Today’s article is going to cover fat loss 101, or fat loss basics. There is an overabundance of information on fat loss – some good, with a lot of bad. I will show you the basic steps, to help you achieve weight loss in a more optimal manner. First, healthy, long term, manageable weight loss takes time and consistency. How much time will depend on your specific goal; obviously, losing one hundred pounds will take a lot longer than losing ten pounds. Remember, there is no magic pill. Fad diets and quick fixes may work for a period of time, but they will fail in the long run. Losing weight has to become a lifestyle change. Maybe you had success in the past with a quick fix diet plan. Ask yourself one question: it worked, but was it optimal? More than likely, your answer is no. Super low carb, low fat, and very low calorie starvation diets are typical quick fix diets. Sure you will lose some weight, but let’s look at some drawbacks: low energy, constant hunger, fatigue, muscle loss faster than normal, and weight regain. Those are just a few of the main symptoms that come without an optimal weight loss plan. With this being said, let’s get into the basics!
First and foremost, unless you have a food allergy such as celiac (intolerant to gluten), there is no reason to cut entire foods or food groups from your diet. There are countless articles that blast gluten, carbs, dairy, and even fruit as bad! Last time I checked, fruit was healthy. Flexible dieting is a way of eating that has taken off over the past couple of years. Flexible dieting is the most optimal way to eat for long term sustained weight loss. Flexible dieting is eating healthy along with foods you enjoy. For example, you eat chicken, broccoli, and rice. That would be considered a healthy meal. You also like ice cream. You eat a serving of ice cream. The key to flexible dieting is moderation. Not however much you want. You eat foods you like alongside foods considered healthy. This cuts down on cravings immensely. Cravings are a downfall of restrictive diets. You crave food, which leads to binge eating, which leads to gaining weight back. It is a vicious cycle. No one has enough will power to not crack and eat some ice cream for the rest of their life – not even top level bodybuilders. That is all I will touch on for now with flexible dieting. I plan on writing an article just for flexible dieting.
Let’s look at some steps for more efficient weight loss:
Water – I prefer clients drink a gallon of water per day, if possible. Water helps digestion which leads to better food absorption. Better digestion means getting more nutrients from foods. The human body is seventy percent water, so water it. It will help you feel fuller, and you will stay better hydrated during hard workouts. Your skin also stays clearer when consuming more H2O. This helps you look good and feel good.
Fiber – Getting enough fiber is another key. I recommend twenty to forty grams per day depending on if you are a male or female. Fiber aids in digestion and helps to keep the digestive system working properly. It also helps you to feel fuller. Green leafy vegetables are good sources of fiber.
Macronutrients – You have probably read eat six to eight smaller meals a day every two to three hours. That is a very time consuming process. Meal timing is less important than hitting your macronutrient requirements. I will get into that shortly. I recommend three to five meals per day anywhere from three to six hours apart. Truthfully, if you only had time to eat twice a day due to a busy schedule, that is fine. However, I do feel the three to five meals helps with consistency. Tracking macronutrients is an important step simply because it is the only way you truly know how much food is being consumed. Macronutrients, or macros for short, are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. To track your macros you can use a mobile app like myfitnesspal. You add the amounts you eat, it does the rest. When you hit your totals for each macronutrient you would technically be done eating for that day. Is it a big deal if you go slightly over some days? No. Again, it is about building more structure, and consistency in your lifestyle.
Workouts – Depending on personal goals, exercise 3-6 days per week. Base your workouts around resistance training because this is what will truly change your body by building more muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat and burning more calories is a good thing. Cardio alone will not build muscle. If you do not know what you are doing when it comes to weight training, hire a professional to assist you. Do not listen to Joe Schmoe who has worked out for five years with no results.
Fat loss 101 has covered some of the main, basic, and most important steps when it comes to consistent, optimal, and long term weight loss. Remember, there is a lot of information out there about exercise and nutrition. Always make sure to do your research on anything new you may want to try when it comes to exercise and nutrition, especially for weight loss. There are always new gimmicks and fads, do not fall for them. When it comes down to it, enjoy what you eat, do not be overly restrictive, drink water, workout hard, consume enough fiber, track your macros, and above all else, be consistent!