How to Lose Body Fat [Step-by-Step Guide]

How to Lose Body Fat [Step-by-Step Guide]

 A few years ago, I retooled my branding, some of my programs and my mission regarding my business, Fitness with PJ.

I went from selling weight loss programs to sunsetting all of them (and some were quite lucrative too).

I also changed my tagline from ‘Helping women reclaim the tush of their 20’s’ to ‘We don’t care about the number on the scale. What we care about are the numbers on your dumbbells.’. To further cement my stance on what my values were as a trainer.

Why did I do this? Drop programs making me money, go opposite to what every algorithm wants.

Because I want to cultivate a community of strong and fit women with a healthy relationship with food.

Selling weight loss programs flew right in the face of that.

While all weight loss programs work, when followed, many of us struggle with that ‘following’ part.

So, we “fall off” the wagon.

And then, perhaps we gain more weight while getting furiously frustrated and pissed off because our bodies are changing faster than we can manage.

Sound familiar?

If so, I understand.

I, too, struggle with this pull to starve myself so my stomach is flat again, to coming back to reason and reminding myself that I am in a different season in my life.

Does this mean you can’t, or shouldn’t, want a flat stomach? Absolutely not.

You can achieve any goal, no matter what your age. 

If you deem something important, you will find a way.

If you are struggling, and fat loss is important to you, I have these four tips which will drop the fat – and a truth bomb.

To lose body fat:

1. Know your numbers.
To lose body fat, you must be in a calorie deficit, and each of us is unique in our daily caloric needs. These needs are based on our individual BMR (basal metabolic rate – the calories our body needs to accomplish basic life-sustaining activities – like breathing to digesting food), and our total daily energy expenditure (TDEE – everything else outside of our BMR).

Find out your BMR & TDEE here.

My combined BMR & TDEE came to 1,975 calories. That is the number of calories I need daily to maintain my current body weight.

If I want to lose a pound per week, I would need to drop my calories to 1,764, and in 3 months, I would reach my goal weight.

Can you go more aggressive with your fat loss approach? Lower your daily calories so you lose weight faster. Yup! But be honest with yourself and ensure this is something you can maintain and won’t make you miserable (and miserable for those around you, too).

FYI: you will need to revise this number every few weeks. As your body weight goes down your daily caloric needs will go down as well. What daily caloric need helped you lose weight at 175 lbs, for instance, will be different at 160 lbs.

2. Increase your protein.
Once you know your daily caloric numbers, break down your macronutrients so you get 30-35% of your diet from protein.

Why protein? Because study after study has proven that a higher protein diet is far more effective for fat loss (and muscle growth).

3. Stay consistent.
Fat loss isn’t a Monday-Friday gig. It’s a 7-day-a-week commitment.

4. Lift heavy sh*t.
‘Strength training builds lean muscle tissue, and it’s this tissue that is the most metabolically active. Meaning, the more muscle you have the more calories you’ll burn – at rest & while

you work out.

Truth bomb 💣: whether this is a truth bomb or simply the hard truth, you need to log your food daily for your new fat loss program to work.

Most people grossly underestimate what they eat in a day, making them believe that the program they are on doesn’t work or that it’s because of hormones, age, etc.; in reality, it’s because they are eating more.

So track your food because the numbers will never lie.

Now you have all the info you need to drop any amount of body fat.

Please bookmark this page, refer to it when you need guidance, and then let’s move on with the conversation.

Moving away from a fat loss focus to the amazing things your body does for you RIGHT now.

Thank you,

PJ ox







PJ ox

Top 10 Tips to Burn Menopausal Belly Fat

Top 10 Tips to Burn Menopausal Belly Fat

Top 10 Tips to Burn Menopausal Belly Fat

Weight gain as we hit menopause seems to be an inevitable part of life. This is due to a number of reasons:

  • Hormones. It’s our bodies way of adapting to our new hormone changes.
  • As we age we become more insulin resistant due to poor food choices through the years. Insulin controls our blood sugar levels and is driven by the foods that we eat. A diet high in breads, pastas, high-sugar coffee drinks, packaged foods and sugar exposes us to higher blood glucose levels, thereby creating an insulin sensitivity and resistance that will cause our bodies to convert the majority of the calories that we eat as fat.
  • We start lose lean muscle tissue, which in turn slows down our metabolism. This lose starts in our early 30’s and starts to pick up steam in our late 40’s, early 50’s. Instead of using more calories to keep our lean muscle tissue warm, our bodies use less because it takes less energy to keep fat warm.
  • Lack of sleep. When we don’t get a good night’s rest our two hormones leptin and gherlin become out-of-balance. Leptin, the hormone involved in regulating our appetite and telling our brain when we are full, becomes elevated with lack of sleep and gherlin, the hormone responsible for telling our brain when to eat, becomes elevated. When we don’t get enough sleep, we end up with too little leptin in our body, which makes our brain think that we don’t have enough energy for our needs. So our brain tells us that we’re hungry, even though we don’t actually need food at that time. It also takes steps to store the calories we eat as fat, so we’ll have enough energy the next time we need it.
  • Stress. With the increased demands in our lives, accompanied by years of yo-yo dieting, binge eating and even undiagnosed food sensitivities, our bodies are under constant stress. If we allow our stress to manifest on a daily basis, over time our adrenal glands (located on the top of each kidney and responsible for releasing a variety of hormones) will reach fatigue and our once efficient adrenals (helping us to us deal with positively to stress responses) will become out-of-balance and will begin storing calories, instead of burning them.

How does stress pack the pounds around the waistline

If your adrenal’s are out-of-balance a common symptom is extra fat around the waistline.

You see, in normal circumstances when we are under stress the brain will signal to the adrenal glands to produce and release cortisol.

It is cortisol’s job to mobilize our glucose, amino acids and fat to prevent our blood sugar levels from going too low. It is making sure that the control centre, our brain, will always have energy/food to keep it going.

After years (or sometimes only months for some women) of long term stress, the cortisol and insulin levels will remain high in the blood and the extra glucose gets stored as fat – and mostly in the abdomen and thighs.

In addition, the fat being stored in the abdomen is the body’s way of protecting the internal organs. Since the body is under constant stress it will work to protect the internal organs, as well as the brain.

How to lose the menopause belly fat

1/ Control your stress.

  • Try meditation, yoga or any mindfulness based activity. Be present and in the moment.
  • Try my favourite meditation app, Headspace
  • Deep belly breathing. Deep breathing can stimulate the vagus nerve, which can calm an overactive central nervous system.

Lie on your back with a book resting on your belly. Inhale deeply and feel the book rise under your belly. Exhale fully and feel the book lower toward the spine.

Repeat for 5-10 minutes daily to improve your vagus nerve function.

2/ Strength train.

  • Build your lean muscle mass with a properly designed strength training workout.
  • Aim for 3 times a week workouts, total body workouts.

3/ Eat regular meals and snacks everyday.

  • No more starving yourself, or yo-yo dieting. These will only damage your metabolism further.
  • You need to keep your blood sugar levels stable to prevent the cortisol from being released.
  • Eat foods lower in the glycemic index. All foods are listed, or indexed, according to their effect on your blood sugars.
    • Unlimited foods at a 55 or less rating (most veggies)
    • Limited foods at 56-69 rating (beets, yams, most fruits)
    • Eliminate foods indexed 70 or higher (donuts, energy bars, bread, potatoes)

4/ Eat more protein.

  • A higher protein diet (meats, beans, legumes) will help support your lean muscle tissue.
  • Protein also helps us feel fuller, quicker and for longer
  • Aim for a 20-30 grams of protein with each meal and 10-15 for your snacks

5/ Move more throughout the day.

  • Make a point of moving as much as you. This has a huge effect on your metabolism. Walk, do exercises while watching TV, be active as often as you can.
  • All this extra movement through the day is called NEAT, non-exercise activity theremogenesis. It is the energy the body uses that is not planned exercise, sleeping or eating. In active people it can account for as much as 50% of your daily calorie burn.

6/ Avoid sugar.

  • Nothing has a greater impact on your insulin levels than sugar.
  • Be wary of artificial sweeteners too. These have been shown to increase our tolerance for the taste of sweet. Meaning in the future it will take a higher dose to satisfy our sweet tooth.

7/ Avoid low calorie, low fat foods.

  • Quite often the food labels are manipulated in a such a way that it makes the food look like it’s low calorie. Read the serving sizes carefully.
  • Studies have also shown that we tend to eat 50-100% more of a food product when labelled low calorie
  • Low fat foods can have a detrimental affect on our brain. The brain is mainly made of fat and cholesterol, and a diet that skimps on healthy saturated fats robs the brain of the raw materials it needs to function optimally. Eat foods such as grass-fed beef, organic dairy products (butter, cream, milk), and coconut oil.

8/ Eat at the right time of day.

  • Cortisol has a natural rhythm, which is highest in the morning, and decreases gradually as the day progresses, and is lowest at night so restful sleep can occur.
  • Eating tends to increase cortisol, so eating the largest meal earlier in the day is the best option for weight loss and maintenance.
  • In addition, our body’s ability to process carbohydrates decreases as the day goes on. We metabolize carbohydrates in the morning better and more efficiently compared to later at night in bed and the more efficiently our body can use the food we eat, the easier it is to lose weight.

9/ Get in 300 minutes.

Aim for 300 minutes of exercise, strength and cardio, a week.

10/ Drink water.

  • The body has no idea whether it is hungry, or thirsty. However, it only has one signal, and that’s the hunger signal. We could actually be dehydrated and masking itself as hunger. Aim for your half your body weight in fluid ounces in water or herbal tea everyday.
  • Keep a 1L re-fillable bottle by you at all times.
  • Start your day with a big glass of water.
  • Increased water is also important if you are increasing your protein for the first time. The water will help flush the kidneys.
  • Water also increases your energy and decreases fatigue.







PJ ox

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