Seven Ways To Make Fat Loss Easier

Seven Ways To Make Fat Loss Easier

Losing fat is hard. The good news is there are several ways to make fat loss easier and still get results. This article will help you understand the most important factors for losing fat and provide simple solutions to make fat loss easier.

Tip #1: Create a roadmap.

We're going to let you in on a little secret: Less than 10 percent of people who lose body fat are able to keep it off in the long run. To set yourself apart, you need to create a roadmap of how you're going to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits once you’ve got the lean body you’ve been working for.

We encourage you to vividly envision what your daily lifestyle will be like once your fat loss fight is over.

How To Do It?

Ask yourself, how will my habits be different from when I first started losing weight? What will happen once the cold weather hits? The holidays? Bulky sweaters? That time-sucking project at work?

Use this time to shore up your defenses and embrace habits that you can maintain forever. Give it everything you’ve got to develop a sustainable lifestyle you can take into your leaner life so that we aren’t having this conversation again next year.

Tip #2: Eat whole foods and eliminate processed food.

You have probably already adopted this fat loss strategy, but it can never be emphasized enough in our high-carb, processed food culture.

Here are the benefits of favoring whole foods over processed foods for fat loss:

  • The body burns double the calories digesting whole foods compared to processed foods.
  • Whole foods have more fiber that reduces hunger and makes people naturally eat less.
  • Processed foods contain food additives that have been scientifically engineered to get you to eat more.
  • You eliminate a lot of high energy foods such as bread, cookies, crackers, chips, pasta, and most restaurant foods.
How To Do It?

Plan your diet around vegetables, fruit, meat, beans, nuts, eggs, and dairy. Bread, cookies, crackers, candy, ice cream, diet snacks, 100-calorie treats, and so on are highly discouraged. Watch out for packaged foods that are “made with whole grains.” Once a whole grain has been ground to make flour or meal it is no longer a whole food. If you want to eat grains, opt for whole boiled ones such as rice or quinoa.

Tip #3: Try food cycling—the calorie method.

Food cycling is a fat loss method so that the calories that are entering the body are less than what you are expending. There are a number of ways of doing this: You can cycle calories, carbs, or protein. Calorie cycling is the simplest method of tricking yourself to eat less.

Some days you eat normally—as much as you want as long as your choices are sensible—and on others you consciously cut your calories. Studies show that because people know they have the freedom to eat what they want, calorie cycling provides mental relief and replenishes willpower.

It also gives your body a break so that you avoid the drop in your metabolism that comes from radically cutting calories for a long period of time.

How To Do It?

Say you were eating 2,000 before starting to diet and you cut your calories to 1,500, lost some weight, and then plateaued. In trying to re-start fat loss, you cut calories down to 1,200 a day.

This is unlikely to work very well because a) you’ll be hungry all the time, and b) your metabolism will slow to prevent further fat loss.

Instead, alternate “normal” days in which you eat to satisfaction with "diet" days when you eat 1,200 calories. Eat only whole foods and consider going higher in protein and lower in carbs to improve satiety on “diet” days.

Tip #4: Try carb cycling.

Carb cycling is similar to calorie cycling but it’s slightly more complicated because you need to know how different carbohydrates affect your metabolism.

The reason carb cycling works is that during the period that you are restricting carbs, fat burning increases and you deplete muscle glycogen, which is a storage form of carbs in the body. Then, the carbs you eat on your higher carb day aren't stored as fat, but are used to replenish glycogen stores.

Carb cycling also keeps the cells sensitive to insulin and the brain responsive to the hormone leptin so that you don’t experience crazy levels of hunger.

How To Do It?

If you’ve been on a low-carb diet, try eating a higher carb day every 5 to 7 days. Foods to include are sweet potatoes, high-carb fruits, and whole grains. Depending on your physical activity level, you could eat anywhere from 100 to 200 grams of carbs on your higher carb day.

If you're totally new to carb cycling for fat loss, start with a two-week low-carb phase. You can eat as much protein and vegetables as you want, but keep your carb intake at 50 grams a day. After 14 days, start the carb cycling every 5 to 7 days.

Tip #5: Increase your protein intake.

Protein is your friend when trying to make fat loss easier because it preserves lean muscle mass. Protein is also more costly calorie-wise for the body to break down.

Be aware that increasing protein intake will build lean muscle mass. The scale may not go down even though you’re losing body fat. Don’t worry—you’ll have less fat and look leaner and firmer.

How To Do It?

Shoot for eating 1.6 g/kg/body weight of protein a day. This equals 116 grams for a 72 kg (160 lb) individual. This amount has been shown to preserve lean muscle mass when trying to lose fat. Pair it with strength training and you will radically improve fat loss results.

Tip #6: Strength train or mix up your workouts.

Strenuous exercise is an excellent tool to help you kickstart fat loss if used properly. The key is to do something different. Our bodies adapt quickly and stop responding as they did originally. This is especially true for cardio.

How To Do It?

Strength training is the best choice because it will raise energy expenditure by building muscle.

Use multi-joint lifts like squats, deadlifts, lunges, presses, rows, and chin-ups with 30- to 60-second rest periods. Use challenging weights in the 70 to 85 percent of the 1RM range. Always count tempo and keep volume high.

If you’re already doing this type of training, you need to mix it up. Here are a few options:

  • Use a circuit training format in which you alternate upper and lower body lifts.
  • Shorten your rest periods to 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Add sprint interval workouts to produce a lot of growth hormone and increase post-workout energy expenditure.
  • Increase your non-training physical activity (walking, biking, yoga).

Tip #7: Improve your circadian rhythm.

Your circadian rhythm is your biological clock. If it is out of whack, you will experience hormone imbalances and greater stress. An altered circadian rhythm can seriously stunt fat loss:

  • You’ll feel less motivated to work out and will have a harder time pushing yourself.
  • Hormones involved in metabolism will be altered, making you more likely to store fat around the middle.
  • You’ll have trouble sleeping, which will increase stress levels and further exacerbate a poor metabolism.

For example, a 2012 study by Chaput found that in a group that was cutting calories to lose fat, those who slept better and longer lost the most fat. Specifically, an increase in sleep of 1 hour led to an average loss of 0.7 kg of body fat.

How To Do It?

Circadian rhythms are a complex topic. Here are some tips in brief:

  1. Avoiding eating late at night. Instead, eat at at least 2 to 3 hours before bed time.
  2. If you’re hungry before bed, try consuming green veggies, or a “good” fat such as almonds or avocado.
  3. Eat in the morning because this will set your circadian rhythm up for the day.
  4. Avoid training at night if you have trouble sleeping. The best time to exercise is in the late afternoon because that is when body temperature is highest.

 

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