Everywhere you look, every time you go onto Facebook or Instagram you are flooded with images of body transformations. ‘6 weeks to get a body like this’, ‘follow Y diet and look like this guy in 12 weeks’. However, it has been found that approximately 20% of people that diet manage to maintain their weight loss achievements after one year. Those that sustain any fat loss are those that manage to maintain their diet and weight loss for 2 years or more and this is because it is no longer a ‘diet’, it has become their lifestyle, it is habit. They aren’t saying ‘I can’t’ eat that, they are now saying ‘I don’t’ eat that. Not only does research tell me this, I know this from my own experience.
Just take a look at the picture on the right. This is what I achieved in 6 weeks on a keto diet. Could I maintain this? No. Do I look like this now? No. However, I don’t look like the picture on the left either. I am not fat, not overweight and have an athletic physique without having to be on a diet that I cannot sustain.
So before I share my amazing tips I am going to make something clear…
The key to sustainable fat loss is nothing exciting. There is no quick fix. There is no magic diet or pill – The key is consistency
- NUMBER 1 – Be consistent – one chocolate bar never made anyone fat, and one salad never made anyone skinny.
- Avoid dieting – most diets work by creating a severe calorie deficit, which is great for initial fat loss but unless you eat this way forever then you are going to put the weight back on.
- Avoid severely restricting your calories – skipping meals etc will only make you hungry, reduce your metabolism and make you more likely to binge.
- Try a small manageable calorie deficit – reduce portion sizes slightly. To work out your daily calorie requirements click here.
5. Eat foods high in mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fat, especially those with Omega 3. Some saturated fat is ok too. Read my post here to find out why.
6. Restrict your intake of foods high in trans fats. See the picture below
7. Avoid ‘low fat’ products – 1) fat is good, 2) low fat products normally have large amounts of sugar and or additives
8. Avoid refined, processes, jarred, and or packaged products – They generally have high amounts of sugar. This post explains why we should limit our sugar intake.
9. Eat whole foods – ‘Real’ food is more nutrient dense and filling. See the picture below of a normal breakfast for me.
10. Eat foods that you like – 1) Just because you are trying to be healthy don’t start eating Kale by the wheelbarrow if you hate it, 2) If your favourite food is chocolate then have some now and again. Think about having the healthiest version of your favourite food and reduce your portion size. In the case of chocolate, go for dark chocolate, and instead of eating a whole bar in one sitting, space it out over the course of a week.
11. Reduce your dairy intake – only for a short period. Then try to re-introduce it and see what affect it has on your body. It can bloat and inflame some people without them being aware.
12. Eat mindfully – it takes 20 minutes to feel full. Also think about how certain foods make you feel and whether it is having a positive impact on you and your body.
13. Avoid comparing yourself to others – As I have explained previously we are all different genetically and react differently to food. This is also why one diet does not fit all.
14. Get some sleep and avoid stress – These two factors can seriously limit fat loss. Get some quality shut eye and don’t worry too much if work is stressing you out or you’re moving home and you are not noticing any fat loss.
16. Avoid the scales – 1) muscle weighs more than fat, 2) Lots of factors can affect ‘weight’ but do not necessarily mean you have gained fat. For example lifting weights and eating large amounts of carbohydrate can lead to increased water retention, which increases weight – NOT fat.
17. Use measurements, the fit of your clothes, and naked selfies instead – But avoid doing this regularly. Try to do this every 6-8 weeks.
18. Be patient – if you are making healthier lifestyle choices and trying to achieve sustainable fat loss it wont happen overnight. See point 17, check progress every 6-8 weeks.
Fat loss is difficult. Maintaining that fat loss is even harder. So if you know of anyone that may benefit from reading this please share it with them. If you have any other strategies that you use or would suggest please share them in the comments – fat loss is difficult and you can never get enough good advice.