Kyle Cook, M.S.
Top 2 Methods to Lose Body Fat
Updated: Aug 22, 2022
Has this ever happened to you?
It's Saturday night. You're at a friends house for a dinner party, and so far everyone is having a good time. Everybody's having a drink and getting settled in with conversation and catching up with each other. Then out come the appetizers.
The first to speak up, "do those have gluten in them? I can't eat them if they have gluten because I read a thing online and I'm gluten free now. It's actually much healthier." Then another friend chimes in, "yeah well, I'm actually a vegetarian, which is healthier and better for you AND I care about animals."
More and more of this talk continues about who is eating healthier, who is trying to lose weight or get back in shape, and what foods they absolutely cannot have. All the while the food's getting cold.
Now if you're looking to change your body composition: lose body fat, gain muscle, etc - it can be pretty confusing on where to start diet wise. Everyone has an opinion, or knows someone who did "insert extreme diet/cleanse/detox here" and got amazing results.
You just WANT to know what works, right?
Thank goodness you're reading this blog because I'm going to break down how I help my personal clients go from confused about food to rockstars with a plan of action!
First, I'll say that I didn't make any of this up on my own. I've spent countless hours reading books, blogs, research papers, articles, watching webinars/seminars/youtube videos - and put it all together to pretty much help people form a strategy to improve/change their diet and the way they think about food that leads to sustainable long term results.
There is nothing more frustrating then putting in months of hard work and not getting the results you feel you've worked for. Ever starved yourself for 2 weeks, only to see you've actually gained a pound? It's enough to make anyone upset.
2 Months Before and After Train With Kyle Program:
Choose Your Method:
There's basically 2 methods to body composition change: tracking calories/macros & implementing healthy habits.
Tracking calories/macros is scientifically based on establishing your resting metabolic rate, and then eating slightly less then that. It only works if you're 90% accurate with your food measurements, as food labels and metabolic calculations have an inherent error built into them. Because of this, it can take a week or 2 to get it right and actually start seeing the pounds drop.
Healthy habits, like eating slowing, stopping when 80% full, and using portion sizes (without measuring) are a little more conceptual then tracking calories/macros. The idea is the same - you have a set amount of calories you burn each day, and in order to lose weight you need to eat slightly less than you burn. By using portion sizes, stopping eating when full (not stuffed) and other habits like this - you'll eat less throughout the day, which will put you in a calorie deficit, which will start to make you lose weight.
It's up to you to decide which method works for you. If you're a numbers guy/gal, maybe tracking will be fun and interesting. If numbers make your head spin, then using the palm portion size guide might be for you.
Once you've made your decision - tracking calories or healthy habits - it's time to start doing it. I'll break this up into 2 parts.
Find Your Target Use this equation to figure out the amount of calories you burn each day (this is a rough estimate, it may change):
[(your body weight in pounds) x (men:11/ women: 10)] = ______ resting metabolic rate(RMR)
(RMR) x (activity level: 0.15 low/ 0.30 moderate/ 0.45 high) = ______ daily activity calorie burn
(RMR) + (daily activity calorie burn) = ______ total calories burned per day
This number you just calculated is the target you're going to try and hit each day.
Now that you have the total calories you burn in a day, plug that number into whatever calorie tracker you're using (my clients use MyFitnessPal or LoseIt). At the start of the week, weight yourself and write it down. Log and track all the food and beverages you consume throughout the week for 7 full days. Try to stay at or below the target total calories. At the end of the 7 days, weigh yourself again.
You will weigh higher, lower or the same as the first weight in.
If you're higher (gained weight), check your food log. Did you stay at or below the target calories for all 7 days? If not, try again for another week. You may just not be in a consistent calorie deficit.
If you're the same, check your food log. Did you weigh and measure everything? Were you 100% (or close to it) with all the measurements you entered? Did you log everything? I mean everything? If you were as accurate as possible, decrease the target calories by 100 and log for another 7 days. Then repeat this step.
If you lost weight, CONGRATS! Continue to log for another 7 days, then weigh in and reassess your progress.
A deeper level of Tracking:
If you want to take this method a step further, take a look at the macronutrient split. The macronutrients (macros) are protein, carbs and fat. A great general macro split is 30% protein, 40% carb, and 30% fat (that should make up 100% of your calories). This macro split will help you feel full with each meal and throughout the day, and will help you recover from your workouts. Too little carbs (like 10-20%) and you'll feel sluggish, brain fog, and tired; possibly even under recovered and unable to push it in your workouts. Too much fat (40-50%) and it may be hard to get adequate protein and carbs AND stay under your target calories. Too much protein (40-50%), you start limiting the amount of fats and carbs you eat to stay under your target calories (although, a high protein diet is probably the least worrisome of the bunch).
Each macro has an important role in the body, and as such it is important to eat a balanced amount of each to properly fuel your body.
This method is a little looser, and because of that our "feedback loop" is going to be a little longer. I start by giving my clients 1 habit to work on for the next 2 weeks. I give them 3-4 to choose from, so they feel in control and can make the small steps forward. I'll lay out a few "groups" of habits that I let people choose from.
Eat 3-4 meals a day, no snacking
Eat slowly and stop when full
Feel hunger for 30-60 minutes before eating
Take a multi vitamin and fish oil every day
Drink 64 ounces of water everyday
Stop or reduce the number of caloric beverages you drink each day
Eat 1-2 palm size servings of protein at each meal
Eat 1-2 fist size servings of veggies at each meal
Limit your starch carbs to the time of day your most active (like right after a workout)
Start the week off by weighing yourself and writing that number down. Then choose 1 of the above habits. Make sure you are confident that you can do the habit everyday for the next 2 weeks. Many of these habits requires separate skills or other changes to be made in order to accomplish them, so feel free to break them down into smaller more manageable tasks. Now comes the tricky part: DO THE DANG THING.
Do the habit every day for the next 2 weeks, making sure to mark off or give yourself a check mark on the calendar each day you complete it. After 14 days, weigh in. Did it go up, down, or stay the same? Regardless of the number, take a look at your habit log. Did you do the habit all 14 days? If not, do the same habit for another week to dial it in. If you got all 14 days, AWESOME! Choose another habit and work in it in addition to the first habit you chose for the next 2 weeks. Continue to do this every 2 weeks, making notes on your weight, how you feel, how well you did with your healthy habits, and perhaps other habits you might like to try.
I know this can be alot to take in for some, but remember you don't have to be alone in this.
While both of these methods will lead to results, everybody eventually "graduates" to using healthy habits, primarily for the fact that most people don't want to track and weigh food for the rest of their life.
It should also be noted that both methods have upsides and downsides, far to many to list and discuss in detail in this blog post. That's the benefit of having an online personal trainer, who can help guide you and keep you accountable and informed.
I hate seeing clients and other people try so hard to reach their fitness and wellness goals, only to be left frustrated and unsatisfied with the results, banging their head against the wall. I encourage you to try the above methods, and make changes every 1-2 weeks to the habits you're working on or the calories your tracking.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. To achieve something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done.
Let's get you back on track.
Kyle Cook M.S.