Last week we started our new blog series on the The 21 Best Proven Fat Loss Tips, and the whole idea for this series came about as the result of me hanging out with a friend and talking about all the nutrition and training mistakes we’ve both made.
If you missed Part 1 of this series you can read it HERE.
This is my way of passing on what I’ve learned over the years myself, and working with nutrition clients helping them to sustainably get healthier, and in turn lose body fat.
If you follow and implement these tips there is no doubt in my mind that you will get leaner, but you can’t just read you have to put in the effort too.
/YOU HAVE TO TAKE ACTION ON THESE TIPS FOR THEM TO WORK/
Fat Loss Tip #7: Get Adequate sleep (7-9 hours per night)
In my opinion this is easily one of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to managing your food intake and willpower.
I get it sleep habits are difficult to change. Who has woke up after a good night sleep and felt 10x better than they did yesterday ?
EVERYONE, that’s who! now imagine if you had a that feeling each day because that was your new default. How much better would your workouts and food choices be you think ?
You don’t have to search very long to find many a small mountain of studies explaining that sleep deprivation will negatively impact your ability exhibit self control around foods.
When you don’t sleep your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar is impaired, and you are more likely to deal with bouts of low blood sugar causing food cravings.
Without adequate sleep you will also have elevated cortisol throughout the day. Chronically elevated cortisol makes us more impulsive, and increases the desire for calorie dense processed foods that hit on the reward center in the brain.
You’ve all heard of stress eating by this point in your life. I’ll have you consider that being chronically sleep deprived is a significant stressor to the body.
Sleep deprived = Chronic stress = Worse food choices
When sleep deprived your hunger hormone is increased causing you to be hungrier even after eating plenty of food. Your satiety hormone leptin that signals to the brain that you’re full decreases with inadequate sleep.
This means you’ll eat more but not feel as full when sleep deprived.
Lack of sleep creates insulin resistance making it more difficult for your body to effectively use carbohydrates when you consume them when sleep deprived.
Losing body fat also helps to increase your insulin sensitivity allowing you to more efficiently use carbohydrates and other forms of sugar.
When you combine drained willpower with a propensity to make worse food choices, and eat more due to a lack of sleep it is only a matter of time before poor food choices are made.
Fat Loss Tip #8: “Fat Loss Foods” Are Not Real
Sometimes when scrolling through health and nutrition websites or on social media I see articles discussing “fat loss foods” but this idea is plain false.
It’s just clickbait that is designed to sell you a magic bullet.
There are certain foods that have a different metabolic effect, but this doesn’t mean that consuming this food is going to end in fat loss for you.
You can drink all the green tea or put cinnamon, ginger or cayenne on any food and still gain body fat.
No food will cause you to spontaneously lose body fat when you consume it, if that was real we’d all know about it by now believe me!
Don’t worry I’ve done lots of dumb shit myself thinking it would help me lose fat or build muscle, but don’t fall for this trap.
There are however some foods that help to keep you better satiated and fuller for longer.
When these higher satiety foods are consumed you’ll generally have better control of your appetite and food intake, which can help with fat loss.
This doesn’t mean you can eat unlimited amounts of these foods because we need to be an energy deficit for fat loss to happen.
If you’re metabolically unhealthy this becomes a whole other topic for discussion which I’m covering in a blog post I’m working on all about calories in and calories out but I digress.
When someone you’re looking to lose fat a huge component to success is balancing your appetite and food intake to prevent overconsumption and binging behavior.
To help prevent food over consumption it is a good idea to consume more whole foods that leave you feeling fuller and more satisfied after eating them.
Some of the highest satiety food also happen to be very low in calories, high in fiber and water content too. These higher satiety foods include boiled potatoes, fish, eggs, oatmeal and apples.
Fat Loss Tip #9: Reduce, Then Stop Snacking
When you’re dieting to lose body fat snacks never fill you up to the point that you eat less at the next meal or change your eating structure.
Snacking all the time makes it more difficult to know how much you’re actually eating and makes you more focused on food and hunger than you need to be.
When you get too overly focused on food and hunger it will only make the process of dieting for fat loss more difficult, because what you focus on has a tendency to grow in the mind.
The calories from those snacks could instead be added to your meals to create greater satiety and leave you feeling much fuller for a longer period of time rather than teasing your stomach with snacks all day.
If you’re an avid snacker start reducing the size or frequency of snacks and add those calories to meals. Increase your meal size and eat between 2-4 meals per day to get the most satiety you can from your food instead of grazing all day.
Fat Loss Tip # 10: Meal Frequency Doesn’t Impact Fat Loss
You meal frequency has no effect on your metabolism or ability to lose fat.
The idea that smaller more frequent meals boosting your metabolism comes from the thermic effect of food (TEF) which is the calories your body to burn to get energy from food.
People thought the more frequently you ate the more you would boost your metabolism causing it to burn calories to get energy from food.
While this is true, the spike in TEF is related to calories and macronutrients consumed in total, not the number of meals you have.
What really matters at the end of the day is the total calories, and amount of protein, fats and carbs you’ve eaten.
Whether you decide to have three larger meals or six smaller meals with calories and macronutrients matched your thermic effect of food will be the exact same, causing your body to have to burn just as many calories to digest two larger or six smaller meals.
People do have a harder time managing their appetite when they eat less than two meals per day or more than six so anywhere in the middle there should be fine.
At the end of the day the number of meals you eat should come down to what suits your lifestyle and preferences the best.
Fat Loss Tip # 11: Eat More Whole Foods
If you have fat loss goals the majority of your diet should be coming from minimally processed whole foods.
This is not to say that you have to be “perfect” with your nutrition either because we all know that backfires, and doesn’t work.
In fact this kind of “on” and “off” diet mentality regularly fosters the restriction and binge cycles people go on.
When you focus on eating minimally processed whole foods they’re going to contain more fiber, water, minerals, vitamins, enzymes and be much lower in calories than processed foods.
By eating more of these nutrient dense whole foods you’ll be able to eat a much larger volume of foods while still keeping your total calories in the right range to lose body fat.
In essence you can stay much fuller for a longer period of time on fewer calories which is a good first step in the right direction for fat loss.
Once you have 85-90% of your food coming from these whole foods, you can have some more fun or indulgent foods in the other 15-20% - BUT only once you have the 80-90% nailed down.
Fat Loss Tip #12: Eat Until You’re 80% Full
You can eat an entire meal in less time than it takes your stomach and brain to communicate and send the signal that you're full.
The process of communication between the brain and the stomach takes roughly twenty minutes, when was the last time you took a full twenty minutes to eat a plate of food ?
When you eat too quickly it makes it very easy to overeat more than you need, and consume excess calories that don't satisfy you anymore than if you had stopped when you were no longer hungry.
No one does this intentionally, but when you eat and are distracted it becomes much easier to overeat without even thinking about it.
Sitting in front of the TV and the bag of chips disappeared ? Eating lunch in front of your laptop and don’t remember a bit of it ?
Being more mindful about your eating habits allows you to stop when you're no longer hungry, not when you're full.
In other countries where the populations are much leaner than in the United States they stop when they are no longer hungry, not when they're full.
There's a pretty significant calorie gap between these two points, and when you add up the calories from 3-4 meals and a few snacks that gap is even larger.
In Okinawa Japan where some of the leanest and longest living people live they have a concept to describe when to stop eating " hara hachi bu" - Eating until you're just about 80% full.
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