10 Fat Loss Tips

Isabel De Los Rios10 Fat Loss Secrets

By: Isabel De Los Rios

1.  There is no one diet that is “the best” or will work for everyone.

Use your own body as your guide and let your results be your indicator of whether or not you’re doing what’s best for you. Always pay attention to what your body tells you, NOT what somebody else is doing.

2.  The best way to measure your fat loss is by using a mirror!

No matter what the scale says, how you look and feel is always more important than numbers.  You can reconfirm your progress by taking body measurements and taking pictures, but if you look good…you look good and it doesn’t matter what the scale says.body transformation

3.  Omega 3’s are an absolute must for fat loss.

Make salmon, sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts and a high quality Omega 3 supplement a part of your daily meal plans.  The difference with and without them is incredible!

4.  You must be moving your bowels regularly in order to see your body lose fat (2 – 3 times per day, preferably 3).

If you’re not, sip on water with lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper all through the day until you have reached 2-3 bowel movements per day.  You dietcan not eliminate bad fat if your body is holding on to all that sludge in your intestines.

5.  You absolutely cannot out exercise bad nutrition.

Your workouts are 20-30% of the fat loss equation and nutrition is 70-80%.  If you’re exercising regularly and not seeing fat loss results, you must make an adjustment to your nutrition.

6.  Cheat days (or an off day) are absolutely essential to the fat loss equation.

Take one day out of the week and eat whatever you like but without gorging yourself.  It will not only give you a metabolism boost but it is a great mental break when following a fat loss meal plan.diet solution program

7.  If you are eating wholesome, un-processed foods, you can eat massive quantities all day and still lose fat and get lean.

If your day is filled with natural proteins, fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and healthy oils, you’ll never have to count a single calorie ever again.

8.  Fat loss is not only about what you eat and how you train but also about the thoughts you have each day.

Stop your pessimistic talk and outlook and start to see things on the bright side and your success will be much faster.bally-046small

9.  Working out is not just about the exercises you do at the gym.

The leanest and most fit people lead active lifestyles…play with their kids, take dogs for a walk, keep busy around the house.  How do you spend your day?

10.  Finding a support system, group or partner almost doubles the rate at which you will see fat loss results (and maintain them).

Find and establish your own support system (spouse, co-worker, online group) and let them know EXACTLY (be specific) what your goals are.


CB here…

Thanks Isabel! Really appreciate your point of view on how the TT readers can get more results. Isabel De Los Rios

This isn’t the first time I’ve asked Isabel De Los Rios for an interview. Way back in September of 2008 Isabel talked about how to beat the belly bloat.

Click here for her tip on getting a flat stomach

Hope that helps you get rid of excess belly fat,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Certified Turbulence Trainer

  • These are fantastic. I particularly love number 5 and 7. And number 4 is new to me. Thanks for the great roundup.

  • Some useful tips but the one about moving your bowels 3x a day is nonsense. I’ve lost over 80 pounds, and my “regular” movements are once a day, eating whole, natural foods. There’s no need to take laxatives or drink cayanne pepper to unnaturally force yourself to make a BM.

    • Mich.H

      I totally agree Billy. From a medical point of view, it is perfectly natural for some people to have a BM 2-3 per day & for others………2-3 per WEEK is normal. Some women in particular have a very slow transit time, & it would be ridiculous to try & aim for 2-3 BM’s per day if you naturally have a slow transit time whilst eating whole, natural foods containing ample fibre. If you unnaturally stimulate the bowel, you can run the risk of removing alot of good bacteria that populate the gut lining too……..

      All the other tips are spot on. I love no.1………only just finding out that for myself now! And I love no.6……..who doesn’t? LOL.

    • Billy, it is in fact true. If you look at indigenous cultures, they all moved their bowels for each meal that they ate. That is the way that a perfectly health digestive tract works because the transit time is constant (24 hrs after the meal). That is ideal without the use of laxatives or forcing it. And even if you are going once a day, you can still be constipated if your transit time is slow (i.e. today you are evacuating food from 2 days ago). I congratulate you on being motivated and losing the weight but even most “skinny” and so called “healthy” people do not have proper digestive function.

      • “Leaky Gut” do you have any references to back this up? I’d like to see where you’re getting this info. Also, isn’t it true that in many indigenous cultures, feeding was far less frequent?

  • Hi Craig, I like this post especially tip #4 because I haven’t heard of it before. This is a great list to go by. Thanks for the tips, Isabel.


  • Michael H

    Great post!! Cheers to Isabel for giving such great advice! I really think tip #4 is new. I had always wondered why i don’t have wicked abs. I do have abs but they are still halfway in the closet. I look forward to more advice from Isabel!
    Thanks Craig for letting us know about her!

  • Tina

    I have to disagree with #4. I work in the health care profession and how many bowel movements a person has per day is an individual matter. It is PERFECTLY normal to have 1 bowel movement a day or even 1 bowel movement every 2-3 days. There’s nothing to indicate that having 2-3 bowel movements per day is “normal” or even necessary.

  • Tony

    Yeah I agree with Billy, all useful tips but 3 bowel movement a day is ridiculous!

    And I’m VERY surprised this ‘tip’ is included on a Craig Ballantyne website as he normally gives superb advice.

    Congrats Isabel on the weight loss but I think the 3 stool per day is just an individual thing.

  • Dana Phillips

    I agree with Billy most people do not have 3 bowel movements a day so I would suggest that people do not become concerned if they are not having 3 a day. Advice such as this encourages people to use other means in which to elimante waste, which could be potentially harmful.

  • Mark

    Mostly good advice BUT as an experienced and qualified nutrition professional, who has worked in clinical dietetics and has achieved about 5% bodyfat on several occasions, I can assure you that having 2-3 bowel movements daily is not important for health or fat loss and this suggestion could lead to people becoming unnecesarily concerned about their health and dietary progress. Also, I don’t know of any evidence that “sludge/fat” inhabits the intestines, except possibly in very rare illnesses. Please re-consider this tip.

  • #3 – I agree 150% – it’s true.. from experience.
    #4 – it’s new to me too!.
    #5 – i’ve heard this before… from Craig!
    #6 – i’ve heard this before.. from Brad!
    #7 – yup, if it’s not whole, single ingredient.. put it back on the shelf!

    great list.. thanks Isabel for the list, and Craig for sharing..!

  • Brian

    Number 7 is flat out wrong. Your resting metabolic rate does not rise enough for a caloric deficit/expenditure just because the foods you’re gorging yourself on happen to be healthy. To specifically address the foods mentioned: if you eat to many calories from a food naturally high in protein like white meat chicken, you will gain weight; if you eat too many bananas or watermelon or strawberries, you will gain weight; if you constantly gorge on peanuts, they will make you gain weight; if you take in too many calories from even olive oil or sunflower oil, you will gain weight. Maybe you can get away with gorging yourself on lettuce or what not as there’s virtually nothing but water and fiber, but every other food mentioned has plenty of calories from carbs, protein or fats. Those added calories have to be expended through an adequate basal metabolic rate andor exercise.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Brian, the point is you’ll be so full eating that kind of food that chances are you’ll never be able to overeat calories. Nothing to do with metabolism, just the fact that it is filling food.

  • opps sorry, #6.. is from Joel..

    great stuff.

  • I agree with Isabel about the bowel movements.
    The healthiest and leanest people I know do this naturally, pretty much after every meal. 3 main meals means 3 toilet visits.
    Even though I have exercised regularly for years, it wasn’t until I really started taking care of what I ate that I became super lean, and healthy, and my body started to work effectively. Part of this is getting rid of stuff your body does not need.
    One of the most important things i have learnt is that you can look relatively slim and think you are fit, and still be rotten on the inside.
    I was a fitness trainer for 6 years. I looked o right but felt horrible.
    Now I am not only leaner than i ever was, but also fitter, stronger, healthier and i’ve energy to give away!
    So, thanks Isabel and Craig. I 100% agree with you.


  • I love the list. I have not heard about getting three bowel movements a day before. I give my clients a very similar list.

  • Kelly

    Thanks for the list. # 5 should be everyone’s mantra. Great pic of Bally the dog

  • Kristina

    Very good post. I have a question, since mid-December, I have increased my vegetable and fruit intake significantly. I always had a large salad daily, but now I have about a pound of veggies, both in a salad and steamed. The grains I get are from oatmeal in the am with some ground flaxseed. However, I still have issues with point #4. I thought that veggies and fruit were supposed to help. Any thoughts?

  • Great tips. I found #10 (support & accountability) a key for my initial weight loss. I drove my wife nuts, but thankfully I found a supportive online community.

  • Oliver

    OOOOhhhhh…it’s Bally the chocolate dog!!!

    • Oliver

      #9 is my new life this year…taking my golden retriever for 1 hour walks 2 times a day and the rest is for working at the hotel(running up and down the stairs)…little time is left to prepare food so I just stuff myself with fresh fruits and veggies or nut butter sandwiches, (I’m a sucker for all kinds of nut butters)
      my favorite snack: bananas coated with any nut butter and sprinkled with dried fruits and dark chocolate bits and cinnamon…tastes great but i have no idea about its caloric content

  • Pam

    Notice how every single person who is in the medical profession thinks that #4 is ridiculous? The problem with someone who touts ludicrous information as “fact” is that it calls into question every word they say. They are not trustworthy, because their credibility is shot.

    • Judy

      Do you notice that those in the medical profession are talking about those that they see? They see a lot, and therefore what they see must be what is normal. Most of us are ill. And the ones they see are ill. What they see is what is normal for ill people. That doesn’t make it be what we should accept as good.

      • Pam

        No, Judy, people in the medical profession have gone to school and been educated based on science, not wishful thinking. Most of us are not ill – that is ludicrous.

  • Tonja

    As a health professional, I was taught it was normal for some people to have BM’s less than daily. Since then, I’ve learned that it’s only normal in cultures eating abnormal diets. When a biologically appropriate diet is consumed (that is, one consisting only of whole foods as found in nature, primarily plant based), then daily BM’s are indeed normal. That said, I don’t recommend laxatives to achieve this. Focus on consuming whole plant food and the body will eventually normalize.

  • Chris

    All good info but I do have an issue with #4 in regards to #2. I have seen many upper and lower GI scope procedures. I work in the medical field and spent 4 years working in an ICU. The gut turns over new cells at a very high rate. This keeps it smooth with the exceptions being polyps or ulcerations. I have never seen “sludge” on the walls of a single person that was scoped. Including those that were scoped emergently and not prepped beforehand. Even if that were the case excess sludge would only prevent the uptake of nutrients. Losing body fat occurs because you have metabolized/catabolized the excess. It doesn’t leave your body via the digestive tract. Cheers to a good article, but 2-3 BM’s a day shouldn’t be necessary for good health, unless that’s your normal pattern.

  • Rosa

    Wow, #4 sure caused a lot of controversial comments. I’m with Isabel. First, she didn’t say you must have 3 bowel movements a day. She said 2-3, preferably 3. Second, I can tell you firsthand that I thought I was healthy and felt good getting 1 bowel movement a day or sometimes only 1 every 2 days. But I didn’t know what healthy feeling was because once I started getting a minimum of 2 bowel movements a day the difference was amazing. I can also vouch for it being easier to lose weight when you are going regularly. Isabel suggests sipping on lemon water with cayenne pepper in it. This is a healthy and natural way to activate bowel movements. Awesome. Also, eating at least 1 apple a day assists in bowel movement regularity.

    As to Pam, you will find many people in the medical profession agreeing with the 3 bowel movements a day. I’ve been told the same thing by medical professionals. There are varying opinions on many things. When you use words such as “ridiculous” and “ludicrous” to describe an opinion different than yours, YOU are the one that immmediately lacks credibility in my eyes. Maybe you use these words because you aren’t having enough bowel movements and it affects your personality? Aim for a minimum of two a day I say!

    These are fat loss “tips”, and I think if followed they can really help those struggling with extra pounds. Thanks Craig and Isabel!

  • Joel

    Omega Question:

    I’ve always heard about the benefits of omega 3’s…but I have a slight problem in that I’m deathly allergic to fish/seafood & nuts. I do eat almonds (not a nut) regularly I know flaxseed is a good option as well…but are there are foods out there that do not fit into the fish/nut category that I could eat to get my Omega 3’s??

  • david

    Tina – you are wrong

  • Mike

    Hi Craig,

    Long time reader, first time poster here. Found your TT system by accident on the web. TT is the best, I’ve told all my buddies about you. (and i’m trying to get my girlfriend to do TT, but she loves her pers. trainer.)

    Me: I’m 39, in (what I’d call) good shape. Last check about 9% bodyfat (5’11”, 155lbs.), have run half marathons, HS football & soccer, and martial arts. Now I alt. your TT routines and BW workouts 3 days/week. I’ve tried and almost finished your 300 workout. And I run with my dog in Central Park 4 mornings/week (about 3 miles, in timed intervals … a la’ TT!).

    Here’s the question: I reckon I’m in the advanced category, so is your buff dudes/hot chicks program going to be challenging enough? Can you tell me something better/harder?

    Thanks, and keep the bruising workouts and good advice coming!


    • Craig Ballantyne

      Mike, it’s hard. If you dont think so, I’ll give you a refund.

      • Mike

        Craig, thanks for the reply!

  • The 2nd pic down could be one of my favorite pics.

    Half because I’m eating a giant pizza, and half because I have super hero traps for some reason…

  • Bowel Movements 3 times a day?

    Hope you don’t get stuck in traffic anywhere

    • Craig Ballantyne

      You might need the “Love Toilet”, like Kevin Nealon advertised on Saturday Night Live. Look it up.

      • Craig Ballantyne

        So I spoke to my good friend Dr. Shayne Ladak, a medical doctor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and I asked him:

        “Is it healthy for a person to only go to have only 1 bowel movement every 2-3 days?

        And he said:

        “Yes for a small minority of people, that is normal. But it is definitely the exception and not the rule. Normal for the majority should be anywhere between 1 and 3 BMs per day.”

  • Cindy

    I have had Irritable Bowel Syndrome for 20 years and have constant constipation. I am happy if I go once a day and it only seems to happen after breakfast, if I don’t i have to wait till the next day. I have tried so many things and eat healthily and a heap of fibre and at least 2 litres of water a day. i recently went on a detox, healthy eating diet giving up meat, dairy, gluten/wheat, alcohol, processed foods and sugar and it didn’t make much difference. The naturopath put me on a herbal remedy and warned me about the possible side effect of “Loose” stools. i secretly looked forward to it but instead it had the opposite effect on me and i became so constipated that I had to go have a colonic!!! Nobody can explain why this happened and why my improved diet did not make a difference. prior to the dietary changes she had me drinking lemon with warm water before breakfast (I sometimes added cayenne pepper). It did help a little but after about 3 months of doing it daily, and brushing my teeth straight after to remove the acid as she had recommended. i learned that i had worn away alot of the enamel on my teeth. I had been having pain and problems with my teeth and didn’t know why. It seems the lemon juice (acid) weakens the enamel and then brushing straight away literally brushes it away. This whole experience has taught me that there is no “right” thing to do and that everybody has different reactions. I still cannot change my bowels habits no matter what I do and it is upsetting to me to be told about “the sludge” and how unhealthy it is to have waste a long time in transit. I have always worried about this but now that i have tried what I have i am at a loss as to how to improve things. i will say though that stress is a major problem and worring about it causes me alot so i just have to try and remain calm and accept that this is how my body obvioulsy works.

    • Dorie

      Hi Cindy,

      Sounds like you have tried just about everything. I used to have some digestive problems myself, Especially when I ate hight fat foods. Broccali and cabbage were not my friend either. I found out about probiotics and have never had a problem since. Sometimes we have digestive isues because we are lacking the digestive enzymes. I now have regular bowels. (at least 2 per day) And can eat some of the foods that used to bother me without havign pain. I don’t go straight for the porkchops or anything. I still eat very lean meats because It makes me feel better to eat healthier anyway. 🙂

      • Craig Ballantyne

        Thank you Dorie!

      • Craig

        Dorie hit it dead on. I had major digestive issues for 12 years. I tried everything. I went to see several different doctors for many different tests and nothing worked at all. Three years ago a friend told me I should try taking probiotics. I decided to give them a try and thank goodness for that advice. It honestly took care of my digestive problems. Cindy, I would seriously consider taking probiotics.

      • Cindy

        Thank you Dorie & Craig for your input.
        I am already & have been taking probiotics for about 15 + years for my Irritable bowel Syndrome & I credit those to helping me go once a day. I take them before breakfast & hence the reason i usually go straight after breakfast. During this detox the naturopath also started me on Digestive enzymes (vegetarian type) and although they did help me to drop a little weight and stop me bloating so much, they have not helped me go to the toilet any more throughout the day and i am taking them before breakfast, lunch and dinner. i do appreciate your comments sorry that i didn’t originally state that i was taking both of your suggestions. I am taking other supplements as well but these are the too that relate to healthy digestion. Thanks again I really appreciate your time & effort in giving me your thoughts. Hope you both have a great day.

    • Sandi

      Hi Cindy-
      Wow-lots of good advice here! One thing I have been doing that helps me have my morning “constitutional” is the apple cider vinegar cocktail. I drink it first thing in the am and then take my vitamins. And a cup of joe 😉 My BF is the other end of the spectrum-he’s a bodybuilder and as he is bulking up he goes after every meal! He is one of THOSE people who have a hard time gaining.

      • Carol

        Dear Cindy,
        Have had many of your problems. My gastrointerntologist said stop the probiotics immediately. Honestly all of this could drive you crazy. I recommend eating foods containing FOS which will help your system naturally produce the proper bacterial balence. (Jerusalem artichoke, chickory etc). Combining the best types of fiber for your system will be trail and error. Making soups (I prefer veggie base) combining soluble & insoluble fibers. Stay away from too many hard to digest veggies (Celery etc.) I healed making broths & soups, keeping in some easier to digest veggies and adding brown rice or millet. While doing this I recommend an incredible supplement called oxy-powder. I do not recommend the manufacturers detox plan but start with one tablet at night till you are feeling good, clean & having the amount of bowel movement per day that makes you feel best! What also helped me was staying away from raw fruits & veggies, everything was light steamed. Eliminate dairy & gluten. After much testing I found out I was highly allergic to beans & legumes, got immediate relief when I stopped eating them?? It will take time for your bowel to heal. Trying deep breathing & yoga for stress reduction. Stick with warm food as opposed to icy smoothies. Hope this helps!

      • Craig Ballantyne

        Carol, thank you for helping Cindy out with this info.

  • Lisa

    I think that some people, like myself,just have a slow metabolism, hence a longer transit time. I have hypothyrodism and constipation is a common symptom. I eat a big dinner and don’t “go” until the next day, where as my husband will be in the bathroom immediatly after eating.

  • Hi Craig & Isabel,
    Thanks for all this information. I’m always trying to bring these points to others also.
    Keep up the great tips. I’ll help to educate others with it.
    Have a Happy New Year in 2010!

  • I’m glad to see that others are taking issue with #4. I’ve been thinking about this all day since I left my original comment.

    Craig – I appreciate your work because it is usually backed up by sound research/evidence/science. Unless I’ve missed it, there’s no reference here or in the comments for research backing up the BM frequency claim.

    Does any exist? What is this recommendation based on?

    • Michael Noya

      Heidi, I think it depends on how healthy you’re eating. My 7-year old nephew who’s quite thin and athletic has to jump up and go toward the end of any meal, which I thought was strange until I thought about how young and healthy his body still is.

      I’ve since started a super healthy 2,000 calorie diet consisting of 6 x 325’ish calorie meals, each with 20-25gr of protein, a 20-25gr healthy carb (flax bread, brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potato, etc.), organic fruit/veggie and some fat (I take three 300mg EPA/DHA fish oil at each meal). I also drink only water, 1.5gal+ a day. I can now say I have at least 3 BM’s a day, usually right after eating once of my meals.

      I also supp with a multi, vit D3 2,000iu, B-100, E-400 d alpha toco, C-1000, and L-arginine. I hit the gym 5+ times a week. I’ve been doing all this for just over a month and I feel fantastic

  • Great post with common sense advice. #4 is a new one that I had never heard of before. It seems to have created a lot of reaction in the comments, however, personally I think it does make sense.

    I also like #6 because it is a nice motivator for those who have cravings or if you have a special occasion to attend and you don’t want to worry about what you will be eating for the day.

  • Carla Nunes da Costa

    for those who were so quick to label Isabel’s suggestions as nonsense, why not give it a try first? Is there anything to lose? Its not like Cayenne pepper and lemon juice are over the counter drugs.
    What is the worst that it can do to you?

  • Mike

    Hi Craig,

    Apologies for the repeat email, but I want to order only the buff dudes/hot chicks workouts but all I can seem to access from your website is the whole TT program, which I really do not want.(and I could swear that yesterday I found a link for it).

    Can you direct me to a site or shoot me a link where I can just by the buff dudes program?

    Thanks a million. Again, sorry for the bother.


  • Galina

    I have a Q on interval training. Does the time one needs to reach the 85% heart rate counted into the time recommended to stay in this rate or is it counted into the lower rate time? The instructions say 1 min at 85% max rate, 30 sec lower heart rate then again 1 min at 85% heart rate, but a person needs bit of a time to get to the 5% max heart rate. It is counted into that 1min?

  • C-muslces

    THE BEST WAY TO MEASURE YOUR FAT LOSS IS BY USING A MIRROR! Great info. Cheat days i don’t know about for me. I try cheat meals once in while(about once a month if I can) but your right, cheat meals or days are a great MENTAL BREAK!

  • Mike (Team NRG Fitness)

    I would like to say too, good artcile from Isabelle.
    Have stated some of these to my clients on regular basis, and agree with them and will be promoting these more with my clients.

    One thing I have also found useful in losing weight is cutting right down on dairy products, i started cutting right out dairy products like cheese, margarine, milk about three weeks ago and subsequently dont feel bloated.
    Not too mention dropping 9lbs in 3 weeks, and down from 12.6% body fat to now 9.5% and feel fantastic and more energy in my workouts and with my clients.

    But all the above are great points and should be automatic reading. Great Post!!

  • Me

    Thank you SO much for this fantastic piece. You touch upon crucial points that so many other articles fail to mention or recognise. Thank you thank you thank you!