So you’re on the bigger side of the scale and looking to drop some pounds, but you’re having a tough time getting started? We’re here to help.

One thing we’ll say: Your problem is (probably) your diet. We know that’s the last thing you want to hear, but it’s the first thing you need to fix. We’ll say this loud and clear: It doesn’t matter what kind of training you do, or how much—if you’re eating too many calories or the wrong foods, you will not lose fat. Derek Peruo, a celebrity trainer at Peak Performance gym in New York City, has a fat-loss plan that will take care of the exercise side of the equation—plus diet and nutrition tips to shed fat. 

Directions

Frequency: Perform each workout (Day I, II, and III) once per week, resting at least a day between each session.

How to do it: Perform the exercises marked with letters as a circuit. Do one set of A, one set of B, then one of C before resting. Repeat until all the prescribed sets are completed for the circuit. You’ll do 3 sets for each exercise every week, but the reps will vary like so: week 1, 8 reps per set; week 2, 10 reps per set; week 3, 12 reps per set; week 4, repeat the cycle with heavier weights.

Expect to have lost about 4 pounds after one month. If you haven’t, you may need to reduce your intake of starchy carbs. 

3 strategies for big guys to lose more weight

1. Cheat only once per week

You should be strict about your diet every day, but you get one meal a week to eat whatever you want. If your discipline wavers in any department, don’t let it be your nutrition. Eat protein at every meal. It supports muscle growth, helps keep you full, and increases your metabolism. Lean meat, fish, eggs, and protein powders are the best sources.

2. Drink water

Start the day with at least 16 ounces. Water is filling, and more of it will help you recover from training.

3. Do more work

To maximize fat loss in training, “you need to do a lot of work in a short amount of time,” Peruo says. Blitzkrieg-style workouts keep your heart racing and burn more calories than conventional weight training. In the sessions that follow, you’ll add reps to the exercises each week, accomplishing more work while being sure to keep your total workout length the same (use a stopwatch to record your time). Rest only as long as you absolutely need between sets. You’ll find you have to rest less over time, even as the reps add up. On days you don’t lift, perform high intensity interval cardio. Try 60 seconds of hard work (jumping rope, fast running, intense cycling) followed by 30 seconds of light activity or rest. Continue this for 15–20 minutes.