Rules for Losing Weight
Losing weight can often seem like a very complicated process. Eat less fat, cut out carbs, use this product, follow that eating plan. It can be hard to know even where to start! And with so many diets to choose from and so much conflicting advice to follow, things get even more complicated. Should you go paleo? Follow the food pyramid? How about Atkins or Weight Watchers?
The reality is that fat loss is actually a relatively simple process; you need to eat a little less, exercise a little more and create a calorie deficit. Your body will then have to burn fat for fuel to replace these missing calories.
The bigger the deficit, the faster you’ll lose weight but most experts agree that 1-2 pounds per week is about right.
Almost any diet will work providing that a) it creates the required deficit and b) you can stick to it. However, if strict dieting isn’t for you, here are SEVEN rules to live by that make losing fat easy. Some are exercise-related while others are directly related to the food you eat. If you stick to these rules you should find that you can lose fat fast without having to follow a prescriptive, restrictive diet.
1. Pump up the Protein
Eating more protein can help you lose fat in several ways. Firstly, protein has a high thermic effect which means it uses a lot of energy to ingest, digest, utilise and then eliminate. Where carbs have a thermic effect of around 10-20 percent and fat weighs in at a measly 3-5 percent, protein scores a whopping 30 percent or more.
This means that for every 100 calories of protein you eat, 30 or more calories are “wasted” during processing.
Simply swapping some of your carb calories for an equal amount of protein calories can help contribute toward creating the required caloric deficit without reducing the amount of food you eat. Protein is also useful for preserving muscle during a low-calorie diet.
2. Fill up on Veggies
If you want to lose fat fast, veggies are your biggest ally. Veggies are high in filling fibre, low in calories and super-healthy. Building your meals around them will help keep your overall calorie intake low while making sure you never go hungry.
A big plate of veggies accompanied by some lean protein, such as grilled chicken, will satisfy your hunger without breaking the calorie bank. Add some heart-healthy olive oil and a small side dish of wild rice and you have the perfect weight loss meal.
Make sure you steer clear of starchy vegetables such as potatoes as they are high in calories and too many could derail your weight loss efforts.
3. Stop Drinking Your Calories
Eliminating high-calorie beverages like blended coffee drinks, soda and fruit juice from your diet can make losing weight much quicker and easier. It’s astounding how many calories some of these drinks contain – 600 or more in the case of blended coffee drinks – and they don’t even fill you up!
Replacing high-calorie drinks with naturally calorie-free water, black coffee and green tea can play a major role in reducing your calorie intake without affecting the amount of food you eat.
4. Use Smaller Plates
To lose weight, you are going to have to eat a little less. This often means smaller portions. A smaller portion on a regular-sized plate can look very unappetising and can give the impression that your meal will not be filling. This is not a good way to start a meal and is likely to result in reaching for a second portion or dessert.
However, if you put that same small meal on a small plate, suddenly it looks far more filling and, as a result, will leave you feeling satisfied rather than still hungry.
Downsize all your plates, bowls, dishes and cups to make your weight loss meals look larger and more substantial than they really are.
5. Replace Unhealthy Snacks with Protein Bars
Protein bars are a very useful fat loss tool. They contain protein which helps boost your metabolism (see rule number one) and they will also satisfy your cravings for sweets and chocolate. Choose one that is relatively low in calories – 200 or less per bar – and also low in carbs and sugar. Always carry a protein bar wherever you go so you have a healthy snack handy that won’t derail your weight loss efforts.
6. Exercise on Empty
Exercising on an empty stomach may help you lose fat faster. The best time to do this is first thing in the morning. When you wake up, your blood glucose levels are lower than normal which encourages your body to burn more fat for fuel during exercise.
Have a strong coffee or a shot of pre-workout supplement to give you energy and then do 30-60 minutes of exercise before you eat your first meal of the day. This will not only give you energy but also allow you to exercise harder so you burn even more fat during your workout.
7. Walk Your Way to Leanness
Exercise is important for weight loss but even if you work out four times a week, you may well end up being sedentary the remaining 164 hours. Being so sedentary, as most of us office dwellers tend to be, means that your diet will have to be super-strict to produce any meaningful weight loss results.
Rather than resort to starvation, try and burn more calories per day by walking more. Look for opportunities to inject walking into your daily schedule. For example:
- Walk to work
- Take a walk at lunch time
- Get off the bus/train earlier and walk the rest of the way to your destination
- Take the stairs and not the lift
- Park on the far side of the carpark
- Walk with your dog or your kids
- Enjoy a walk after dinner instead of crashing in front of the TV
Use a step tracking app to measure how far you walk each day. Try to accumulate at least 5,000 steps per day.
Bonus Tip: Supplement Wisely
Diet and exercise are undeniably important for weight loss but a few well-chosen supplements can help too. Consider adding a few of these tried-and-tested products to your weight loss regimen to get even better fat burning results!
- Whey protein – replace your normal breakfast with a low-calorie whey protein shake to boost your metabolism, preserve muscle mass and keep you feeling full until lunchtime.
- Fat burners – stoke your metabolism with thermogenic fat burners which also give you energy for workouts. Some also contain natural appetite suppressants.
- Essential fatty acids – consume adequate essential fatty acids to keep your fat burning furnaces working; you need to eat the right kinds of fat to burn fat and EFAs contain exactly what your body needs.
Losing fat needn’t be complicated. Just follow these rules and you’ll start to see your shape and your weight change for the better. Be consistent with your efforts, stick to your plan and you too can shed fat, look great and be healthy!