You must create a calorie deficit to lose fat.
When your total energy intake is less than your bodies demand for energy, your body will look for other energy sources.
The energy source you want your body to use is fat.
If you never allow your body to feel like it's being attacked, your body will use fat as fuel.
Under no circumstances do you want your body to use muscle as fuel.
How do you keep your body from thinking it's under attack?
The number one thing you must not do is starve your body. So, your strategy for fat loss with the WLC System will never include starving your body.
So, How in the World Do You Create a Calorie Deficit?
You have two options.
Option 1 is adding more activity in the form of cardiovascular exercise.
Option 2 is decreasing the amount of food intake and therefore decreasing the number of calories. Both options will help you create a calorie deficit.
But option 2 can easily lead to your body thinking it's under attack.
You could also add other activities like more weight training but this will require more recovery time.
Weight training is also not very good at burning fat directly from your body. It indirectly helps you burn more body fat but we're trying to increase fat loss as much as possible through direct fat loss.
So, what should we do? Let's see…
Option #1: Increase Activity
When your goal is fat loss, you will monitor your body fat and muscle mass changes each week.
When it's time to adjust your program (when fat loss starts to slow), you will always choose to increase your activity before decreasing calories.
Why is increasing your activity the number one option?
If you've been paying attention so far, you'll know that the body will hold onto body fat when it thinks it isn't going to get any more food. If you feed your body, it will be more willing to burn fat as energy.
The body knows it's going to get more food, so it willingly burns fat as an energy source.
There will be a limit to the amount of activity your body can handle, though. Follow the WLC System guidelines and the guidelines given in each of our step-by-step programs and you'll be fine.
Cardiovascular activity is the preferred activity because it burns fat so well. Once you reach the maximum amount of cardiovascular exercise, only then will you look to Option #2.
Option #2: Decrease Calories
Only when you've reached the maximum amount of cardio, you then move to option #2 for continued fat loss. As discussed, decreasing calories can send your body the signal that it needs to hold onto fat.
This is exactly what you don't want.
The WLC System fights against sending this starvation signal to your body through several different masking techniques. First of all, you never decrease calories until you've reached the maximum amount of cardiovascular exercise.
This means you will be eating a larger amount of food from the very beginning. You won't have to decrease calories to starvation levels.
Another masking technique employed by WLC is calorie cycling. Calorie cycling is fully discussed in the diet section.
As an example, you may take in 3500 calories one day and 2800 calories the next. The average of those intakes will give you a calorie deficit, but the body never sends a distress signal because it continuously gets a higher level of calories before it can figure out what's going on.
The WLC System has you covered on all fronts. Whether your goal is muscle building or fat loss, you are covered. We have the plan. All you have to do is execute the plan.