Underfeeding will make it HARDER to lose FAT.
Underfeeding is what most of the American population will do when there is an attempt made in losing fat. People think that short term answers will lead to long term results. Underfeeding your body can lead to a large amount of problems such as binge eating, yoyo dieting, and metabolism plateaus long term. These are all things that can be avoided if fat loss is looked at long term instead of a quick fix mindset! Lets dive in.
One of the biggest problems with underfeeding is the "skinny fat dilemma." When a person is skinny fat, it means that they have a thin frame, but almost no muscle mass on their body to support strength and metabolism. The reason for this is because when calories are too low, the body saves fat as long term fuel storage. The body is smarter than we think, and it knows that when underfed, survival is a must. This will cause the body to start using lean body mass (muscle tissue) as fuel and fat will be secondary. This is the opposite of what you want!
The goal with any diet is to get your daily macro-nutrients dialed in to make fat loss a slow process of about 1-2 pounds per week. This will keep metabolic rates functioning high and will make fat loss effortless long term.
Attached is my video how to dial in your own macro- nutrients. (Starts at 7:50 in.)
Another huge mistake when underfeeding is not allowing enough protein in your diet. In order to lose fat, it takes calorie restriction. The body needs to be forced into a caloric deficit or no weight loss will occur. However, despite being in a deficit, protein intake still needs to be hit. This is crucial to keeping your lean body mass. For men, 1g per LB of bodyweight should be consumed and females should shoot for .8g per LB of bodyweight. This will help keep muscle and metabolism functioning at a high level.
The deficit that you are trying to create each day should be somewhere between 500-700 calories depending on how aggressive you want your weight loss to be. Anything more than that, and problems will start to occur over time such as lower metabolism, strength and energy loss, lack of motivation and mental clarity, and fat storage as muscle starts to be consumed. Getting your macro-nutrients (protein, carbs, and fat grams) dialed in each day is the best bet at making the majority or all of the weight lost come from fat tissue.
The Cardio Myth
The common theme for people to believe is that cardio is directly correlated with fat loss. This is anything but the truth. The truth is that cardio has no roll in fat loss if a calorie deficit is not created through your diet. Overfeeding into a calorie surplus can virtually never be made up by doing excess cardio.
Cardio needs to be a last resort to get to deeper levels of fat loss once diet is already dialed in. This is the most common mistake I see each day in the health and fitness industry.
Attached is my video describing why I hate cardio.
What is the Best Diet to Follow?
The best diet for one to follow is one that the person can stick to long term. Many types of diets can all yield excellent results because the ultimate factor is driving the body into a calorie deficit each day over time. If a calorie deficit is not present, no weight can be lost no matter what diet that individual follows. Hard numbers and facts that the person hits each day through proper macro-nutrient tracking will be the best bet in losing weight.
I have also made a video on the different types of diets and how they ALL can work for you.
Long term dieting will take a long term mindset. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is fat loss. Patience is the absolute key any time you are trying to conquer a physique goal.