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What are the Key Principles of Effective Fat Loss?




One of my mentors, Alwyn Cosgrove, has said many times, “The methods are many, but the principles are few. Methods always change but principles never do!”


When I looked it up to see if I could cite a source, I couldn’t find that quote. But I did find this one… 


“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble,” by Herrington Emerson.


It’s ironic that the principles of both statements are the same, the words are different! 


So today I wanted to talk to you about the principles of fat loss. Because all too often, people focus on the methods, the diets, the trends, and they don’t really understand why they are doing things or making changes. 


When it comes to fat loss here are the principles:


  1. Create a Calorie Deficit: Eating less calories than you burn a day, but not by more than 500-750 calories less per day. That number is determined by current weight, and activity, not your tolerance for eating less. 

  2. Increase Food Quality: Focus on eating nutrient dense foods that provide the vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive and also keep you satiated so you don’t feel like your starving. 

  3. Physical Activity: Find activities that you enjoy that allow you to both maintain muscle and burn calories.  (spoiler alert, we love and recommend strength training!)

  4. Hydration: Being properly hydrated helps support your metabolism and overall health; being dehydrated can effect both your appetite and physical activities. 

  5. Sleep and Stress Management: Prioritizing quality sleep and managing your stress levels can both positively effect your hormones, appetite, and overall health. 

  6. Consistency: Understand that sustainable fat loss is going to take time, it is non-linear; and that you will need to progressively learn new skills and habits along the way to keep losing body fat. 


This is all great information and it’s also what all good diets have in common.  But we know what you are thinking. It’s very general, so how do you apply it? The good news is that there are so many methods, and you may already have some ideas… 


But it’s important to remember that not every method works for every body, or lifestyle. This is where the principles come in. When we put the different methods through the filter of principles and your personal values, needs, wants and abilities; it makes it easier to choose a starting place and a method and stick to it. If something doesn’t work, go back to the principles and see where things fell short for you, or what adjustments you can make, instead of jumping into the next method that your mothers co-workers sister swears by. 


Over the next few weeks we will take a deeper dive into each of these principles to give you some methods that we have found to be helpful!


If you have any questions, please let us know so that we can try to address them in the upcoming emails.

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