This week some quick but useful tips to help you lose fat (you’ll notice a lot are food based – remember you can’t out train a bad diet!!)
- Be clear on your fat loss goal: Know the amount of fat you want to lose. You’re your time frame. Tell others to invoke accountability. Write in all down in an exercise book or a journal. Be clear.
- Have a pair of skinny jeans ready for ‘success’ day. Or a jacket o blouse or bathing costume – whatever. Just have this on display where you can see it every day. It’ll help keep you on track.
- Take your ‘before’ pictures. Stick them in a book with your weekly measurements next to your clear goals. (Waist, upper arm, mid-thigh, belly, chest)
- Don’t weigh yourself every day. Weigh yourself the same day at the same time every week. Take your measurements at the same time. Write them down in your book. (Don’t have a fat loss journal – get one – any old exercise book will do.) The best 2 ways to judge your progress is how your clothes fit and how you look in the mirror. Muscle weighs more than fat so you have your weight go up yet be losing fat. Be wary. “
- Understand that it’s not all or nothing; if you fall off the fat loss wagon, dust yourself off, don’t beat yourself up and get right back into it!! This is a journey of inches not miles…
- Be honest. With yourself— The only person that you fool by sneaking food or eating ‘off reservation’ is yourself.
- Eat breakfast. Simply put those that ate a protein heavy breakfast ate less during the day, had more energy and less body fat. It can be eggs & bacon, a protein smoothies, nuts & yoghurt – so long as it is protein plus unprocessed carbs you’re be on the right track.
- Drink tea. Lots of research suggests that drinking tea (any tea EXCEPT herbal teas) stimulates your metabolism, works on body weight re-partitioning and lowers your body fat – especially belly fat.
- Drink more water. 2 glasses before a meal helps you feel fuller and interacts with fibre from vegetables to bulk them up. Water also helps shift fat by helping your kidneys & liver to function properly. 8 Glasses a day is good rule to follow.
Drop the store juice and sodas: Change to low or no-calorie drinks. Home- made iced tea, Coke Zero, diabetic sodas – all are good alternatives.
- Eat more veggies. Calorie sparse, nutrient dense they fill you up, without loading you up with too many calories. Avoid the high fat/high calorie dressings.
- Eat eggs. Every day. Forget the cholesterol BS – eggs don’t raise bad cholesterol and are nature’s perfect fast food.
- Get enough fibre. Think of fibre like a sponge; it absorbs water and makes you feel full. Focus on fibre, not carbs.
- Eat more fruits: No one ever gained weight from eating more fruit even the so called “high sugar” fruits, like bananas, melons and others.
- Eat more protein. Lean protein helps satiate you, and increases your metabolism, through the thermic effect of food.
- Eat protein at every meal & snack. This maximises the effects of #10
- Eat less Grains. Increasingly it seems that grains and grain based foods are not good for us and predispose us to fat gain and a number of debilitating diseases like arthritis. Try to cut down on them. Besides most grain based foods are highly processed and that’s definitely not good for you.
- Start meals with soup or a salad. Either will help you feel full more quickly so your
calories at the meal will be less. E sensible with your soup and dressing choices.
- Steak & Salad Rules. Best way to get your veges & lean protein have a steak & salad meal at least once a day.
- Add cayenne pepper to your meals. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that when compared to placebo, capsaicin (the active ingredient in cayenne) increased fat burning. Spice up your meals!!
- Watch your portions. Each meal try for a palm sized portion of protein and 2 fists of non-processed carbs. Don’t Supersize.
- Bake, don’t fry. Slow cook in the oven or quick stir fry on the stove top. Both are healthier than pan frying.
- Switch to smaller plates; visually your plate looks fuller and you’ll eat less.
- Use a Barbeque or a grill. Less fat, more flavour. Marinade your meat overnight to cut down on the potential of carcinogens from naked flame cooking. Don’t cook or eat well done.
Keep your house crap free. Chips and Cookies and cakes and banana bread and …you can’t eat them if they’re not in the house. For those of us with families – have less of these in the house and keep them out of sight – in the garage or back shed. Studies show that the food we see more of we eat more of.
- Have a big bowl of fresh fruit in plain sight. See above
- Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. Recipe for disaster. Have a meal or grab a handful of nuts first then go shopping for food otherwise you’ll fill the trolley with all the self-control eroding processed foods you’ve been conditioned to love & want.
- Become a nutrition label guru: If you have to eat packaged foods check the labels and put back those with heavy sugars, Trans fats or HFCS.
- Decrease/eliminate processed carbs wherever possible. They do nothing for you outside of creating a favourable environment for gaining fat
- Eating out? Swap side dishes with steamed veggies. Restaurants will often allow you to switch the fries or chips with steamed veggies; all you have to do is ask.
- Order dressing on the side, dip the fork in dressing, and then in the salad.
This saves a ton more dressing than if one was to order it on the side, then poor the entire cup on the salad anyhow. Less calories equals less weight.
- Skip buffets. These are a trap to overeating. Don’t.
- Skip the Designer Coffees. Great way to get up to an extra 500 calories in one hit. Have black coffee or a tea instead.
- Don’t socialise around the food tables at parties; Grab some food and move away from the table otherwise you’re more likely to pick, and eat mindlessly even though you’re not really hungry.
- Try to eat slower. It takes approximately 15-20 minutes for your stomach to sense it’s full. Eat too fast and you’ll shovel in more than you need to.
- Stay away from the alcohol— I‘ve written on this before – just drink sensibly – 1 or 2 a night is okay but any alcohol will put a dent into your fat loss efforts. Remember your body stops burning fat to deal with alcohol first. Plus having alcohol lowers your inhibition so you overeat other calories too – kebabs at 3 AM anyone??
- Take a brown bag lunch. Do this as often as possible – not only will you control what you eat but you’ll save money.
- Keep some healthy snacks on hand — like nuts — in your bag, your briefcase or your glove box so you’re prepared at all times. Swap them out regularly so they are always fresh
Match your carb intake to your energy output. You need fewer carbs on the days you aren’t working out hard than the days when you are. Up the protein on non-workout days to support recovery and satiety.
- Have fish oil – several grams a day. Omega-3s have more benefits than possible to list in this short blog – but one is more Omega-3 = less body fat!
- Wake up and exercise; not only do you burn more fat but you’re more likely to exercise in the AM than at night after a day in real world.
- Lift weights. Heavy weights. Build more muscle, burn more calories.
- Do complex exercises like squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, chin-ups, shoulder presses and push-ups. The more muscles you involve in each exercise the more benefit you’ll get. Leave the triceps’ kickbacks to the folk who aren’t serious about getting leaner and stronger.
- Cut down rest time between sets. Just because you’re lifting heavy does not mean that you take a 10 minute break between sets. Rest long enough for your breathing to ease and then do the next set. Repeat. This keeps your metabolism surging and those calories burning…
- Do intervals. HIIT = Faster fat loss. Study after study continues to show intervals are more effective for fat loss (and in less time) than traditional cardio. Ditch the treadmill and the marathon runs – get down get dirty get lean!!
- Sprint twice a week. Sprinters have lower fat and more muscle. Just look at the
body of a sprinter vs. the body of a marathoner.
- If you have a dog, take it for a walk—Aim to do this every day. Set it as a routine.
- Buy a pedometer and aim for at least 10,000 steps each day.
- At work set a timer. Most of us work at a desk so set a 30 minute timer like ‘Cool Timer’ and get up for a stretch every 30 minutes. Go for a brisk walk after lunch, but sit less and move more.
- Try not to use internal email. Whenever possible get up and walk to a co-workers desk.
- Eat standing up. In tandem with the above have your snack or lunch at work standing up – you’ll burn more calories. Want quicker meetings? Have them standing up with no chairs in the room.
- A classic – Use the stairs, skip the escalator and the lift. Tried and true every bit of additional movement helps you lose fat. Doing this by itself won’t have a huge impact but as a part of the overall effort to move more it helps.
Another classic – Fidget. In Australia the Gut Buster program has this as one of its mainstays – fidgeting. Move more and more often. Get thinner.
- Change who you hang out with. If your friends are all overweight, don’t show an interest in getting leaner, eat pizza or other fast foods a few times or more a week then you need to change who you’re hanging with. Research has shown conclusively that the people we hang out with can either assist or undermine our efforts to lose fat and get healthier.
Be well – see you next week.