10 Fat Loss Mistakes You Are Making & How To Fix Them
Fat loss has and always will be one of the most researched topics on the internet. There are dozens of approaches that rage from cutting out carbs, eating nothing but animal products all the way to only eating in a 4 hour window per day. It’s not the restriction of certain food groups or eating windows that elicit fat loss, but the restriction of calories created by certain habits! Rather than following a no carb diet like a cult member or religious belief to lose fat, here’s a list of 10 ways to ensure fat loss while consuming a balanced diet and living a balanced lifestyle.
#1 Stop stressing, and work on lowering your cortisol levels
Removing unnecessary stress from your life is going to be make your fat loss goal a hell of a lot easier. What if I told you that increased cortisol (the stress hormone) can actually negatively impact testosterone levels, leading to less efficient fat loss and blunt your ability to build muscle and strength. To make this worse, this increased level of stress and cortisol actually sends a signal to conserve more energy and store more body fat!
#2 Eat protein with every meal
A high protein intake will always be beneficial to anybody with the goal of changing their body composition. Protein has the highest thermic effect of all the macronutrients which means it will take longer to digest, keeping you fuller for longer and blunting your appetite. The benefits don’t just stop there… Protein will help rebuild the cells you break down during exercise and ensure you don’t lose any muscle while you are in a calorie deficit. This is vital because if the the body isn’t able to use energy from food (assuming you’re in a calorie deficit), or muscle breakdown - the only other source is that body fat you’re carrying!
#3 Eliminating fat intake
For decades, fad diets and food marketing encouraged dieters to reduce their fat intake. This was mainly because (per gram) fat contains more calories than protein or carbohydrates. An adequate amount of fat (good fat sources) is necessary for the regulation of a healthy metabolism and the production of energy. Fats, just like protein, will slow down the digestion of your meals and keep you fuller for longer - leading to less cravings and temptation to snack!
#4 Get your N.E.A.T up!
N.E.A.T stands for non exercise activity thermogenesis and accounts for all activity you do like walking, fidgeting and standing up. With a higher amount of energy expenditure from activities outside of the gym, you will be able to create more of a calorie deficit combined with your dedicated exercise expenditure - meaning faster fat loss. Try and complete a higher number of steps per day (10,000 is a good start) and spend less time sitting down. These two things won’t require much effort but reap huge rewards.
#5 Get into a resistance training program!
Resistance training is going to be the most effective way to train for fat loss. It is time effective, stress relieving and most importantly helps you burn calories all day long. Resistance training will help raise levels of testosterone, growth hormone and post exercise oxygen consumption (this is the afterburn effect you must have heard of by now). By progressively overloading and building muscle, your body will be primed to burn fat and maintain muscle!
#6 Drink more water!
The importance of adequate hydration levels is unquestionably important when chasing performance and fat loss goals. Dehydration can cause fatigue, disguise itself as hunger and cause your performance in the gym to plummet. Ensure you are getting at least 2-3 litres over the course of the day (more if you are prone to sweating eg. climate or individual differences)
#7 Stop drinking calories!
Limit the amount of calories you consume via alcohol, sodas and juices can be a great way of managing your calorie consumption! These beverages often pack a lot of calories and sugar - without giving you the satiating effect of a meal with equal calories! Two glasses of wine can often total to the same amount of calories as a whole meal, so make sure you’re conscious of how many calories you are consuming via food AND DRINK!
#8 Read the nutritional information!
Eating things just because their vegan, organic, natural or you read a segment in a tabloid saying it’s healthy is a sure way to unknowingly sabotage your diet! Not all “healthy” foods are created equal. For example, 100g of almonds contains over 5 times the amount of 100g blueberries. Picking up a smoothie can also be a high calorie disaster and equal the amount of calories as a big mac! Yes, those calories are healthier - but the calorie equation remains the same… Calories in vs calories out!
#9 Do not starve yourself!
So i’ve mentioned the whole calorie deficit principle multiple times in this article, however the more is not always the better. The law of diminishing returns definitely applies to loss. Going on a very low calorie diet will work initially but will soon wear thin. You’ll be tired, hungry and you’re body will just become more efficient at surviving on lower calories - and expend fewer! Use the above points to create a sustainable and intelligent way to set up and stick to a deficit!
#10 Give it time
Consistency trumps all regarding dieting. Fat loss doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time for the body to start using stored body fat for energy. Studies have shown that most diets end within two weeks of starting - which is hardly enough time to see the visual and health benefits of fat loss! That’s why it’s important to implement habits that will help you maintain a daily deficit without experiencing a test of willpower, chronic hunger and performance drops!
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