Before I get started I have a confession to make about some of the things that may or may not have been eaten last night at our first annual pumpkin cahving pahty.  Rumor has it that people brought pies in both the form of apple and pizza as well as small frosted baked dough patties, otherwise known as cookies.

And only being October, I know that this is only the beginning of the holiday season where the average American will gain between 3 and 7 pounds.  Per year, that same statistic will only gain between 5 and 10 pounds.  That means that 75% of their yearly weight gain will happen between November and January.  Scary right?

Halloween isn’t so bad since I don’t have a sweet tooth but truth be told I do have a weakness for anything pumpkin flavored.  Coffees, breads, icecream, and protein powder (they should totally make this).  Speaking of pumpkin, check out my tiki pumpkin.  I call him Chuck.

Michael Strahan?

Quite artistic, huh?  Anyways, it was a moment of weakness (someone spiked the mulled cider) and I will not let it deter me from my ultimate goal of lifelong health and awesomeness.

Truth is that 95% of the time my diet reflects my goals:

  1. health
  2. strength (for my upcoming powerlifting meet in Dec.)

For the most part, whether it is for strength, weight gain, fat loss, or survival there are always rules to abide by when you are modifying your diet.  The BIGGEST mistake people make when trying to decrease body fat is not following these rules.

To prevent you from making the mistakes, I am going to share the first three steps I take clients through on a fat loss diet.

1. Make sure this is what you really want.

No negotiations here.

Don’t waste my time or yours if you want to lose fat but don’t want to do anything about it.  You have to commit yourself wholeheartedly.  It is simple albeit a difficult road ahead.  It is possible and you can do it.

2. Know what the f%$& your eating that got you this way.

Chances are that you are still eating the wrong way and that is a hyooge problem.  If you don’t change what you have been doing to get you to this point and expect something different to magically happen then I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

So now it is time to make a little change.  To start, sit down and figure out what your diet is like now and what you need to do to change it.

Write out what you eat for a few days and figure out the calories and nutrient breakdown.  And don’t give me any bullshit that it is too hard and you don’t know how many calories is in your food.  Hard?  Weightloss is hard and if you can’t do this then don’t read any further.  For the rest of you here is how to do it:

  1. Write out your diet.
  2. Add up the nutrients and calories. (check out
  3. Realize that your probably getting too many carbs and not enough good fat and protein.
  4. Realize that I am right about everything.  Period.

Once you do this you can start to figure out what you are getting too much of and what you are not getting enough of.  Chances are, like most Americans, you are getting WAY too many calories, not enough protein, and too many carbs.  And to make matters worse, you thought you were on a fat-loss diet.

3. Figure out a diet that will get you where you want to be.  (It’s NOT rocket science)

To calculate your caloric needs as well as nutrient needs, here is a simple formula to follow.

  1. Multiply your bodyweight in pounds by 11 and 13 (these are your high and low target calories each day.)
  2. Grams of protein/day = your bodyweight (NON-NEGOTIABLE!)
  3. Carbs = 1/2 your bodyweight or less (75% of those post-workout and 1/2 of that number on days you don’t work out)
  4. Fat = 1/2 your bodyweight (ONLY healthy fats)
  5. High carb cheat day (once every 2 weeks)

To figure out your per-meal breakdown:

  1. Divide your total calories by the amount of meals you eat daily
  2. Divide your protein by your total meals.
  3. Remember that 75% of your carbs are to be eaten post workout.  Divide the rest between your other meals.
  4. Do not consume too much (if any) fat pre or post workout.  Divide between your other meals.
  5. Train hard on your cheat day and triple if not quadruple your carb intake.  Have something you miss then get back on track in the morning.

That’s pretty much it since I don’t want to confuse the hell out of you but you can ask questions below.


Written by Steve