The old saying goes there is more then one way to skin a cat, and the same goes for fat loss. However, there are certain principles that stand the test of time and should be a certainty when aiming for fat loss.
How many things have you tried for fat loss?
How many articles have you read on fat loss?
How many people have given you advice on fat loss?
At the end of the day you just need start, there is no way about getting around it, there is no magic pill or no one who can do it for you, its up to you.
Here are the top 10 tips to help you with your own fat loss journey:
- Create an energy expenditure deficit
Yes, were talking about energy in and energy out. It’s simple but something that has to be in place to have any chance of fat loss. Your energy out (basal metabolic rate, training,) must be higher then the energy going in (nutrition, food intake)
- Be in a calorie deficit
This is more talking about energy intake but more in-depth, calories or kilocalories (k/cals) indicate the amount of energy in an item of food or drink. We obtain calories from three primary sources, which we call macronutrients. These are:
For fat loss, we must be in a calorie deficit and this brings us back to energy in and energy out. A calorie deficit allows us to lower the energy coming in through the foods we eat.
- Do full body resistance training 2-3x a week
We have all seen those people who lose a whole lot of weight but look sick, this is because as they lose weight they lose fat but also lose any muscle they had as well. This is why it’s crucial to also do resistance training on your fat loss journey. Here’s why:
- To build muscle so as you’re losing fat your also adding lean muscle tissue, which makes you look lean, strong and healthy.
- Doing full-body resistance training is also increasing your energy expenditure so it’s helping with fat loss.
- Learn how to handle stress and lower it
The more stressed your body is, the less inclined it is to help you lose body fat and build muscle tissue. Not all stress is bad; we need stress in our lives but in moderation. Cortisol (the stress hormone) in excess can lower anabolic hormones and can also be catabolic which allows muscle tissue to breakdown.
Write down what your biggest stresses are in life, acknowledge them when they appear and learn to handle them.
- Prioritize sleep and recovery
Did you know inadequate sleep of either duration or quality affects 33-45% of adults in Australia and these problems occur across all age groups.
Optimal sleep and recovery have to be something you prioritize if you want to reap the rewards for fat loss. Poor sleep disrupts your hormones and they need to be balanced for any optimal body composition goals. I recommend:
- Between 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
- Have a 20-30 minute nap throughout the day if you had a poor nights sleep.
- Take a magnesium supplement with dinner.
- Eat a high protein diet
Earlier in the post, we talked about macronutrients and by far the most important one is protein. A priority goal for fat loss is retaining muscle tissue as the more muscle tissue you have the more calories you burn (save this topic for another post) and this is exactly what protein does.
This is one of the reasons why protein is your most important macronutrient, it also helps you to keep fuller for longer and it stimulates your metabolism.
- Add in a mixture of LISS and HIIT conditioning
What are LISS and HIIT you say?
LISS (Low Intensity Steady State)
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
Now you may not have heard of either of these things but they both have their role in fat loss but for different reasons.
LISS involves consistent effort at a steady pace for a certain amount of time and research shows that it uses fat, as the main fuel source for the workout.
HIIT, on the other hand, involves short bursts with high effort followed by shorter rest intervals, and it will use glycogen or carbohydrates as its main fuel source.
The amount of calories being burned is around the same so what is the difference?
Well, there are many differences but choose what you prefer and which suits your lifestyle.
- Increase NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)
The newest fad word that everyone is apparently talking about NEAT also known as Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. This isn’t anything new, it has been around for a long time so what is it?
NEAT is the energy expenditure we use walking, standing, climbing stairs, getting and maintaining and changing posture. Anything outside of formally planned or structured exercise falls under this category. The oldest example I can think of is taking the stairs instead of the lift or parking your car further away from work and walking.
- Plan Ahead
“ Failing to plan is planning to fail”
As I get down to our last 2 tips these are things that we need to get any worthwhile result in life. Planning your meals for the week, planning what days you’re going to train, planning what time your going to bed. These are all examples from the rest of the tips you have read above.
On a Sunday night or Monday morning plan your week out, get a diary if you need to, find a schedule planner online, if you are going to take your fat loss goal serious then you must plan ahead!
- Consistency is key
Last but not least is consistency, the hardest tip of all but also the most important. You can read all the steps above but unless you’re consistent your fat loss won’t come. Consistent with you’re training, consistent with your nutrition, consistent with your rest and recovery. This is the key to sustainable and long-term fat loss.
I hope this article is helpful and I hope it can either help you with your fat loss goals or it can even motivate and educate you to start on your fat loss journey.
“You don’t create habits from stopping doing things. You create habits by starting doing things!”