The process is actually surprisingly simple, what gets in the way is ‘life’, the media and self-control.
In a nutshell, fat loss boils down to energy in vs energy out, or more simply the number of calories you eat vs those your body burns.
So, how do you make fat loss easy?
First let’s expel a common myth…
If you’re like the majority of people, there’s two words that are most likely clouding your thoughts and will almost definitely sabotage your success and they are:
So let’s get them out the way first…
Diet...Whether your day consists of 10 Krispy Kreme doughnuts or a salmon salad, chicken stir fry and boiled eggs with brown bread, you’re on a diet. Fact.
The term 'diet' was originally used by the Greeks as reference to the food a person consumed. They didn’t set any restrictions as to what this food may be.
Restriction...keeping your diet varied comes down to how creative you are willing to be and whether you are willing to learn. You may think chicken, rice and broccoli are the only healthy options available, but you’d be very wrong.
So forget demonising any specific food group without very good reason and start enjoying your food.
kick start this by taking a a stroll down the fresh produce aisle in your supermarket and buy two items each week that you’ve not used before or are unsure what they are, Google them and try them. You’ll be amazed.
Now that’s out the way, let’s take a look at our simple steps.
Step 1: Why are you bothering?
Fat loss is a journey, it’s highly unlikely you will reach your goal in the first 24 hours, 7 days or maybe even the first month, so you need to have a good understanding of ‘why’ you are bothering.
Otherwise, you’ll find that those long cold winters nights, meals out with friends, weeks that just don’t go right all, result in you sabotaging your hard earned progress.
So your first challenge is to dig deep and ask yourself ‘why?”
…and in this case the obvious answer is not “Weight loss”,”Fat Loss” or even to “To fit in my skinny jeans”. You really want to achieve this, you’ve got to go further.
For me, when I first started out it was confidence. To feel comfortable about myself around others, especially in situations such as a public swimming pool.
For others it maybe ‘status’ or an inner value based on ‘self achievement’.
Step 2: Stretch out your calories
Simply put, eat natural, unrefined foods from the earth that still resemble their natural state.
These food have are much higher nutrients density and in some cases much lower in calories.
Do you have to eat just salads? Hell No! Does it need to be boring? Only if you are!
There’s a huge range of fresh vegetables available these days: Spinach, Aubergine, Broccoli, Peppers, Mange tout, to name a few.
By simply adding a few natural spices or herbs and ensuring there’s a good source lean protein (Chicken, Turkey, Venison, Fish, Dairy, Eggs) at the centre of your meal, you’ll actually find it harder to fill-up your daily calorie intake.
Try making a homemade curry using:
- Greek Yoghurt
- Chicken Breast
- Raw Almonds
- Turmeric, coriander, salt, pepper, garam masala
- Coconut oil (for cooking)
….in less 500 calories, it's surprisingly easy!
Top Tip: Eating your protein first will slow down your eating pace. This means you’ll know when you are full, plus the protein will keep you fuller for longer, you’ll likely eat less and any carbohydrates that follow your protein will be release energy more slowly.
However, it’s important that you are aware that simply eating 'healthy' doesn’t offer a 100% weight loss guarantee. To achieve this you need to be under your daily calorie requirement.
You may feel healthier but many foods containing healthy fats, such as avocado and nuts can add up quickly! That's not to say don't eat them, just keep them in moderation.
Step 3: Track your progress
So you’re eating well, you’re feeling great but your weight just won’t shift…it’s time for an calorie assurance check.
Just because you’re eating well, it doesn’t mean you aren’t over eating. The same as it doesn’t matter if it’s a super food or chocolate biscuits, if you eat more than your body requires (in calories) you will put on fat.
Personally, I like to use the MyFitnessPal.com app which makes it really easy to see exactly how many calories you’ve consumed each day.
Give it a try, you won’t be the first to be shocked by thinking you were eating less than you are.
Steps 4: Consistency
This will make or break your results.
I recommend the 90:10 rule. If 90% or even 85% of the time you are able to stick to a diet of healthy foods and enjoy it, you’re a huge step towards achieving your results.
You’ll also find that the more consistent you become and the longer the periods of consistency, the easier it is to get back on track when things go wrong.
Step 5: Stop lying & making excuses
This may sound harsh, but it’s a reality that a lot of us avoid, which leads to a cycle of disappointment, bad eating and unhappiness.
Each of the following are common reasons that you’re not achieving the results you desire…
“I eat well in the week but have a treat at the weekends”
…if your indulgence time starts on Friday and finishes Sunday night, thats nearly 40% of the week.
“I’m not over eating, but I’m gaining weight”
…it’s not uncommon to mis-account for your daily food consumption by 25% - 50%. Be real with yourself. Underestimating figures may help your vanity but not your scales!
“I only had a little bit”
…Whether you had 1/2 a glass of wine, 1/3 of a slice of chocolate cake, a dash of cream in your coffee, it’s all calories and they all add up.
Another common mistake is to think that liquid calories don’t count. They do and they can add up really quick. This also applies to sauces and dressings.
“I’ve been really good this week, why have I gained weight”
…So this week you stuck to your calorie intake, well done! But you’ve forgotten that last week whilst you were stressed, tired, away on business, you completely lost track of any sense of consistent healthy eating.
These are sadly all common pitfalls of why your diet isn’t working.
So in summary, the steps to success are:
- Set a goal, dig deep and realise your motivating 'why'.
- Eat natural, unrefined foods. Make sure you've got plenty of protein and green vegetables.
- Track your progress
- Make it enjoyable and manageable. Consistency forms habits, diets don't.
- Be honest.
Check in with your progress, it's great to hear how you're doing.