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How To Lose Fat Fast: The Ultimate Guide

This is the second part of an ultimate guide on how to lose fat FAST, whilst maintaining muscle and staying healthy.

You need to read the first guide on nutrition for fitness to really make the most from this article. It will show you the more broader and important things such as macros, and how to work out calories without wanting to shove a fork in your eye.

Here we’re focusing on fat loss behaviors.

Knowing what to do is one thing.

Learning how to do it is another.

And that’s the point here. I’ve told you what to eat. Now I’m explaining how to create fat loss behaviors that will guarantee success.

I’ve got over 20 years of training experience under my belt. I’ve helped thousands of people lose weight over the years. I own a gym. When it comes to fat loss and fitness, there’s very little I haven’t seen. 

Putting this guide together has been an amalgamation of things… I’ve read dozens of scientific papers on this topic. I’ve added in personal experiences.

Finally, there are registered dietitians at Strong Home Gym who have helped to contribute to this guide.

In this guide on how to burn fat fast I’ll show you:

  • How to use scientific evidence to burn fat safely
  • An exact plan to burn fat quickly
  • How to understand complex topics in simple English
  • How your actions and behaviors help you to lose weight
  • How to keep the weight off long term


Chapter 7

Chapter 7 - What is Possible

What is Possible

How to burn fat fast – the skinny

I have an issue with most fat loss guides. An issue that I think makes fat loss guides a complete waste of time in a lot of cases. 

And this is it…

Most fat loss guides will go into detail on nutrition. They’ll explain calories, protein, fat, and carbs. They’ll explain how much of them you should eat, and where to get them from. They’ll explain supplements, and perhaps even training methods.

But they miss out 50% (or perhaps more) of the story…


Yes, that’s right. They’ll teach you how much of what to eat, but they’ll neglect to inform you of the rest of the process. 

These guides make fat loss sound so robotic. 

I can tell a mile off when someone without much coaching experience has written a fat loss guide, because they lack any kind of instruction on how to approach the process.

There’s no nuance, and no coaching the human who is trying to lose fat.

At Strong Home Gym we’re better than that. We’re more thorough. In this section of the ultimate guide to losing fat fast, we’re going to address fat loss behaviors. I’ll share with you pitfalls, and tips to avoid them.

Weight loss isn’t easy- but it doesn’t have to be hard!

There are times you’ll be hungry, you’ll be tempted by foods that will disrupt your progress. When these situations occur (and they will), you need a plan to deal with them.

In this part of the guide you’ll be given advice on how to set up your life to help with weight loss and the realities it brings. You’ll learn things to do more of, and things to avoid. Most importantly though, how to deal with the obstacles you’ll face.

Dealing with the inevitable difficulties that accompany you on this journey will help you be more successful over the long term.

In many ways, the advice you’ll learn here could be the most important of your entire health and fitness journey.


Chapter 1 -  Increasing your NEAT to improve rate of fat loss

1. Increasing your NEAT to improve rate of fat loss

Move more to lose more

We can all agree that movement burns energy. It’s also important to note that exercise isn’t the only way to move your body.

In fat loss, we talk about Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). This is the everyday movement that contributes a huge amount to our daily energy burn.

It can include all kinds of things – housework, walking to the store, carrying shopping home, mowing the lawn, walking the dog.

Basically NEAT is any movement that isn’t a dedicated exercise session.

We can all increase our NEAT by making simple changes. Climbing the stairs rather than using an elevator. Walking instead of driving. Going for a walk with a friend rather than sitting with them for coffee.

It all adds up. 

Here’s an example from my own life…

In this image, I’ve had a ‘normal’ non-training day. Nearly 10k steps, 3,354 calories burned and achieved 50% of my daily activity goal.

Screenshot - Steve's daily activity on a non-training day

Here’s the day later.

Again, I didn’t train, but instead made a conscious effort to increase my step count. I walked to work, walked if I needed to grab lunch etc. Check out the difference…

Screenshot - Steve's daily activity on a training day

I burned over 700 extra calories with very little extra effort. No need to recover from the exertion, no time taken out of my day etc.

More more, lose more. 

The power of walking

Back in my youth I used to find the advice of ‘walking’ more so patronizing and pointless when it came to weight loss. I was younger (dumber) and believed in hard work only, all the time.

Now that I’m older, (slightly) wiser and more reasoned, I see the huge value in walking for fat loss.

I insist on my fat loss clients walking as part of their daily routine, almost regardless of the weather. I do this for several reasons…

  1. It’s movement, and movement means calories burned (see above).
  2. It creates head space and reduces stress. Stress is a fat loss enemy.
  3. Being outside helps us to sleep better, and this is integral to weight loss.
  4. It keeps you occupied, and that’s a great way to avoid snacking.
  5. Walking after work helps you to re-energize.

As a bare minimum target I want my fat loss clients to hit 10k steps every day. If they’re not training, I like it to be 15k steps if possible. 

Walking is an activity with a really low barrier to entry. It’s free, anyone can do it, you don’t need special equipment or skills. You can combine it with phone calls, shopping, seeing friends etc. It needn’t be seen as ‘exercise’.

Walking lots is a cheat code to faster fat loss.

Make sure you’re training appropriately

Whilst training isn’t NEAT, it’s under a banner of movement for exercise. We’re not going to go into depth on training methods here (we’ve got dozens of articles on exercise here), but I’m going to give you some guidelines.

Train with recovery in mind.

It might be tempting to think that you should train as hard as you possibly can, as often as you possibly can in order to lose fat faster. 

That’s not the case though. 

Sure, in the very short term it’ll be helpful, but longer term it’ll actually undo your progress. You’ll get fatigued, you’ll lose enthusiasm and you won’t recover in time for your next workout.

Train with your recovery in mind. Train hard, but in such a way that you can maintain it for an extended period of time. Fast fat loss is about consistency… in your workouts, your eating decisions, and your discipline. 

Training too hard will lead to an unsustainable approach and within a short period of time (usually days or a couple of weeks), you’ll have fallen off the wagon and be back to your old habits.

Shoot for a calorie burn of 500-700 per session, 4-5 days per week.

A person working out using a barbell and weight plates


Chapter 2 -  Sleep your way to fat loss

2. Sleep your way to fat loss

How excellent sleep will help you maximize fat loss

Sleep is the bedrock of recovery. It’s also a vital component of fat loss behaviors, much to the surprise of many. I first noticed this on my own body, when my working pattern shifted, meaning I was having to wake up at 5.00am. 

It was a shock to the system, and I spent a lot of my time tired.

When I was tired, I was reaching for bad food choices and my training suffered. Research shows why this is. In this chapter, I’m going to explain how good sleep helps you to lose weight.

I’ll also explain how to ensure you get a good night of sleep every night. 

How does sleep help fat loss?

There are different mechanisms by which sleep helps you to lose weight. In some cases poor sleep impacts metabolic function. This governs the rate of fat loss.

In other ways, poor sleep disrupts the hormones that signal to your brain whether you’re hungry or full.

In a 2022 review titled ‘Sleep Deprivation: Effects on Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance’ Papatriantafyllou et al concluded that…

‘Disturbed sleeping patterns, in terms of both quantity and quality, have been documented to lead to an increase in energy intake, mainly from snacking, especially on foods rich in fat and carbohydrates.’

This is exactly what I experienced when my sleep was disturbed. I would find myself picking up chocolate and the like, just to give myself an energy boost.

The downside of that is the high calories, plus the inevitable energy crash shortly afterwards. It’s a short-term solution to the energy problem.

Further evidence of sleep impacting calorie consumption can be found in a 2013 study called Effects of experimental sleep restriction on caloric intake and activity energy expenditure.

In the study, there were two groups. One had their sleep restricted, the others were allowed sufficient sleep. 

Researchers found that…

‘Caloric intake in the sleep-restricted group increased by +559 kcal per day and decreased in the control group by -118 kcal per day, for a net change of +677 kcal per day.’

In English, this means the sleep deprived people were consuming an average of 559 extra calories. The people with adequate sleep were consuming 118 calories per day less than usual.

This suggests that the combined impact of sleep deprivation can be calculated to be nearly 700 extra calories per day. 

Sleep really is that powerful when it comes to fat loss.

How to get quality sleep

There is a lot already written about sleep quality, and it’s a whole article in itself.

What I’m going to do here is outline the overarching principles of getting great sleep, which should give you a framework of behaviors to adopt, and ones to avoid around bedtime.

1. Stay active during the day

There has been a lot of research around daily activity and sleep quality at night. This can include exercise, but it doesn’t have to be. The point is you’re busy and active throughout the day.

Erlacher et al performed a study titled The effects of exercise on self-rated sleep among adults with chronic sleep complaints, which was published in 2015. They used step count as a measure of daily activity and concluded…

‘The results indicate that the number of steps and the duration of physical activity is significantly related to the improvement in subjective sleep measures. Sleep diary data (recuperation of sleep, number of awakenings after sleep onset, and wake time after sleep onset time) improved significantly over the intervention program.’

This data is indicative of other studies on the subject. It’s also important that it measures activity rather than just training data, because you can’t rely on training every day in order to sleep well.

2. See the light!

When the Instagram ‘goorooz’ start espousing the virtues of something, it casts some serious doubt on the validity of it. Over the last year or so, morning sun exposure has been publicized by them as a great sleep booster.

So… does it work?

In this case, there’s credible research supporting the exposure to sunlight as a sleep booster.

It’s a little more nuanced than the Insta-experts will have you believe, but essentially it involves exposing yourself to the sun so you can set circadian rhythms and boost vitamin D levels.

A cross sectional study by Choi et al titled Relationship between Sleep Duration, Sun Exposure, and Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Status: A Cross-sectional Study concluded that…

‘Sleep duration is mainly affected by circadian rhythm, and circadian rhythm is affected by the melatonin level controlled by the light exposure. Therefore, sun exposure has an important role for determining sleep time.’

This isn’t always going to be practical (if you have to drive to work or the weather is bad), but when it is possible (time and weather permitting), get some morning sun exposure. If you can do it whilst walking, even better! 

3. Reduce screen time at night

I’ll be honest – the research on this one surprised me. I always thought screen time before bed was a huge disrupter of sleep. It turns out that the research shows it does disrupt sleep, but not by the measure we first thought.

This was found in a paper titled Systematic review of light exposure impact on human circadian rhythm from 2018.

The delay to sleep is around 15 minutes. That’s not the reason I’ve included it here though.

It’s because of the addictive nature of phone use, social media etc. You might think you’re going online to catch up with the day’s events. A couple of hours and a bunch of cat videos later, you’re still online. 

Avoid the temptation by keeping your phone away during bed time. 

4. Regulate your caffeine intake

You can file this under the ‘well, duh’ section, but it bears repeating because so many people STILL don’t get it. Caffeine is a stimulant. We know that.

What many people don’t quite get is that it can impact you long after you think the effects should be over. 

In a study from 2013 by Drake et al titled Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed, the subjects were given 400mg of caffeine at an interval of 0,3 or 6 hours before bed, then their sleep quality was analyzed. 

The conclusion was…

‘The magnitude of reduction in total sleep time suggests that caffeine taken 6 hours before bedtime has important disruptive effects on sleep and provides empirical support for sleep hygiene recommendations to refrain from substantial caffeine use for a minimum of 6 hours prior to bedtime.’

My advice? Think hard about whether or not that pre-workout you’re about to pour down your neck 3 hours before bedtime is a good idea!

5. Alcohol consumption should be minimized too…

There’s three main reasons you want to keep booze to a minimum when trying to lose weight fast. I’ll start with the one linked to this section – it impacts your sleep.

In a 2015 study by Park et al titled The Effects of Alcohol on Quality of Sleep, the researchers concluded that…

‘Men with higher AUDIT-KR (a questionnaire relating to alcohol consumption – higher score means more alcohol consumed) scores tended to suffer from poor sleep quality. AUDIT-KR scores showed significant correlations with subjective sleep quality, sleep duration, and sleep disturbances in men.’

There’s no reason to believe that this is limited to men only. Research on women reports the same results.

The other two reasons to reduce booze intake when losing weight are…

  1. Because it contains 7 calories per gram (carbs and protein contain 4, fat contains 9). It’s calorie heavy and offers no nutritional value. 
  2. It triggers hunger hormones and clouds your decision making, so you often end up consuming a whole load of food you didn’t need to eat!

If you want to lose fat fast, cut right down on (or better still, quit) drinking alcohol during the process.

6. Don’t go to bed on a very full stomach

A less obvious, but still important point when trying to optimize sleep.

The proximity of meal times to sleep can have a real and noticeable impact on sleep quality, as per a 2020 study by Chung titled Does the Proximity of Meals to Bedtime Influence the Sleep of Young Adults? A Cross-Sectional Survey of University Students.

They concluded…

‘Our results show that eating within 3 h of bedtime is associated with a ~40% increase in the odds of nocturnal awakening after accounting for ethnicity and BMI. This is consistent with the commonplace belief and sleep hygiene advice that one should not eat close to bedtime and suggests that we may be able to improve sleep by manipulating meal timing.’

There you have it – try not to eat within 3 hours of bedtime, because you’ll have a 40% higher risk of disturbed sleep.


Chapter 3 -  Maintaining weekend discipline

3. Maintaining weekend discipline

Don’t let two days ruin 5 day’s progress

In my experience, one of the most common reasons weight loss attempts fail is because the weekends hit hard. In this section, we’re going to look at the impact letting the guard down too much at the weekend can have.

I’ll also offer really practical solutions to ensure you can enjoy a weekend indulgence without letting it hit your weight loss progress too hard!

How damaging can a weekend be anyway?

Let’s look at the figures in the cold light of day, so we can establish exactly how your weekend can interrupt your progress.

Saturday and Sunday represent 28.5% of your week

If you’re hitting a daily deficit (made up of diet and exercise) of 1000 calories per day, you’ll have achieved a 5000 calorie deficit by the end of the weekdays. Given there’s 4086 calories in a single pound of fat, that’s a very decent deficit. 

If you achieve that over 7 days, you’re nearly DOUBLING your weekly fat loss because your deficit will be 7000 calories.

But what happens if on the weekends you indulge, and not only do you miss your deficit, but you end up in a couple of thousand calorie surplus?

By the way, that’s VERY easily done. 

A large meal is capable of it on its own. Drinking 5 large beers is 1250 calories (roughly) before you’ve even eaten. A trip to a fast food joint could blow your deficit to pieces in a single trip. The point is, it’s easy to do.

So imagine you hit a 2000 calorie surplus on both weekend days… that has taken your weekly deficit from 5000 calories to 1000 calories.

In other words, you’ve reduced your progress by 80%. In a single weekend.

THAT is how damaging a weekend can be.

A rare one-off drink is acceptable

Creating room for indulgence

In this part of the how to lose fat fast we’re focusing on your behaviors. In the first section, we looked at the nuts and bolts of calories, exercising and the like. You’ll find a really practical guide to training and calorie management for indulgence there.

That was for a one-off event such as a party though. 

In this case, we’re looking at how you can create room for a more regular additional calories. More calories on the weekend for example.

There’s two answers I can offer you – pick the one that suits you best.

#1 Larger daily deficit to save calories for the weekend 

If you are told to eat 1800 calories per day, instead eat 1700 (but still hit your protein target), which will save you 500 extra calories for a weekend treat. It’s not a massive treat, but it’s a treat you’re better able to cope with.

If you limit your treat to a single day, you can save up an extra 100 calories, giving you 600 to spare.

Don’t be tempted to drop your calories too low to save up for a bigger splurge at the weekend. You need to fuel your training and performance, plus dropping calories too low will risk hunger in the week, and we want to avoid that where possible. 

#2 Add in a fast that day

I think targeted fasting is an excellent way to create more room in your diet for indulgences. Using the 1800 calorie target, you can split your meals however you like to. 

Whilst getting regular doses of protein is more optimal for muscle synthesis, on a one-off it won’t make any difference if you’re training well and getting regular protein the rest of the week. 

By skipping a meal (or two), you allow higher calories for your indulgences. Just make sure you still stick within your calorie targets, for the reasons you learned in the section earlier in the fat loss guide. 

Stick to more active weekends

One of the issues with weekends and fat loss is the activities we choose are usually accompanied by food or booze (certainly that’s the case in my world anyway!)

Instead, a good option is to pick activities where you can’t eat or drink, or where you’re actually burning calories rather than consuming them.

Not only does this make you fitter and healthier, it also reminds you there’s a lot of fun to life outside of eating and drinking!

Here’s a few suggestions…

  • Join a sports team
  • Go hiking with friends
  • Head out on a bike for a ride
  • Take a sociable fitness class
  • Do something where drinking is illegal – head out for a drive for example

I don’t mean to patronize here, but it’s a genuine concern for people. That whole ‘how to have fun without food and drink’ issue can really bother a lot of people when they’re trying to lose weight.

Use these as inspiration and find a way to enjoy yourself without ruining your progress.


4. Stop relying on willpower – start employing choice architecture

Willpower is an unreliable resource. Learn how to make good choices automatically instead

Unless you have the discipline of a Tibetan monk, relying on your willpower alone to help you lose weight is a fool’s errand. It’s destined to fail with almost complete certainty.

Instead, you have to create a situation where your better choices become automatic.

In this section we’re going to discuss willpower and a concept known as ‘choice architecture’ to help you improve your chances of weight loss success.

Understanding willpower

Over the years there have been contrasting theories on willpower. What it is, how it works, whether or not it is a ‘limited’ resource. I’m not a psychologist, but I know a couple of things…

  1. Anyone I know who has tried to rely on willpower alone to lose weight has failed.
  2. Mental strength and resilience (of which willpower is part) can be trained, but it’s low at the start.

To get a more nuanced article on willpower, I suggest this one from Positive Psychology. It explains the different approaches and theories on willpower from a psychological perspective. 

In this section, I’m going to offer my experience of building willpower from a base level.

Generally speaking, when someone approaches a personal trainer to help them lose weight, it’s because they’ve tried to go it alone and failed. They may have attempted to diet themselves, or tried to train themselves and it hasn’t worked. 

So willpower isn’t high amongst their list of attributes. That’s fine. We all start somewhere. 

The important thing to realize is that having low levels of willpower in the early stages is absolutely normal.

You need to understand this early, because I don’t want you to think you’re a loser or a failure if you struggle with the realities of weight loss in the early days.  

We build willpower like we build fitness – day after day, with progressive challenges to adapt and overcome. 

Start by exercising more. In a study on The Influence of 15-week Exercise Training on Dietary Patterns among Young Adults in 2019, Joo et al noticed…

‘The 15-week exercise training appeared to motivate young adults to pursue healthier dietary preferences and to regulate their food intake.’

In other words, good habits are stacked on top of one another. If you start exercising, you’re likely to start eating more healthily. So get the exercise habit in place for a week or two before you start worrying about food. It’s likely to last longer that way.

Choice architecture in weight loss

The term choice architecture has its roots in behavioral psychology, and it has been applied to a huge range of topics from business decisions to store and website design. In this case, we’re using it to help with weight loss. 

In retail, choice architecture is designed to create an environment where certain buying decisions are made. More profitable items are easier to access for example.

In this case, we want to make positive food choices easier to access, and high calorie foods less easy to access!

Essentially how we’re going to apply the principles of choice architecture is to create an environment where making good food choices is significantly easier. This can be a mixture of hacks, conscious choices or dedicated actions. 

In some cases, they’re ludicrously simple suggestions, but they work! That’s all we’re interested in. 

Examples of choice architecture…

1. Take healthy foods with you to places

Always ensure your food options are suitable for your needs. If your options at work/school/ wherever are unhealthy, high calorie, limited or just plain nasty, take the power back back going in prepared with your own food. That way you’re never caught out.

2. Meal prep

If you’ve had a long day at work, the last thing you might want to do is cook from scratch. To get around this the best solution is to meal prep. You can get around the issue by either prepping a whole meal that you heat up later, or by prepping the longest cook-time element, so you can throw a salad together or cook some rice to have a full meal in minutes. 

3. Choose your environment

If you work from home, stay out of the kitchen. Work in a dedicated office space if you can. You’re more likely to be tempted by food if it’s right in front of you. If you usually work from a coffee shop for example, find a new spot. Anywhere with temptation is just making life more difficult.

4. Shop more effectively

Get your groceries delivered. That way you won’t be tempted by things in the store you don’t need. If you don’t buy it in the first place, you can’t eat it later on. Buy from places where options are streamlined – farmers markets for example.

5. Individual treats

There’s room for treats in a diet, but instead of buying multi-packs of chocolate for example, buy a single bar. That way when it’s gone, it’s gone. You can’t go back to the kitchen for a second or third helping!

6. Change your route

If driving to or from work takes you past some tempting high calorie food options, go a different way. Take them out of your environment. I did a 3 day fast once and I literally changed the way I drove home from work so I could avoid the temptation!

7. Take food delivery apps off your phone

I had a client who was nearly 400 lbs. His biggest issue was he’d always just order food to be delivered whenever he wanted to eat. By removing the apps from his phone we managed to get him out of the habit.

These are simple ideas, but the point is they work. You’ll think of your own for your own lifestyle of course. The idea though is to make sure that they’re simple, effective and make it genuinely easier to avoid the temptation of unhealthy foods. 

Choice architecture will plug the gaps that willpower leaves behind.

Make snacking healthy

A simple way you can keep your weight loss on track is by making your snacking healthy. Keeping fruit or low calorie, high protein foods such as jerky close by is a great way to snack without destroying your diet.

This feeds into the willpower issue. Your brain may be telling you it wants to eat. You can indulge it, but do it in a healthy, low calorie way.

To make snacking work for you, it has to tick two boxes…

  1. It has to be convenient
  2. It has to fit within your nutrition goals

Fill your fridge and cupboards with snacks that achieve these outcomes and you’ll manage to help yourself achieve the nutrition goals you set. Fill them with chocolate, cake and cookies and see how you get on… my guess is not well!


Chapter 5 - Don’t fight your psychology and habits

5. Don’t fight your psychology and habits

Self analysis can help you establish weight loss habits and behaviors

We all have different habits, behaviors and actions around food. Managing these can unlock the way to success… but it’ll take some time to understand yourself.

During my 20+ years of helping people lose weight, I’ve learned that dietary advice and training guidance alone just isn’t enough. People aren’t robots. They’re surrounded by self-doubt, temptation, conflicting messages.

They screw up. And you probably will too.

Whilst I knew this anecdotally, it was good to read a research piece by Poltawski et al in 2020 called The dynamics of decision-making in weight loss and maintenance: a qualitative enquiry

Through the research they concluded…

‘By helping individuals to identify the drivers of their decision-making in key situations, and equipping them to manage these drivers, programmes may enhance their capacity to sustain the behavior changes needed for long-term weight loss.’

And that’s all the evidence I needed to be convinced that the way to elevate a ‘how to lose fat fast’ guide needed to go in-depth on weight loss behaviors, not just diet and training advice.

So, in this section we’re going to look at how you can self analyze your food behaviors. You can look at where the potential dietary pitfalls lie, and build a strategy to ensure they don’t ruin your weight loss attempts.

Identify your temptations

We all have a ‘thing’ that we struggle to resist… for some of us it might be fries, for others it’s cheese, some people are a sucker for chocolate, others love a beer or a glass of wine.

The first step to controlling your temptations is to identify them.

Once you know what you struggle with, you can then take steps to reduce their impact on your diet. I know I love a bar of chocolate, so I deliberately reduce my opportunities to eat it with some choice architecture… 

  • I only buy single bars (never a multi pack), so when it’s gone, I can’t eat any more.
  • I’ll only ever buy small bars, so keep consumption to a minimum

These little hacks help me keep my chocolate habit at bay!

I have a client who loves having a beer, and his social circle are big beer drinkers. He doesn’t want (or need) to change his social circle, so he makes a point of driving to the bar, which automatically stops him drinking. 

He’ll also drink non-alcoholic beers.

It means he still enjoys time with his friends, without the calories (and the hangover afterwards!)

So a key point to changing behavior is to identify what tempts you, and take steps to reduce the impact that temptation has on your diet. 

Remove your ‘lead domino’

You might not have a particular food that you crave, instead it could be a situation or circumstance that triggers overconsumption of food.

My father in law has a (very English) lead domino… a cup of tea! 

Let me explain…

Whenever he has a cup of tea, he’ll always have a cookie, or a slice of cake with it. Just force of habit after years and years of conditioning. He doesn’t crave or need the cookies, he just has them on autopilot.

By not drinking the tea, he doesn’t even think of the cookies! By removing that lead domino, he solves a problem.

Mine is driving.

My in-laws live around 6 hours away from where we live, so driving to visit them is a long car ride. When I’m in the car, I ALWAYS eat! It’s almost a subconscious habit.

I could try to fight it, or I could adapt my behaviors around it. 

So before a long drive, I make a point of training really hard, then filling snack boxes with healthy options. It means I still get to eat, but in such a way that I’m not going to undo my progress.

Take a moment to think about what could be your lead domino. What actions or situations are the ones most likely to trigger unhealthy food consumption?

When you identify them, take steps to make sure they don’t destroy your progress.

Leave less room for junk

A simple yet very effective approach I’ve used with fat loss clients is to ‘leave less room for junk’. It basically means trying to eat 2lbs (uncooked weight) of fruits and vegetables per day.

If you’re a woman, aim for 1.5lbs. Don’t make it any more complicated than that.

Why so much fruit and veg?

It leaves less room for junk. Your stomach has a finite capacity, so by filling yourself up with low calorie, high fiber healthy foods you reduce cravings for high calorie foods, and you feel less inclined to eat them anyway because you’re simply not hungry.

If you’ve read the first part of the how to lose fat fast guide, you’ll remember I essentially let my clients eat as many vegetables as they wish. It means they can consume large volumes of food, without much in the way of calorie impact. 

Still ensure you hit your protein target though. If it means you have to sacrifice some fruit and vegetable volume to be able to eat the protein, so be it!


Chapter 6 - Create a fat loss environment

6. Create a fat loss environment

Setting your surroundings to ensure you succeed with your goals

There’s three famous sayings that in essence have nothing to do with fast fat loss on the face of things, but can be accurately applied…

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time around.

Birds of a feather flock together.

If you do as you’ve always done, you’ll get as you’ve always got.

In this section we’re going to look at the environment you create when it comes to fat loss. I’m going to underline the strength of psychology and habit forming in this section, helping you to build a series of habits and actions to help you succeed.

Identify your support

The first two quotes above highlight the importance of the people you’re around. Take a look at a CrossFit box – you’re likely to see people in significantly better shape than the average Joe. 

Look in the military – same thing. 

The point? You’ll maintain the behaviors and habits expected by your peers. If you want to be fit and lean, spend time interacting with fit and lean people. Model their behaviors. Copy their habits.

I understand that a lot of people reading this might train in a home gym. That’s still cool – if possible, train with a buddy. If it’s not, interact online with people who are training hard.

What you’re looking to do is build or interact with a community who are achieving what you want to achieve. 

This is particularly helpful if the other people you spend time with aren’t into fitness, or aren’t trying to lose weight. Community is powerful.

If that support is impossible, hire a coach. Online or in-person will work. Just build the help.

Top up your motivation

We all draw inspiration from different things. 

Some of us love to read success stories of others who have done the same thing we want to. I know of other people who look at images of bodybuilders etc who they want to emulate.

Personally, if I’m lacking in motivation, I find a few YouTube videos of people training seems to help fire me back up! Whilst I don’t do CrossFit, there’s something super inspirational about people kicking ass at a range of fitness events!

My suggestion is that whatever it is that lights an inspirational fire in you, indulge it. Do it daily, because this is a daily process. Your fast fat loss journey occurs a day at a time.

In my experience, you can’t treat motivation like a bank, where a big deposit will last a long time. Instead, think of it like brushing your teeth – a daily necessity. Just being around a source of inspiration gets you started!

Get your training space right

I’m lucky in that I own a gym, so I can curate exactly the kind of training environment I love. If you train in a home gym, turn it into your fat loss lab…

Could you invest in equipment? What about your music? Your decoration? 

When you create the best environment for training that you can, you’ll enjoy spending more time there and will be willing to work harder. This has a direct impact on the results you’ll achieve. 

I encourage my fat loss clients to spend as much time in my gym as they can – not just training, but also working from there or hanging out when they can.

It harks back to the idea that they’re surrounded by people who are training hard and being inspirational. 

Make your environment work for you – either by creating it, or moving to it.

Image of Steve's MyGym

Track your progress

You want to know one of the most motivational things there is?

Tracking your progress.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will motivate you more than seeing your progress. For this reason I urge you to keep track of what you’re doing. Keep a measure of your data – track your weight, circumferences of chest, waist, arms, hips, legs etc.

Take progress pictures monthly. Do it in the same spot, under the same lighting to keep it consistent. Keep hold of them. Share them if you feel comfortable enough.

If you don’t, no worries – just put them in a place where you’ll see your progress frequently. 

Seeing the fruits of your labor is an incredible motivator.


Chapter 7 - What is possible

7. What is possible…

Here’s a little more inspiration for you

At the start of your fat loss journey, or at the tough points we need a reminder that people can and do lose weight. 

It is possible.

These are normal people, with normal jobs, family lives, and time pressures just like you. Also like you, these guys had a motivation to lose weight and improve their health and fitness.

The thing that links these people is that they’ve consistently applied the behaviors that help them to achieve fast fat loss.

I’ve seen these people undergo these transformations, and I know how consistently they’ve worked…

How Steve lost 25 lbs in 9 weeks…

Steve was an interesting case. He’d always trained, but as he reached 50 years of age he wanted to take it up a notch. He dialed in his nutrition, gave up drinking alcohol and was brutally consistent.

To maintain his motivation and focus he was in the gym daily (sometimes twice daily – it worked for him – it’s not a suggestion for all) and take a look at his results. He followed a structure to the letter, and surrounded himself with like-minded people. 

All whilst growing his business and being a husband and father to three girls…

Case Study 1 - Steve

How Mike lost 56 lbs in 12 weeks…

Mike had done the classic thing – been an active guy throughout his life, then his career took off, he got married, had kids and let his health and fitness fall by the wayside.

To change this he joined the gym, training 5 mornings per week to get his day off to a great start. It gave him energy, and it also removed the excuse of being too tired/busy later in the day (think of the psychological hacks we were talking about earlier).

His consistency has paid off! Despite being a CEO, a husband and a father of two, he’s still consistently hitting the gym…

Case Study 2 - Mike

Rick… 43 lbs and counting

I want to give a shout out to Rick, a client of mine who is currently going through this process. All too often we share the ‘after’ pictures, but the ‘during’ is just as inspirational. 

I’ve shared this picture because we’re seeing the work being put in here. This is the work Rick is doing to TRANSFORM himself. He has gone through the dietary information, and he’s now applying the psychological work in this article to his life.

At his peak, Rick was 370lbs. To get to that size, you’ve had to have a seriously disordered relationship with food, both in your attitudes to it and the behaviors around it.

That makes this psychological side of the weight loss equation super important.

Rick is 45lbs down so far and we still have another 100 to go.

I’ll say it again. Normal people, with normal lives. They’re just acting consistently and achieving fast fat loss.

No fads, no gimmicks. Just effort and discipline.

Case Study 3 - Rick

How to lose fat fast: The bottom line

Fast fat loss is simple, but it’s not easy. 

If you’ve read part one of this two-piece, you’ll know all you need to know about proper nutrition for fitness. This article, on the other hand, was all about the other side of the coin – fat loss behaviors – i.e. how to build a lifestyle to achieve the results.

Anyone can diet for a day. Doing so consistently is where the results come from. That’s why this section of the lose fat fast guide is so important.

Re-read both parts – the nutrition for fitness guide, and the one you’re currently on – the how to lose fat fast guide. They’ll complement each other.

Run through the plans. Figure out your diet. Understand the points that may interrupt your progress. Get your gym right. Build your support network…

…And you’ll be unstoppable!

Looking for a fast fat loss exercise program? Take a look at our 5 day dumbbell workout. Click here for the Nutrition for Fitness guide.

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  • The 4 items of kit every gym needs
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Hi! My name is Steve Hoyles. I’m a personal trainer, gym owner and fitness copywriter. Since graduating with my Sports Science degree in 2004 I’ve worked in the fitness industry, helping thousands of people reach their health and fitness goals. My writing has been read by millions of people in over 200 countries.

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