With so many fat loss myths abound, it’s easy to feel completely overwhelmed.
Losing fat is even tougher when every bit of advice tends to conflict with the last.
Luckily, we’re here to clear the air and simplify fat loss for you.
Here are five popular fat loss myths you must ignore and a simple plan to look great naked without living in the gym.
1. Low Carb Dieting is Superior
Following a low carb diet is a great way to immediately see “weight loss” when you step on the scale.
It’s not surprising to jump into a low-carb diet and see 5+ pounds of weight melt off during the week.
I hate to burst your bubble, but high protein, ultra-low-carb diets are one of the oldest fitness tricks in the book. When you immediately increase protein intake and remove most carbs, you’re damn sure going to see some movement on the scale due to rapidly expelled water weight.
Unfortunately, this is a short term boost, not a LONG -TERM failsafe for fat loss. Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to see some immediate results on the scale.
It’s incredibly valuable to generate momentum and stay motivated with quick wins.
But to succeed long term, it’s essential to understand the primary reason you lose fat at the beginning with low carb diets is a dramatic loss in water weight and removal of waste.
Science has proven beyond a reasonable doubt (The International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: diets and body composition) that when you eat the same number of calories and protein, low carb diets are not any more effective than higher carbohydrate diets for losing fat.
In other words, as long as you’re getting enough protein and in a calorie deficit, you’ll still be able to lose fat.
Fat loss is always a blend of science and practice.
I like to start clients off by lowering carbs (and by extension calories) while increasing protein. This creates quick wins and improves insulin sensitivity. In the middle of the diet, I like to increase carbs while decreasing fat and taking calories lower.
If you keep calories and carbs too low for too long, workouts suffer, and you may lose muscle. Fat loss is a stressor, so stress hormones rise as well. Carbohydrates can aid in the release of serotonin, which can help reduce cortisol and stress. Reducing stress can allow you to continue training hard, improve hormonal balance, and will enable you to stay consistent with your diet.
Ultra-Low carb diets are for the finishing touches, not the long term.
Ultra low carb, high protein diets were popularized by bodybuilders peaking for a show and shedding water weight–not sustainable long term fat loss.
You should use this to your advantage and ONLY resort to these measures at the end of a cut–not use it as a baseline.
Once you’re lean enough, cutting carbs and spiking protein is a great way to flush out excess water weight and reveal a more defined physique (see image below)–perfect for a vacation or event, but not ideal for long term fat loss.
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In short, start aggressive and go low carb. Flip the script and increase carbs to reduce stress and continue making progress. If needed, go back to a low carb approach for the finishing touches.
There are definite benefits to going with a low carb approach. But when calories and protein are equal, lower carb diets aren’t any better than a higher carbohydrate diet.
2. A Meal Plan Will Fix Everything
Meal plans are a helpful tool to help you see how to eat for a certain number of calories.
But 90% of the time, they end up being a colossal failure because, at there core, they aren’t meant to be a long-term solution.
Most people simply don’t follow meal plans, even if they pay for them. They get tired of the monotony and lose momentum if they “free-style” off the of the program.
Second, meal plans are a short term, band-aid approach, not a game plan for a sustainable eating plan. The following quote fits well:
“Give a man a fish, and you can feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime” says the proverb that has been attributed to everyone from Maimonides to ancient Chinese wisdom.
People will stick with a meal plan for a little bit, but even with everything laid out, they revert to old habits. The reason here is meal plans treat the symptom (not having a plan of what to eat) rather than the root cause:
Knowing what to eat and how to adapt to real life.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve used meal plans and recommended them to clients. They can get you started down the right path. But until you learn how to prepare food (or dole out $$$ to have meals made for you) and how to adapt to the environment around you while staying focused on your goals, you’ll always struggle to eat for the body you want while still having a social life.
If you want to lose fat and have a sustainable relationship with fitness, you’ll need a plan and the skills to become self-sufficient.
The idea here is logical: You burn more calories during a typical cardio workout than you do when weight training. Unfortunately, this matters very little when it comes to losing fat and looking great naked long term.
First, although cardio may burn more calories during a workout, weight training keeps your metabolism charged up for a longer duration, negating the calorie-burning advantage of cardio.
Second, when you do cardio, your body gradually becomes more efficient at the exercise you’re doing. Cardio is excellent if you want to improve your 5k race time, but understand getting more efficient means your body will burn fewer calories to do the same amount of work.
Third, the “calories out with exercise” is an inferior metric to gauge fat loss. Most trackers are wildly inaccurate. They often over calculate how many calories you’re burning. This is made worse that most people under-report how many calories they take in by 20% or more.
Weight training, on the other hand, can help you build lean muscle AND prevent muscle loss during a fat loss phase. Retaining lean muscle mass prevents your metabolism from down-regulating and will provide dense, athlete muscle that brings out the head-turning definition you want once you’re lean.
Cardio can help, no doubt, but here’s the best recipe for fat loss:
Eat a consistent calorie deficit. We recommend intermittent fasting.
Lift weights four days per week for about 49.5 minutes.
Walk for 30 minutes each day.
Sleep 7-9 hours.
If you’re doing all of those things consistently and still not losing weight, then add cardio. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time.
4. You Should Do More Reps in the Gym
High reps might make your muscles “burn” more, but this doesn’t mean they’re any better for fat loss. This burning is metabolic stress, which leads to the “pumped” up feeling in your muscles. While this is great for building muscle, you should continue lifting hard even when losing fat.
One of the primary reasons for this is cortisol. If you’re already stressed, busy, and in a caloric deficit, the last thing you want is to a TON of volume in the gym. This simply becomes more than your body can recover from, increases cortisol, and leaves you feeling achy and drained.
A better option is to get into the gym with a focused plan a few days per week. Lift *relatively* heavy for multiple sets of 3-8 reps and train for about 49.574 minutes. (Under an hour, folks).
This will preserve your lean muscle, preserve strength, and help you build myogenic tone–that DENSE, hard-looking muscle once you diet the fat off.
At the end of the day, fat loss comes out to eating energy balance and consumer fewer calories than you burn.
At the basic level, it doesn’t matter if you eat 1 meal per day or 8 meals per day, high carb or low carb, from 6 pm until 6pm, or 2 pm until 12:00 PM. If you take care of calories, you should lose weight.
The problem is most people dramatically under-estimate how much they eat and until you dial in your caloric intake…meal timing and all the other questions we obsess about are more or less, irrelevant.
But fuck it, we’re here and this is the deal with late night snacking:
If you’re eating fewer calories than you burn, eating after 8 isn’t a problem. It’s true, your body isn’t as sensitive to calories later in the night. But if you’re active throughout the day, this really wont make a noticeable difference, given you’re not eating jelly from the jar and drinking soda.
Instead, consider this. Your body can take over 48 hours to recover from a workout. The fuel you’re eating in the evening can still help the repair process. Therefore, if you’re having some carbs but sticking within your calories for the day, you’re going to be fine.
But lesser known is this: carbohydrates can help you relax, and potentially, sleep better.
Carbohydrates can increase serotonin, the feel good neurotransmitter that can trigger feels of happiness, relaxation, and well being. If you have some carbs at night while nailing other components of your diet, you’ll probably find yourself relaxing, sleeping better, and recovering better as a result.
Don’t miss the forest for the trees: if the rest of your diet is dialed in, eating after eight (carbs specifically) won’t cause weight gain.
Looking for a simple yet proven and effective method to losing fat and looking great naked without living in the gym?
At Bach Performance we SIMPLIFY fitness so all YOU need to do is execute a plan.
You can join us here.
Over the last decade, we’ve seen what works in research and in the trenches. We have developed clear cut paths to success whether you’re trying to build lean muscle like I did, or drop over 80 pounds of fat (and keep it off) like MVP coach Jorden.
And really, it comes down to five key pillars:
1. Discipline = Freedom
By creating small, disciplined habits in your daily schedule you can look great naked without living in the gym. Developing these habits is the key to unlocking life-long progress.
2. Lift heavy. Progress Consistently.
Progressive tension overload is crucial to building muscle which, in turn, gives you the strong, lean, and muscular body you desire. We’ve developed joint-friendly, time-sensitive training tactics to help you make incredibly fast progress.
3. Skip Breakfast. Enjoy Dinner. Get Ripped While Having a Life.
We’ve found intermittent fasting to work best for the majority of our clients.
Why? It helps you enjoy bigger, social meals in the evening which correlate with your professional and family life. By eating light early in the day you can eat more in the evening without over consuming calories, which drives fat loss.
4. Get Ripped in Under Four Hours Per Week.
In the Bach Performance Physique Coaching Program, our time-sensitive workouts are customized to get you in the gym, on the gains train, and on with your life. You don’t need to live in the gym. If you’re willing to commit 3-4 hours to your training, you’ll radically transform your body and life.
5. Fitness is a Force Multiplier.
When you improve your physique, you’re building the discipline, confidence, and grit to succeed in all areas of life. The lessons you’ll learn through fitness seep into your professional career, personal life, and long-term health.
When it comes down to it, Bach Performance Physique Coaching is not for everyone.
Heck, I’d say Bach Performance physique coaching is actually for very few people. Most don’t have what it to commit to change, take in a different mindset, and execute a perfectly crafted plan. But you’re different.
We’re here to help you learn to ignore the boundless distractions in today’s fitness industry. You’ll simplify and execute, rather than feeling overwhelmed.
After ten years of coaching, I do know that if YOU are tired direct of trying (and failing) with the same old tiresome tactics and are willing to learn and put in work…
… then you have an excellent chance to look great naked without living in the gym and becoming our next Bach Performance Physique Coaching Success story.