The complete guide to losing fat & getting lean Part 1: The Science of Fat Loss!

So a few people have mentioned that they haven’t had a chance to watch my complete guide to nutrition for losing fat videos as they do most of their interwebs reading during work in stealth mode…

so I’ve decided to do a nice easy write up on them so you’ve now got a choice of video/sound or written word

Here’s the video, or you can read the written version just below the video :slight_smile:

PS - my apologies ahead of time if any of it comes across pretentious in anyway (implying that you don’t understand this stuff yet) I actually wrote this as an article to place on my blog (which I won’t link here) as a beginners introduction to fat loss, so I’ve just copy & pasted the whole thing :slight_smile:

Here’s the written article covering the part 1 video, I’ll do a write up for each video every weekend :slight_smile:

Low carb, low fat, low sugar, paleo, fasting, juicing…

Confusing as hell right?

Which diet is the “right” one & what should you be doing?

There’s tons of information on the internet & it all seems to contradict each other… it’s a mind-field of confusion!

Here’s the deal!

If you want to lose fat & get lean, you HAVE to create an imbalance between the calories you consume (eat/drink) and the calories you expend (through movement, activity & basically existing)

You have to create what’s called a “Calorie deficit”.

Forget the green tea, the 6 smalls meals per day, the low fat diets, the no carbs after 6pm chatter.

All of that stuff is pure hyperbole & BS purposely designed to keep you confused, out of shape & in a vicious cycle of buying product after product, never reaching your goals & basically just to use you as a permanent cash cow & milk you for as much money as possible, for as long as possible… which sucks!

The good news is fat loss is actually very simple & straight forward, the bad news is that nobody is telling the public the truth :slightly_frowning_face:

Let me explain…

Do you know what a Calorie is?

Chances are you’ve heard the word ‘calorie’ millions of times, but you don’t really know what a calorie actually is.

A calorie is a man-made, fictional concept.

It doesn’t exist in the real, physical world, you can’t hold, touch, see or taste a calorie.

It’s simply a man made, fictional unit of measurement, just like a mile, an inch or a centimeter.

Let’s think of a long winding road that goes on for say, 10 miles…

The road is real, it’s a physical thing, but the miles are just a concept.

The miles are just fictional unit of measurement that we’ve created to measure the length of the road, the miles don’t exist in the physical world, they’re imaginary.

Now the road might be good in certain places & worse in other areas. It might travel through good neighborhoods & bad neighborhoods, it might have areas with rough pot-holes & areas with a nice smooth surface.

The point is it’s the road that’s good or bad, not the miles, because the miles don’t actually exist.

There are no good miles & no bad miles, just good parts & bad parts of the road.

Calories are exactly the same, there are no good calories & no bad calories, because they don’t exist.

We just us the fictional concept of calories to measure the amount of ENERGY in the food/s we consume (eat/drink).

“But not all calories are created equal”

The above sentence is a perfect example of someone who either, 1 – doesn’t know what they’re talking about or 2, is purposely trying to confuse you in order to take your money un-ethically.

Calories aren’t created at all, because they don’t exist in the real physical world… still with me? Good :slightly_smiling_face:

To get all sciencey on you for a moment, a calorie (actually called a kilocalorie) is the amount of energy required to heat one gram of water by 1 °C

Ok so let’s move on from calories & talk about food for a second, as that’s where we get all of our calories from.

We’ve got 3 main food types or rather macro-nutrients
(macro-nutrients are the big food types, while micro-nutrients are the microscopic vitamins & minerals)

1- Protein
2 – Carbohyrdates
& 3 – Fats

(Technically Alcohol is also a macro-nutient)

Every time you eat or drink food you’re going to be consuming at least one or more of the 3 main macro-nutrients above & every time you do, you’ll also be consuming the energy that’s held within those foods, which we call calories.

(For example, if you ate 100 grams of peanut butter, you’d be consuming a mix of fats, protein & a small amount of carbs.)

Back to calories for a moment.

For every 1 gram (1g) of Protein you consume, you get 4 calories.

For every 1 gram (1g) of Carbs you consume, you also get 4 calories.

Fats are higher, for every 1g of Fat you’re getting a whopping 9 calories!

(which is why Fats have had a bad reputation over the past few decades, because they’re higher in calories. There’s nothing wrong with fats, actually they’re absolutely essential for good health, which we’ll talk more about later, but because they have a high calorie content, when you eat a high fat diet, you’re probably consuming a high calorie diet by default)

Protein 1g – 4 calories
Carbs 1g – 4 calories
Fats 1g – 9 calories

(Oh yeah, Like I said, alcohol is also ‘technically’ a macro-nutrient & has 7 calories per 1g)

You don’t need to remember those numbers, just know that every time you eat food, you’re also consuming the energy (calories) contained within those foods.

Got it? Good!

Stay with me… you’re well on your way to becoming the ‘Neo’ of nutrition :slightly_smiling_face:

So lets talk about some of the most popular SELLING diets in the marketplace

1 – Low carb:

So we know there’s 4 calories for every 1g of carb, so when we eliminate most or all of the carbs from our diet, we’re also by default removing all of most of the calories that would have come along with those carbs.

So on the back-end of a low carb diet, you’re actually consuming less overall calories.

2 – Low fat:

There’s 9 calories for every 1g of fat remember, so guess what happens when we eliminate those fats from our diet? Yep… we’ve also eliminated the calories that would have come along with the fats.

Again, on the back-end = less overall calories

3 – Low/No sugar:

For the sake of this article, when I say sugar I mean junk food, treats, candy, ice-cream, donuts, cookies etc (what the most people generally think of when they hear the word sugar).

So, if those foods are usually a common part of your daily diet & you now decide to remove or limit them, guess what happens on the back-end? Yep, you’ve removed the calories that would have come along with them.

Again, less overall calories

Starting to see a trend yet?

4 – Paleo:

I’m not going to get into a rant on this ridiculous diet concept right now, I’ll save that for another time.

The basic concept is to eliminate processed foods.

By now you know what happens if you remove foods from your diet that you usually eat… you eat less overall calories.

5 – Fasting:

Fasting is pretty popular right now, so lets talk about the most popular one currently out there, the 5:2 diet.

The 5:2 diet is where you eat for 5 days & fast for 2 days.

If you fast for 2 days, you’re removing 2 days worth of food from your normal intake & thus removing all of the calories that you’d usually be eating over those 2 days = less overall calories.

6 – Juicing:

Quite simply, you’re removing a ton of food from your regular intake & replacing it with veg &/or fruit juice.

WAAAY less food = WAAAY less calories.

As you can see for yourself, every single one of the diets listed above do the EXACT same thing:

They get you to consume less overall calories.

The point is, in order to lose fat (or any kind of weight) you have to create a “Calorie deficit”
There’s absolutely no way around it, it’s called the law of thermogenesis & it applies to every single human being on the planet.

Unfortunately there’s no hack around it (well expect for liposuction, or drugs), but there are thousands of people who will take advantage of your confusion & sell you their BS diet plans/books because they know that you’ll pay for a magic ‘secret’ or that ‘one weird trick’ that simply doesn’t exist.

^^This stuff is BS^^

So to repeat the start of this article,
If you want to lose fat & get lean, you HAVE to create an imbalance between the calories you consume (eat/drink) and the calories you expend.

You have to create what’s called a “Calorie deficit”.

^^You have to tip the scale to change your weight^^

Congrats, you’re no longer a white belt in the wild world of fat loss!

You now know more about fat loss that 99% of the worlds population, and we’re only just getting started…

But you’re not quite a black belt just yet… stick with me & I’ll make you a fat loss Jedi master! :slightly_smiling_face:

Ready for the next step? Yay, good to hear!

In Part 2, we’ll break down exactly how many calories your body uses & how many calories you need to consume to create that all important calorie deficit, so you can start losing weight, getting leaner, looking great & feeling awsome!

Here’s Part 2 - The complete guide to losing fat & getting lean Part 2: The Math of Fat Loss!


Good stuff @maxnas, thanks for this

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Thanks, hopefully a few people who need to know this stuff will see this & become immune to the millions of scammers who love to take advantage of their confusion. That’s my whole motivation

Just got to reading this and I really like the style! Super informative and really well written; can’t wait for part 2!

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Thermogenesis. Science. Math. Good.

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I knew everything in that article but was still a great read.

I’ll share with my MvF football team as I’m sure some will benefit from the read.

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Thanks mate, hope it wasnt patronizing to this crowd, i wrote it for my blog which i direct friends, family, colleagues etc to for basic begginger stuff but thought it might have some value to a few guys here :blush:

This is a great piece, looking forwards to reading part 2

@maxnas question for you;

Im finishing up a month of no carbs basically because im an impatient bastard and want to get the first 5kg off asap without sacrificing too much of the stuff i like. As you say, no carbs equals no calories from carbs equals deficit, without having to pull the skin of my chicken or cut the fat off my stake. I like chicken skin and marbled steak 1000% more than bread and chips etc. Anyway i dont miss the carbs at all but find that by the end of week im pretty low on strength, so i will incorporate carbs in to my diet for one day. Haha, ok who am i kidding, i pig out for lunch and dinner on anything i feel like, pizza, burgers, chips etc. Question is: in your travels do you know if this one day of carbs will have any detrimental effect on my systems propensity to create glycogen from fats/protiens? Ie will it keep me in that pre-keto haze? I dont mind too much as i plan on only continuing this diet plan for the short term. But i may look at continuing for longer if it continues to give me good results.

Sounds like you’re almost jumping in & then back out of ketosis, not fully allowing your body to fully adapt to either side of the fence (hence the low energy), it takes a while to get into ketosis & it seems like your carb day is blocking it before it kicks in,

now if you were in ketosis, one day off shouldn’t knock you out of ketosis (theorietically), but if you we’re never there in the first place you’ll just stay in that hazy pre-ketosis phase

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Looking forward to part 2 - good stuff

Hmmm, that was my thoughts. Ive averaged about 250g of carbs each of those days. I’ve only been at it 2 weeks so far.

Thanks mate.

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This was so informative, thanks for taking the time to make this. It has boosted my willpower to push on. I’ve shared it around. Straight to the point and no buzzwords, great work.

Here’s part 2 :slight_smile:

The complete guide to losing fat & getting lean Part 2: The Math of Fat Loss!

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Just discovered your vids @maxnas. Really interesting. (Being part of the civilized new world I also find the accent entertaining. Reminds me of fav comedian Danny Bhoy.). Gonna drop my current low carb diet (which I only went on as an attention focusing gimmick) and give your approach a try. Tweeted the link on my Twitter so others can enjoy. Thanks for posting 'em.

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As i have said elsewhere on these forums (when i discovered these guides) last week, I found these guides really useful and they have totally focused my motivation.

However, (my daily target is 2100cals) i am using MyFitnessPal App to log my food and am filling in as much nutrient info as possible (this app is pretty awesome as you can just scan the bar code and it usually has all the info), the potential issue is that the App suggests i should be at 40% for carb and Fat and 20% protein. So far my carb has been about right but the Fat is usually around the 50% with protein around 10%.

My question is this, as i am keeping to the 2100 cal (usually a bit less and then exercise is taking more off) is the fact that the Fat content is too high going to be detrimental to the low calories.

F.Y.I. My maintain calories (BMR?) is 3600 so i am targeting 3lb weight loss a week with taking 1500 off that a day in order to achieve the 10500cals i need to reduce a week, based on your guide.

Hi @Shorey

I think you need to start with Protein and work from there, I tend to aim for my protein goal and let the others take care of themselves within my calorie allowance.
10% of 2100 cals is only 52g of Protein, @maxnas suggests like most guides that you want around 1g per lb of lean body mass, so unless you only weigh 50kg you’re low there.
If you’re maintenance is 3600 then you are correct that 2100 is theoretically the amount you want to aim for for 3lb a week loss, personally 1500 cals seems like quite a drop, but stick with it for a week or 2 and see how you feel things are progressing, the key to tracking is being prepared to change as you learn through experience.

PS I never trust the MyFitnessPal suggestions, it’s great for tracking but stick with you’re own figures rather than their suggestions, I think you might have miss read them though, the standard ratio on there is usually 40% Carbs, 40% Protein and 20% Fat so it looks like you’ve mixed up Protein and Fat to me.


Really don’t even worry about MFP recommendations… just keep an eye on the total that you know you’re shooting for (calories & protein intakes)

Nah, not at all… its the overall deficit that does the trick, plus the fact that we need fats in our diet… I’d recommend either getting about 20-25% of your overall calories from fats, but more is perfectly fine if you prefer… or just let them fall into place (like myself) and just focus on hitting your overall calorie & protein goals

maintenance = TDEE (total daily energy expenditure)

The BMR is how many calories your body uses at rest, eg in a coma… so as functioning humans, we don’t need to worry about the BMR

those calculations look about right, 2100.

Although, I expect that such a large drop of -1500 calories could take it’s toll on you mentally & physically.

By all means trial & test it out, but I’d recommend shooting for about -1000 with the diet alone & then using exercise/activity to take it a bit further.

But up to you, give your preferred option a trial :slight_smile:

My mistake, I could have sworn it said 40 for both Carb and Fat, It actually says 50% Carb, 30% Fat and 20% Protein.

I wasn’t aware of the Protein being the target to aim for. so I will take more notice of that in future.

Many thanks for your useful reply.

I thought that would be the case with the Fat % but just wanted it re-enforced that i was doing the right thing.

I take yours and @Ruary point re the drop of 1500 per day is alot. But my thinking is that i shouldn’t be anywhere near that amount (3500) to start with and as I am trying to see this as a lifestyle change and NOT A DIET, then I want to set out a target that i can achieve (of 2100 cals) so that when i finally do get to my ideal weight i can comfortably control my intake up to the magic 2500 per day and with the exercise continuing i should be able to maintain that weight rather than being the yoyo that i have in the past.

Cheers for the reply buddy.

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