Seven Quick Fat Loss Tips

Helpful Tips


The “big idea” of what we teach is that fast fat loss is hard to maintain.  The goal is gradual fat loss where you are preserving your muscle along the way.  That is the emphasis of Met Flex for Fat Loss and we support the book with the Science Lab private forums and Webinars four times a week.  The last two are free when you buy the book.

1.  You don’t need to eat at a deficit to mobilize fat; your training will keep you lean. Stress is good, but the stress of dieting compounded with the stress of training intensely day in/day out will probably be too much and will likely have a negative impact on your body composition. You’ve got to eat to perform and let your body do what it needs to do!

2.  Most diets work, but the wrong diet for the wrong person can be a disaster. A diet should ideally become a lifestyle that you can adhere to long-term. There is no magic macronutrient.

3.  Energy-dense foods are the way to go if you’re an athlete. Sedentary people may benefit from the standard “eat fewer carbs” Paleo diet but active people will tend to underfeed if they avoid starches and fatty meat.  So think of what we teach as “Paleo Plus” which is pretty consistent with what Dr. Cordain wrote in “Paleo for Athletes”.

4.  “Eat less/do less” low carb/low calorie diets can help you lose weight quickly, but most of it’s water. It can be hard to tell how much fat mass you’re losing vs. how much water you’re expelling on a low carb diet, and it definitely has an impact on performance due to chronic glycogen depletion.

5.  You need a significant amount of muscle mass before you worry about having abs! You can starve yourself for months and strip off every ounce of fat on your body but you won’t look the way you want to without a solid foundation. Focus on training and eating to fuel performance/muscle gains; you’ll look and feel much better.

6.  Homeostasis is physiological stability. Your body is great at adapting and finding its center when you feed it properly and get enough sleep. When these factors get out of whack, body composition will degrade and you can start to underperform during your training/events. In extreme cases, you become obese and develop metabolic disorders/cardiovascular health problems. It’s important to look at your nutrition, training, and lifestyle as a whole when determining how you proceed with your plan. Dynamically alter your strategy to fit in with your life, NOT the other way around.

7.  A gradual, personalized approach will save you a lot of heartache and keep you free of injuries. Don’t gamble on your health by trying to force things.

Nutrition Infographic

Too often people want to make things too complicated.  What we teach people is in this order 1.  Quality (eat mostly whole foods) 2.  Quantity (eat enough to support your athletic activity) 3.  Variety (mix it up so you get varying degrees of micronutrients/vitamins) 4.  Timing.  Our book Met Flex for Fat Loss focuses on eating moderate amounts of carbs around your workouts.  It was written in conjunction with me and for this site, a site where the majority of people do Crossfit.

Nutrition Infographic

Crossfit Athlete Fat Loss Summary

Ivette Carcas

This is just the summary version of the long post you can find in the link at the bottom.  What we teach is a patient approach that focuses on work capacity.  Our book Met Flex for Fat Loss gets updated monthly and you also get a free membership to the Science Lab private forum and unlimited access to the webinars.


  • Prolonged periods of low carb dieting can equate to underfeeding, and this can lead to all kinds of metabolic derangement.
  • Eating to perform means eating enough food to sustain and improve your work capacity, strength, agility, and sport specific skills.
  • Form follows function; by putting performance first, you can achieve an optimal body composition.  That may not mean you walk around at 5% body fat, but you’ll be lean and muscular without eating in a restrictive fashion.
  • Start by getting a ballpark figure of how many calories you need to eat every day (TDEE).  Although it may seem like a lot of food at first, most of the time you will create a calorie deficit through your training and eating more (not less) will promote positive body composition changes.
  • If fat loss is your primary goal or you’re coming from a period of calorie restriction, subtract 10% from your TDEE calculation to give yourself some room to eat a little bit less.
  • A good place to start for men would be bodyweight in grams + 50g for carbs on training days and dial it in as they go.  Women should start at bodyweight in grams of carbs. Another and potentially much better approach is to use the calculator and solve for carbs using the fats as I recommend on that page (lean people need to start at their weight in grams to maintain conditions favorable to maintaining the muscle they have earned)
  • Eat 1g of protein for every lb. of bodyweight.  
  • Counting calories may be necessary for a short period of time while you get a handle on how much you need to eat, but you should ultimately try to eat more by how you feel, look, and perform than any number.

Here is the link to the full post “How Crossfit Athletes Should Do a Calorie Deficit“.

“Meet the Girls” Infographic

This image provided by East Dallas Crossfit
“The Girls” workouts are something all of us are familiar with.  This graphic shows the men’s Rx weight.  For the women’s Rx weight, you would multiply by .68.  If you are looking for the newest Reebok gear to help you in your WOD’s, click the link below to support this site.

Our hidden gem, Janelle Deeds


This is a comment from Janelle talking to someone in the forums.  She has a lot of experience working with people on a one to one basis and along with myself and James we monitor “the groups”.  The groups are set in the Science Lab for people’s specific goals.  This is actually the topic Mike will be doing his update on this month in Met Flex for Fat Loss.  (Also Janelle’s profile is in that link) She is a rock star in the forums and does a great job working people through their hurdles.

This is Janelle

I cannot stress highly enough the ‘gradually awesome approach’ here! Resetting the metabolism and keeping it healthy is very important.

Key points to keep things reigned in:

  1. Know where you are now. You have to know what your intake is and what changes if you want to know what is working and what is not. That means a little tracking up front. Don’t go crazy but know.
  2. Make the changes regular. Meaning, don’t add in 3 different carb sources all in one day and then if you feel lousy, you don’t know which one you might have had a reaction to. Start with one thing and use it for 3 days, then add something else.
  3. Don’t wait until you are freaked out to dial it back a little. Being up 3-5 lbs is re-feeding, don’t wait until you are up so far that you can’t make a course correction without getting down on yourself. Listen to your body, make some tweaks, ask for help (that’s what we are here for).
  4. Sometimes you need to rest. Yes, we are here to Eat To Perform. But your body just might need a short reset. Take a de-load week or even some real rest days. Take care of yourself! Your body will like it.  (this is Paul, if the Omegawave app has taught me anything it’s that more rest is actually better for performance, there isn’t just one way to Eat To Perform)

Strength Tip from Julia: Breathing at Low Repetitions

Julia is the coach of our women’s classes and is one of the best strength coaches around.  Gaining and maintaining muscle is one of the cornerstones of Met Flex for Fat Loss.

“If you are doing five reps or less try to hold your breath for each rep. Keep the air/pressure until the rep is complete then reset your position. Treat each rep as an individual single rep. This will allow you to stay tight and maintain your position during the lift (squat, deadlift, clean, overhead press), and by resetting and taking another deep breath for the next rep, you’re positioning yourself to be SET every time.”

Adrenal Fatigue Mistakes

Steve Omegawave


This is a guest post from one of our Science Lab members.  He is sharing his story in hopes that someone can benefit from his mistakes.  If you think you aren’t susceptible to this you are probably wrong.  In Met Flex for Fat Loss (our book that gets updated monthly) a big theme is to fuel your workouts, specifically fueling them with carbohydrates.  Another big theme is rest.  The app is Omegawave, it is an HRV monitor that allows you to check various metrics to keep you working out at your peak.

Here is Steve’s story:

I started training like a madman at the age of 12 years old after a dude I worshipped told me I had man tits.  I was crushed.  I vowed to do whatever it took to become a beast.    At the time I listened to a band called Molly Hatchet.   (Remember them?)   They had the coolest album covers of gigantic warriors.    That’s what I wanted to look like.   So I set up shop in my basement and followed the body building routines in all the mags.    I’d work out for hours;   The problem was I wasn’t blessed with lean man genes.    I was dang strong, but I couldn’t figure out how to get lean.

In steps my buddy’s uncle:  Ken Waller.   Some of you may remember him from “Pumping Iron.”    He said the trick was to cut carbs out, so I did…And I got really freaking lean.   I remember passing out at the pool one day because I hadn’t eaten one gram of carbohydrate.     But I was lean!

That was the start of my battle against looking ripped vs. feeling good.    To this day, I think I’d rather be ripped and feel like dog turds, but that’s another story.     For years, it was a constant battle of training for hours and not eating carbs (other than the crazy binges I’d go on).      Consuming 2 large pizzas in one sitting was nothing for me.    My weight would go up and down every few months.  To counter the weight gain I’d just train longer and harder; the problem was fatigue got in the way.   At the time, I’d tell myself I was being weak and I’d just keep grinding away.   Type A personalities are good at that.

In about 1992 I found the holy grail.   Ephedra!!   For any of you who haven’t taken this stuff, it’s like crack!    Now I was in business!    I could train all day and not be hungry!

Fast forward to 2000.    After years of training and eating this way, the wheels fell off the bus.   I literally couldn’t get out of bed and I gained 75 lbs. of fat in 6 months.  175 up to 250!      I’ve been on a quest to find “the answer” ever since.    Deep down, I knew it was my diet because every time I binged on pizza I felt great for about 3 days.     God forbid I keep eating carbs though, because I didn’t want to get fat.     Oh wait, I did get fat.    Oh well, back to the no carb diet and training like crazy again.    This cycle has continued, until about 2 months ago when I found ETP.

I decided nothing else was working and started eating carbs every day.    I gained about 10 lbs. quickly but felt sooooo much better.    In the process, I met Mike T Nelson.   He looked at my training logs and had me start monitoring myself with the ithlete and OmegaWave software.    He knew I was severely overtraining by looking at my logs, but I needed proof.    The software doesn’t lie.    As you can see from my measurement, I’m fried…And that was after two weeks of doing nothing!

What’s the point?    

Too many of us are chasing after the “lean, hard” look we see in magazines at the expense of eating to perform and feeling good.    The problem is most of the folks we see in magazines that look like Greek gods and goddesses are juicing.    And BTW, I did that too.    When people look like that and tell me they are clean I’m like yea right.    Whatever.    Been there done that.

What’s the answer?

Put the carbs back in, cycle your calories up and down, train and sleep hard and I believe you can maintain YOUR ultimate body year round.   I’m stuck on the sidelines for now, recuperating.    But, with some rest and proper eating, I’ll come back stronger and better than ever.

Hope this helps those of you who are battling the same demons.    Everyone has their own perfect body.   Go find it.

Met Flex Tip 5: Evil Carbs and Performance

sweet potato

We recently introduced Private Forums to go along with our webinars we do four times a week.  Both of which give you the opportunity to walk through your changes using the info you get when you buy Met Flex for Fat Loss.

It seems that many people are afraid of carbs.  The media has convinced them that they are bad.  I disagree.  Remember that the media once said all fats were bad too, so are eggs, milk, etc.  Bah!

Carbs are the preferred fuel source for high intensity exercise.  It is a bioengertic fact that you can NOT produce the same levels of power by only using fat as an energy source.   This is in every basic exercise physiology textbook.

I am a big fan of having some carbs before training if at all possible.  I know some lift in the AM fasted as it is impossible to get anything down beforehand, and that is fine.    If you have time though, take in some starchy carbs before your training session, starting at around 50 grams.     Good choices are sweet potatoes, bananas or prepackaged carb sources like Vitargo.

Not only will you have the fuel to use during training, they promote the release of insulin by your body.  Insulin is not the devil it has been portrayed and higher levels of insulin actually push the body to use more carbs. This is exactly what you want to do during training.

If you have not tried this before, please try it first on a non training day or time to see how your body reacts.


Try adding some starchy carbs pretraining if at all possible.  If you are training in the AM fasted, push your carb intake to the night before.     Most people see a nice bump in their performance

Mike T Nelson

Met Flex Tip 4: “Shape Shifting Nutrition”

Lisa Cartwright

We recently introduced Private Forums to go along with our webinars we do four times a week.  Both of which give you the opportunity to walk through your changes using the info you get when you buy Met Flex for Fat Loss.

I may be dating myself here, but one of the coolest movie bad guys was the shape-shifting cyborg sent back in time to kill John Connor in Terminator 2.   He was so scary due to his ability to change and take on almost any form, and he almost beat Arnold!

This concept can be applied to your body too, but with a slight tweak for more fat loss and performance.

When we eat food, our body breaks it down into fuel.  The main fuels are  carbs and fats (protein is generally not used directly for fuel).

We can measure this in the lab with fancy equipment called a metabolic cart that will tell us what “fuel mixture” your body is using at that time via the respiratory exchange ratio (RER).

Both fuels are needed for optimal body composition and performance.   When you are doing high intensity exercise, carbs are the best fuel.    The rest of the day you want to be a fat burning machine, thus your overall RER is low (pushed towards using fats).

Metabolic flexibility is the process of turning your body into a fuel shape-shifter.   Carbs can be used or stored as glycogen for later use during exercise, while fat (both dietary fat and body fat) can be burned at a higher rate the rest of the time.   This way you get the performance you want in the gym, but the body composition you want at the beach.

Mike T Nelson

AMAZING Salmon Burgers with Sweet Potato Kabobs



Shannon is Eat To Perform’s resident food blogger.  When you buy Metabolic Flexibility for Fat Loss, you gain access to the Science Lab private forum, webinars, and a collection of dozens of recipes like this one as well as help with planning your daily meals.    

After the last week of awesomeness, I figured I need to get a new recipe out there.  I need to start by saying that the support I have received from everyone, ETP members, friends, family, etc. has been AWESOME!  I never thought my story would serve as motivation for anyone.  Obviously, Paul saw something more than I saw in myself.   It is humbling and motivating for me to know that my story can touch so many people and I can’t wait to continue this journey I have begun.

I grew up on the East Coast, where fresh seafood was in abundance.  I remember “clam bakes” with my Dad’s family where there would be pots full of clams and lobster.  Oh, how I miss that!  Being in Minnesota, I just have to make due with what I have…store bought seafood  and fish from the grocery store….meh!

Salmon is a pretty good choice here in the Midwest.  You can usually get a pretty good piece of salmon that’s somewhat fresh….(at least that’s what I tell myself)

My first idea was to soak some cedar planks and grill my salmon with some basic seasoning, but it was raining most of the day here, so I thought I would create some salmon burgers to sear in a pan instead.  Typically, salmon burgers need some mayo and breadcrumbs to help bind them.  Not these ones!  Instead of mayo, I used coarse ground mustard and some almond meal instead of breadcrumbs.  They turned out delicious!

As for the sweet potatoes….how have I not thought of this sooner?  Skewered sweet potatoes on the grill?  Brilliant!  So simple too!

Here are the recipes!

Salmon Burgers with Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce


  • 2 pounds of salmon
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tbsp of course ground mustard
  • 2 tbsp almond meal
  • salt and pepper to taste

Remove the skin from your salmon and put the meat into a food processor.  Pulse a couple of times for 10 seconds – until the salmon is broken up, but not totally ground.  In a separate bowl, mix the salmon with the remaining ingredients, being careful not to overmix.  Form the mixture into 6 patties and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.  Place the salmon patties in the pan and let cook for 4-5 minutes.  Flip and continue to cook another 4 minutes.  Remove from heat, top with a dollop of lemon dill yogurt sauce and enjoy on some bibb lettuce or a bun – whichever you prefer.

Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce


  • 1 6-8 oz container of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 of a lemon’s juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • salt to taste

Mix all of the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

Sweet Potato Kabobs


  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Wooden skewers

Heat your grill to medium heat.  Coat the sweet potato cubes in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Skewer the potatoes onto the wooden skewers.  Place the skewers on the grill and cook for around 5-10 minutes per side.  Remove when the potatoes are tender in the middle.

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