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The Hierarchy of Weight (fat) Loss

#1 Create a caloric deficit

  • We want our body to cannibalize its own tissue (fat) for fuel because there is a fuel shortage in our diet (carbs and fats).


#2 Preserve Muscle

  • Provide enough protein so the body makes up for the caloric deficit by using stored fat as energy not muscle. We DO NOT want the body to cannibalize muscle.


#3 Send an “anabolic” signal to the body through exercise

  • This means weight/strength training, intense enough to tell the body that muscle is important and needs to be maintained.


#4 Enhance the metabolic effect

  • We use inefficient exercise that maintains muscle, conditions the body and burns calories.
  • This would be doing circuits of various exercises and short, incomplete rest periods. You may know it as HIIT.
  • This can keep the metabolism working overtime well into the next day. A very good thing.


#5 Recovery and rejuvenation

  • Low intensity movement – long walks (30-60 minutes), bodyweight flows designed to stretch, engage and help the body recover.


Creating a deficit

Eat what you think is “maintenance” for two weeks. If you don’t lose or gain weight, that’s roughly the calories you need to maintain your weight.

Now cut that number by 20%…..so, if 2,000 calories maintain your weight, you would slash it to 1,600.

How much protein?

Research shows .5 – 1gram per pound of bodyweight. I like the middle range of .75 -1g not only for retaining muscle, but for staying full longer.

150lb person x .75 = 112 grams of protein

120 grams x 4 calories per gram of protein = 480 calories

The other calories

Several studies have repeatedly demonstrated that if protein and calories are equated, there is no advantage in terms of fat loss results with any specific diet plan.

It doesn’t matter whether the rest of the calories come from fat, carbs, or any specific percentage split.

The best recommendation is to fill your plate up with 1-3 servings of fibrous vegetables and keep the carbs and fats as fillers.

Just stay below your estimated caloric amount.

Things like meal frequency – 5 small meals or 3 meals and a snack – is your preference.

When it comes to fillers (carbs/fats) the best strategy is the one you will stick to. It doesn’t matter if it’s low fat/high carb or low carb/high fat.

Fat loss overview

  • Create a caloric deficit
  • Maintain muscle by eating enough protein and lifting weights with the proper intensity 2-3 days per week.
  • If you have more time do inefficient exercise like circuit training.
  • Do as much therapeutic, low-intensity movement as possible which will aid in digestion, recovery and overall well-being.


Keep moving,

Coach Dom

At Breakthrough Fitness, we help busy people across Oviedo become STRONGER. HEALTHIER.

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