Weight loss alone should never be your goal. Fat loss should be your goal. This can be demonstrated from the numbers. If you have 25% body fat then the weight you want to lose should come out of that 25% of body fat and not from the 75% of lean body mass. If you lose weight and most of the weight comes from your lean body mass you have not done yourself any favors.
Maximum Fat Loss
The fastest way to lose fat is to greatly reduce your carbohydrates and fat intake. Protein should never be reduced. For most people protein should be increased.
Macros for Fat Loss
There is a pretty simple set of macros for maximum body fat loss.
- Protein at 1 gram per lb of goal weight.
- Carbs at less than 30 grams net.
- Fat at less than half the grams of protein.
I made a calculator for maximum fat loss. The calculator estimates your current body fat and asks you to say what percentage body fat you want to reach.
The recommended daily protein minimums are pretty low. I suggest much more. If you have normal kidney function that is no problem.
You need enough protein in your diet to replace the protein your body will eat up during the diet. You also need some for gluconeogenesis. Since you will be eating at a caloric deficit any extra protein won’t be a problem – it won’t turn into chocolate cake.
Protein has essential nutrients. Eating 3 grams of Leucine (found in about 30g of protein) is a good goal to hit with every protein meal. That’s around 5 ozs of skinless chicken breast.
Eat the carbs as green leafy veggies. Broccoli is a great choice for micronutrients. You don’t like the taste? Get over it. It’s good for you. And you will eventually grow to like the taste.
If you want to lose fat faster, eat less fat. If you are losing too quickly, eat more fat. The fat you eat doesn’t come off your body. The fat you don’t eat in your diet comes off your body. Any fat you eat is stored on your body very efficiently. Fat has few essential nutrients.
Even a low fat diet is still relatively high fat. The fat is just coming off your body. You can’t stay on a low fat diet forever. You have to increase your fat over time as you reach your goals.
It’s a good idea to take a couple of fish oil capsules every day to get more of the good fats.
Studies on this Diet
This is also known as a variant on the Protein Sparing Modified Fast. It is well studied and effective. The PSMF is often done at very low (20g) of fat.