For years I worked with people both one-on-one and in groups to help them lose weight, get in shape, and look and feel great.
I can tell you that without a doubt, the number one demand on any type of fitness trainer is fat loss. For most people who step into a gym, it's a Rubik's cube. Do a Google search right now and you will find hundreds of articles, many of them contradictory, that will all claim to have the magic bullet.
This isn't one of those articles.
Fat loss is not easy, but it is simple. I developed these 10 rules, what I call the 10 Commandments of Fat Loss, for my clients almost two decades ago because I wanted to be able to give a simple framework that would fit on an index card.
It worked then, it works now. If you follow these 10 Commandments, you will lose fat, simple as that.
Let's jump into them.
1. Thou Shalt Not Eat More Than 500 Calories Per Meal
A meal is any time you sit down for a feeding.
We don't graze in this framework. Instead, we sit down for small feedings throughout the day.
When you do, 500 calories is the upper limit, 200 calories is the lower.
It's easy to do with any number of free apps for your phone.
500 is the number to shoot for.
2. Thou Shalt Have No Less Than 3 Hours Between Meals
Remember, we don't graze.
You eat, then you stop. When you are done, at least 3 hours has to pass before you sit down for another meal.
3. Thou Shalt Have No More Than 5 Hours Between Meals
Yep, we have to address going too long between meals as well.
Going too long between feedings lowers adherence. If you get ravenously hungry between meals, you are much more likely to gorge on shit.
We don't gorge on shit.
4. Thou Shalt Get Adequate Sleep on a Consistent Schedule
Before I ever got into the nitty gritty of training and diet with clients, we always addressed sleep first.
Lack of sleep lowers will power and discipline. When you are sleep deprived, you don't operate at your best, and it's so easy to reach for sugar and other crap.
Go to bed at the same time every night. Practice good sleep hygiene. Wake up at the same time every day. Get at least 7 hours.
5. Thou Shalt Not Eat Within 2 hours of Bed Time
If you go to bed at the same time every nigh, you will always know when the last meal of the day is.
See how all of these rules start to work together?
6. Thou Shalt Eat Veggies and Protein at Every Meal
Every time you sit down for a feeding, you need to have some veggies and some protein on your plate.
Every. Damn. Time.
"But Josh, veggies at breakfast?" Hell yes veggies at breakfast.
Your body just knows it's time to eat, it doesn't know or care what you think a "breakfast food" is.
7. Thou Shalt Not Eat Packaged/Processed Foods
People really go overboard on so-called "health foods."
Here's the deal, real healthy food doesn't come out of a wrapper in the form of a cube. If it did, it would be on the tree that way.
As close as possible, you want to eat as close to single ingredient foods.
If it doesn't run, walk, swim, fly, or grow out of the ground, don't put it in your mouth.
8. Thou Shalt Not Drink Your Calories
Drink water. Coffee is OK too, just don't put a bunch of shit in it.
No juice. No soda.
Couple of exceptions. A protein shake after a hard training session is fine. Smoothies are OK too, as long as they include the whole vegetable and the whole fruit, and they count as one of your meals.
9. Thou Shalt Earn Your Carbs
Carbs should surround a hard training session.
Some carbs before a workout? Totally fine.
More carbs after training to refuel? Go for it.
But don't forget, no more than 500 calories at any one time. There's that synergistic effect again...
10. Thou Shalt Move When You Wake Up
Wake up, drink some water, take a pee, drink some water.
No go move. This doesn't have to be a strenuous training session (unless this is the time you train), but it's just a short movement session to get your body warmed up, your metabolism fired up, and your heart rate slightly elevated.
Include some mobility, breathing, low level aerobics, and some basic strength/calisthenics work.
If you follow these 10 Commandments, you will lose fat, and you will do it quickly.
Keep it simple.