Basic Fat Loss Nutrition and Meal Plan
This article will give you a basic fat loss nutrition guide and a meal plan for you to follow.
If you’re starting on your fat loss journey, two main things will be on your mind:
- Exercise – Are you training enough? Is there a good amount of cardio in your workout?
- Nutrition – How’s your diet looking? How are you managing your calories?
Both are essential to the fat-burning process, and it’s impossible to have shredded abs without focusing on both exercise and nutrition. However, it’s not always as straightforward as it seems.
Working out is the easy part – once you have your workout down, all you have to do is keep repeating and improving that process – but diet can be much harder to master.
Temptation, calorie counting, hunger, sacrifice – all these struggles are part and parcel of an effective fat-loss diet.
Basic Fat Loss Nutrition
But where do you start, and what makes the basis of a good nutrition plan?
Well, here at Instant Knockout, we’ve designed a ‘bare bones’ plan for those just starting in the cutting stages, with a system that can quickly be adopted, adapted and improved.
In this write-up, we cover the following:
- Beginner’s Macro Guide – The best way to measure your protein, carbs and fats
- Proteins – Why it’s essential, and the top good/bad examples of for fat loss
- Carbohydrates – What they do, how to implement them properly
- Fats – How much should you be getting, and which ones are the best choice for you
- Example Meal Plan – A basic meal plan for better results
- Conclusion – Key points to take away from this article
Beginner’s Macro Guide
Macronutrients (macros) are the three food groups; protein, fat and carbs. When you hear people talk about macros, they’re usually referring to their macro-nutrient ratio. This is how much of each food group they have in their diet. For example, “50/30/20” would be a diet of 50% Carbohydrates, 30% Protein and 20% Fat.
But what is the ideal Macro-nutrient Ratio for Fat Loss?
That’s a good question.
The problem is that everyone has different metabolic rates, with some burning fat faster than others. The Dietary Guidelines recommend a carb-heavy split: 45 – 65% Carbs / 10 – 35% Protein/ 20 – 35% Fat.
Although having more carbs than other foods may sound counterintuitive, don’t worry. As long as you’re getting the right types of carbs, you can still keep on top of your fat-burning goals.
What makes the most significant difference here are calories.
We’ve got a great list of classic cutting techniques over on our Cutting Fat with Instant Knockout article
If you know anything about the fitness industry, it’ll be the emphasis on protein. It’s a food group that your body breaks down into essential amino acids. These amino acids help repair muscle and allow you to maintain and grow muscle mass after training.
It’s key to building muscle, and to some extent, it can even help with metabolism.
So, what foods contain protein?
It can be a little confusing when looking for a good source of protein. So how do you know which ones are the best – and how do you avoid eating the wrong foods that will hold back your progress?
It couldn’t be easier. We’ve outlined a list of good and bad foods: the clean and the dirty. When you’re looking to get those macros, this is the type of food we recommend eating:
Good Sources of Protein
- Eggs (13% protein) – An entire egg is around 13% protein. It also contains a range of vitamins, minerals and amino acids to support a healthy lifestyle fully.
- Tuna (30% protein) – Not only does it have a significant protein count, but tuna is also rich in Omega-3, which helps reduce fatty acids and bad cholesterol.
- Tempeh (19% protein) – A clean protein endorsed by vegans, made out of fermented soy, it’s also been seen to increase bone density and prevent inflammatory diseases.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes (14% protein) – Aside from being a high source of healthy protein, sun-dried tomatoes also contain a large amount of Vitamin C and plenty of fibre.
- Almonds (21% protein) – A solid supply of protein and a good amount of healthy fats, almonds are a healthy source of vitamins and minerals and an effective, clean protein supply.
Bad Sources of Protein
- Burgers – Processed meat is often a great source of protein, but is also high in trans fats and may increase your risk of certain cancers.
- Milkshakes – Although rich in protein due to the milk involved, milkshakes typically have a lot of sugar and calories.
- Deep Fried Chicken – Again, high in protein but also high in fats and calories. The negatives outweigh any benefits from the protein.
- Peanut Butter – Surprisingly low in protein for a commonly cited “protein source”, peanut butter is a high-fat snack that offers little protein.
Key Point: Protein is an essential macronutrient that is broken down into essential amino acids. It helps with muscle repair and growth and is vital to your diet. But that doesn’t mean you should eat any food that’s high in it.
Protein may be the building blocks of muscle, but carbohydrates are the fuel that makes it all happen. This is what your body converts into energy, which not only helps you to move but fuels your body to perform everyday functions.
Any excess carbs in your system are largely stored as fat, so it’s important that you get the balance right.
So what is a good carbohydrate?
There are two types of carbohydrates you need to know about, simple and complex. Ideally, you want to be having more complex carbohydrates. These are foods packed with slow-releasing energy and full of essential vitamins, minerals and fibre. They also help a great deal with digestion.
Simple carbohydrates, on the other hand, are sugar-based. They give you a quick energy boost which fades soon after. This can spike insulin levels, which can increase overall fat storage and slows up fat burning.
When it comes to carbohydrates, this is what you need to know:
Good Sources of Carbohydrates:
- Brown Rice (23% carbs) – Slow-releasing energy, but also a good source of fibre. Brown rice also helps to reduce bad cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels to prevent insulin spikes.
- Oats (12%) – Another slow-releasing staple, oats lower bad cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and are a great source of fibre, potassium and calcium.
- Wholemeal Bread (43%) – Full of energy and a comprehensive profile of minerals, B vitamins and antioxidants.
- Sweet Potato (20%) – Good source of vitamins C, A, and B. It also has a strong mineral profile containing copper, manganese and potassium.
- Black Beans (63%) – As well as being a great complex carb, black beans are also high in fibre and protein. Pound-for-pound, it’s one of the better foods out there.
Bad Sources of Carbohydrates:
- Frozen Yogurt – Although marketed as low in fat, Fro-Yo is full of sugar and sweeteners. This boosts insulin and maximizes fat gain.
- French Fries – It’s made out of potato, but don’t be fooled – this food is cooked in high-fat, unhealthy oils, which can lead to heart and artery issues.
- Cake – No matter how much fruit has gone into it, a cake is essentially a sponge filled with sugar. It’ll jack up your insulin levels and your fat gains.
- Breakfast Cereal – Usually advertised as the most important meal of the day – but take another look. The sugar content on some of these brands is incredibly high.
- Low Fat Options – Most foods that release a ‘low fat’ version have usually made up the difference with ‘carbohydrates of which sugar’, do your research, and check the label.
Key Point: Carbohydrates are your key to effective energy production and recovery. There are two types, simple carbs and complex. Stick to complex carbs. These have slow-releasing energy and are packed with vitamins and minerals.
Proteins rebuild the muscle, and carbohydrates supply the energy, so what do fats do? They create the best hormonal environment to make it all work.
Healthy fats are essential to testosterone levels, which keep your fat burning at a maximum and your muscles in prime condition. Not only that, dietary fats have strong connections to brain health, lung function, your immune system, clear skin and a healthy heart.
In short, it’s incredible – and cutting down on eating it is the worst thing you can do if you want to burn it off yourself. You have to make sure you’re eating the right kind.
Monounsaturated Fat and Saturated Fats are your best bet. Here’s what you need to know:
Good Sources of Fats:
- Avocados (15% fat) – Loaded with healthy fats, Avocados also contain potassium and fibre and can even lower cholesterol.
- Coconut Oil (100% fat) – Absolutely FULL of benefits. Coconut Oil raises good cholesterol and can help build muscle while burning fat.
- Macadamia Nuts (76% fat) – Packed with vitamin A, iron, protein and a comprehensive vitamin B profile, Macadamia nuts are a great source of fat and are also delicious.
- Almonds (49% fat) – Containing magnesium and vitamin E, Almonds can lower blood sugar levels, reduce hunger and promote weight loss.
- Oily Fish (13% fat) – A great source of Vitamin D, a range of Vitamin B and a lot of Omega-3 Fatty acids, which are all good for overall health and hormones.
Bad Sources of Fats:
- Ice Cream – Although you could argue the milk in Ice Cream is a good source of fat, the sugar in ice cream isn’t.
- Solid Fats (Stick Margarine, Butter) – Can raise LDL (Bad Cholesterol) and lead to heart disease and stroke.
- Fast Food – It’s cooked in high-calorie refined oils that raise bad cholesterol and cause heart problems.
- Donuts and Pastry – A horrible choice. Full of sugar, additives and unhealthy cholesterol will boost insulin and pressure your heart.
Key Point: Fats are great for your diet – within reason. Ensure your fats are from natural sources, not refined, artificial foods. Good fats can promote organ health, brain function, and hormone regulation – whereas bad fats can achieve the opposite.
How many meals should I eat a day?
When burning fat or losing weight, it’s believed that the more meals you have will boost your overall metabolism and help you cut down much quicker.
That’s a myth.
A recent study followed several groups of subjects, one eating two meals a day, the other 6, another 5, and 3-5 – but they all had the same amount of calories. The idea was to see if there was any difference in the metabolic rate between the groups. However, no differences were noted. [1, 2]
As long as you’re hitting your macros and you’re getting in enough calories to meet your needs, you can eat as frequently (or as infrequently) as you like throughout the day.
Mouth-Watering Meal Examples
Looking for more direction on what foods work best for fat burning. Don’t worry. We’ve prepared a list of easy meals you can put together to keep things ticking over on your fat loss journey.
Here are four quick-and-easy meal ideas (a snack, breakfast, lunch and dinner) to inspire your kitchen and start burning fat fast:
SNACK: Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
The PB&B Sandwich is a sweet choice that not only tastes great but is a healthy fat-cutting snack.
For this, you’ll need:
- Brown Wholemeal Bread – Good complex carbs
- Bananas – Packed with vitamins and minerals
- Peanut Butter – Good source of fats and protein
Simply slice up the bread and spread the peanut butter on a side of each. Then cut up the bananas, place them on the peanut butter, and you’ll be good to go.
BREAKFAST: Oatmeal and Coconut Oil
Oats with Coconut Oil is a simple morning option to kick start your day. It’s filling, nutritious and doesn’t take long to make.
For this, you’ll need:
- Steel Cut Oats – Effective complex carbs
- Milk – Good source of protein and fat
- Coconut Oil – Full of good fats and packed with other benefits
Place oats and milk onto a pan and heat them at a medium temperature. Once the oats have fully absorbed, you have oatmeal. Leave it to stand for five minutes, then stir in some coconut oil. The result is fantastic for your body and your taste buds.
LUNCH: Tuna and Spinach Pasta
A hearty lunch which will hold you over until lunchtime. All the essentials are there, and it’s perfect for taking to work – it can be served hot or cold.
Here’s what you need:
- Tuna – Good source of protein
- Olive Oil – Full of healthy fats
- Wholegrain Pasta – Complex Carbohydrates
- Spinach – Contains iron, other minerals and vitamins
- Garlic – A vegetable with a variety of proven benefits, garlic helps decrease bad cholesterol, reduces blood pressure and increases immunity – plus, it’s great for flavour
This is another healthy meal you can put together with ease. Simply cook the pasta in boiling water, as instructed on the packaging, while you drain the tuna and mince the garlic separately.
When boiled, drain the pasta and reduce the heat to medium, and then start stirring in the olive oil and garlic. Once that turns to a golden brown, add spinach and reduce the heat. Finally, after the spinach turns soft and droops then, add in the tuna.
DINNER: Stir Fried Chicken, Broccoli and Avocado on Brown Rice
This is a high-protein, end-of-the-day meal. There’s a good source of carbs and fats too. Just what you need after a hard day of burning fat.
This is what’s required:
- Broccoli Florets – Contains a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and protein
- Avocado (chopped) – Good source of fats
- Chicken Breast (diced) – Healthy amount of protein
- Brown Rice – Wholesome complex carbs, slow-releasing energy
- Ginger (shredded) – Adds flavour and helps with overall digestion
- Garlic (shredded) – Linked to reducing bad cholesterol and blood pressure and raising immunity
- Red Onion (sliced) – Good source of vitamins
- Roasted Red Pepper (diced) – Rich in vitamin C, potent anti-inflammatory and multiple other health benefits
- Olive Oil – Full of healthy fats
- Cayenne Pepper Powder – A potent thermogenic that increases body heat and maximize calorie burning
- Reduced Salt Soy Sauce – Can help with digestion and improves flavour
- Honey – Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and reduces coughs and throat inflammation
This is an easy-to-put-together meal that will make all the difference.
- To start, chop up the avocado and put it to the side.
- Boil the broccoli until soft and cooked.
- Use a non-stick wok and coat it in olive oil.
- Add the garlic, ginger and onion and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken and stir for 2 minutes.
- Pour the broccoli, soy, honey, red pepper and some water into the mix.
- Heat the rice and serve with stir fry and avocados.
Basic Fat Loss Nutrition: Final Thoughts
If you want faster results, sometimes you need to go one step further than diet and exercise. Supplements are a good way to get the results you want, and the best way to do that is with a fat burner.
Instant Knockout is one of the best fat burners on the market. It’s packed with clinically proven ingredients that promote fat loss and is even used by top fighters in the MMA.
It’s your best method to:
- Bring out those abs – Sculpt rock-hard muscle into your torso
- Workout for longer – Boost your energy for longer performance
- Cut down on your hunger – Stop cravings with effective appetite suppressants
- Burn away fat – Use up more calories throughout the day