Ten Tips For Losing Body Fat
You have probably seen ten tips for losing body fat or ten best weight loss methods or whatever posted on many websites and in many magazines. But this exposure of such knowledge does not stop the obesity epidemic getting more and more prevalent. Our population as a whole is increasing in size at a rapid rate, despite the fact that now more than ever there is a trend towards weight loss products, fitness gimmicks and fancy diets. Something must be going wrong somewhere down the line. I mean how can a world so obsessed with weight loss be getting fatter? Keep reading and you will probably understand some of the reasons and how to take a different approach.
Here I am going to offer you ten tips for losing body fat that should be a part of everyone’s regime, whether you’re obese and need to shed 100kg or you want to shed that last little bit of fat that won’t seem to move. What I offer is simplicity and some food for thought. Everything here is gimmick free and is based on very simple facts and research. Put these into practice and you will be well on your way to losing your unwanted fat.
In no particular order of superiority….
10. It’s not about the training; think of your food and your lifestyle.
Many people are led to mistakenly believe that fat is lost through regular exercise. Let me get one thing straight, training is a catalyst and will produce many physical changes, however fat loss is one of the things that training does not really do all that well.
Ok, so now you’re freaking out wondering why you wasted all that money on a home gym or on gym membership. Don’t despair, without being fit there is really no point worrying about how overweight you are anyway. Training serves to make you stronger, move efficiently, have more endurance etc. When you are fit you can do a lot more in your day to day life as well as in sports. But for weight loss you are not going to get a significant result from your training at all.
Energy is expended throughout your entire day just keeping you alive and allowing for basic functions like breathing, digestion etc. More calories are burned in a day by doing not much at all than are burned doing a grueling workout. Let me stress again, working out is essential, but it’s not your best fat fighting ally.
So what should you focus on? There are two things you need to be thinking about and make adjustments there.
9. Forget about fat loss and focus on performance.
This may sound contrary to what the majority of fat loss gurus will tell you but it works far better than the so-called best methods. Fat loss programmes are centred around weighing, measuring and looking at yourself regularly. I recommend doing the opposite and have another focus. For instance you might want to run a marathon in six months, deadlift a personal best, compete in an ocean swim, join an Olympic weightlifting club, get an indoor soccer team together etc.
If you do what is required but you forget about the daily cm off your waist line you preoccupy yourself with activities that support fat loss but do not directly involve thinking about it. Focusing on fat loss turns your exercise and clean eating into a chore or a punishment instead of doing the best thing for yourself.
8. Focus on quality, not quantity.
This tip applies as much to your food as it does to your exercise. Earlier I said that exercise is not your best fat loss ally, however it is an essential component. Exercise will make your body more efficient at using energy instead of storing it. More muscle equals a faster basal metabolic rate, and the same goes for greater aerobic endurance and anaerobic capacity.
When it comes to food you need to think less about overall calories and more about where they are coming from. Fat storage is stimulated by hormones to a large degree, which is a result of eating the wrong foods. Calories themselves are a unit of measure for heat. One calorie is the amount of energy required to heat one gram of water by one degree. But not all calories are created equal. This will be covered more in later tips, but when deciding on the quality of food just think of the following…
Ok, so that’s over-simplified, however it’s a good start.
As for exercise, you essentially want to achieve a specific result from a training session, not simply to use up energy and burn fat. This is a short term focus and is unlikely to get you very far in the long term. Focus on the following…
7. Use the Tabata protocol (and other intervals).
Tabata is simply 20 seconds of maximum effort followed by 10 seconds of rest completed eight times. Tabata has been shown to equally improve both anaerobic capacity and aerobic endurance significantly, hence increasing fitness and making more energy available for use. This translates into an extremely efficient use of your exercise time. There are other intervals lengths that can be used in conjunction with this also. So here I will give you a basic workout that can be incorporated into a strength programme for very efficient fat loss results.
This can be done on an indoor rower at the gym, a bike, running, swimming etc. Essentially any mode of exercise that is going to really tax you to an absolute maximum capacity fror each interval.
Complete Tabata x 4. That simple means 20 seconds of effort followed by ten seconds of rest completed eight times. That’s once through. Rest one minute between each set of eight and do a total of four.
On an alternative day do longer intervals of one minute followed by 40 seconds of rest completed 10 times. That’s the whole workout. Each one minute interval should be completed at the absolute maximum intensity you can handle.
6. Lower your insulin.
Insulin is a major fat storing hormone. Sure, we know it as a blood sugar regulator, but really in this modern society of processed food it has become an enemy. So many foods will raise your blood sugar and cause an insulin spike and then a crash. So how do you avoid this? There are a few ways, which we will cover below…
5. Change your association to food and learn its role.
Food is there to nourish your body, it is not a drug designed for recreational use. Think about it, we condemn someone addicted to valium that uses it simply to get high instead of using it for the prescribed reason. However what about eating for the sake of eating? We all do it, but some are worse than others.
So here’s the tip; simply eat only necessary calories and ditch the rest. A pack of two minute noodles provides plenty of carbs with absolutely no other value than that. So why eat it? All it does is satisfy a craving and it’s easy to make. Think about what you’re eating before you eat it. A massive side serve of broccoli, pine nuts and buk choy with a drizzle of olive oil is plenty of useful calories and provides a massive hit of essential micro-nutrients and does so without raising insulin radically and is not likely to be converted very readily to fat.
Enjoy your food, make it taste good and savour it. Don’t over-indulge, take your time and learn how good fresh and wholesome food tastes.
4. Fibre, fibre and more fibre.
Fibre comes in many forms and most of it is useful to the digestive system. By following previous tips on here you will surely be getting plenty of fibre, but I recommend even supplementing with more by consuming juices and fibre supplements.
People that consume high levels of fibre have lower incidences of inflammatory diseases. Fibre helps to make you feel full and will bind to many of the nasties in your gut to eliminate them without having them digested and harming your body. Increase fibre intake to about 40-50 grams per day from all sources. If you’re not getting that from the vegetable sources then get it from a supplement like Metamucil.
3. Eat frequently, but give yourself a break.
Eating frequent but small meals provides a number of functions. One of the big ones is increased metabolism due to the body recognizing energy input on a frequent basis. This is the opposite of the starvation response, where your body store more fat in the absence of adequate caloric consumption in order to preserve energy stores.
The second function for eating small and frequently is regulation of body processes like that magical one we mentioned earlier, insulin. Eating a small meal does not allow for insulin to spike and hence keeps blood sugar at a constant rate throughout the day.
But be warned, eating frequently is not the way to go on a non-stop lifetime cycle. Your body needs a break, not for fat loss reasons, but for health reasons. I recommend intermittent fasting. This can be done a number of ways, but what I would follow is a weekly or twice weekly fast. If fasting once per week I recommend 18-24 hours with nothing more than water, electrolytes and a very small, high protein snack at the halfway point. For a twice weekly fast simply eat a small breakfast on each fasting day and a small dinner 12 hours later and nothing more besides adequate hydration. Combined with highly regular feeding at all other times you will find your body responding the right way to your diet.
2. Get strong.
This tip applies to women as much as men. Strength training is an absolutely essential component of fat loss. Without it you are simply trying to whittle away at nothing until there is more nothing. The result is a stick figure body that is weak and unbalanced and not very capable of anything physical. Think of a malnourished person with an eating disorder. That’s an extreme example, however that’s a result of continued weight loss without a focus on preservation of muscle mass and strength.
Now most readers are going to have a differing level of desired muscle and strength gain, but everyone needs to include it, no exceptions. Muscles that can lift a lot of weight will use up a lot of energy. But further to that, the heavier you lift the more the muscle requires repair and rebuilding, which uses a significant amount of the body’s resources.
So start a sound strength training programme. As a quick tip, everyone should start with the big basic compound moves being squats, deadlifts, bench press, pull-ups, overhead press, bent over rows etc. Steer clear of bicep curls, machines, leg extensions and most isolation movements.
1. Put it all together and make it a plan.
Fat loss and being lean and fit is not something you do for a period of time before going back to your old lifestyle. Fitness and weight loss become a lifestyle, or rather the things that got you lean in the first place become a lifestyle. It’s just what you do, not some limited time activity or project. So the first thing to do here is to make it a complete plan. You need to automatically know what each meal will be, how to effectively eat out, when you will be exercising, how much exercise you can manage to do etc. Everything needs to become simply a matter of routine so that you really don’t need to focus on it at all.
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