If you've struggled to get your clients or yourself fat loss results in the past, I know your exact problem.
You didn’t have a method proven to get you the results you wanted.
Too many times, people try to lose fat by throwing random macros at the wall, and hoping they stick.
But achieving your leanest, strongest, and most confident self doesn't just happen by accident.
When you start online coaching with me, you're following a proven method I've used to create real world results with hundreds of clients.
Because the goal is always to give away as much free education as possible, today I'm going to walk you through EXACTLY how my P3 Fat Loss Method works.
Whether you're a coach or coaching yourself, this will be extremely valuable.
P3: Prepare → Push → Practice
One of the most common mistakes you’ve made in the past, that’s lead to fat loss failure?
Skipping the Prepare Phase, and jumping right into the Push Phase.
The Prepare Phase is NOT something that a lot of coaches of dieters incorporate... but there's a reason it's the first thing we focus on when you start online coaching - this phase is vital to your success.
The prepare phase is where we build your fat loss foundation - if you haven’t put the time in to building a solid foundation, achieving the results you want is unlikely.
In this phase, we’re doing a lot of psychological and behavioral work to prime your body and mind to create the best fat loss results possible when you enter the Push Phase.
This starts with...
→ Creating Your Individualized Diet Structure - One of the biggest keys to nutrition success is individualization. This is where we create a diet that you can actually stick to. I’ve built my coaching career around the belief that adherence is the most important part of any successful diet - and it’s worked out well so far ;).
When you hop on the initial strategy call with me and fill out your questionnaire, we go extremely in-depth determining exactly what you want to achieve. Some things we take into account here include:
- Dieting history
- Food preferences
- Personality type
- Desire rate of progress
- Stress levels
- Current biofeedback
- Time investment
- Activity levels
- Preferred style of training
Basically, we’re “determining your tradeoffs” - what parts of your lifestyle are you willing to “trade off” for quicker results. (E.g. if you aren’t willing to trade off carbs for fat loss, we know the keto diet isn’t a good fit… which is why it fails most people.)
→ Ensuring Accuracy In Your Tracking - The reality is, most of us are pretty bad at estimating how many calories we really eat in a day.
I have TONS of online clients start nutrition coaching saying things like…
“I’m only eating 1,000 calories per day, and I STILL can’t lose weight.”
...only to find out they're eating twice that. Now, they’re never intentionally being deceptive. They just haven’t been taught to track food intake accurately yet.
Most commonly, people are overlooking things like oils, dressings, and condiments, eyeballing portion sizes of meats, nut butters, and carb sources, and missing entirely 2-3 day of the week.
Giving someone fat loss macros who doesn’t have the knowledge of how to track accurately is setting them up for failure. So spending some time on education here is a must. I literally filter through your MyFitnessPal diary, and collaborate with you to identify anywhere inaccuracy could be slipping in.
→ Finding Maintenance - Before we create fat loss, we need to know what amount of food you can eat to maintain your current physique. This allows you to go into the Push Phase eating as much food as possible while losing at the desired rate (a much more ideal situation for maintaining your metabolism, hormones, and lean muscle).
When you start nutrition coaching with me, I put you through a nutrition assessment - I use your previous food logs to establish an estimated maintenance, as well as identify the nutritional habits (and specific nutrients) we need to put our focus on.
The start of the Preparation Phase allows me to fine tune this further and figure out exactly where your maintenance intake is.
→ Food Choices - Another principle I’ve built my nutrition coaching career around, is teaching you as an online client how to auto-regulate your appetite with proper food selection. Basically, we’re teaching you how to choose foods that make you full for relatively low calories.
This literally makes it HARD to overeat.
Once I see you start to do this habitually, I know you’ve won. Overeating - even AFTER you’re done with your diet and just want to maintain - will become much harder. This makes your new lean, strong body EASY to sustain forever.
This focus is a huge part of why my online clients get such quality & SUSTAINABLE results.
It really comes down to focusing on the two most satiating foods per calorie:
1. Lean protein
2. Fibrous carbs
This is another benefit of me being able to see your daily food logs. I can compare the times you noticed hunger or cravings, and educate you on how to make more filling food choices next time.
Being coached through the process of how to manage this is 100x more valuable than a meal plan, because I'm teaching you how to do this ON YOUR OWN in the future.
→ Consistency With Daily Movement - Want to know the BIGGEST difference between the metabolisms of lean and obese individuals?
It's non-exercise activity thermogenesis (N.E.A.T.). All your movement outside of the gym that burns calories - pacing, blinking, doing laundry, etc.
As you diet, you’re eating fewer calories.
Now , you may have noticed your body doesn’t seem to want to lose fat. So to counteract this decrease in calories, your body subconsciously reduces N.E.A.T. - this means now that you’re taking in fewer calories, you’re also burning fewer calories. As a result, fat loss can stall quickly despite eating less than before.
Studies have shown there is a HUGE amount of variability in calories burned through N.E.A.T from person-to-person. (Up to 2,000 calories per day!)
So before we put you into a fat loss phase, we must first ensure you’re consistently hitting a daily movement target (usually a step goal I have online clients track daily in their accountability tracker). This means that there is nothing left unaccounted for when it comes to your fat loss success.
→ Education & Mindset - The reality is, no matter how disciplined you are, at some point in your diet you'll feel like you've "failed" - be it from missing your calorie goal, or seeing progress at a slower rate than you'd like.
With the wrong mindset, this temporary "failure" usually leads to you quitting the diet altogether.
The Preparation Phase helps us avoid this, educating online clients on the idea of consistency over perfection, and teaching you to become focused on the process, knowing that this will lead them to your desired outcomes.
Another belief that I’ve built my online coaching service around - education creates sustainability. When you start online coaching with me, my goal is to literally “work my way out of a job”. I want you to have all the nutritional knowledge and tools to be successful ON YOUR OWN sooner rather than later. I DON’T want you to be codependent on me, I want to empower you.
This is why I put such a huge focus on educating you. In the Prepare Phase, this is generally a basic understanding of energy balance, the satiety index, flexible dieting, and how to make your diet work with the weekends, social events, and work trips (the biggest pieces that throw most people off and kill nutritional adherence).
→ Recovering From Your Last Diet - Depending on how long ago you dieted and how lean you got, the Prepare Phase is a must to set you up for another successful fat loss phase.
The recovery of many hormones such as testosterone, cortisol, and thyroid hormone, along with your metabolism and regaining lean mass (a big part of your metabolism) doesn’t happen overnight. The harsher and more recent your previous diet was, the longer you need to spend in the Preparation Phase.
→ Optimizing Metabolic Capacity - To use an analogy I learned from Cliff Wilson, you can think of metabolic capacity like the gas tank of your car.
Anything you can do to create fat loss is "in the metabolic gas tank"... the amount of cardio you can add to your routine, and the amount of calories you can deduct from your intake.
When a new client starts coaching maintaining their weight on relatively high calories and low cardio, they have a very full metabolic gas tank.
However, if someone starts coaching looking for fat loss, but already eating extremely low calories and doing tons of cardio, their tank is empty. We can't create more fat loss without it being very detrimental to the client's hormones, psychology, lean muscle, and health.
If this is the case, you need to spend some time in Prepare Phase, focusing on refilling your metabolic tank by increasing calories and decreasing cardio before starting a fat loss phase. Starting a trip with an empty gas tank means you won't make it very far before things stall.
So in a nutshell, the Prepare Phase is all about building good habits around food choices, daily movement, building a diet structure specific to you, and recovering from your previous diet.
This can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months, depending on where you’re coming from (like all things within nutrition, it’s highly individual). If we build your fat loss house on a shaky foundation, you won’t see long-term success with your physique. Even if you do get lean, you won’t have the tools & knowledge to sustain that result.
This is why when you start nutrition coaching with me (unlike most coaches & dieters), we DON’T immediately start the diet.
Now that your body, mind & habits are in a position to be successful, the Push Phase is where we take action on the result you came here to get - fat loss, lean muscle gain, or body recomposition.
For new online clients, the Push Phase is most often fat loss focused. This starts with...
→ Creating A Deficit - We know that to lose fat, you must be eating fewer calories than you burn in a day. So an essential piece of the Push Phase is creating a calorie deficit.
The goal here for you is losing .5-1% of body weight per week, OR losing .25”+ from 2 or more sites in your weekly body measurements.
I’ve found that for most online clients, this is a rate fast enough to keep motivation and adherence high, but not too aggressive to the point where you’re experiencing loss of lean muscle, awful energy levels, or drastically different hormones & metabolism.
→ Calorie Cycling - One inevitable part of fat loss is metabolic adaptation. Basically, the down-regulation of metabolism & hormones as you lose weight.
Hunger increases, training performance, energy, recovery, and N.E.A.T. decrease.
Now, while some of this is unavoidable, a big part of what I do within the Push Phase of online coaching is designed to prevent as much metabolic adaptation as possible in the Push Phase - primarily through calorie cycling.
Calorie cycling is periodization of your calories within the fat loss phase - it’s something we do to ensure we're getting you to your ideal body composition in the best place possible metabolically, hormonally, and with your overall health.
I wrote an entire article on how to implement these different calorie cycling options HERE.
→ Periodization - The further you push your body from it’s previous settling point in a fat loss phase, the harder it will fight back to prevent you from creating further changes.
One mistake made all too often, is people spending WAY too long in a fat loss phase. For most of us, this results in always trying to dieting, but never seeing the results.
Think about all those people you know that are ALWAYS dieting - often for years - but never actually achieve their fat loss goals.
Maybe you’re stuck in this position right now yourself.
Your body is smart, and WANTS to be comfortable. It adapts to whatever you throw at it, making linear fat loss for months on end HARD.
This adaptation to dieting is what is know as adaptive thermogenesis- as you get leaner, your metabolism decreases because:
- Your body is smaller, so basal metabolic rate decreases.
- You're eating less food, so the thermic effect of food decreases (given macro composition stays the same).
- The thermic effect of exercise decreases, because it takes fewer calories to move your smaller body.
- Non-exercise activity thermogenesis generally decreases, as you feel lethargic due to lack of calories.
Plus, levels of a hormone called Leptin also decrease. This leads to an increase in hunger, and less energy expenditure.
As you eat more and gain more fat, the opposite happens - metabolism increases, hunger decreases.
Now after endless months of dieting, the psychological and physiological consequences of adaptive thermogenesis build into a fat loss wall. Most people get stuck trying to break through this wall for months and years.
The P3 method is life-changing for online clients, because we DON’T waste months spinning your wheels in a fat loss phase once you hit the wall.
→ Biofeedback - When you’re in the Push Phase, we keep a close eye on your biofeedback. This is one of the main metrics I use to measure how close to the fat loss wall you are. Some sure signs that it’s almost time to transition your out of a Push Phase include multiple weeks of…
- High hunger levels. Some hunger is normal for dieting, and a good sign that you’re eating fewer calories than you’re burning. That said, we usually want this to be somewhere on a 2.5-3.5 (scale of 1-5). Once clients get into the 4-5 range consistently, we know it’s probably time to change phases.
- High cravings. Again, some cravings are normal in a Push Phase. But when these are consistently high, adherence and results starts to suffer.
- Low motivation. When clients start ranking their motivation level 1-3, I know that they’re starting to accumulate a lot of diet fatigue.
- Poor mood. Similar to motivation, when a client consistently starts to rank their mood poorly in their biofeedback tracker, we know that the diet is starting to take it’s psychological toll, and it’s near time to transition out.
The Push Phase typically lasts 6-12 weeks. At this point, we shift our focus to spending some time rejuvenating your body and mind in the Practice phase.
The Practice Phase is the final phase of the P3 model, and is another piece that is often overlooked by coaches and dieters.
→ Recovering From The Push Phase - Some key changes happen during the Practice Phase that make your results more sustainable, and will make future progress easier IF you’re planning another Push Phase:
- Hormones like thyroid, leptin, and testosterone increase.
- Your energy levels, and the energy you burn through non-exercise activity thermogenesis increase.
- Hunger decreases.
- The chronic stress on your system dissipates.
Basically, your system normalizes, and your body gets used to this new weight. Everything starts to feel normal again over time, and your body stops fighting you so hard to regain the weight you lost.
Your body really doesn't like change. It wants to return to it's old normal as quickly as possible. The Practice Phase is a must to allow you to cement a new normal for your body.
→ Finding Your New Maintenance - The amount you can eat to maintain your current physique changes as you lose weight - so we DON’T want to just return you to your previous maintenance intake from when you started coaching. This would result in fat gain.
We know that 1 lb of fat loss requires a deficit of ~3,500 calories. So, if you've been losing an average of 1 lb per week, we know you're in a weekly deficit of ~3,500 calories, or a daily deficit of 500 calories (3,500/7=500).
To be safe, we’ll typically start at 90% of your estimated maintenance calories.
From here, as your hormones and metabolism start to normalize, you'll start burning more calories. This means we’ll need to continue to take body measurements, track biofeedback, and increase macros throughout the Practice Phase, as maintenance is really a moving target.
→ Practicing Maintenance - The Push Phase is very exciting and motivating, because you can see your body changing rapidly. Many of us are GOOD at being ok with being hungry, because we know we’re almost to the fat loss result we want.
The mindset of MAINTAINING that result is much different… which is why so many people regain weight after a diet. Once the goal is achieved, people are sick of being hungry & deprived (which is another big problem in the diet culture, and exactly why I focus on giving my online clients diet flexibility) - so they have a tendency to just go back to how they were eating before the diet… and the weight comes back.
Periods of practicing maintenance allow you to learn new habits and behaviors around your food choices, training, daily movement, dietary flexibility, and what your entire lifestyle will need to look like to maintain this new body.
→ Re-Assessing Your Goals - Here, we take some time to evaluate exactly where you’re at, and mapping out our next course of action.
For clients that want to get leaner still, this means our next step after the Practice Phase is another Push Phase.
For those that are ready to maintain, it means extended time hanging out and practicing maintenance.
For those that are ready to build lean muscle, it means preparing for a lean gains phase.
→ Time Frame - The practice phase can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. Again, it’s highly individual to where you are at as a client.
The shortest time frame (2 weeks) most often comes in the form of a diet break. After reassessing, we’ve determined that you as an online client want to get leaner - which requires another push phase. This is also dependent on your biofeedback and psychological state. But if all of these are in a good place after 2 weeks in a Practice Phase, we’ll transition back into a Push Phase.
More moderate time frames (2 weeks - 1 month) often come around the holidays, or during periods of travel for online clients. During times like these, it’s often unrealistic (and an unnecessary source of stress) to expect clients to also push for fat loss.
Many of my clients spend Thanksgiving - New Years “practicing maintenance”, and are thrilled when they realize (for the first time ever) they DIDN’T gain weight over the holidays, thanks to their new knowledge from coaching.
The beauty of this is, times like these are also the ones where people USED TO see their physique drastically regress, caving to stress eating & poor travel habits. So here, we double down on educating you how to maintain this new, lean body during periods of high stress, travel, or the holidays.
The goal of coaching with me is always helping you achieve results that are sustainable long-term. So learning to maintain instead of regress at times like this is ESSENTIAL.
The longer time frames are most common for clients that have achieved their goal level of leanness. Like we talked about earlier, this requires a whole new mindset, and making sure that the right habits are in place. The more you’ve struggled with yo-yo dieting in the past, the longer we’ll spend here, cementing these changes as your body’s new normal.
Basically, the Practice Phase is where we spend time “practicing maintenance”. This cements these changes as your body’s new normal as your hormones normalize, metabolism increases, and hunger decreases. This is key to SUSTAINING your results long-term.
And that is the P3 Method. This method has changed literally hundreds of lives over my last 6 years as a coach, and I’m stoked to watch it continue to evolve and impact more clients.
If you want my expert guidance through every step of this method, CLICK HERE NOW to apply for online coaching with me.