11 Fat Loss Goals Ranked Easiest to Hardest
Look ‒ we know that the start of the new year marks the start of endless weight loss and fat loss contests. We’ve all been there ‒ looking back at a year and thinking, how much progress have I made towards my goals? In this Supplement Xpress fat loss guide, we are going to break down the most common fat loss goals and rank them from easiest to hardest to help you kick the habit of setting unobtainable or unrealistic goals.
How Does Fat Loss Work?
Before we break down and rank fat loss goals from easiest to hardest, it’s important to understand how fat loss works.
Fat is a stored source of energy. Like carbohydrates and protein, fats are an essential macronutrient and a critical component to your diet. In other words, you need to have fat in your diet, but when you consume too much fat (or over consume calories) your body can store this excess intake as fat.
The basic strategy when trying to lose fat is to either teach your body to better utilize stored fat (this is what the ketogenic diet does) or, reduce fat consumption. In both cases, your end goal is to have your body work differently.
Typically, your body will use glycogen as fuel. Sourced from carbohydrates, glycogen fuels your muscles and brain. When taught properly, your body can use stored fats as fuel. When you are exercising at different intensities, and utilizing principles of dieting, your body can burn fats for fuel ‒ thereby reducing your overall storage of fat.
Now that we have a basic understanding for how fat loss works, we can better appreciate our fat loss goals ranked easiest to hardest.
Fat Loss Goals Ranked Easiest to Hardest
→ Easy Difficulty
Maintain Caloric Deficit of 10%
Remember, our goal when trying to achieve fat loss is to reduce the stored fats in our bodies. Maintaining a caloric deficit of 10% means we are intentionally going to eat less food.
If the average person needs to consume around 2000 calories a day. A 10% decrease in overall calories would mean you should eat 1800 calories a day. On the surface, this may not seem like a big difference, but over the course of a week, this is 1400 fewer calories ‒ which will contribute to your fat loss goals.
Use Inter-set Cardio Accelerations
Training is just as important as dieting. One of the easiest ways to burn more calories is to increase the intensity of your workouts. Depending on your skill level in the gym, doing some inter-set cardio accelerations can help to increase your overall workout intensity. Here are a few examples of inter-set cardio accelerations:
- skipping for 30 seconds after every strength set,
- Incline walking during interset rest times,
- 4-6 light, box jumps after a strength set
Consistently Measure Progress
Lots of people make progress but only use a mirror or a scale to measure success. When you start weight training and dieting, chances are your weight loss will come quickly ‒ followed by a plateau in weight loss due to an increase in muscle density.
The most simple way to measure progress is to do a Hip-Waist ratio. There are much more accurate ways to measure progress, but a hip-waist ratio is quick and only requires one piece of equipment. For more information on how to calculate and understand a hip-waist ratio, click this link.
Supplements are an easy way to influence your body into fat loss. Supplements like L-Carnitine, Caffeine, and CLA (to name a few) can help oxidize fat stores, increase fat metabolism, and even impair fat absorption. For more information, we’d recommend chatting with one of our supplement coaches.
Supplements are a great way to accelerate progress and can even help to keep you more motivated to success.
→ Medium Difficulty
Eat More Fruit and Vegetables (Like, A lot more)
Eating fruit and vegetables isn’t just about eating foods that are good for you. Fruit and vegetables help with fat loss because they are high in fiber (which helps you feel full), low in calories, and moderately high in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Eating more fruit and vegetables will also keep your body hydrated and energized. Try consuming 4-5 servings of each ‒ fruits and vegetables (we’d recommend sticking to cruciferous vegetables and berries as your primary go-to’s).
Prep Your Meals
Bodybuilders do this for a reason. Prepping your meals means you will provide your body with a consistent amount of fuel (calories) throughout the day, but more importantly, you will give your body a consistent amount of each macronutrient.
Consistency helps your body to use the same amount of calories throughout the day ‒ which is especially important if you are trying to maintain the easy fat loss goal of a 10% calorie reduction.
You could even get fancy and structure your meals around your workouts ‒ eating more carbs and fats prior to a workout, and more protein following a workout.
Get More Sleep (7+ hours)
Sleep is the unsung hero of fat loss. Research shows that individuals who get less sleep are more prone to weight gain (likely due to hormonal imbalances). Getting 7 or more hours of sleep will help you with fat loss because your body will be more receptive to workouts, your metabolism will function better ‒ and heck, who doesn't like a good night's sleep.
Actively Stay Hydrated
The age-old idea of drinking 1 gallon of water a day is true ‒ but you also need to account for diuretics. Some supplements, like caffeine, can act as a diuretic. In other words, diuretics can dehydrate your body by forcing you to urinate.
If you are using supplements like caffeine to help with weight loss, ensure you are drinking more water or eating more water-rich foods like fruit and vegetables. Watermelon is a favorite in the strength world due to its hydration, low calories, and good L-Citrulline content (a helpful supplement for strength training and recovery).
→ Hard Difficulty
Skip Saturated Fats
Saturated fats are found in foods like bacon, butter, processed meats, baked goods and other fatty foods. Some saturated fat is essential in your diet, but overconsumption of foods like burgers, sausages, and butter can lead to very high caloric intake.
These high-fat foods are also pro-inflammatory ‒ meaning they can lead to inflammation in your joints and muscles, making it more difficult to recover from a workout. We’d suggest sourcing the majority of your fat intake from low-fat meats like wild meats, fish, chicken, legumes and some nuts.
Eliminate Salt and Sugar
As with saturated fats, some salt and sugar are essential in your diet but the majority can be eliminated. Reducing or eliminating your intake of foods like processed meats, cured meats, baked goods, chips, and candy will help reduce your intake of calories while also promoting a healthier metabolism. When it comes to fat loss, the only calories you want to intake are ones that you can actively utilize during a workout.
Follow a Progressive Strength Routine
This one is a tricky one ‒ but it’s also a very common mistake that people make. Progressive strength routines help to ensure you are challenging yourself while staying out of injury territory.
Just as you prep your meals and calculate your calories, you need to prep your workouts and calculate your weights. Find a trainer that understands your long-term goals and can help you achieve them without bombarding you with 7 workouts a week.
Setting Up A Plan
Now that you have a good understanding of fat loss goals and see the ranging difficulty in goals ‒ our suggestion is to start with the easy ones. Find success in achieving the little things. Check off some easy goals and make progress towards fat loss that isn't short-lived. As you gain more confidence and develop a routine, start to look into more difficult goals and think about hiring a coach to help you along the way.
One of the best ways to kick start your goals is to start off with the right products that motivate you to succeed and help you see progress faster.