Instead of simply trying to diet and lose fat, it’s time to adopt some lifestyle changes. These tips will help you to stay lean and healthy year round.
Hit a plateau with your fat loss? The following 10 tips may be just what you need.
Let’s face it: fat loss isn’t easy. Some studies indicate that up to 95% of people who lose weight gain it back. There’s a good chance you’re one of these individuals.
So what can be done to help lose fat, and keep it off? Good question. Fat loss isn’t simply about eating fewer calories. It should involve lifestyle changes.
The following tips should be adopted as lifestyle changes, and just not temporary diet changes. They will help you lose fat, keep it off, and improve your health.
Let’s face it - we all know sugar isn’t the best thing for us to eat. Our mothers tried to push this fact into our brains - don’t eat too many sweets, you’ll get sick! Guess what…she was right. If you were to remove most (not all, no one is prefect) processed sugar from your weekly diet, it would be much easier to stay lean, and you would improve your overall health.
Here’s a rule to live by - if a food product has added sugar, don’t eat it. Simple rule, right? This includes food and drinks. Especially drinks. And while you’re at it, stop adding sugar to your coffee or cereal. Limit the majority of your sugar intake to natural food sources such as fruits.
Processed sugar isn’t the only “white poison” to be avoided. The next food ingredient you should add to your “I better stop eating this” list is processed white flour. Unfortunately, our mothers probably failed us when it came to limiting flour intake.
Processed white flour is found in so many of the foods we can’t resist…cookies, cakes, bread, pasta, coatings for fried foods, etc. Just like processed sugar, processed flour fills our stomachs with nutritionally-weak, empty calories. It’s not a very healthy choice.
This might come as a surprise, but if you “only” remove 80% of processed white sugar and flour from your diet, and did nothing else to improve your eating, you would have a much harder time gaining fat.
The “plate” rule is as follows: never eat more than one plateful of food at any given meal. And no, you are not allowed to stack servings sky high. Fill your plate, eat and take a break. If you are still hungry in an hour, eat a healthy snack. If you’re really hungry in another hour, have another moderate, but reasonable meal.
Many of us have a tendency to overeat. We push away from the table feeling so stuffed that we can barely move. Yet despite this horrible habit, we repeat it over and over again, night in and night out.
By forcing yourself to stick to the plate rule, you will walk away from meals feeling mentally and emotionally strong. There will be no more post-binge depression, which usually leads to more overeating later in the day.
Intermittent fasting usually involves eating only during a 4 to 8 hour window each day. It is an amazing lifestyle choice for those of us who like to eat big meals each night, or if you are likely to sit around and snack while relaxing each evening. To keep it simple, focus on only eating after you get home from work each day.
At first glimpse this eating style may seem impossible. Who can only eat at night, right? Fear not - it only takes a few days for your body to adapt to this style of eating. After that point you will most likely find that you have more energy and awareness during the day, as your stomach and digestive system is not being bogged down trying to process a big lunch.
To lose fat and keep it off you must understand your temptations and weaknesses, and make a plan to counter them. What good is a fat loss plan or lifestyle if it isn’t structured in a manner that is working with you, rather than working against you?
If you are a big night eater, then save the majority of your calories for the night. No sense forcing yourself to eating smaller, more frequent meals. If you have a sweet tooth, put together a lift of 5 low calorie food choices that will satisfy these cravings.
For example…have a weakness for ice cream? Try a huge bowl of sugar-free pudding made with skim milk. It’s low in calories and creamy, making it a very satisfying choice.
Takes some time on Sunday and plan your weekly meals. When possible, you might want to even prepare some of these meals in advance.
If you have a plan, you will be much more motivated to stick to that plan. If you have prepared meals in advance, you will be much more likely to eat what you’ve already prepared. On the other hand, if you come home from work feeling tired, starving and unmotivated, it will be much easier for you to eat something high calorie and unhealthy.
Lack of sleep creates stress. Believe it or not, stress plays a roll in the drive for us to eat - and possibly overeat. A major source of stress for any animal species, including humans, is derived from lack of food.
One of the ways we are wired to react to stress is to seek out food. We all know food can be very comforting. This is a primary reason so many of us turn to food instead of alcohol as an addiction.
You’re heard it said a thousand times before, but it needs to be said again…get more sleep. Turn off the TV and head to bed. Take naps on the weekend too, if you can squeeze them in. Sleep will work to reduce your stress levels, and help to curb your desire to overeat.
Must do cardio to lose fat! Must do cardio to lose fat! Guess what? Without a well thought out eating plan, it’s highly unlikely you will lose much weight at all by exercise alone. Unless, of course, you are exercising over 3-4 hours per day.
Stop feeling compelled to perform 2 hours of cardio each day. It’s simply not needed for fat loss. Several sessions per week is great for overall health, but with a proper eating lifestyle you won’t need to live on a treadmill.
Did you know that a one mile walk only burns 100 calories? To burn off an average candy bar you will need to walk 2.25 to 2.5 miles, or over 30+ minutes of walking. Imagine what it would take to burn off an extra plate of pasta or Chinese food…
Eating healthy and clean does not have to mean eating bland meal after bland meal. It doesn’t take much effort to spice up a boring plate of food. Listen, this is the Internet era. You have no excuse to eat bland food. Hit Google or Youtube, and within seconds you will find 25 ways to spice up any boring meal.
Take some time to research healthy recipes. There are literally more tasty and healthy recipe variations in cyberspace than you will ever be able to read in a single lifetime.
So go…take some initiative and learn how to use spices, veggies and seasonings. They are generally low calorie and inexpensive.
It’s ok to cheat. Be realistic, do you really think you’re capable of saying no to ice cream, donuts and chips every day for the rest of your life? Certainly not.
Allow yourself a cheat meal or cheat hour each week. Instead of planning these cheat meals or cheat hours for specific days each week, allow some flexibility so you can use them at any point during a given week. This way if you attend a birthday party on a Wednesday night, go out to eat on a Thursday night, or someone brings donuts into work, you can have a small unplanned indulgence without feeling guilty or breaking your diet.