As I said in my last post, Calories versus Carbs: Fat Loss PART 1 there is NO magic diet! NO magic pill! And certainly no one size fits all diet plan. However, there are strategies we can utilise to try optimise our fat loss. Here are my 12 top tips:
- Avoid ‘diets’ – if it is something you plan to do for a short period of time only, you will almost certainly gain back the weight you lost. What you choose to eat or not eat should be a lifestyle choice that you can sustain.
- Reduce your intake of sugar and carbohydrates, especially carbs with a high glycaemic index/load – sugars have no essential nutrients, are easy to overeat and foods with a high glycaemic index are more likely to lead to insulin resistance, weight gain and ultimately diabetes and obesity.
I know how hard it is to aoid chocolate and cake and all that good stuff so either…
- Go cold turkey – You will have some mad cravings to get past, but once you do, which may take a few weeks, you should be able to stroll past the local delicatessen without even blinking
- Slowly reduce your intake – if you eat or drink something sugary i.e. a chocolate bar or can of coke every day try reducing your intake to every other day. Then cut down to twice a week. Then once a week and so on
Remember: there is sugar in alcohol and a lot of jarred/pre-packaged products
3. Check labels – there is sugar in a lot of things you may not be aware of. For example flavoured yogurt can contain around 20 grams of sugar!
4. Avoid ‘low fat’ branded products – 1) fat is good for you! And 2) this normally means sugar, preservatives, additives have been added to the product!
5. Eat real food. It will make you feel fuller, which means you are less likely to overeat. It also has more of the nutrients your body needs.
6. Don’t treat food as a treat/reward or punish yourself for eating something considered unhealthy –this promotes negative relationships with food. So what, you had a chocolate bar after dinner. No-one got fat eating one chocolate bar, just like no-one got skinny eating one salad!
7. Consistency is key – If you maintain it, it will become the norm and a part of your lifestyle. If you eat something unhealthy then get straight back to your new healthy eating lifestyle straight away. Don’t let that cheat meal become a cheat weekend.
8. Eat things you love – Despite points 2-7. If you love a Domino’s pizza or Ben&Jerry’s ice cream then eat it. Not every day or even every week and avoid eating to excess but you’re more likely to stick to your new lifestyle changes if you occasionally include the things you love. Try to avoid these being used as treats but part of your diet. I REPEAT – no-one ever got fat eating one chocolate bar, consistency is the key!
9. Use sugar alternatives to satisfy your cravings if needs be. Read a great post by LucyBeeCoconutOil yesterday about this so I am not going to re-write what she has said – just have a quick glance over this. I also love The Beltsanders healthier protein cake recipes and nowadays there are lots of healthier substitutes.
10. Eat mindfully – It takes 20 minutes before you start feeling full
11. Get as much quality sleep as you can – Research suggests 6-8 hours of un-interrupted quality sleep is optimal. Sleep can have a big impact of fat loss and here are just a few tips to help with this:
- Turn off all electronic devices at least an hour before you go to bed
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine near to bed time
- Avoid napping – my wife wont like this one
12. Exercise – It wont have the biggest impact on your weight loss, but it will play some part. The benefits of exercise on your physical AND mental health are unrivalled and if you want some muscles to show once the fat is gone you’re going to need to exercise. Read my post HIIT versus LISS to see why HIIT training may be best for this.
Ultimately food and eating should be enjoyed. It is no fun weighing and counting each morsel of food you eat. Listen to your own body and don’t compare your diet or physique to anyone else. If you cut carbs and you lose weight and can stick to that long term then do it. If certain foods bloat you then avoid them. What works for you, works for you. These changes wont happen over night and nor will your fat loss so be patient and stick with it.