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How Fat Loss Works

Dieting For Fat Loss 101 

The information below is meant to be VERY basic.Boy and Burger

Fat Loss and Dieting 101.

It is literally meant for people that have no idea how to lose weight or how their body works. I, as well most most athletes and nutritionists, understand this on a much higher level. Please do not write in criticizing the simplicity of this information, we'll get into more advanced theory later.

It is important that we teach you how to eat, not just tell you what to eat. Once you know how to eat and the very basics of human metabolism,

you'll know exactly what to eat, when to eat it

and it if will help you with your fitness goals.

My Background

Before I started working on GoodLookingLoser.com full time, I was a private personal trainer in Los Angeles, CA. I've worked with celebrities (wow Chris!), athletes and people of all shapes and sizes. I've also written about 300 articles for Livestrong.com.

If it means anything to you, I have certifications in both Sports Nutrition (ISSA) and Personal Training (ACE). I also have a certification in bodybuilding nutrition (SMART), that is probably better than both of them but isn't Nationally "accredited". I put very little stock into these certifications, you just need them to work at a gym, so the gym doesn't get sued if someone fucks themselves up. Considering that ALL personal trainers who work at public gyms carry these "accredited" certifications, and personal trainers at public gyms are the VERY worst trainers in the country, these certifications hardly matter to me and shouldn't matter to you either.

Picture on October 20th 2012

More significantly, you can trust my advice on diet and nutrition because I have a decent body, 6-2 215lbs sub 8% body fat, that I maintain year-round with pretty minimal effort. I go to the gym about 3 or 4 times a week, for 45 minutes a session. I'm not a genetic freak either, I looked quite underweight until I began lifting weights seriously my junior year of high school. At the time, I couldn't bench my body weight (150lbs). At 25, I set personal best in bench press and squats, (225 x 28) and (455 x 15), respectively. I got a scholarship to college for my physique from my church by in 2001.

Don't believe the out-of-shape people that tell you, "[insert ripped guy] ONLY looks that way because he spends 3 hours a day in the gym/does steroids/genetic freak/(other know-it-all reason)." In fact, don't take any fitness advice from out-of-shape people, clearly- they have no idea what they are talking about.

In-other-words, like everything else on this site, it comes from experience. I'm not an Internet marketer hiding behind "information" that he's never applied and trying to trick you into clicking affiliate links. Scotty was a legitimate competitive bodybuilder too, you can trust anything that comes out of his mouth as well.

While you may not desire to have the physique of a bodybuilder (I don't suggest it for picking up chicks- "What Body Type Is Most Attractive?"), you can trust what we have to say. A competitive bodybuilder or athlete knows 10x more about how to eat for muscle gain/fat loss than a "nutritionist" who doesn't have a good body or some "professor" that sits in an office.

So alright, you get it.

To start off, below I'll list a few important bullet points and dispel a few myths that surround "eating for FAT LOSS," in the long run, its more important that we teach you how your body works rather than simply giving you a diet to follow. Once you learn how your body works, you won't ever need help building a diet. You'll already know how.

This is very general list of concepts. I'll get more in-depth later.

Remember this SOLELY applies to guys that want to LOSE FAT (see title of the article). This is not the same advice that I'd give to people that want to build muscle, eat as healthful as possible, gain weight, or get stronger. Just as advice for "getting laid" is different than advice for "meeting women" or "I want to be a pickup artist," the advice for dieting to LOSE FAT is different. This even differs from the advice I'd give to people that want to "lose weight," again, this advice is to LOSE FAT.

Please keep that in mind.

Okay, now a few significant things, I'll keep it simple-

 

  • The key to losing fat is to burn fat. Also known as- using body fat for energy.
  • In order to burn fat, you MUST keep your blood sugar both low and stable.
  • That means AVOIDING foods that raise your blood sugar.
  • Carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates (sugar) raise your blood sugar. Protein and fat don't, for the most part.
  • When you raise your blood sugar, your body IMMEDIATELY stops burning fat. Glucose (carbohydrates) is you body's preferred source for energy, instead of fat. In order to burn fat, you must not eat carbohydrates. I repeat- AVOID CARBOHYDRATES.
  • The vast majority of people do very well on low (<30 grams) carbohydrate diets. It can take a few weeks to adjust though. Contrary to popular belief (and the fucking food pyramid), carbohydrates are NOT essential macro-nutrients. If you don't eat fat or protein, you'll die. If you don't eat carbohydrates, you'll look better. The 2002 "Journal of Clinical Nutrition" confirms this, we've known this for over a decade.
  • If you don't eat carbohydrates, your body will be in "fat burning" mode. Whereas if you eat carbohydrates (and are inactive) your body is in fat storage mode.
  • Junk FoodCarbs and sugar may look friendly but they will make you store fat!
  • People that are "naturally" overweight, have a hyper-sensitivity to carbohydrates. This is called "insulin sensitivity," or lack thereof. Their blood sugar shoots WAY up and they begin to store everything they eat as fat.
  • You don't need to count calories until you get down to 10% body fat, in my opinion. I'm not big on counting calories, although weight/fat loss is a product of a caloric deficiency (you burn more calories than you consume), it's more important to avoid carbohydrates so your body is in "fat burning" mode for the majority of the day.
  • Calories don't tell the whole story. You can eat WAY more calories if you avoid carbohydrates, because your body physiologically CANNOT store them since your blood sugar is not elevated. I mean it. I once ate 7600 calories of just cheese and butter for 7 days and lost 8 pounds
  • Contrary to popular belief- there are NO foods that burn fat. Not cabbage, not grapefruit, not anything. This is verified by the The Student's Center for Health at University of West Virginia. The term "fat burning foods" is completely made up. The exception is caloric-free foods with caffeine, such as green tea.

This is GLL Dieting 101, this is by no means an extensive list of advanced metabolic principles, we'll have a biochemistry and health/human performance discussion another time. Don't bother writing in nitpicking this very basic list. Thank you for your understanding!

Other Things You Should Probably Know-

 

  • Healthful foods are not necessarily the best fat loss diet foods. The obvious example Pig Working Out s fruit. While fruit contains lots of vitamins, mineral and antioxidants, since is a basically all sugar and water- it will stop your body from burning fat.
  • If FAT LOSS is your goal, exercising on an empty stomach [in the morning] will burn SIGNIFICANTLY more fat. Your body needs energy to exercise. Since you are on an empty stomach, you don't have any glucose (carbohydrates) to feed it. It uses your fat body for energy instead. This confirmed by Belgian scientists in a clinical study published in the 2010 "Journal of Physiology," and Good Looking Loser's favorite LEGIT dietitian Dr. Jonny Bowden.
  • The "balanced diet" is created by persons with political interests. I'm not saying it's a complete conspiracy or anything, but there's jackshit research that supports "The Food Pyramid" and lots of obese people walking around that don't eat McDonalds everyday. For more information about the dietary guidelines and the extreme lack of evidence surrounding carbohydrate-based diets- see what Dr. Jonny Bowden PhD. has to say.
  • If you follow a low/no carbohydrate diet to lose fat, you will be successful. If you don't, you won't. It is physiologically impossible to retain high levels of body fat if you avoid carbohydrates and you are active. If you don't follow a low/no carbohydrate diet, you won't be successful or it will take several more months/years to get to where you want to be.
  • Skinny Fat WomenIf you Google "Skinny Fat" this is what you see.
  • Diet will be responsible for about 80-90% of your results. Especially if you are trying to lose fat. The remaining 10% is your training program. Somewhere between 1-5% are dietary supplements. Some people see this and interpret it as an excuse to not exercise. These people will end up "skinny fat" or "thin fat" and still look like shit.
  • Lifting weights if usually better for fat loss than cardiovascular exercise. Resistance training increases your metabolism so you continue to burn calories when you leave the gym. Cardio, doesn't necessarily do this. There's a lot more to this subject.
  • Steroids don't burn fat. Food doesn't burn fat, neither do steroids. Steroids can prevent catabolism (muscle-wasting) while on a calorie deficient diet.

It may surprise you, but I wrote and referenced all of the above in about 40 minutes off the top of my head. I know this subject pretty well. It's not rocket science, but you definitely have to have decent understanding of how your body works if you ever hope to change it for good.

In the future we'll have specific diets and training programs you can use, free of charge, of course. We'll also take a more advanced, in-depth and comprehensive look at this and related subjects. It'll be fun.

Related:

 

What Are the Best Foods For Weight Loss?

Related Posts

 

Comments (36)

  1. kev

I have been told that I have a slow thyroid I suddenly gained a whole bunch of weight and its been supper hard trying to lose weight and get back to my normal
32 in waist.I have gained like 40 lbs and it came on fast it was weird.The doc has...

I have been told that I have a slow thyroid I suddenly gained a whole bunch of weight and its been supper hard trying to lose weight and get back to my normal
32 in waist.I have gained like 40 lbs and it came on fast it was weird.The doc has me on .1 mg of levothyroxine and he has had to up the dose a couple of times before getting to .1mg.
I really hate this weight need your help bad!

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  1. Good Looking Loser    kev

Hey there Kev- yeah slow thyroid is a major issue and will really let the lbs. add up. It is COMPLETELY treatable and you'll feel energized in about 72hours.
What is your TSH level at now? Lets make sure we get it to high-normal before we...

Hey there Kev- yeah slow thyroid is a major issue and will really let the lbs. add up. It is COMPLETELY treatable and you'll feel energized in about 72hours.
What is your TSH level at now? Lets make sure we get it to high-normal before we proceed.

I personally take T3, I don't have a slow thyroid but I (with my Dr.s' permission) have a script for T3, it keep the fat off my body.

Not to worry, I'll help you out!

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  1. kev    Good Looking Loser

I really appreciate your help I really cant tell ya how much.
Im getting this from my test results so I really dont understand what it means it says under results 82.97 uIU/ml
I have been on meds for a while but still cant drop the lbs plus my...

I really appreciate your help I really cant tell ya how much.
Im getting this from my test results so I really dont understand what it means it says under results 82.97 uIU/ml
I have been on meds for a while but still cant drop the lbs plus my energy is super low .
Also since taking the meds my hair has thinned a bit I notice a lot of hair in the shower,its got me a little freaked.

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  1. Chuck

What about gaining weight? I'm about 5'10" 160 now gained about 20 pounds the last few months eating a ton with lots of carbs - I probably want to get to 180-185 and then burn it off to around 170-175. Should I avoid carbs trying to gain weight...

What about gaining weight? I'm about 5'10" 160 now gained about 20 pounds the last few months eating a ton with lots of carbs - I probably want to get to 180-185 and then burn it off to around 170-175. Should I avoid carbs trying to gain weight or gain it anyway possible and then cut out the carbs after?

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  1. Good Looking Loser    Chuck

Hey Chuck (sorry for the late response, I've been away)

I say get to 180-185, if you don't do about 12-13% bodyfat, that way- you'll be in the single digit when you drop back to 175

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  1. Chuck    Good Looking Loser

Hey Chris, thanks! I've hit my target weight and am in the process of cutting down.

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  1. kev

my test results say 82.97uIU/ml for my thyroid,energy is low and weight wants to stay on.
Doc changed meds dose several times been 0n .1mg for awhile just really want to drop all this weight

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  1. D

What do you think about beans as in the 4 hour body book by Tim Ferris.

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  1. Good Looking Loser    D

Hey D- (sorry for the late response, I've been away)

I'm not entirely familiar with it actually. It wouldn't be a weight loss diet though, more of a muscle/strength building diet, since beans have a ton of carbs

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  1. low blood sugar?

Any suggestions for a guy who has low blood sugar issues. Not quite at a diabetic level, but without some sugar I'll get migraines very easily

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  1. Good Looking Loser    low blood sugar?

That's a good question. Most people seem to 'adjust' to the low/no carb diet within 3 weeks and the headaches go away. But it def. is an issue if they don't. I'd say go with fruit actually, just in moderation though

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  1. Hichem

Hey man, I have been following your "stuff" for a while and am pretty impressed with what you got. You do a damn good job at presenting truths in an effective and entertaining manner. I just had a couple of questions. I am going to start P90X...

Hey man, I have been following your "stuff" for a while and am pretty impressed with what you got. You do a damn good job at presenting truths in an effective and entertaining manner. I just had a couple of questions. I am going to start P90X this upcoming new year and was wondering if you think that it is safe to combine the exercise part of that program with your Fat Loss Diet? I am 5'6", 165lbs and have been trying to get back into good shape like I was in high school but just didn't have the time with college. Now that I graduated I want to do things right. I am at around 23% BMI but I am fairly muscular because of sports I played and lifting I have done in the past. I want to get lean and tone before spring break which is coming up in March. Any advise will help a lot man, THANKS!

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  1. Good Looking Loser    Hichem

Hey man- sorry for the late reply... we'll have A LOT more stuff coming up here in the near future.

The diet is basically a guarantee to strip your body of fat, so that is my suggestion
http://gll-getalife.com/2012/10/30/fat-loss-diet-1/

You...

Hey man- sorry for the late reply... we'll have A LOT more stuff coming up here in the near future.

The diet is basically a guarantee to strip your body of fat, so that is my suggestion
http://gll-getalife.com/2012/10/30/fat-loss-diet-1/

You are welcome join the forum and we can give you super specific advice too-
http://goodlookingloser.com/forums/

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  1. Luke

Hey mate,

I have problems with "man boobs". All my weight builds up in my chest. All the other areas of my body are good except for my chest.

It's really damaging my confidence and I just don't know how to shift it. Any ideas? I'm 6 foot and...

Hey mate,

I have problems with "man boobs". All my weight builds up in my chest. All the other areas of my body are good except for my chest.

It's really damaging my confidence and I just don't know how to shift it. Any ideas? I'm 6 foot and weigh 87kg. My BMI is good... i really don't know what's going on.

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  1. Good Looking Loser    Luke

Hey Luke- sorry for super late reply, both blogs are having issues. It may be gyno. I don't have experience with combating it while not on steroids, but I'm going to suggest 2 options (6oxo) and a cream that I'm going to ask my friend about (he...

Hey Luke- sorry for super late reply, both blogs are having issues. It may be gyno. I don't have experience with combating it while not on steroids, but I'm going to suggest 2 options (6oxo) and a cream that I'm going to ask my friend about (he used it) and talk about them on here.

Chris

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  1. AUAO1

Yoo chris! Just wondering about the low carbs diet, I've heard mixed results about it because of the whole ketosis situation, what are your thoughts about that cause i would like to start a diet like that to get to that 5-7.5% body fat range ?...

Yoo chris! Just wondering about the low carbs diet, I've heard mixed results about it because of the whole ketosis situation, what are your thoughts about that cause i would like to start a diet like that to get to that 5-7.5% body fat range ? Also, i was wondering what rough percentage do you take in from proteins, fats and carbs (how many grams for carbs, roughly)??? and lastly what are the brands of supplements you take for BCAA's, whey protein, and any other supplements you take?!? Thanks so much for the kick ass site brother!

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  1. Good Looking Loser    AUAO1

Hey AUA01-- sorry for the late reply, but I have some good info for you, right on ttopic-
http://gll-getalife.com/2013/02/08/what-is-ketosis-is-it-bad/

it-bad/

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  1. Corwin

Hey man, I was wondering if you had any advice or know any guides for gaining weight. I know its basically calorie take to burn, but I play rugby for my school so I do a lot of sprinting as a winger, which makes me burn a lot, also it means I...

Hey man, I was wondering if you had any advice or know any guides for gaining weight. I know its basically calorie take to burn, but I play rugby for my school so I do a lot of sprinting as a winger, which makes me burn a lot, also it means I cant use hgh or other stuff because we get screened. Well we just finished our season and im trying to go from 6'1, 157 ibs to 190 by october. So any tips/guides you have would be great, thanks!

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  1. Good Looking Loser    Corwin

Hey Corwin-- we'll be head that direction quite soon. If you'd like specifics right now, I encourage you to register for the forum
http://www.goodlookingloser.com/forums/
and post in the gym/kitchen section

in short though- eat 4000 calories a...

Hey Corwin-- we'll be head that direction quite soon. If you'd like specifics right now, I encourage you to register for the forum
http://www.goodlookingloser.com/forums/
and post in the gym/kitchen section

in short though- eat 4000 calories a day. 200g should be protein. lift heavy weights that you can do 4-6 reps with. We'll have a list of "good" carbohydrates that will be out this week

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  1. Alex

Hey Chris. I've been going no carb for 2 weeks strict now. I'm at 13% bodyfat... shooting for 6%. You suggested in another article.. once I'm 5'8.25", 22y/o. Last week my weight was 179lbs. Think I'm a bit less now though. I've been working out...

Hey Chris. I've been going no carb for 2 weeks strict now. I'm at 13% bodyfat... shooting for 6%. You suggested in another article.. once I'm 5'8.25", 22y/o. Last week my weight was 179lbs. Think I'm a bit less now though. I've been working out on an empty stomach (while taking lots of BCAA's) and keeping my protein intake to at least 180grams/day. I also experimented with just consuming protein shakes/lean chicken for a day or so... I figured without a dietary source of fat... my body would use my body fat for fuel. But that's just a guess. Is that a good idea for my goal to reach 6% or not so good idea? Thanks for your help.

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  1. Good Looking Loser    Alex

Hey man- I think you totally have the right idea. Remember though, on an empty stomach you don't want the gym sessions to be too long. Especially if you are taking a fat burner too. Our no-carb fat loss diet is mainly for guys that really need to...

Hey man- I think you totally have the right idea. Remember though, on an empty stomach you don't want the gym sessions to be too long. Especially if you are taking a fat burner too. Our no-carb fat loss diet is mainly for guys that really need to lose weight and aren't having to worry about preserving muscle. It will definitely work for you too, just make sure you are pounding the BCAAs and not losing too much muscle. You will feel pretty weak on a no-carb diet. It's usually not a loss of muscle but rather that your glycogen store are depleted.

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