2020 Transformation Weight Loss Guide

If you want to know how to lose weight, maintain lean mass, and avoid the post-diet rebound weight gain in 2020, then you want to this transformation program.

If you’re reading this, it’s because you want to lose weight, burn body fat, and get the body you’ve always wanted.


You’re not alone either.

Each year, millions and millions of people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, get fit, and revamp their nutritional habits. Yet, research indicates that less than 10% of those resolutions are achieved.[1]

That’s where this transformation guide comes in. Ahead, we’ll give you everything you need to know to finally achieve those lofty fat loss goals you’ve had for so long but never been able to achieve.

In this weight loss guide, we’ll tell you:

  • Why conventional diet advice is awful

  • The 3 biggest mistakes people make that stall weight loss

  • A healthy and sustainable to lose weight quickly without sacrificing lean muscle mass

  • What supplements may help you burn fat faster

We’ll even give you a training program to help you preserve (and potentially gain) lean mass while you’re dieting.

Let’s get started by making a very clear distinction.

Weight Loss and Fat Loss Are NOT the Same Things

Whenever you hear someone say they want to get in shape, they almost always say that they want to “lose weight”.

Yes, part of our body weight is comprised of fat, so the distinction may seem small and rather trivial. And, when you say that you want to lose weight you probably mean fat, but, simply stating that you want to “lose weight” most people become overly attached to the number on their bathroom scale.

The focus becomes getting that number as low as possible as quickly as possible with little regard for how to get there. This is when people start adopting all sorts of extreme exercise protocols and fad diets.

And sure, those wacky sounding diet and training plans can work for a time. But, the big problem is that those “drop fat fast” gimmicks aren’t sustainable, they don’t teach you how to stay fit for the long term, and they usually result in losing a fair amount of muscle along with body fat.

Essentially they are “quick fixes” that don’t really fix much at all, but they do leave you looking skinny fat.

This is the main reason you need to stop thinking about “weight loss” and focus more on “fat loss.”

When the focus is on fat loss, you’re not necessarily attached to the number on the scale. You’re instead focused on reducing fat while retaining as much lean mass as possible. And, if you want to know more about how to track your progress while losing body fat, click here.

Now, let’s discuss the WRONG way to go about losing weight.

The Wrong Way to Lose Weight Fast

Open up any health and fitness or “lifestyle” magazine or click on any of the millions of blog posts on how to lose weight fast and you’re likely to find this advice:

  • Eat a very low-calorie diet (that’s also low in carbohydrates and protein)

  • Perform lots of high-rep, lightweight circuit training

  • Do a lot of steady-state cardio

If you follow this advice, trust us, you will lose weight fast. But the weight you lose will be a pretty even mix of both body fat and muscle, which will leave you with the dreaded “skinny fat” look.

Here’s why this 3-point plan is exactly what you should NOT do when trying to lose weight fast:

Low-Calorie, Low-Protein Diet

There’s no denying the fact that in order to lose weight, and body fat, you have to be in a calorie deficit (regardless of what certain “diet gurus” tell you).

In other words, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn consistently over time. This is also referred to as a “negative energy balance.”

And, if you look at any of the “lose 20 pounds in 10 days” diets or any other diet advertised on the cover of those magazines at the store, you’ll see that they preach diets that are low in protein and very low in calories (sometimes recommending an intake as little as 1000 calories per day!).

Now, if you follow those diets, you will “lose weight” but with that weight, you are going to lose a good deal of lean muscle mass and at the end of your diet, you will have a less than ideal body composition.

The reason for this is that when you consume too few calories along with too little protein, your body still requires a certain amount of essential amino acids (EAAs) to carry out the plethora of functions it does to keep you alive.

If the body isn’t receiving sufficient amounts of those EAAs from the diet, it turns to your muscles which contain lots and lots of amino acids. As you can imagine, eat too little protein for long enough, and you’ll burn through your muscle tissue fairly quickly.

But that’s not all.

Protein is also incredibly satiating, and when you combine a calorie deficit with low protein intake, you have the perfect recipe for intense hunger pangs and constant cravings. Inevitably, this leads you to binge and gain back much of the weight you lose.

In addition to muscle loss, eating a very low-calorie diet also causes your metabolism to slow, which is due to a combination of factors (not the least of which is the loss of lean muscle mass).

The path to consistent, sustainable fat loss that also helps you avoid ravenous cravings or muscle loss is to consume a moderately reduced-calorie diet that is high in protein.

Numerous studies have shown that when individuals consume a high-protein diet while trying to lose weight, they burn more calories, lose less muscle mass, and experience less hunger.[10,11,12]

In other words, if you want to ensure healthy weight loss that allows you to retain as much muscle as possible, make sure you’re consuming enough protein and not cutting your calories too low.

Click here to learn more about and order Primeval Labs ISOLIT

Perform Lots of High-Rep, Light Weight Circuit Training

For far too long, lightweight, high rep circuit training workouts have been touted as the best way to burn fat, create more definition, and “tone” your muscles.

Unfortunately, this is another one of the biggest myths in fitness that just won’t seem to die.

Simply put, performing a lot of reps with lightweight does NOT automatically make your muscles “pop” more, make them look denser, or give you greater vascularity. In fact, research notes that lightweight, high-rep workouts don’t even burn that many more calories than traditional strength training workouts that involve lower volume and heavier weight.[13]

We’ll discuss more why lifting heavy is so vital when cutting a bit further down, but before we get there, let’s discuss the final “sin” of most weight loss transformation programs.

Doing Too Much Cardio

Somewhere along the way, cardio became the “go-to” method of exercise for people trying to lose weight.

And upon initial inspection, you could see why people make that mistake. Low-intensity, steady-state exercise does burn more fat during the workout compared to high-intensity forms of exercise such as weight lifting or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These higher intensity forms of training rely primarily on glycogen (stored glucose) for fuel.

However, your body will compensate for this greater fat burning during training by burning more carbohydrate the rest of the day.

More importantly, though, performing too much cardio during fat loss phases may also:

  • Increase muscle loss
    Your body has a limited capacity to tolerate and recover from stress, and we’re not just talking about emotional or psychological stress either. Calorie deprivation and exercise are both stressors on the body, and when you combine a calorie deficit with resistance-training and lots of cardio, you run the risk of exceeding your body’s ability to adequately recover.

    It’s also harder for you to gain muscle and strength too.[17]

    And, when you consider the fact that dieting already reduces protein synthesis rates as well as anabolic hormone levels[18,19], it’s easy to see why you don’t want to perform a lot of cardio, especially when dieting.[20]

    But there’s more….doing lots of cardio also

  • Increase hunger
    Studies show that cardiovascular exercise alone isn’t enough to guarantee fat loss.[14] In fact, many people who only perform “cardio” oftentimes end up fatter than when they started exercise.[15]

    The reason for this might be found in some research noting that doing lots of cardio has been shown to increase hunger and appetite.[16] This makes it easier for people to overeat, stall weight loss, and potentially gain weight.

  • Decrease recovery
    We already mentioned that your body has a finite ability to recover from stress, and your ability to adequately recovery is compromised that much more when you restrict calories.

    Therefore, the last thing you want to do when dieting is to further tax your body by performing endless bouts of steady-state cardio.

    Not only does it hinder your ability to recover from your strength training workouts, but it can also accelerate muscle loss, and lead to feelings of overtraining.[21]

Furthermore, exercise, in general, is a rather poor way to create your calorie deficit as it only makes up a rather small percentage of your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).

For instance, an hour of walking burns between 250-300 calories (depending on the speed you walk, your bodyweight, the terrain, etc.). Those burned calories can easily be replaced by a soda, candy bar, or some of the beefier protein bars on the market in a single sitting.

This is why diet is the primary driver of fat loss and not exercise. People simply don’t burn as many calories as they think they do during training.

And to finally put this issue to bed, you don’t even need to perform any cardio whatsoever to lose fat. You can perform cardio for heart health and increase calorie expenditure each day (thereby allowing you to eat more and still remain in your deficit), but it absolutely is NOT NEEDED for fat loss.

Now that we’ve discussed the three things you want to avoid when trying to lose weight, let’s now shift our focus to...

The Right Way to Lose Weight Fast

Losing weight consistently, quickly, and sustainably boils down to five key points:

  • Employ a moderately aggressive calorie deficit

  • Consume a diet high in protein and carbohydrates

  • Lift heavy weights 3-4 times per week

  • Perform a limited amount of cardio

  • Use the right supplements proven to support fat loss

Use a moderately aggressive calorie deficit

In order to lose fat, you need to consistently consume fewer calories than you burn. In other words, calories in must be less than calories out. This is known as a “negative energy balance” or calorie deficit.

Now, a lot of the diet gurus, TV doctors, and bloggers out there will try to skirt around this fact and tell you that calories don’t matter. You just need to avoid “x, y, and z” foods (which usually always involve the removal of carbohydrates and/or gluten).

The reason they do this is that telling people to “eat less” isn’t very sexy and it won’t sell a lot of books. Additionally, by telling people a single food or group of foods is to blame also absolves them of any wrongdoing. It makes them feel better.

Basically, it’s never anyone’s fault they ate too much food and didn’t exercise enough, it’s carbohydrates fault, it’s gluten’s fault, it’s insulin’s fault.

All of these fad diets are essentially extreme elimination diets that help people lose weight because it reduces their total calorie intake.

But, these diets all fail for one big reason -- they are unsustainable.

Sure, you could probably give up all starchy carbohydrates or gluten-containing foods for a few weeks, and you will lose some weight too. But, what happens the next time you’re at a party, social gathering, or you just feel like having a sandwich for lunch?!

Together these “drop weight quick” extreme elimination diets all suffer the same follies of being overly restrictive and unsustainable, often leading to muscle loss while following them and inevitable binging (and weight gain) when diet fatigue sets in.

This is why we strongly recommend a more holistic and sustainable approach to weight loss. One that doesn’t eliminate any entire macronutrient group or single food or one that forces you to eat only during a certain time of day.

The best way to lose fat quickly is to use a moderately aggressive calorie deficit.

Calorie counting and macro tracking aren’t sexy, but, here’s the thing -- it works.

The next question is, how “aggressive” should you be when cutting calories?

Well, you want to take a large enough deficit to drop fat as fast as possible without losing muscle.

Scientific research indicates you can use a 20-25% calorie deficit and not risk muscle loss.[22,23,24] In other words, you can eat about 75% of your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).

To put this into numerical terms, let’s say an individual’s TDEE was 2500 calories.

The individual’s daily calorie intake while trying to burn body fat as quickly as possibly would be:

2500 calories * 0.75 = 1875

Therefore, if this person wanted to drop fat as fast as possible without risking muscle loss they would consume 1900 calories per day.

If you want to estimate your total daily energy expenditure, click here.

Now, let’s discuss more regarding what those daily calories should primarily consist of...

Consume a high-protein / high-carbohydrate diet

From a body composition standpoint, protein is the most important macronutrient, carbohydrates and fats are secondary.

The reason for this is that numerous studies have shown that higher protein diets have a number of beneficial effects on body composition, both in terms of fat loss and muscle gain.[7,8,9]

In particular, high protein diets:

  • Increase 24-hour energy expenditure and sleep energy expenditure[2]

  • Result in greater preservation of lean muscle mass while dieting[3]

  • Yield greater appetite suppression[4,5]

And, as a final bonus, high protein diets also tend to result in greater increases in fat-free mass during overfeeding.[6] In other words, if you happen to go off the rails a bit with your diet, for instance during the holidays, if those excess calories come from protein, your body is more likely not to store it as fat.

Basically, when it comes to dieting for body recomposition and fat loss a high-protein diet is superior to a low-protein diet in just about every way possible.

So, the next question is -- how much protein should you consume?

Well, research indicates that somewhere between 1.6 - 2.0 g/kg/day is the upper threshold for those in a mass gaining phase. Above that, studies indicate there are little to no additional benefits. T

Note: This range is based on total body weight for relatively lean individuals (~10% body fat).

In regards to weight loss, a recent review by Eric Helms estimated the amount of protein required to be somewhere around 2.3 - 3.1 g/kg/day for lean individuals during a caloric deficit.

For those of you not used to dealing in the metric system, this comes out to an average of 1.04-1.4 grams per pound of body weight.

If you aren’t incredibly lean and have a considerable amount of body fat to lose, you can stick to the lower end of that range and consume roughly 1 gram per pound.

And, if you’re concerned about the supposed detrimental effects of high-protein diets on kidney function and bone health, don’t be. In healthy individuals, high-protein diets do not adversely affect kidney function or bone integrity.

So, when you take everything into account, there really is no downside to erring on the side of higher protein intakes.


Now, in regards to how many carbohydrates should you eat when trying to lose weight...

Do I Need a Low-Carb Diet to Lose Weight?

Despite what you have been led to believe, carbohydrates are not the reason the world is in the midst of an obesity crisis right now. And furthermore, low-carbohydrate diets are not superior for fat loss.

In fact, numerous studies have proven that low-carb diets aren’t any better than higher carb, lower fat diets are in terms of fat loss.[25,26,27,28,29,30]

And, more importantly, low-carb diets may actually be worse for muscle preservation.[31]

Now, low-carb diets may be beneficial (and necessary) for those individuals who are extremely overweight or obese as well as sedentary, but for the relatively fit individual just looking to burn off some of the post-holiday goo, low-carb diets are not the answer.

Following a low-carb diet while cutting isn’t any more effective for losing fat, and it may actually result in muscle loss.

The reason for this is multifactorial and rather lengthy to explain, but here is a brief explanation in regards to how carbohydrates can help build muscle and boost performance[32,33,34,35]:

  • Carbohydrates are protein-sparing

  • Carbohydrates help us push harder during workouts

  • Carbohydrates support muscle and strength building

  • Carbohydrates can boost mood and reduce fatigue.

Plus, your body actually has to work harder to store excess carbohydrates as fat due to having to undergo de novo lipogenesis. But, seeing as you’ll be in a calorie deficit, your body will use the carbohydrates you are eating to replenish muscle glycogen that gets depleted during exercise.

This is why, in addition to a high-protein intake, we also recommend consuming a higher proportion of carbohydrates too. Generally speaking, 30-50% of your daily calories can come from dietary carbohydrate, which usually equates to 1-2 grams of carbohydrate per pound of bodyweight.

This amount of carbohydrate is enough to support performance, recovery, and mood while also ensuring adequate protein intake and not undercutting dietary fat intake. After all, fat is essential for hormone production and overall health and wellness.

Keep Cardio to a Minimum

We said it before and we’ll say it again -- you do NOT have to do cardio to lose fat. You can lose all the weight you want through diet alone.

We already explained the many reasons why cardio is a poor choice for exercise in regards to weight loss and calorie burning, so we won’t beat a dead horse.

Just realize that you can perform cardio if you enjoy it, but keep it to a minimum so as not too impede recovery, increase stress, or accelerate muscle loss.

If you do choose to perform cardio, keep the sessions brief and intense. In other words, the type of cardio you want to perform is high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Research has documented that not only is HIIT better for fat loss over time than longer, low-intensity steady-state cardio, it also is superior for muscle preservation.[36,37,38]

Sports scientists have identified a number of reasons why HIIT is superior for fat loss. Namely, HIIT[39]:

  • Increases resting metabolic rate (RMR) for up to 24 hours post-exercise.

  • Heightens insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle

  • Suppresses post-exercise appetite

  • Significantly spikes levels of catecholamines (fat-burning hormones) and growth hormone, which support fat mobilization and burning.

  • Raises levels of fat oxidation

HIIT also requires considerably less time to perform that steady-state cardio.

The tradeoff with HIIT is that it requires a higher level of effort and places a greater demand on your recovery abilities than steady-state cardio.

This is why we recommend keeping the sessions brief and intense and limited to no more than 3-4 times per week, preferably spread throughout the week.

Our favorite form of HIIT cardio is performed using a stationary upright or recumbent bike alternating between of all-out effort and low-intensity effort using a work-to-rest ratio of 1:2 or 1:3.

Here is an example HIIT session you can perform during your weight loss transformation:

  1. Warm-up at a low intensity for 2-3 minutes

  2. Increase the resistance to one that allows you to pedal as fast as you can for 30 seconds without “spinning out” of control

  3. Reduce the resistance to its lowest setting and pedal for 60 to 90 seconds. (Note: if you are new to HIIT training, you may need to take a longer “active recovery” period possibly up to 3 minutes)

  4. Repeat this on-off cycle for roughly 25 minutes

  5. End your session with 2-3 minutes of “cool down” pedaling.

If you don’t enjoy pedaling, or don’t have access to a stationary bike, other acceptable options for HIIT include:

  • Swimming

  • Rowing

  • Elliptical-ing

  • Sprinting

  • Bodyweight exercises (squats, burpees, etc.)

Remember, to keep the sessions intense, but brief. HIIT is effective for fat loss, but only if you give maximum effort during your “on” periods.

Also, when first starting out, we recommend people start with 1-2 HIIT sessions per week, gradually working their way up to 2-4 HIIT sessions per week as their level of conditioning increases.

When used properly, cardio can (and will) help you burn fat faster without sacrificing any substantial amount of lean muscle mass.

Lift Heavy Weights 3-4 Times Per Week

If consuming a high-protein diet is #1 on the list of what to do to prevent muscle loss while dieting, lifting heavy weights is #1A.

We already explained why light weight, high rep workouts don’t lead to more toned or defined muscle above, so rather than beat that other horse to death, let’s instead focus on why heavy lifting is the way you should be training during fat loss.

Simply put, what works for building muscle and strength also works for preserving muscle and strength during fat loss phases.

And, what works for building muscle and strength as fast as possible is performing compound exercises with heavy weight.

By “compound exercises”, we mean those exercises that place stress across more than one joint and train several muscle groups at one time. We’re of course referring to exercises such as the squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press.

Regarding “heavyweight”, we mean that you should be lifting weights that are roughly 70-85% of your 1-rep max. This typically equates to a weight that you can lift for 6-10 repetitions before reaching failure.

Research demonstrates that heavy compound movements like the squat, bench press and deadlift are the kinds of exercises that create the greatest boost in metabolic rate.[40] (Yes, even more than the lightweight, high rep circuits that are heavily advertised at the globo-gyms.)

Another study found that men training with heavy weights increased their metabolic rates for three days post-workout, and they also burned several hundred more calories than the group that trained with lighter weights.[41]

The reason heavy lifting creates such a powerful metabolic maelstrom is due to a phenomenon is known as the “afterburn effect,” which is the increase in metabolic rate that occurs between sets and after high-intensity workouts as your body fights to recover and restore equilibrium.

Should I Train Fasted to Lose Weight Faster?

Studies have shown that training fasted can help you burn more fat than performing that same training session in a fed state.[42,43]

However, when looking at total energy expenditure and subsequent fat loss over time (as opposed to an isolated bout of exercise), researchers have found that there is no significant difference in total fat loss when training fasted or fed.[44,45]

The reason for the lack of difference in fat loss between fed vs fasted training is pretty simple.

While you will burn more fat during fasted training than a fed one, your body compensates for this increased fat burning by burning more carbohydrates during the rest of the day.[46]

This is why a calorie deficit is needed to lose weight and not simply abolishing carbohydrates from your diet.

All that being said, you may want to consider fasted training while dieting for two reasons:

  1. It supports the pro-lipolytic effects of several fat burning supplements, such as caffeine and yohimbine.

    Thermogenic fat burners enhance metabolic rate, lipolysis, and beta-oxidation (fat burning). Certain ingredients, such as yohimbine are most effective when training in a fasted state, meaning insulin levels are low.

  2. Fasted training increases blood flow to the abdominal region[48], which may help lose stubborn belly fat more quickly.

    Part of the reason certain regions of body fat seem more “stubborn” or resistant to burning is that they don’t receive as much blood flow (and thus fewer fat-burning catecholamines). Research has shown that fasted training increases abdominal blood flow[48] which increase the amount of catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline) that can reach those stubborn fat areas and thereby help “loosen” them up for burning.

However, fasted training does come with some drawbacks, the most significant of which is that you are at a greater risk for muscle loss when training fasted during cutting than when you are training in a fed state.[49]

Due to the increased potential for muscle loss when training fasted, we recommend sipping on essential amino acids during training and having a scoop of whey protein immediately following training. Technically, drinking EAAs will slightly raise insulin levels, and thus dampen some of the effectiveness of certain fat burning supplements, but remember, insulin is not and on-off switch, it’s more of a sliding scale.

And any minor reduction in fat burning intra workout is more than made up for by preventing any unwanted muscle breakdown. So long as you maintain an overall calorie deficit, you will burn body fat.

Speaking of calorie deficit, here’s how to set up the ultimate sustainable weight loss diet:

The Best Diet for Losing Fat Fast

As we’ve said time and time again, the most effective and sustainable diet for losing weight quickly (and keeping it off) doesn’t involve any radical changes, extreme elimination, or specific timing protocols. It involves four simple things:

  1. Figure out how many calories you need to eat everyday to lose weight

  2. Determine the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat you need to eat

  3. Adjust macronutrient quantities (and thus calorie intake) based on how your body responds

  4. Create a meal plan based on your calculations

Let’s discuss each of these a bit further.

Determine How Many Calories You Need

To calculate how many calories you need to eat to lose weight, you first need to calculate the total number of calories your body burns in a day. This is known as your total daily energy expenditure.

Now, there are hundreds of free calculators available on the internet, many of which you are probably already familiar with. If you’d rather not have to spend time scouring the internet, testing all the various calculators out there, we’ve compiled a complete guide to calculating your TDEE, here.

Simply, read that article and you’ll learn how to estimate your personal calorie requirements and never have to rely on those other calculators again.

Once you have your TDEE estimate, you now have a rough idea of how many calories it takes for you to maintain your current body weight.

Since you want to lose fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit. And, as we detailed above, you will want to use a moderately aggressive deficit of 20-25%.

This means that you will take the number from the TDEE calculator and multiply it by 0.75.

Set Your Macronutrients

Anytime you consume fewer calories than your body requires, you put yourself at risk for muscle loss. To help stave off any unwanted muscle breakdown, protein intake is a must.

As we discussed above, research indicates you want to consume between 1.04-1.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll shoot for the middle and recommend a daily protein intake of 1.25 grams per pound of bodyweight.

What does this look like in terms of daily intake?

For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you will want to consume:

180 * 1.25 = 225 grams of protein per day

The next macronutrient we need to set is your dietary fat intake.

For fat loss, we recommend a fat intake somewhere between 0.25-0.5 grams per pound. The reason for this range is that some people feel greater satiety when fats are slightly higher, while others enjoy consuming a greater proportion of their calories from carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates will make up the remainder of your daily calories after accounting for protein and fat.

Still a bit confused on how to calculate everything, let’s use an example for illustration purposes:

Let’s say an individual weighs 180 lbs and their TDEE is 2600 calories per day. 75% of 2600 calories is equal to 1950 calories.

We next need to calculate protein intake, which can be determine using the 1.25 grams per pound recommendation from above. This gives:

Protein intake = 180 lbs * 1.25 g/lb = 225 grams protein per day

For determining fat, we’ll say that our imaginary dieter prefers more carbs in their diets and less fat. So, we’ll go with a fat intake of 0.3 grams per pound of bodyweight per day. This gives:

Fat intake = 180 lbs * 0.3 g/lb = 54 grams of fat per day

Carbohydrates come from the remaining calories you have. The way to figure that out is:

Calories from Protein = 225 * 4 = 900

Calories from Fat = 54 * 9 = 486

Calories from Carbs = 1950 - 900 - 486 = 564

Grams of carbs per day = 564 / 4 = 141g of carbohydrates per day

Now, if that seems like a bit too much protein and too little carbohydrates, you can scale back protein to 1.1 grams per pound of bodyweight, which will increase the amount of carbohydrates you can eat.

It may take a bit of back and forth to determine exactly the right macro split that you feel best on from an energy and performance standpoint, so don’t be afraid to tweak things as you go.

This brings us to the next point.

Adjust Calorie Intake (and Macronutrients) Based on How Your Respond

What ultimately determines the success or failure of any diet is adherence. In other words, a diet is only as effective as your ability to stick to it.

You can follow the most perfectly constructed fat loss diet on the planet, one that has you dropping fat faster than ever before and losing nary an ounce of muscle mass. Yet, if you don’t enjoy the foods on the diet, or feeling famished round the clock, your chances of experiencing success while on it are slim and none.

The same can be said of training.

While there are numerous studies demonstrating “x” training splits or frequencies may be best for building muscle and strength, if you don’t enjoy the actual workouts, your level of effort and consistency with performing the workouts will be less than adequate.

This brings us back to the main point of this section -- don’t be afraid to adjust things as needed.

These adjustments can be in regards to satiety or energy levels as well as rate of weight loss.

More specifically, if you are losing more than 2 pounds per week, and you’re note extremely overweight to begin with, you need to eat slightly more calories.

The reason we say this is that research indicates that the “sweet spot” for losing fat while retaining as much muscle as possible is roughly 0.5 to 1% of your body weight per week. This averages out to 0.5-2 pounds per week for most individuals.[50]

Now, let’s say you’re losing at least 0.5 lbs per week, you can either further reduce your calories, or (the better option) increase your energy expenditure. This increased energy output can come in the form of an extra session or two of HIIT or just increasing the amount of movement you do each day. Activities such as morning yoga, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the back of the parking lot, or going for 20 minute walks in the afternoon all increase your energy expenditure throughout the day without further taxing your body’s recovery abilities.

Calories can only be reduced so much before you need to increase your energy expenditure.

The last thing you want to do is drop your calories so low that you risk muscle loss or slowing your metabolic rate more than it needs to. This is why many people choose to perform a few extra HIIT sessions or increase their non-exercise activity (stairs vs elevator, etc) -- they can eat more food, yet due to the increased activity they are still able to remain in a calorie deficit.

Create a Meal Plan

Here’s the real beauty of counting calories / macronutrients -- YOU get to decide what foods you eat, how much of them you eat, and when you eat them.

  • You aren’t restricted to eating only certain types of food.

  • You aren’t restricted to only eating at certain times of the day.

  • And, you can still enjoy those tasty carbohydrates!

That being said, you still have to abide by the calorie calculations you made earlier, but in regards to what foods you eat to achieve those numbers, it’s entirely up to you!

This is what makes creating your own fat loss diet superior to any of those cookie cutter fad diets on the market -- you get to eat the foods you enjoy!

If you don’t like broccoli, you don’t have to eat it. You can choose any other sort of vegetable that suits your fancy.

Same goes with chicken, beef, pork, or eggs (though we rather enjoy each of those foods). If you don’t like a certain, simply eat one that you enjoy and allows you to stay within your calorie and macronutrient goals for the day.

This “flexible” approach to dieting also enables you to have some of those sugary “dirty” foods so often forbidden by the extreme fat loss protocols.

Remember, fat loss is about calories in vs calories out. If you can work a piece of dark chocolate or scoop of ice cream into your daily calorie intake and still hit your target macronutrient and micronutrient goal, then go for it!

Now, let’s address the final component to rapid fat loss.

The Best Supplements to Lose Weight Fast

Make no mistake, proper diet and training are the primary drivers and dictators of your success (or failure) when it comes to losing weight and building muscle.

Supplements cannot and will never make up for a crappy diet or lack of effort when training. In fact a 2012 review of weight loss supplements stated:

“There is no strong research evidence indicating that a specific supplement will produce significant weight loss (>2 kg), especially in the long term. Some foods or supplements such as green tea, fiber, and calcium supplements or dairy products may complement a healthy lifestyle to produce small weight losses or prevent weight gain over time.”[51]

What this means is that diet and training are still the ultimate governors of weight loss, not supplements (despite what you may have heard elsewhere).

That being said, using the right supplements (within the context of adhering to a calorie deficit) can help keep hunger at bay, boost energy levels when food intake is low, and free up some of those “stubborn” fatty acids for oxidation.

Weight loss supplements may also help you perform better in your workouts, thereby allowing you to burn more calories and potentially lose fat that much faster.

To help you along your 2019 weight loss transformation, we’ve compiled a list of the best supplements to use:


Pyretic is the perfect anytime, anywhere weight loss support aide. It contains no stimulants whatsoever, so you can take it prior to bed to support fat burning while you sleep.

Pyretic contains a synergistic matrix of ingredients to support lipolysis, fat burning, and energy expenditure as well as glucose metabolism.

It can be used on its own or stacked with Ape Sh*t Cutz to create a powerful 1-2 punch that supports and boosts fat loss.

Ape Sh*t Cutz

Ape Sh*t Cutz is a high-energy thermogenic fat burning powder created specifically to help you deal with the lethargy, poor mood, and decreased performance that accompanies low calorie dieting.

In addition to containing research-backed fat burning ingredients like yohimbine and GBB, Ape Sh*t Cutz also contains ergogenics like caffeine and beta alanine to help support increased athletic performance, thereby helping you train harder and burn more calories during workouts.


EAA Max is a delicious, low-calorie option to help ensure your body has sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids needed to repair and maintain lean muscle mass while in the midst of a calorie deficit.

EAA Max comes in TEN mouth-watering flavors and is the ideal between meal snack to help keep hunger at bay, and also protects against catabolism thanks to the inclusion of 5 grams of 2:1:1 BCAAs.


We don’t need to harp on the importance of protein much more than we already have.

You need it, plain and simple.

Primeval Labs ISOLIT is a 100% pure whey protein isolate delivering 25 grams of high quality protein per serving. It’s also low in calories, carbohydrates, and fat and makes the perfect anytime snack when you need to get in some essential protein but don’t want to waste a bunch of calories on extraneous carbohydrates and fat like other protein powders that use whey protein concentrate.

ISOLIT comes in SIX delicious flavors, mixes easily, and can fit into any nutrition plan.


2019 Weight Loss Transformation Training Program

Heavy resistance training is paramount to retaining (and possibly even building) muscle while losing weight. There’s no place for a lot of frilly circuit training, light weights, or high reps. Your goal with training is to provide the stimulus your muscles need and then get on with the rest of your day.

Remember, diet is the main driver of your calorie deficit (and ultimately weight loss). Resistance training is there to help you maintain muscle and strength while dropping fat as fast as possible.

Cardio has its place, and you will be performing several sessions of HIIT per week as you progress through your training program.

For your weekly training plan, you’ll be performing three full-body weight lifting sessions and two HIIT sessions. The HIIT sessions can be performed immediately following your resistance training days, or (our preferred option) is to perform them on your off days.

So, an example weekly workout template could look something like this:

  • Monday: Workout A

  • Tuesday: HIIT Session 1

  • Wednesday: Workout B

  • Thursday: Active Recovery (light yoga, stretching, etc.)

  • Friday: Workout C

  • Saturday: HIIT Session 2

  • Sunday: Rest

Monday - Full Body A








2-3 min

Bench Press



2-3 min

Pull Ups



2-3 min

Military Press



2-3 min

Barbell Curl



1-2 min

Skull Crushers



1-2 min

Wednesday - Full Body B





Incline Bench Press



2-3 min

T-Bar Row



2-3 min

Leg Press



2-3 min

Dumbbell Side Laterals



1-2 min

Rope Hammer Curl



1-2 min

Rope Pushdown



1-2 min

Friday - Full Body C





Trap Bar Deadlift (can sub conventional)



3 min

Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press



2-3 min

Seated Cable Row



2-3 min

Step Ups


8-10 / leg

1-2 min

Incline Dumbbell Curl



1-2 min




1-2 min


  1. Norcross JC and Vangarelli DJ. "The Resolution Solution: Longitudinal Examination of New Year's Change Attempts. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2980864.

  2. George A Bray, Leanne M Redman, Lilian de Jonge, Jeffrey Covington, Jennifer Rood, Courtney Brock, Susan Mancuso, Corby K Martin, Steven R Smith; Effect of protein overfeeding on energy expenditure measured in a metabolic chamber, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 101, Issue 3, 1 March 2015, Pages 496–505, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.114.091769

  3. Helms ER , et al. "A Systematic Review of Dietary Protein During Caloric Restriction in Resistance Trained Lean Athletes: a Case for Higher Intakes. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24092765.

  4. Westerterp-Plantenga MS , et al. "Dietary Protein - Its Role in Satiety, Energetics, Weight Loss and Health. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23107521.

  5. Gosby AK , et al. "Protein Leverage and Energy Intake. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24588967.

  6. George A. Bray, Leanne M. Redman, Lilian de Jonge, Jennifer Rood, Steven R. Smith; Effect of Three Levels of Dietary Protein on Metabolic Phenotype of Healthy Individuals With 8 Weeks of Overfeeding, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 101, Issue 7, 1 July 2016, Pages 2836–2843, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2016-1313

  7. Helms ER , et al. "High-protein, Low-fat, Short-term Diet Results in Less Stress and Fatigue Than Moderate-protein Moderate-fat Diet During Weight Loss in Male Weight... - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25028958.

  8. Soenen S , et al. "Relatively High-protein or 'low-carb' Energy-restricted Diets for Body Weight Loss and Body Weight Maintenance? - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22935440.

  9. Sacks FM , et al. "Comparison of Weight-loss Diets with Different Compositions of Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19246357.

  10. Aragon AA , et al. "International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Diets and Body Composition. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28630601.

  11. Mettler S , et al. "Increased Protein Intake Reduces Lean Body Mass Loss During Weight Loss in Athletes. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19927027.

  12. Helms ER , et al. "Evidence-based Recommendations for Natural Bodybuilding Contest Preparation: Nutrition and Supplementation. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24864135.

  13. "Intensity of Resistance Exercise Determines Adipokine and Resting Energy Expenditure Responses in Overweight Elderly Individuals." PubMed Central (PMC), www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2782969/.

  14. Sawyer BJ , et al. "Predictors of Fat Mass Changes in Response to Aerobic Exercise Training in Women. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25353081.

  15. Melanson EL , et al. "Resistance to Exercise-induced Weight Loss: Compensatory Behavioral Adaptations. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23470300.

  16. Kirsch KA and von Ameln H. "Feeding Patterns of Endurance Athletes. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7197218.

  17. Fyfe JJ , et al. "Interference Between Concurrent Resistance and Endurance Exercise: Molecular Bases and the Role of Individual Training Variables. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24728927.

  18. Pasiakos SM , et al. "Acute Energy Deprivation Affects Skeletal Muscle Protein Synthesis and Associated Intracellular Signaling Proteins in Physically Active Adults. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20164371.

  19. Cangemi R , et al. "Long-term Effects of Calorie Restriction on Serum Sex-hormone Concentrations in Men. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20096034.

  20. Zachwieja JJ , et al. "Short-term Dietary Energy Restriction Reduces Lean Body Mass but Not Performance in Physically Active Men and Women. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11414677.

  21. Helms ER , et al. "Recommendations for Natural Bodybuilding Contest Preparation: Resistance and Cardiovascular Training. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24998610.

  22. Garthe I , et al. "Effect of Two Different Weight-loss Rates on Body Composition and Strength and Power-related Performance in Elite Athletes. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21558571.

  23. Martin CK , et al. "Effect of Calorie Restriction on Resting Metabolic Rate and Spontaneous Physical Activity. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18198305.

  24. Redman LM , et al. "Metabolic and Behavioral Compensations in Response to Caloric Restriction: Implications for the Maintenance of Weight Loss. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19198647.

  25. Gardner CD, Trepanowski JF, Del Gobbo LC, et al. Effect of Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate Diet on 12-Month Weight Loss in Overweight Adults and the Association With Genotype Pattern or Insulin Secretion. The DIETFITS Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2018;319(7):667–679. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.0245

  26. "Ketogenic Low-carbohydrate Diets Have No Metabolic Advantage over Nonketogenic Low-carbohydrate Diets." OUP Academic, 1 May 2006, academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/83/5/1055/4649481.

  27. "Low-Fat Vs Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Weight Loss in Overweight Adults." The JAMA Network | Home of JAMA and the Specialty Journals of the American Medical Association, 20 Feb. 2018, jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2673150.

  28. Naude CE , et al. "Low Carbohydrate Versus Isoenergetic Balanced Diets for Reducing Weight and Cardiovascular Risk: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25007189.

  29. Nordmann AJ , et al. "Effects of Low-carbohydrate Vs Low-fat Diets on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: a Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16476868.

  30. Hall KD and Guo J. "Obesity Energetics: Body Weight Regulation and the Effects of Diet Composition. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28193517.

  31. "Evidence-based Recommendations for Natural Bodybuilding Contest Preparation: Nutrition and Supplementation." Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-11-20.

  32. Burke LM , et al. "Carbohydrates and Fat for Training and Recovery. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14971430.

  33. Johnston CS , et al. "Ketogenic Low-carbohydrate Diets Have No Metabolic Advantage over Nonketogenic Low-carbohydrate Diets. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16685046.

  34. Burke LM , et al. "Carbohydrates for Training and Competition. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21660838.

  35. THE PROTEIN-SPARING ACTION OF CARBOHYDRATES. JAMA. 1916;LXVII(17):1233. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02590170041017

  36. Tremblay A , et al. "Impact of Exercise Intensity on Body Fatness and Skeletal Muscle Metabolism. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8028502.

  37. Treuth MS , et al. "Effects of Exercise Intensity on 24-h Energy Expenditure and Substrate Oxidation. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8883001.

  38. Trapp EG , et al. "The Effects of High-intensity Intermittent Exercise Training on Fat Loss and Fasting Insulin Levels of Young Women. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18197184.

  39. SH, Boutcher. "High-intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21113312.

  40. Farinatti PT and Castinheiras Neto AG. "The Effect of Between-set Rest Intervals on the Oxygen Uptake During and After Resistance Exercise Sessions Performed with Large- and Small-muscle ... - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21993043.

  41. Fatouros IG , et al. "Intensity of Resistance Exercise Determines Adipokine and Resting Energy Expenditure Responses in Overweight Elderly Individuals. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19729520.

  42. Derave W , et al. "Effects of Post-absorptive and Postprandial Exercise on Glucoregulation in Metabolic Syndrome. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17372321.

  43. Kraemer WJ , et al. "Acute Hormonal Responses to a Single Bout of Heavy Resistance Exercise in Trained Power Lifters and Untrained Men. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10638340.

  44. "Body Composition Changes Associated with Fasted Versus Non-fasted Aerobic Exercise." Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-014-0054-7.

  45. "Effect of Overnight Fasted Exercise on Weight Loss and Body Composition: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis." MDPI, 25 Nov. 2017, www.mdpi.com/2411-5142/2/4/43.

  46. "High-Intensity Interval Resistance Training (HIRT) Influences Resting Energy Expenditure and Respiratory Ratio in Non-dieting Individuals." PubMed Central (PMC), www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3551736/.

  47. MF, McCarty. "Pre-exercise Administration of Yohimbine May Enhance the Efficacy of Exercise Training As a Fat Loss Strategy by Boosting Lipolysis. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12323115.

  48. Gjedsted J , et al. "Effects of a 3-day Fast on Regional Lipid and Glucose Metabolism in Human Skeletal Muscle and Adipose Tissue. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17784905.

  49. Pitkanen HT , et al. "Free Amino Acid Pool and Muscle Protein Balance After Resistance Exercise. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12750588.

  50. Helms ER , et al. "Evidence-based Recommendations for Natural Bodybuilding Contest Preparation: Nutrition and Supplementation. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24864135.

  51. MM, Manore. "Dietary Supplements for Improving Body Composition and Reducing Body Weight: Where is the Evidence? - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22465867.