There’s a ton of fad diets out there. Women all over become victims to all these buzz word headlines, and new tricks to speed up fat loss. It can very easily get overwhelming. What makes any one program better than the other? Why does it even work in the first place?
The last thing you want, is to have spent all that time dieting, only to gain the weight back and then some. This is unfortunately very common, because none of these coaches or guru’s are actually TEACHING anything about how to keep it off, and the reason’s people put weight back on.
Today, I’d like to help you simplify the fat loss process, with 5 tips that will at the very LEAST get you 85% of the way there. They’ll also teach you long lasting habits that are what allow you to keep the weight off.
Avoid Processed Foods
There’s nothing inherently wrong with eating processed foods in terms of weight loss. The issue is that these foods are literally designed to make you eat MORE than your normal fullness cues are accustomed to. For example, try eating 4-5 plain, boiled potatoes. You’d either not finish, or be super full off of it. Now try eating a bag of potato chips. That would be WAY easier right? Not only that, you would have consumed actually MORE calories because they add fats to the chips which put on even more calories.
A study was done comparing people eating a whole food diet vs a processed diet where calories were controlled for. The end result was the processed food group ate 500 MORE calories than the whole food group. That’s enough to put on steady weight weekly, even though you are feeling like you followed your usually eating patterns.
Solution: Now, you could track your food but I’m realistic. Most people want to live their life, not carry a scale. That’s why keeping it simple and focusing on mostly whole foods works best. That doesn’t mean you have to be terrified of snacks, and such. Just become more aware when you eat them. Notice how they make you feel after you eat them versus whole food. It helps your relationship with food, giving you more freedom and understanding versus totally excluding your favorite foods, making you crave them even more. You can also try eating a whole food source first if you’re hungry, and then eat the processed food if you find you are still hungry after that.
Increase Your Protein
The beauty of protein is it helps build muscle, it’s very filling, and it takes more calories to break itself down than any other macro. Also, most people severely undereat their protein needs if they are working out. Which means they aren’t getting adequate recovery. Increasing your protein intake will help make sure your progress in the gym isn’t stalled, but also keep you accountable on your diet because most protein sources end up being whole foods, so you end up killing two birds with one stone.
Solution: The science shows consuming .5-1g/lb body weight is how much protein you should consume. So my go to advice would be to focus on that. But again, I know most people like to keep it simple. Another method is using your palm as a serving size. 1-2 palm sized servings of protein at every meal should help bump your intake up. Always try to consume a protein source before your carb source to help alleviate hunger, and prevent overeating the carb sources which are more palatable.
The more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest. Having muscle also makes you more efficient at utilizing the calories you consume.
Solution: Make sure to choose compound exercises that stimulate as much muscle as possible to maximize growth. Exercises like the squat, overhead press, row, and bench should be staples in your workout routine.
Increase Daily Activity
Cardio doesn’t have to be this separate workout you add on top of your training. In reality, it’s just added movement throughout the day to help increase your daily expenditure to lose weight.
Solution: After every meal, go for a 10 minute walk. Attach movements to existing habits to get you to expend more calories throughout the day. It’s easier to add lifestyle changes if they’re linked to existing habits. Start with 10,000 steps a day, and increase it each week by 1,000-2,000 depending on your progress.
Get Good Sleep
It’s crazy how much we all LOVE sleep, but pay so little attention to maximizing it. We’d rather stay up late on our phones or watch TV, rather than optimize a ritual around good sleep. After all, that’s what sets us up for a successful morning. If you are feeling sluggish or like coffee isn’t working, that’s because you got bad sleep. Sleep will also help curb random cravings, and increase your recovery.
Solution: Set up a routine. Don’t eat anything an hour or two before bed to allow for proper digestion, and not leaving you full. Try not to have any blue light within that hour as well. Create a set bedtime, so you get the same amount of sleep every day. Keep the temperature in your room nice and cool. Science shows the optimal temperature for sleeping is around 68 degrees.