How to Eat and Train for Fat Loss

You hate dieting. To you, the word “diet” usually means:

  • Hunger.
  • Strength and muscle loss.
  • Low of sex drive.
  • Lethargy.
  • Constant cravings.
Eric Helms (ripped)

Learn how to create a sustainable diet and exercise plan that will help you lose as much fat as you want.

Luckily, you can limit, or even completely avoid most of these problems if you train and eat intelligently for fat loss.

In this podcast, bodybuilder, researcher, and fat loss expert Eric Helms teaches you how to create a diet and exercise program that will help you lose unwanted body fat without going insane. You’ll also learn how to create a sustainable lifestyle that allows you to stay lean without obsessing over food, losing strength and muscle, and constantly fighting food cravings. Here’s what you’ll learn:

Your Scientific Guide to Fat Loss

3:53 — What’s a normal body fat level for men and women? How much fat do you need to lose to be considered “lean?”

5:13 — How to lose body fat.

6:25 — The crucial difference between getting lean, and getting thin.

8:16 — What happens to your body when you diet.

10:20 — How to stop being hungry on a diet.

13:00 — How meal plans, strict rules, and avoiding certain foods can derail your dieting efforts.

15:49 — A simple guide to “clean eating” on a diet.

19:20 — How taking a break from your diet can help you lose fat.

21:54 — How to maintain your strength and size while dieting.

24:46 — How to exercise for fat loss.

29:42 — How much protein to eat for fat loss.

33:00 — How many carbs and fats to eat on your diet.

36:30 — How to use cardio to get lean (without killing your strength and size).

39:26 — How to stay lean without going nuts or being miserable.

48:55 — Eric’s single most important tip that will help you lose body fat.

Click the Player to Listen:


Show Notes

The Full Diet Break” by Lyle McDonald

3D Muscle Journey YouTube Videos

Alan Aragon

If It Fits Your Macros (A good description from

Other Listening Options

Click here to download the mp3 | 48.8 MB | 53:15

Click here to subscribe via iTunes

Click here for the RSS feed (non iTunes)

Click here to listen to past episodes

People on the Show

Eric Helms

Armi Legge

Did you enjoy this podcast? Click here to get exclusive member’s-only articles and podcasts. Only want to learn how to lose fat? Click here to buy my book, Flexible Dieting.


  1. says

    Hey Armi,

    Great podcast with Eric.

    A nice balance of information relevant to both contest prepping and folks with more humble aspirations.

    Cheers, Tim

    • says

      Thanks Tim, I certainly found it fascinating. It’s always great when we can use the same simple techniques for both elite, and less ambitious goals.


      - Armi

  2. patrick john alagaban says

    hey armi,

    best pod cast…

    inspiring and very informative…
    i ve been following eric helms for quite some time now and he really knows his stuff…
    this pod cast i think ruled out most of the negative streotype things about nutrion and training…

    nice work!

    keep it up!!!

    • says

      Thanks Patrick, I’m thrilled you liked it.

      I was very motivated and encouraged not only by Eric’s knowledge, but by his laid-back and confident manner. He did a great job of showing a balanced and complete view of how to set up a diet that works for the individual, without being too neurotic.

      Let me know if there is anyone else you’d like to hear on the show.

      - Armi

  3. Tom says

    Great podcast! Please do another interview with him soon and by any chance do you know any stratergys to attempt before surgery regarding loose skin?


    • says

      Thanks Tom, I’ll get him on again soon, I promise :).

      Are you looking to reduce loose skin after surgery? Or to get surgery to remove loose skin?

      - Armi

  4. michael laviolette says

    This interview was really great. I have been reading and hearing about these reverse dieting theories but it was great to hear Eric speak on in in greater detail.

    • says

      Thanks Michael, I’m glad you liked it. Eric is full of a ton of these little tricks and methods that aren’t getting nearly the exposure they deserve. Hopefully we can pick his brain again soon.

  5. Everett says

    What a fantastic interview. I do have one question. He mentioned a rule of thumb to take in 1 gram of protein for each pound you weigh. Is this still the case when someone very heavy is losing a lot of weight (and focusing on losing fat)? Let’s take my case, I’m 315 now and target about 1800ish calories per day. Using a 1 gram/pound as a rule, I’d have to consume 1260 calories from protein leaving 540 to split between fat and carbs. I’m willing to give that a shot if that rule of thumb is indeed still the case for someone very heavy.

    By the way I did leave a 5* review on iTunes…

    • says

      Thanks so much Everett, I’m glad you liked it.

      That’s a great question, and the answer is no. When you have more body fat to lose, it’s generally better to set protein based on lean body mass. If you’re 315 pounds, and you’re about 20-25% body fat, then you’ll have about 229-252 pounds of lean mass. I’d eat about that much in protein per day.

      Here’s a great resource to help you estimate body fat percentage:

      Good luck on your fat loss. It sounds like you’re doing exactly what you need to. Please keep me updated on your progress.

      - Armi

      P.S. Thanks a billion for the positive review — you rock man!

  6. says

    Hey Armi! Thanks a lot for your fantastic podcast.
    I’ve learned a lot, mostly regarding diets, and how
    it could be done in a pleasant and still effective

    I now bookmarked your blog and will probably
    come here often to see any more of your insights.

    However, I am a pretty practical person, too, and I
    have the tendency to prefer step-by-steps, or
    a concrete example of how someone can integrate

    As you can see on my website (born this month),
    I am trying to give maximal practical value as it
    regards to weight loss and bodybuilding.


    I was wondering.. will you give us a step-by-step
    approach of you own diet/program?

    I know it’s a lot, but if you could, I will share it
    with pleasure on my page!

    Thanks again bro!

    -Mike McKay

    • says

      Hi Mike, it’s great that you’re figuring out how to make big changes in your health and physique using simple and sustainable steps. Thanks for bookmarking, and I’ll be writing a lot more about the topics we discussed soon.

      I’ve been giving a lot of thought to writing a diet pamphlet of some kind, maybe even an ebook. Are you more interested in a book for pushing the limits of fat loss, or a more practical/basic guide for general fat loss?

      Thanks again, and I’m glad you liked the show. Good luck with your website,

      - Armi

      • says

        Hey! Thanks for the quick reply!

        I would be really interested in reading a complete eBook on pushing the limits of fat loss, since it could help the slightly overweight as well as the extreme cases. Do you know when you will publish it (approximately)?

        • says

          Hey Mike, thanks for the interest. I’m working on an entire series of articles on fat loss that will cover much of what would be in any book I write. I would estimate in the next year or 18 months I’ll write a small guide or handbook on fat loss.

  7. says

    Really a wonderful blog for the people those who are suffering from High Weight issues since long. This will provide them a help how to maintain fitness and reduce fat from the body. Really amazing approach. Totally appreciate it.

  8. Laina Allen says

    Thanks for this podcast -saving and forwarding on. I have been working at this kind of slow level and he is sooo right. Patience and consistency is the total key,

    • says

      Thanks Laina, I’m glad it helped. While it’s often fun to “nerd out” about rapid fat loss protocols, I think your approach is much better. Slow, consistent, sustainable progress.

  9. Alan Earl says

    Excellent that you have someone such as Eric Helms giving their in-depth knowledge on this subject. He is right up there another I respect in this field, Dr Joe Klemczewski. Keep up the good work!

  10. says

    I tend not to drop a bunch of responses, however after reading a bunch of comments here How to Eat
    and Train for Fat Loss. I do have 2 questions for you if it’s okay. Could it be just me or do some of these comments appear like they are coming from brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are posting at other social sites, I’d like to keep up with you.
    Would you list of every one of all your social networking sites like your twitter
    feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  11. says

    Hey this is a great point resolver. I have low back chronic from when I was in Rangers and jumping and repelling. I am trying to lose BF maybe down to 14%. I workout so slow and I try and eat good foods but I see here that I need to count my Macro’s. Thanks so much my friend.

  12. Kallis Sharad says

    High protein foods and lack of exercise create fatness and increase cholesterol level. Avoid all fatty foods like meats, nuts, cheese, fried foods and dairy products. Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, yogurt, drink fruit juice and green tea. Exercise at lest 30 to 45 minutes in a day. Go for running and walking in the morning. It burns fat, make strong bones and improve physical fitness.
    Tacoma fitness

  13. Irina says

    Uhh-Mazing interview! Invaluable knowledge.Thank you so much for posting. I’m currently working with an online coach who has worked with Layne Norton and have been tracking my macros for about 7 weeks. Although I am *almost* over the mental aspect of stressing about the carbs/more cals and the food weighing and the fact that the fat loss needs to be slow – it is still so encouraging to hear this information and get that extra boost of confidence that I’m doing it right. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to just put myself on a standard low-cal comp-style diet and rationalise that I’ll worry about potential future weight gain when I get to that bridge (if it can hold me ;) ). Thanks again for promoting this approach, I can’t wait for this to be the ‘norm’ in the industry and for everyone at any level who wants to be fit and healthy. It’s not bro-science, it’s science, bro. Love your work Armi!

    • says

      Hey Irina, thanks so much! I’m glad this helped you. Layne is a great coach, so it sounds like you’ve found someone else who also knows what they’re talking about. Good luck and keep me updated on your progress.

  14. says

    Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did
    you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours
    with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog jump out.
    Please let me know where you got your design. Bless you

  15. says

    Hello are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own.

    Do you need any html coding expertise to make your own blog?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  16. says

    Evidencemag is fantastic. A friend on Tumblr posted a link to the Myths of “Clean” eating the other day. I’ll have to admit, it elicited a defensive reaction at first, but also prompted a 12 hour reading binge on all things nutrition. I began lifting about a year ago and subscribed to the Paleo ways. I felt frustrated at the lack of response to questions I had about critical arguments against gluten, dairy, and legumes, but it worked, so hey, why screw with it?

    With a month long break after law school finals and nothing to do, I began the project of overhauling my parents diet and fitness (or lack thereof). I have been preparing meals since Christmas for the family that have been a big hit and got my dad to head to the gym with me 5x a week. (Score!) I thought it might be a good idea, for a more sustainable solution, to compile a little presentation explaining nutrition, fitness, and general goal setting (your other articles on the topics have been my outline, so fantastic). But I found that I didn’t have a lot of evidence to support the hunch based Paleo framework.

    Long story short, I started over. With your blog as a starting point, I have reworked my entire thought process which has been fantastic. However, I have a few questions of my own. I can’t find many other nutritionists that recommend 1g/lb of protein intake. Eric mentions lessening that ratio for those that are overweight and raising the protein intake as body fat percentages become more serious. Where is that guideline derived from? In the same vein, how do I establish rough calorie intake baselines for my family and I. The scientific method approach is great, and addresses the “context” and individualization (ethnicity,lifestyle,etc) issues, but is there somewhere that I can get some help in breaking that down?

    Flex dieting, moderation, and variety is great and sustainable, but I would like to have some concrete information to give them as a baseline for how many calories they should consume, what percentages of each macro they should intake, etc. Maybe this is the point? Trial and error?

    I apologize for the long message, but these articles have been such a great help! Thanks so much.

  17. Kristen says

    This was a great podcast!! Thank you! I’m 2 months post show and up about 12lbs.. I am switching to flexible dieting on my own so this is great info. Thank you!

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