A lot of people want to lose body fat as fast as possible, and the question is always asked: How?
The answer is simple. Don’t. You don’t want to lose body fat as fast as possible.
For a visual, draw a straight line on a piece of paper. On the far left is losing fat as fast as possible. On the right is gaining weight. Somewhere in the middle is the sweet spot, where you want to be. But, you have to know going in that in that sweet spot, body weight may not change much. Ideally, you are adding muscle and losing fat. This is the optimal way to improve your health. It may not always feel that way, because the scale may not move much. But, for longevity and burning the most fat for life, the middle is the place to be.
For those on the right side of that sweet spot, we may need to cut some calories and increase activity. But not in as drastic a way as many think. We don’t want to shift those people clear to the left. What tends to happen is they do this, lose fat and muscle and thus hurt their ability to burn more fat later. Studies exist that show calorie restriction only leads to losing as much muscle as fat, even more when too much “cardio” is thrown on top. One of the best ways to increase metabolic basal rate (how many calories you burn) is simply adding muscle. We don’t want to lose what we already have. Your body has survival mechanisms that make it difficult to not lose muscle with the fat. It does not understand insecurities and appearances. It adapts to perform or survive. So, we have to trick it into burning the fat without losing the muscle.
For those to the left of the sweet spot, moving even further to the left is a bad idea for very much the same reasons as above.
So yeah, we can have you not eat for a month and crush you with hours of working out every day and you will burn a ton of body fat quickly. But, you will not be healthier. The key is identifying where you are on that straight line, and then figure out how to move you closer to the sweet spot. For some, it is small diet choices. For others, it is simply consistent, smart movement. For a lot of us, it is a little of A, a little of B. But we don’t want to flirt with the extremes on either end.