So many people over complicate things when it comes to trying to lose fat. They worry about eating every 2-3 hours, not eating carbs past lunch, eating chicken and broccoli for every meal, consuming 1 million different supplements, drinking a protein shake within 30 minutes after their workout and cutting out sugar/all processed foods. I know because I did all of these things myself. Did they help me lose fat? Maybe. Were they unnecessary? Definitely!
I totally get that it can be overwhelming when first starting a fat loss journey. There is so much conflicting information out there. That’s why I have put together my top tips (the most important things) to make your journey easier! Here they are:
Work out your calorie budget
We all have a calorie budget, whether we’re trying to maintain our weight, lose fat or gain muscle. Unfortunately many people seem to ignore or disregard this simple fact. If you want to lose fat you MUST be in a calorie deficit. This means that you are consuming less calories than you are burning on a weekly basis. If you aren’t adhering to your own personal calorie budget then you won’t get the results you want. It’s that simple. Want to know your calorie budget? Click here to calculate it now.
This is the most essential macronutrient, yet many people (especially women) do not consume enough of it. Proteins are used to make bone, skin, nails, hair, muscle, cells as well as having a key role in the production and action of enzymes which are involved in almost every function in the body. Eating adequate amounts can improve body composition via triggering protein synthesis and muscle building as well as increasing fat loss. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, helping you feel fuller for longer and preventing snacking throughout the day. Read more about the power of protein here.
Water is essential to life and has many health and performance benefits. It plays a key role in maintaining proper organ function, clearing toxins from the body, reducing excess sodium, and hydrating your muscle cells. It also naturally suppresses the appetite and helps the body metabolise stored fat.
Make sure you prepare your meals in advance. Meal preparation is the key to following a diet successfully. If your meals are ready to go you are less likely to choose something that doesn’t fit your calorie budget. You can make your meals in bulk once or twice a week or prepare them daily for the following day, whichever suits you best. Failing to plan is planning to fail!
Be strategic with your food choices! Try to focus on low calorie, high volume foods. These will make you feel fuller for longer as they are often also high in fibre, and will allow you feel like you are eating a lot of food! Some of my go to foods are zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, salads, roast veggies, frozen fruit, low fat yoghurt and diet jelly! It is also important to ensure variety in your diet. I recommend filling your diet with at least 80% whole, nutritious foods and leaving 20% for more processed “treat” foods as this will help to eliminate feelings of restriction and improve compliance because you will actually look forward to eating your food. No one wants to follow the exact same meal plan day in and day out! Am I right?!
One of the implications of dieting, is that it tends to cause muscle loss and slow down the metabolism. The best way to prevent this from occurring is to keep your protein intake high and incorporate resistance exercise, such as lifting weights, into your routine. Studies show that lifting weights can help to keep your metabolism high, build lean muscle mass, improve fat burning and allow you to eat more food while dieting.
Losing fat doesn’t need to be harder than it is and there is certainly no need to deprive yourself of your favourite foods. Eating them in moderation as part of a balanced, nutritious diet can still allow you to achieve the results you desire.
Want to learn more about the nutritional approach that my clients and I follow and how it can transform your body without all of the unnecessary restrictions? Click HERE to get Fit & Flexible!