The 2020 Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss that works

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Lose weight without needing pills, shakes or other supplements.

 

Make your own perfect weight loss meal plan in less than 60 minutes

If you’re looking for the fastest way to lose weight then you absolutely need to read this article .

 

I’m going to show you how to create an easy to follow fat loss plan that helps you lose weight:

 

  • easily

  • consistently

  • eating only foods you love

  • with a meal plan that fits your lifestyle and routine

  • without massive weight gain afterwards

 

What’s in this guide

Tom Blackman in arms crossed pose

My name’s Tom Blackman, I’ve been a nutritionist for over 10 years, my specialism is in fat loss, I’m the author of the book “Target Lean – How to get the body you want eating foods you like”

I’ve worked with private clients for over 10 years and I’ve run a group weight loss program called Target Lean for over 3 years.

Target Lean Book - fat loss meal plan guide

I started the program because I was tired of seeing the same misleading and sometimes harmful advice being given out. Always by people who really have no understanding or knowledge of how fat loss really works and zero idea how to keep fat off for the long term.

These ‘experts in weight loss’ were anything but what they stated. 

 

Often not qualified, and mostly trying to sell some extra supplements on the side that grew their wallets and the only thing that lost weight was the bank accounts of their clients.

Sure there were successes, some people, weird people, love eating next to nothing, cutting out all their favourite foods and weeing on little sticks to prove they are in ketosis.  Some people like the fact that the diet hurts them and they suffer.  After all, they need punishing for their sins against their body don’t they?

I’ve found that most people aren’t like this.  Most people who want to lose weight really struggle with their eating habits, have a desire to lose weight and eat healthily but just don’t know where to start. 

As a result  they get sucked in by diet scams and con artists promising them fabulous weight loss results in a short space of time.  

If this is you, then you NEED to read this article.  After reading you’ll have a good idea of why you haven’t lost weight in the past, why you keep rebounding after a diet and how to fix those issues once and for all.

Most importantly you’ll have your own personalised diet plan for fat loss and I’m going to give you this for free!  

That’s right I don’t want your money for this information because by knowing the techniques I’m about to teach you, you’ll never get sucked into a diet scam again and those people selling them will slowly find they are losing customers and hopefully go out of business.

My promise to my weight loss clients is that they can: 

 

‘Get the body they want eating foods they like’

This is 100% possible for every person.  

You don’t need a diet that fits your blood type, body type, star sign or birth animal.  You just need to apply the techniques I’m about to detail below and you can lose weight consistently and safely.  Better still, you’ll keep it off for the long term.

Weight loss vs Fat Loss - what’s the difference and why it matters

First things first, let’s make sure that you understand the difference between weight loss and fat loss.  Although the terms are used interchangeably by both the general public and fitness professionals they have very different meanings.  

It’s important to know the difference because people trying to con you will always talk about ‘weight loss’ being the goal and the most important thing to focus on. Weekly weigh-ins, rapid drops on the scales as a signal of success and more importantly that’s the thing they throw at you in their marketing.

“Hey look at Susan, she lost 24 kilos on the Super Eat Dust Plan”

 

cue photo of Susan before, all fat and frumpy next to the after pic, where it looks like she’s been on holiday and had a wardrobe makeover as well as teeth whitening.  

If you look hard enough though the smile starts to look forced after a while.  Because Susan has literally killed herself to lose that weight and is now thinking how she’s going to maintain that now the program is finished.  Secretly she can’t wait to get face first into a tray of chocolate and ice cream, all things she was denied on the diet.

Weight loss

Weight on the scales is a measure of your body mass.  Meaning how much space you occupy in the universe.  Your weight is composed of bone, tendons, organs, blood, water, the food in your intestine, muscle and of course body fat.

 

With so many variables in this mix your weight can fluctuate quite a bit.  If you are dehydrated then your weight will go down as you lose body water.  If you are stressed then your body can produce increased cortisol which can lead to water retention.  Eating more salt than normal can cause water retention. If you are someone that exercises a lot you’ll hold more carbohydrates in your muscles in the form of glycogen which can retain up to 3 times its weight in water.

If you are a woman then you may have a worse time of it for weight fluctuations as around your period your elevated progesterone and estrogen can play havoc with bloating and water retention.

 

Therefore measuring your weight on the scales is not an decisive factor in your fat loss goals.  I’m presuming that if you are reading this you consider yourself overweight and wish to know how to lose body fat to drop weight.

Weight fluctuations can happen over the course of the day and the week.  This means that your weekly weigh in at your Slimming Watchers is pretty pointless.  It’s just a measure of your body mass at that point in the week.

graph showing weight loss over time
Weight loss client data over 1 year

Despite all these points, which I regularly discuss with clients, we still look at the scales as a point of reference.  I do as well, however it’s very important to understand that weight is just one in a whole collection of factors that can give an indication of your progress.  I regularly have clients that have very little fluctuation in weight but drop 2-3 dress sizes due to gaining more muscle and improving their body shape during their coaching.

Fat Loss

While weight loss (or gain) can be due to a number of factors and can fluctuate rapidly, fat loss can only be from one cause.

 

A calorie deficit over a sustained period.

 

You may have heard the term calorie deficit before, it gets shouted all the time by fitness professionals trying to sound like experts.

 

A calorie deficit is where you consume less calories from food and drink than you expend in the day from moving around.  It’s essentially this equation

Calories In < Calories Out = Fat loss

The opposite of course would be 

Calories In > Calories Out = Fat Gain

I want to be very clear here.  There are people on the internet and in your real life who will swear blind that calories are irrelevant and you can lose body fat from eating certain foods, taking certain supplements or enhancing your chakra with their special powders.

Dr Shredz - from "Target Lean" the diet guru that will say literally ANYTHING to sell you his diet

Often they will call it ‘Bio hacking’ or ‘tricking your body’ and they will be VERY convincing.  These people should be given a wide berth, they will always end up trying to sell you something which is the new Secret Method of losing weight fast. 

It’s all complete rubbish.   If you don’t believe me feel free to buy all their stuff, then convince yourself it didn’t work because you didn’t want it enough, your willpower is awful, your metabolism is broken or anything else they and others tell you is wrong with you.  

When you’ve run out of money, come back here and read the next paragraph

You can lose weight using ONLY food. You don't need weight loss pills, slimming shakes or special supplements.

By now you’ll know that weight loss is not the same as fat loss.  To improve your body you want to lose body fat.  This in turn will give you some weight loss.

To lose body fat you’ll need to create a calorie deficit.  

This is the crucial starting point.  Of the 95% of people that fail on their diets a large proportion of them have no idea how many calories they need to be eating to lose body fat and therefore weight.

Let’s fix that right now

Calorie calculator
Click here to use my calorie calculator - opens in new window

Use my Calorie Calculator to work out your fat loss calories

Click on this link – BKM Calorie Calculator – it’s my free calorie calculator and will give you an instant guide to your calorie needs for fat loss.  It will also give you a suggestion of the macro splits – Protein, Carbs and Fat – that you could eat every day to hit that target.

The CALORIE system - my 7 step proven method for effective fat loss

The CALORIE system infographic

I promised I would show you how to lose weight without the need for pills or shakes.

The C.A.L.O.R.I.E system is a process that I use with every single one of my clients to create and monitor their perfect diet.

It’s so effective that clients have lost 10, 20 even 30kg following the method I’m about to lay out to you.

Calculate your calories for fat loss

We’ve already done this above, you need to calculate your calories for fat loss.  Having this starting point is crucial, you cannot hope to lose any body fat if you are not in a calorie deficit.  

 

For purposes of illustration let’s say that your calories for fat loss are 2500.

Allocate your daily calories into a meal plan for fat loss

A crucial part of creating your weight loss meal plan is to make sure the meals fit your lifestyle.  There’s no optimal meal size or number for fat loss it’s all about the total calories in the day.  Therefore think about how many meals you’d like to eat per day, how many snacks you’d like and write them down.  

 

You have to be realistic here, if you are a 65kg woman and you want to eat 7 meals a day then you’re not going to have a lot of food to eat at each meal.

example meal breakdown

A good starting point and one that I use for most clients is 4 meals and 2 snacks.  So if you are in doubt just use that for now.  This gives 4 meal ‘blocks’ and 2 snack ‘blocks’

 

Once you’ve got your meal and snack number decided on we will need to divide the calories between them.  To do this give the meal blocks a value of 2 and the snacks a value of 1 then add them all up

 

For example – 4 meals and 2 snacks = [4 x 2] + [2 x 1] = 8 + 2 = 10

 

We do this because snacks are smaller than meals and we need to get an approximate value for both in terms of calories per meal/snack.

Once we have that total we divide the calories for the day by that number to give us calorie ‘blocks’ to allocate over the day.

 

Taking your value from the ‘Calculate’ stage which for our example is 2500 this will give you 

 

2500 / 10 = 250 

 

We know that meals are worth 2 blocks and snacks are worth 1 block

 

Therefore the meals and snacks work out like this

 

4 x meal blocks of [2 x 250] = 4 x 500 calories = 2000 calories from meals

 

2 x snack blocks of [1 x 250] = 2 x 250 calories = 500 calories from snacks

 

Now we have some empty calorie blocks for our meals it’s time to fill them with foods you like.

List the foods that you like to eat

Fat Loss Meal Plan image of waffles and berries

I promised you a diet where you ‘Get the body you want eating foods you like’

 

Here’s how we do just that.

 

You know how many calories to eat for fat loss.  You know how many meals and snacks to eat.  You also know how many calories to eat per meal.

 

Next you need to list the foods you like to eat every day.

 

Make a list of 4-5 meals that you eat regularly that you like.  Add 2 breakfast options to this list.  Then list all the snacks that you pick at during the day.

 

At this point don’t worry about ‘good or bad’ foods just list them.  Don’t be tempted to put stuff on this list that you think you SHOULD be eating but never do.

Organise the foods into weight loss meal blocks that fit your lifestyle

Use an app like my fitness pal to work out calories in the meals you like to eat

Once you’ve got your list you need to then find out how many calories are in those meals, you can use an app such as My Fitness Pal to do this.  There is a full guide to using My Fitness Pal like a pro on my website – Using My Fitness Pal.

 

You can then adjust the values and ingredients of the meals to make them fit your calories in your meal blocks and snacks.

LEARNING POINT

While doing this part of the process you’ll probably find out where you’ve been going wrong for years.  This is a massive wake up call for many people who’ve no idea why their weight loss plans have not been working in the past.

This exercise will take some time but once you’ve completed it you will have:

A calorie controlled weight loss meal plan that has meals which you like, spaced out over a daily eating pattern that fits your lifestyle.

Here’s the difference this process can make.  Which diet would you prefer for losing weight?

an amateur fat loss diet

You might have picked up that these 4 steps form the letters C.A.L.O which are the first 4 steps of the CALORIE system.  The remainder steps are

 

  • Routine and Habit improvement
  • Increasing activity 
  • Evaluating and Adjusting to continue making progress.


These 3 extra steps are detailed in my book – Target Lean –  and are not relevant to this article, I do cover them in other videos and articles on my site.

Why weight reduction isn’t always a straight line and what you should be prepared for.

Now that you have built your own perfect diet plan for fat loss there’s a few things you need to be aware of.

1. Weight loss is not linear

 

As discussed earlier, weight loss fluctuations occur over the day and week as part of natural body processes.  If you are going to weigh yourself then do it at the same time every day, on the same scales.  Make a note of the weight but track it using a spreadsheet so that you can measure the average weight per week.  

 

This is a crucial part of your journey as over the weeks if the weight on average is going down this will normally indicate that you are losing body fat.  All things being  the same over your weekly activities if your weight is going down on average week to week then this narrows the variables causing it.

 

If you are woman then expect monthly spikes around your period, accept they will happen, stay on your plan and it will drop again the following week.

2. EVERYONE loses weight on the first few weeks of a diet plan

 

Regardless of the diet plan that you are following you will most likely see a weight drop in the first few weeks, this is due to a number of factors.

  1. You are restricting your food intake and therefore calories
  2. You are more conscious of your weight and are being more adherent
  3. You have increased motivation and probably moving more
  4. You’ve dropped out a lot of foods you normally eat that you only ate from a desire to snack

Even the worst and poorly programmed diet plans will deliver some results in the short term, however the burden of the restrictions and the rules of the diet quickly start to set in.  If the diet plan hasn’t given you a calorie controlled plan, like I have above, then it’s likely weight loss will stall and the annoyance will set in.  

This is the risk point for you if you are following commercial, or online diet programs.  The unique quality of the CALORIE system method I’ve outlined above is that you can easily recalculate and format your meals again if you find weight loss stalling for longer than 2 weeks

3. Weight stalling doesn’t mean that you are not making progress

 

I’ve worked with hundreds of clients and at some point they’ve all expressed to me a frustration that they feel the diet isn’t working.  This is because they rely ONLY on the scales to measure their results.

 

Therefore it’s crucial that you use other factors to measure your progress.

 

  1. How clothes are fitting
  2. Progress pics, taken regularly at the same time, every 3-4 days
  3. How strong you are in the gym
  4. How fit you feel

 

Always check these before making a knee jerk reaction that  nothing is happening because the scales say so.

4. The ‘Whoosh’ effect and rapid unexplained weight loss 

 

A common event that I see in clients is that they plateau with their weight loss for a while and all of a sudden they just drop 2-3 kg in a few days.  Then they stay there.  

 

We didn’t do anything different with their diet, the activity was the same and thy were being consistent with everything (I track 4-6 key metrics with my clients).

 

This phenomenon is regularly seen and there’s no real scientific explanation for it but it’s been proposed that a series of factors known as the ‘Whoosh effect’ are responsible.  To save time I’ll summarise here but you can read more on the original proponent of the theory here.

 

The whoosh effect is where your body holds onto excess body water as it loses body fat in order to retain skin elasticity and also body weight just in case the fat loss is temporary and so the body isn’t overly stressed when the fat and therefore the weight returns.

 

Once it’s established through time that the fat loss is permanent the body releases the water and resets the accepted level of body weight as the new amount.

 

Therefore, don’t be upset with periods of plateau.  It may just be your body preparing for a weight drop. As long as you are being  consistent, have correctly evaluated your calories from food and calories expended from activity stick with it and it’s likely you’ll wake up one morning with 2-3kg of weight lost and no reason as to why.

Breaking through a weight loss plateau, what you should do

 

Taking the 4 points above into account and if weight loss has still plateaued after 3-4 weeks here’s a quick checklist to complete before you drop calories any more or increase your cardio, which is the knee jerk reaction most people (and coaches) resort to.

 

  • Make sure you have kept a record of weight averages over the weeks and it’s definitely not moved outside of 1kg for a while.

 

  • Have you kept a record of calories eaten every day?  Is it accurate, did you sneak in food without realising it, is your app logging correctly?

 

  • Recalculate your calories to see if you’re still in a deficit.  If you’ve lost weight since you did the original calculation then you may need to recalculate

 

  • Assess your activity to check it’s not gone down. One of the biggest issues I see with clients is their NEAT activity (everything they do outside of the gym) goes down as a defence mechanism by the body to bring calories into balance.  Logging your steps every day will help indicate if this is happening.


Check your progress pictures and how your clothes feel, do you look any different.  Send your before and after pics to a friend who you know will be honest and ask them to tell you which is the after, you may be surprised as we hardly ever see ourselves in as good a light as others.  Not got any friends you trust?  Drop me a line on my instagramTom Blackman Nutrition –  and I’ll definitely give you an honest appraisal.

If all of this is pointing towards no progress, then and only then do you drop calories.  Remember that less calories means less overall energy to live your life with and you really don’t want to be dropping them unnecessarily when possibly increasing your steps per day is a viable alternative.

A final thought - Weight loss tablets, fat burners that don’t burn fat and other cons.

It’s very easy nowadays to find fat burner tablets, weight loss pills, fat loss shakes and a whole host of other things on the internet to ‘help’ you burn fat and lose weight.

Before I was a professional nutritionist I was a competitive bodybuilder. 

 

I competed in many shows and won a fair few of them. 

In order to help my fat loss I used a whole array of very powerful fat burning drugs.  These were not available over the counter and were pharmaceutical grade, the type given to people with real weight loss problems.

I can categorically say that while these drugs were helpful I still needed to be in a calorie deficit for them to work properly.

These were drugs.  Not the very mild to useless slimming pills that you get  over the counter at your local health food store.  Before you go out and waste your money on these products just ask yourself, “if these REALLY burn body fat, which is a drug like action, why are they not classified as drugs?”  

Fat burning as an action sounds awesome however just be aware that the best ‘fat burning’ drug named DNP (2,4-dinitrophenol) is so effective at burning fat that it can actually cook your body alive.  Many people have died from its use and I only list it here as I know people who have used it and really came close to some nasty results.  I never used it myself as the risk of dying could have been slightly inconvenient for my show prep so I left that out of my stack.

However DNP is currently sold on the internet as a super fat burner which has cost some people their lives.  Always be very wary about buying fat burning supplements from an online store or a ‘guy in the gym’

Fat Burners and Weight Loss Pills are a complete waste of money and don't work

There are no natural fat burners or slimming tablets that deliver on their promise.  They all require a calorie deficit to work and all will have on them somewhere ‘to be used alongside a calorie controlled diet’ in the small print.

Most are stimulant based and will have caffeine, octopamine, teacrine and a few other derivatives as the main ingredient.  Stimulants trigger a reaction in the body with hormone sensitive lipase that encourages release of fat molecules from body fat.  However it’s unlikely that these will be used for energy during your workout, it’s more likely that the fat molecules will float around and get reabsorbed into the body fat after your workout once the stimulants have worn off.

All the stimulants do is make you work harder which increases your calories-out side of the equation.  So you may burn more daily calories, but if you’ve ever experienced a crash after a strong coffee or a few energy drinks you’ll know that the body has a way of compensating for that energy being used, by slowing you down.

Therefore your best route for fat burning is to focus on getting your calories right.  It’s fine to have a bit of a stimulant before your workout, hell I have a pre workout drink as standard prep for my gym sessions, but don’t expect any fat burning as a direct result, just enjoy the benefit of a better workout.


For an in depth review of fat burning ingredients check out Examine.com it has a full list of supposed fat burner ingredients and an analysis of their effectiveness.

Thank you for reading the 2020 Ultimate guide to weight loss

 

If you’ve read through the information in this article you’ll now have

  1. A step by step guide to building your own meal plan for weight loss
  2. A decent idea of where you’ve been going wrong in the past
  3. More money in your pocket from not buying fat burners

I hope you’ve found this article useful and please do share it using the share buttons below.  I’d like to help over 100,000 people improve their lives with nutrition, a quick share helps me achieve that goal.

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