Fat loss can be immensely frustrating for a lot of individuals. They get self-obsessed, meticulously analyse tiny details, overcomplicate things to an excessive level - it all becomes too much for a lot of people, and what ensues is usually a 'screw it, I'll just bulk again; I need more mass anyway' mentality that usually drives you further away, never closer, to your original goals.
It doesn't have to be this way, however. Here are three, basic rules that no matter what level you're at, will work effectively for fat loss. They work because they're not only easy to follow, but also scientifically proven. Indeed, thermodynamics (physics talk, don't worry), state that results are inevitable if you adhere to these three rules.
1. Expend more calories in energy than you consume (more on that shortly - thermodynamics)
2. Train with weights 2-3 times per week.
3. Eat 1g of protein per lb of lean bodyweight.
That's it. It truly is that simple. Here's a sligh elaboration on each rule;
Expend more calories than you consume
How do you work this out? It varies dependant on metabolism and many other factors, but for the majority of individuals, this formula works unbelievably effectively as a starting point.
If you're an active person, multiply your bodyweight x 13 and this is your calorie goal each day to lose roughly 1lb of fat per week (i.e, an individual weighing 200lbs x 13 = 2,300 daily calorie total).
If you're relatively inactive and you're maybe desk-bound at work or in a similar scenario, multiply your bodyweight x 11 and this is your starting calorie goal (i.e, 200lbs x 11 = 2,100kcal per day).
If you're an individual with an unbelievably slow metabolism (I'd wager more just think they do rather than have one of these), then you may need to go as low as bodyweight x 9-10. However, I'd exercise caution to this: rarely does it produce superior results. It just means you're more likely to lose lean muscle tissue and drop in performance if this is carried out in the long-term, and actually harm your chances of fat loss rather than improve them. Just stick to the 11-13 rule unless you really do consider yourself a special exception (hint, 90% of you are NOT).
Train with weights 2-3 times per week
"Why with weights?", a few of you may have shouted out. The answer is simply this: weight training is the most efficient way of stimulating your metabolism to burn calories for days on end. I hate to use the term, but the "afterburn" from weight training is indeed very prevalent, and it's something that is metabolically demanding to your system; hence why we're suggesting it. If you want to lose fat more quickly, then use basic compound movements at the very least 2-3 times per week - you will reap the rewards in abudance.
Even if you're primarily focused on a sport that isn't predominantly centered around weight training, you should be asking yourself why you aren't using weights to enhance your performance in that given sport! The application of weights is universal: all top athletes in the world use some abbreviation of weight training to enhance their physical performance.
Eat 1gram of protein per lb of lean bodyweight
We all know - or at least have a basic idea of - the necessity and integral function that protein plays in an athletes diet. For fat loss, it's equally as important: it supports muscle tissue and prevents break down (which slows down the process of fat loss), and will keep your metabolism elevated. Add to this that protein requires more thermic energy simply to digest the nutrient as opposed to carbohydrates and fats, and you're on to a winner.
If you want to prolong fat loss, you better be sure as hell to at the very least eat 1gram per lb of lean muscle you're carrying.
Hopefully, I made this as least confusing as possible and you're now not as intimidated or overwhelmed at the thought of shedding a few lbs. Indeed, what are you waiting for? You should be starting already with such a basic guide that is guaranteed to be successful!