If you're someone who's in search of fat loss, there's no question that there is a lot of information available on this topic.
All it takes is a quick search on the Internet to bring up thousands of various web resources that are all aimed at helping you achieve this seemingly hard-to-reach goal of yours.
But, amongst all the clutter that you'll likely come across, there are some universal truths that will stand the test of time. While various fads may come and go, there are a few principles that will always hold and will help you reach the goal weight you're after.
Failing to realize these truths would be failing to allow yourself to see maximum results, so it's vital that you make sure you take them all into account.
Let's have a quick look at the universal fat loss truths that apply to just about any weight loss program you choose to use.
Fat Loss truth 1 Fat Loss Is Always Better With Exercise
The very first fat loss truth to stand the test of time is the fact that your rate of success will almost always go up if an exercise plan is included.
While diet will always be the most important aspect of success, the fact is that when exercise is included with a diet plan, there is a far higher tendency to retain lean muscle mass and therefore a far higher tendency to look good when you reach your goal weight.
If you've ever seen someone lose large amounts of weight but at the same time lose pounds of muscle off their frame, good would be the last word you'd use to describe them.
When you're on a weight loss plan, you want to be losing fat, not muscle. There's a big difference and regular exercise is the secret to tilting the scale in your favour.
Fat Loss truth 2 Those Who Pre-Plan Tend To Have Greater Levels of Success
Second, the next fat loss truth that holds time and time again is that those who take the time to develop some type of plan to follow and then do as much pre-planning as possible so they know precisely what they're doing in the gym before each session and what they're eating during their meals of the day will see higher rates of success.
If you want to see best results, you must have a road map to get there. Otherwise, there's a very good chance that you're just going to be driving around in circles.
Fat Loss truth 3 Higher Protein Diets Produce Faster and Better Results
Another truth that will always be present regardless of which fat loss diet you're using is that diets that contain more protein will perform better than those that contain less.
Protein is not only going to be absolutely necessary when seeking fat loss to ensure muscle mass is retained, but more importantly, it also lends a metabolic advantage for dieters as well.
One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition ran a test on one hundred women who were classified as overweight and found that those who consumed a higher protein diet not only experienced a greater amount of weight loss but also had a decrease in triacylglycerol concentrations over those who utilized a high carb diet plan, despite both plans providing the same amount of total calories.
Protein is not only more satiating than carbohydrates, but it's also expensive fuel to utilize so when the body does have to break it down for energy, many of the calories will get 'wasted' in this breakdown process.
Thus, your overall net calorie balance will be lower, allowing weight loss to progress at a faster pace.
Fat Loss truth 4 Periodic Diet Breaks/Cheat Days Are A Good Thing
Ever been on a diet plan where things were going along wonderfully and then one day you just stopped seeing results? Welcome to the weight loss plateau.
Weight loss plateau's are a very common occurrence and are another reason why our next fat loss truth, the truth that diet breaks or 'cheat days' as they're so often called, are vital for success.
Any diet plan that doesn't allow for any time off the diet where a higher calorie intake is resumed is destined for problems.
The body naturally will slow down its metabolic rate in order to accommodate to the reduced food being consumed and when it does this, you will notice fat loss progress virtually cease to exist.
A diet plan that does make room for cheat days or instructs you to take time off from the diet every so often will always outperform one that requires you to be 'on' at all times.
The only occurrence where this may not be the case is if someone takes this idea just a little too far and turns their 'cheat days' into week-long all-you-can-eat buffets where thousands upon thousands of calories are consumed.
As long as some moderation is utilized, taking that diet break will serve to your advantage.
Fat Loss truth 5 Those Who Have Support Will Fare Better With Their Approach Than Those Who Don't
When it comes to reaching your weight loss goals, there's no question that the more people you have behind you, helping you every step of the way, the better you will tend to do.
Having a supportive environment is going to foster great results from your plan and will definitely go a long way towards keeping your motivation on high and you pushing onwards.
Even if you can't get the support from your family or friends like you would like to - there are other approaches you can use.
For example, create a BodySpace account right here on Bodybuilding.com and create a journal to track your progress while also interacting with others working towards their own goals.
Or, participate in the member forums and share your knowledge or get your own pressing questions answered.
Either way, you can get the support you need without question. Don't let an unsupportive environment at home stop you from realizing true success. Create the environment you need.
Fat Loss truth 6 Moderation In The Long Run Will Be Better Than Extremes In The Short Run
Our next fat loss truth has a few clauses to it and will generally hold true for the vast majority of the people. Apart from a slim few who really do prefer to be as extreme as possible, using a more moderate approach that can be transformed into a lifestyle approach will typically work far better than the extreme approach that you can only maintain for a very short while.
Most extreme plans are not sound in their approach and because of this, very often lead to muscle mass loss or a sluggish metabolism. When you come off them, you're going to regain back the weight you lost very rapidly and more often will continue to go on to gain even more weight past this.
Slow and steady does really tend to win the war against fat loss, which unfortunately is not what most people want to hear. A smart extreme approach that's well designed and planned out that will lead to a long-term lifestyle approach can kick-start fat loss, but if your only method of seeing fat loss is one of those 'lose 10 pounds in 7 days' plans, you may want to reconsider.
Fat Loss truth 7 Weight Loss Will Slow The Leaner You Get
Finally, the final fat loss truth to be aware of is that as you go on with your weight loss diet plan, the rate of weight loss you see will most often slow down. The reason for this is that the leaner your body gets, the harder your body is going to fight you to continue to lose any more weight.
Think of it like your protective mechanism. We all do require a certain level of body fat for survival and if yours is dipping down to very low levels, the body will begin to get scared. It's going to begin to do everything in its power to prevent further fat loss from occurring so that you don't in fact starve to death.
It doesn't realize that this is all self-imposed and that you'd never let yourself starve and because of that, it's out to make your life miserable.
When you first start out your metabolism is on high and fat is melting off your body in record time, but as the weeks go on and you get leaner and leaner, seeing further fat loss becomes that much more difficult.
Having patience as you get to these lower body fat levels will be a must and not only that but it's at that point you're going to have to be much more mindful of diet breaks and planned refeeds or cheat meals.
It's only those who include these in the context of their plan rather than just pushing harder and harder to bring their calories lower who get the best results.
So there you have the main fat loss truths that are always left standing. Regardless of what diet approach you happen to be using, these are all statements that you can count on.
- Clifton, P.M. et al. (2005). Effect of an energy-restricted, high-protein, low-fat diet relative to a conventional high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet on weight loss, body composition, nutritional status, and markers of cardiovascular health in obese women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 81, No.6, 1298-1306.