One of the most frequent question that I have been asked, if not the most, is “How to lose fat?”. I must say there are so many ways of achieving it, but a lot of them are unsustainable, and will make you feel unsatisfied and even make you feel hungry. If you do it right it’s not going to be easy, but it will be simple. Results and rapidness of results will vary from person to person depending on your approach as well as factors like your genetics, age, fitness background, etc. It’s all about kilojoules (calories) in and out when it comes to fat loss or gain fat. To achieve fat loss you need to create an energy deficit, thus more energy spent compared to food intake. In order to really trigger fat loss process you will have to have concentrate on two things:
I would give nutrition about 70% and training 30% ratio, which means you can still reach a good fat loss results without training however, I would think you wouldn’t want to lose some fat and have a body of 80 years old with sagging skin and skinfolds. Moreover, exercising will hugely speed up your results, give you a good looking shape of the body, improve overall fitness, strengthen your confidence, increase metabolism level and circulation system, and many other positive outcomes to your health and wellbeing.
When it comes to putting yourself on a diet and training plan, you have to understand that this diet have to be sustainable, a diet that you can follow for life. Remember the only successful way it to make it a lifestyle, it is no use to go on diet for several weeks until you realize that you cannot continue like this anymore, and as a result you will quit and come back to the old you (shape) if not worse. Don’t expect to go on a magical diet that will produce fast long-lasting results. Many people mistakenly go on and off into all sort of diets: juice diets, fat-burning supplement diets that bring behind extreme food intake restrictions, that would lead to further lowering metabolic rate and possible even cause more health damage than good. Same applies for a training plans, don’t force yourself into 6 sessions per week program, if you know you can only perform 3 sessions. I would say it takes about 3-4 weeks to create a habit and 3-4 months to create a lifestyle, which would be easy to maintain later on and further build on it if needed.
Let’s discuss nutrition and training in further detail:
You must understand that kilojoule is not a kilojoule when it comes to nutrition. Kilojoule from white bread has completely different composition to a kilojoule from quinoa. Your diet needs to be built around variety of nutrient dense foods, food that have large spectrum of essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins, etc. Try to cut down on sugars () and simple carbs (), both of these have high glycemic index (GI). Consuming less food with high GI score will lead to a reduced insulin levels in the blood which in its turn will reduce your appetite level and at the same time will promote more fat to be used as a fuel from fat reserves. Here are the things to consider when developing a nutrition plan, as there is no one-fits-all plan:
• Energy target
• Nutrition target
• Frequency of food intake
• Food distribution throughout the day
• Quantity of food/liquid
• Type of food/liquid
Compile your meals from the following three sources:
• Carbohydrates: quinoa, oats, hummus, brown rice, sweet potato, buckwheat, basmati
• Fats: avocado, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, coconut oil, peanuts,
flaxseed oil, etc.
• Protein: salmon, egg whites, lentils, chicken, whey protein, lean beef, tuna, cod,
clam, crab, etc.
And don’t forget about:
• Vegetables: broccoli, tomato, asparagus, lettuce, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower,
spinach, celery, etc.
• Fruits: banana, blueberries, strawberries, raspberry, apple, kiwi, pineapple, etc.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium, magnesium, fiber, vitamins, etc.; however be particularly cautious in fruit consumption amounts as they naturally have lots of sugars. Give adequate attention to consumption of nuts too as they are high in calories and it is easy to over shoot your calories count.
I would suggest as a minimum measure to exercise 3-4 times per week, but if you are able to do it more often then it will only be an advantage. When it comes to exercising do a warm up prior to it and stretching after. You will be able to find more information about benefits of warming up and stretching in our future posts. I would highly suggest lifting weights/resistance training as this will help you build physique as well as burn calories and maintain high metabolic rate. Your training can take as little as 45min but still be intensive and effective when using free weight to perform compound exercises (please read our previous two posts for detailed information). It is important to know that the higher the muscle mass the more kilojoule you will be able to burn performing same exercises. As an option you can add some steady (stairmaster, elliptical, walking, cycling, rowing, etc.) and HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio. In depth information regarding training and workout you will be able to find in our future articles.
Eat variety of nutrient dense foods assembled from protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. Always have vegetables with your meals to ensure you are having enough fibers, vitamins and minerals. Do 3-4 training session a week, preferably lifting weights/resistance training mixed with some cardio. But most importantly, whatever nutrition and training plan you start it need to be sustainable. Make health and fitness part of your lifestyle.
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