Fat Loss Basics (Principles, Tactics, Mindsets)

Today, we are going to discuss some basic concepts and mindsets about fat loss.  The first thing to know is the formula of Conservation of Energy.

  • Energy in = Energy out

Energy can neither be created nor destroyed.  It can only be transformed from one form to another.

Applied to human body,

  • Energy in = thermal energy of foods
  • Energy out = all forms of energy used in metabolism, moving, breathing etc.

The formula:

  • When energy in=out, the weight remains constant.  That amount is the TDEE/maintenance calories.
  • When energy in>out, the weight increases in forms of glycogen/fat/muscle+ water.
  • When energy in<out, the weight decreases in forms of glycogen/fat/muscle+ water.


To lose weight, you have to:

  • decrease the energy intake
  • increase the energy expenditure
  • both

We tend to think that it means that

  • Energy in = How much we eat
  • Energy out = How much we move

So in order to succeed in losing weight, we should do more exercises and control the food intake.


But it sounds a bit over-simplified.  You may wonder: “If it is that easy, everybody should have lost weight successfully.”  Indeed, the actual situation is much more complicated.  For instance, what kinds of food to eat, when to eat, what kind of exercises, duration, when to do, sleep, hormone, genetics, stress, age etc.  All these factors are the variables affecting the formula.  So we shall not rely on just one formula.

We will discuss them in detail in future videos.


Fat Loss Principles

For now, let’s see some conclusive fat loss concepts:

  1. Fat loss is a long war.  1-2 days of cheating will not affect much.  Focus more on bigger picture.
  2. Obey Conservation of Energy, high fat foods are not necessarily bad, but high caloric intake is.
  3. Eat Healthy and punctual.  Less processed food and undigested/allergy food.
  4. The thermal energy of foods is not necessarily the energy intake to your body because digestion needs energy as well and each food is different.  Some are not digestible.
  5. Don’t need to know the exact amount of calories you intake/consumed.  Rather, better know the how much more/less. (Surplus/Deficit)
  6. It is easier to lose fat when body fat is higher.  It is harder to lose fat when the body fat is lower.
  7. Weight loss is not necessarily fat loss.   Water/glycogen/muscle may be included.  Vice versa.
  8. Cardio/HIIT are the common exercises for fat loss.
  9. Weight training helps to prevent fat gains.
  10. Hormone is crucial factor.   High sugar (insulin), high stress (cortisol) are bad for fat loss.  Growth hormone is good.
  11. Good quality sleep is important for body recovery and hormone regulations.
  12. Genetics is a big factor that you cannot control.  So just forget about it.
  13. Age matters.  It is easier for the younger to lose weight, but it doesn’t mean the elders cannot succeed.
  14. The brain is designed for survival and protect you from dangers, but not for happiness/slimness.  In order to lose weight, you have to fight against the brain.
  15. The body will adapt every moves you adopt.  For example, jogging will help in the beginnings, but its impact will fade throughout time.  Do not drill on just one respect.  Try different respects are better.


Fat Loss Strategy

When you understand these principles, you may start to devise your fat loss strategy.

One way to do is to record your daily routines in a notebook, including when to wake up, sleep, the sleeping hours, quality, what/when foods eaten, the volume, the daily amount of movement/exercise.  Don’t need to be precise.  When you have these data, it is much easier for you to analyze.  Apply the principle of progressive fat loss. Like

  • “Oh, I drink 5+ cans a week.  High sugar is bad so I should try to reduce 2 cans every week.”
  • “Oh, I eat so much junk food a week.  I should try to reduce the amount.”
  • “Oh, I have 4 nights not sleeping early.  Good sleep is very important, I should try to avoid late sleep.”
  • “Oh, I haven’t done any exercise at all.   I should try to arrange some times for exercises.”


Advised prioritize as follows:

  1. Healthy and calorie restricted diet
  2. Enough good sleep
  3. Move more, do some cardio/HIIT/weight training.  Many consider working out is the primary factor, but it is very hard to workout daily and working out doesn’t burn much calories as they think it should be.
  4. Try some fat loss diet/intermittent fasting/supplements


Fat Loss Mindsets

We will move to discuss the mindsets.  Pay attention to these:


#1 Determination and prioritization are needed for a successful fat loss.

“Everyone tries to lose weight, but not everyone actually wants to do it.”  The reasons are too weak that cannot help them make it through.  Like someone who just follows the trend will probably fail.  Someone who will not get big reward will probably fail.  Patience, discipline and motivation are needed.  Otherwise, they will just quit when it gets hard.


Then, how to stay highly motivated?  If being fat cause you large negative impacts like very low self-esteem, being bullied, health issues etc.  These are the real reasons.  No matter what reasons, you must turn your “want” to ‘desire‘.  A desperate desire provides you enough fuels for the journey.


Also, prioritize fat loss.  Don’t let other things hold you back.  Every time you have to choose between other things & fat loss, always choose fat loss.

  • “Go out for dinner?”, Nope, I have to eat healthy.
  • “Go out for party?”, Nope, I have to rest.
  • “Busy working job?”, I have to workout anyways.

That’s it, That is it!  Remember every choice you made are not forced, but voluntary.  Every single decision you made make you closer to your goal.


#2 Believe you can make it. (Growth Mindset)

If you think you born-fat, living/working environment making you fat and you try all methods but still didn’t work.  Then, you probably hold a “fixed mindset” towards fat loss.

Remember this: impossible is nothing.  Difficult but not impossible.  Do not give yourself any excuses.  As long as you spend time and efforts to learn, to practise, there’s always a way to make it through.  You don’t need to take huge steps.  Baby steps still count, and eventually turn into a giant result.


#3 Fat loss is a temporary journey while maintaining a good healthy body is a lifelong journey.

Any rapid fat loss methods are usually not friendly to the body.  Like extreme fat loss, insane training, infinity cutting calories, drugs, surgery etc.  Even if it succeeds, the results are not permanent.  Unless your goal is just a temporary fix, then any workable ways are just your preferences.

If your goal is to maintain a healthy body with good shape in a lifetime, then your life style should change accordingly.  Try to do it in a sustainable way that suits you.  Then it lasts.


Final words

Finally, let me a use a quote end this video (article):

“If [more] information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.”

True, only consistent actions are the answer.

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