohydrate, our body holds on to 3-4 ounces of water and attaches to our muscle fibers. So when you go from eating 250 grams of carbs per day to eating almost none, you are going to lose water weight almost instantly. Most people can’t get beyond more than a couple of weeks without eating carbs, so the no carb diet is usually just setting yourself up for failure anyway, as soon you start eating carbs again, the scale goes right back up.
Let me just say though, some people thrive on low carb diets, so if you are person who doesn’t naturally gravitate towards carbs, then going low carb might be for you. If you are diabetic or pre diabetic, then low to no carbs is going to be for you as well. Low carb diets have been shown to be extremely effective for fat loss if you are obese.
At the end of the day, it’s about finding out what works for you!
Fats are like Brittany Spears, first their great and everyone loves them. Eat high fat and no carbs and you are going to get skinny, bring on the steak and butter. But then after time, the hype starts to fizzle out, everyone gets fat again and now fat is crazy Britany Spears shaving her head, no one wants it. But wait, someone sensible stepped in and straightened Brittany out, she’s back and better than ever, and guess what so is fat. So now fat is good, just the right kind and in moderation, we actually need fat to burn fat, who would a thunk it.
So I may have gone a little off on the Brittany/fat stuff, but there is a morale to that story.
The only way to lose fat is to consume less calories then you expend. There are many strategies to do this, including a lot of fad diets that get some attention for a while but then fade out. Then there are the tried and true strategies that body builders have being using for years. High protein, moderate carbs, and low fat. It’s actually pretty simple, yet most people would rather spend time learning complicated systems like putting their food in different color coded containers (I’ve tried this BTW, so confusing), rather than just call it what it is, protein, carbs, and fat.
Now I have seen countless people write things like, counting macros and weighing food takes hours. That’s bullshit, unless 15 minutes actually feels like hours, but it doesn’t to me or my clients. People even say counting calories is obsessive and that you just have to eat clean. I’m sure this strategy works for some people, but when you’re trying to lose 15 pounds or less you need to know and track what your consuming or you could very well be eating just as many calories as you expend or even more.
What should my macro allocation be?
Ahh, the good part. Here are some general guidelines, every person is different and I personally set my clients macros based on their eating habits and other factors, then make adjustments as needed. So if your under 30% body fat you should generally be eating .8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Your fat should be around .2 per pound of body weight. And carbohydrates are the filler.
At the end of the day, the most important aspects are total calories and protein. You can play around with carbs and fat to see what fits your lifestyle best.
If your goal is to eat 1,500 calories (that’s a deficit) per day and you weigh 145 pounds then it would look like this:
Macro: Grams: Calories:
Protein 116 grams x 4 = 464
Carbs 194 grams x 4 = 776
Fats 29 grams x 9 = 261
Now if you want to know how many calories you should be eating to lose weight, generally speaking you want to be 500 to 1,000 calories lower than your daily calorie expenditure. If you have 30 pounds or less to lose you’re likely going to be in the 500 range. Okay so now you’re probably thinking, what the heck is your daily calorie expenditure? The easiest way to calculate it is using this link, I could lay it all out for you on how I do it in excel, but this link does the exact same thing, less math for you!
If It Fits Your Marcos (IIFYM)
IIFYM is very popular among bodybuilders and they have been using this approach towards nutrition for years. It does get a bad rap sometimes because you might see someone eating a donut and bragging that its fits their macros and all of the clean eating people get upset because they think IIFYM supporters are perpetuating unhealthy eating habits.
The truth is most people who follow this philosophy are making healthy choices 90% of time. The other 10% is them choosing pizza or ice cream. The difference is they are not going over their daily targeted macros. They don’t have to “cheat” and go over their daily calories by eating the pizza. They just chose to eat super lean during the day and save their carbs and fat for the pizza or ice cream at night. And there is nothing wrong with that. Eating healthy 100% of the time is not manageable or realistic for 99.9% of people.
This is me by the way wearing fav my T-shirt, Ice-cream fits my Macros, why, because I’ve gotten in to the best shape of my life and never once did I have to give up ice cream, or wine for that matter. A lot of other diets are very restrictive when it comes to certain types of food and alcohol, making them really tough to follow.
Is IIFYM right for you?
If your goal is fat loss and you don’t want to give up the foods you love, then yes it’s for you! There is no one telling you, you can’t have that Egg McMuffin from McDonalds because your super busy and don’t have time to make a “clean” breakfast at home every morning. If IT FITS YOUR MACROS eat it! Obviously you should be focusing mostly on eating lean protein, veggies, fruit, and whole grains, but you’re allowed to eat other things too. I have included a MACROS FAQ at the end of this guide, check it out if tracking macros is something you want to try!
What type of workouts are best for FAT LOSS?
Let me say this before we dig in. Exercise is like a diet, if you don’t like it, then you won’t do it.
You have to find what works for you.
That might mean that you love running. So if you love it, then stick with it, but if you want to lose fat and change the shape of your body, you need to add in strength training as well. You will not get toned arms, a firm booty, or even abs from running alone. That goes for cycling and spin classes as well. And while we are at it, you know those ever popular Barre classes where you dance around holding 3 pound dumbbells? Yeah, you’re so not going to get you the body of your dreams doing that. Sorry ladies, stick with those classes because they are fun and you love the community aspect of it, not because it’s going to give you results.
What strength training is and isn’t.
Lots of women don’t strength train because they think they are going to get big and bulky. If that is you then shut that shit down right now.
I know exactly the type of women you are talking about. Guess what, it took them years of hard work to build all of that muscle. They didn’t pick up a 20lb dumbbell and get that way over night. And if someone is telling you differently, they are just trying to scare you and keep you in their dumb 3lb dumbbell class (try and say that 3 times fast). Yup, I said it. Sorry not sorry.
If this sounds harsh, it’s because it is. I DON’T WANT YOU WASTING MORE TIME AND ENERGY ON DUMB SHIT THAT DOESN’T WORK.
The whole point of the Ultimate Fat Loss Guide for Women is for you to make real progress and know the truth about nutrition and exercise. Check out the pictures above, the first is me just standing with a basic bitch pose, do I look jacked out of my mind? Nope. The second picture is me flexing, do I look jacked out of my mind? A little J and I like it. I like looking and feeling strong in the gym and I also like looking “normal” during the rest of my life. You can have both.
Strength training is so effective because it builds muscle and gives you the sexy curves I know you’re looking for. Not only that but you burn more calories strength training then you do with traditional cardio. When you go for a run you are burning calories, when you are done running, you are done burning calories. When you lift weights you burn calories, when you are done lifting weights, YOU ARE STILL BURNING CALORIES.
That’s why tracking your calories/macros combined with strength training is the most effective and fastest way to lose weight.
Why else should you strength train? I don’t know about you but I like a perky booty, ain’t nobody got time to walk around with a flat saggy ass #truth. I don’t want it, you don’t want it, yo man don’t want it. So let’s all start strength and get rid of those saggy butts, K.
All kidding aside, that “toned” look everyone wants, that comes from resistance training not hours of cardio. Your best results are going to come from heavy compound lifts with the barbell/dumbbells but you can also use machines, bodyweight, bands, battle ropes, you name it.
What are compounds lifts? These are exercises that use multiple muscles and joints, like deadlifts, back/front squats, lunges, and shoulder presses. Instead of using just one muscle like in a bicep curl (isolation) you’re using lots of muscles at once. Bigger bang for your buck. Does that mean you shouldn’t do isolation exercises like bicep curls, of course not.
For strength training days I would focus on 3 sets with 8-12 reps of each exercise (1-2 compound, 5-6 isolation) and no more than 6 exercises. I like to give my clients an upper body day, lower body day, and total body day.
Your probably thinking, “but wait don’t I need to get my heart rate up and sweat a shit ton?”
And you would be right, we definitely want to get our heart rate up, but we can do that more effectively than with running, we can add in metabolic conditioning workouts (metcons). What are metcons? These are short workouts, 20 minutes or less that focus on anywhere from 2-6 exercises done at high reps with little to no rest in between.
My recommendation is 3 strength training days and 2 metabolic conditioning days per week.
Here’s how I would do it:
Monday – Lower body strength training day
Tuesday – Metcon – focus on upper body
Wednesday – Rest Day
Thursday – Upper body strength training day
Friday – Metcon – focus on lower body
Saturday – Total body strength training day
Sunday – Rest day
What about pre and post workout nutrition?
This is a question I get asked a lot. My answer is usually, it depends and here’s why. The time of day that you work out is important. Lots of people workout first thing in the morning. And people looooove their fasted workouts, they think it burns more fat. It does, but it’s pretty insignificant, especially when you weigh that against the fact that you could lose muscle when working out fasted, again, not much, but if muscle gain is your concern it something to think about.
Now if you like working out on an empty stomach, do it, for some, food in their tummies can make them feel sick while working out. For some they feel weak and performance can be effected if they are fasted.
Generally speaking you should workout 2-3 hours post meal. You have enough in the tank to get a really good workout but not full where it could slow you down or give you a stomach ache. After your workout, if you’re not going straight into a meal, I would suggest a protein shake. A combination of protein and carbs is going to help with muscle repair and curb any cravings that might hit right before your next meal. I don’t know about you but if I am starving while I am cooking, I snack, or if I am starving at a restaurant, I eat the bread.
Speaking of cravings. I know a lot of people get cravings and they just can’t resist those cookies, candy, or chips. Then you feel like shit after and wonder why you don’t have any will power. Is it really a craving though?? If your preggers, then yes, it’s a craving, don’t fight me on this, I will cut a b$tch. If you’re not preggers, then let’s talk about what a craving really is.
A craving is actually an emotional or physical response that your body is having. First things first though, over eating and/or binge eating are completely normal. You heard me, this is COMPLETELY NORMAL. Our bodies are designed to comfort us when we feel some sort of emotion that sucks. It’s the fight or flight, and we fight.
Eating is a natural way to comfort ourselves, we actually get a hit of dopamine when that food hits our mouth giving us all the happy feelings. And let me tell you, eating that donut is far healthier then gambling or drugs and alcohol. Hold the crack the please, I’m eating a donut.
Once you understand that it’s not the food it’s your emotions, you can find other ways to deal with it that are healthier, like writing or talking to a friend or going for a walk. I work with a lot of women on emotional eating and trust me, you can beat it.
When else do “cravings” hit? When you’re tired. Your body needs 2 things to operate, sleep and food. So when you don’t get enough sleep, what’s the next best thing? Food, so of course your body is going to crave that donut, its needs carbs for energy. The next time that “craving” hits, assess what’s going on in your life before you give in.
If there is that one food that you really can’t help yourself around, that’s a trigger food for you, DO NOT KEEP THIS FOOD IN THE HOUSE if you’re trying to lose fat, until you’re ready. You’ll just be setting yourself up for failure.
Will power is a muscle that can be strengthened!
If anything that I have stated in this article is resonating with you, then it’s time to start. I mean it, there will never be a perfect time to start, I promise you that much.
Ask yourself this:
It’s time for you to Find Your Strength, in the kitchen, in the gym, and in your life!
Click here to get started:
Tracking Macros Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are training and rest day macros?
Training macros are for days you work out and rest macros are for days you don’t workout.
Do I weigh meat raw or cooked?
You want to weigh it raw, why, because the nutrition label is based on raw meat. Meat also cooks down so the raw piece is going weigh more than the cooked piece, if you used a raw nutrition label with cooked meat you would be recording fewer calories than you ate.
How should I track my macros, paper and pen or an app?
That depends on you, but the most effective way is to use an app. I use and like Mikes Macros, it’s free and you can download it in the Apple store. It has a database of food in there and you can also save meals so you can just click on them another day if it’s something you eat a lot. It takes a bit of getting used so don’t get frustrated. If you would like to track on paper, just let me know, I have a template you can print out and use.
Where do I find macros?
The nutritional label on your food, make sure you look at the serving size, the protein, carbohydrates and fats are listed by serving size not the entire package.
What if it doesn’t have a label?
Things like fruit, with no label, you can use the database in your tracking app, or you can also use websites like caloriecount.com and calorieking.com.
What about when I eat at restaurants?
When you’re first starting out its best to eat at restaurants that list their nutrition facts online. Examples are Chipotle, Panera, Chili’s, and The Ninety Nine. More and more restaurants are putting their calories right on the menu now as well, but for the most part you have to go their website.
You don’t have track your free veggies like, lettuce, tomato, green beans, and Brussel sprouts, think non starchy veggies.
Do I have to track my macros forever?
No, absolutely not but when eating in a calorie deficit, the quickest way to see progress is to track. Once you hit your goal, you can start to eat intuitively, at the point you should be used to eating a certain number of protein, carbs, and fat.