I figure I better break these up into 3 separate blog posts because the list is pretty long. Listed below are 5 more unconventional fat loss tips that you don’t always hear coming from the media. If you haven’t already, take a look at the previous 2 blog posts to read about some more fat loss tips that may help you along the way to achieving your goal. My advice is to pick ONE tip and stick to it for a month and evaluate how it goes (tip #4 might be a good way to evaluate it!)
1. Copy success
Do you know anyone that has achieved their fat loss goal? If so, copy the principles they followed. It’s a good idea to look out for a few things first though. Success should be defined as someone who not only has achieved their goal but has sustained and/or built upon that goal. Someone that finishes up a detox, lost a bunch of weight but then put it all back on in 6 months probably would agree they weren’t successful. Sure they successfully completed the detox, but I imagine that wasn’t their goal. They wanted to feel better, lose weight etc. AND keep it off. Find those people that did that, figure out what they did and apply those principles to your life. Usually magazines and diets aren’t the best place to look for accurate testimonials.
2. Be more mindful
How do you feel after you exercise? After you made a home cooked meal? After you did yoga? Take notice of how you feel throughout the day. Are you stressed out during certain times of the day? Do you feel better (physically and psychologically) when you are surrounded by certain people? Or eaten certain foods? Mindfulness shouldn’t just be done while meditating but should be done throughout the day. In a fast-paced world where many people have a million thoughts going through their head at one time, mindfulness helps you pay attention to how you feel in the moment. It slows down your t thinking and in turn your life so you feel less stressed out. The book ‘10% Happier’ by Dan Harris is an awesome book that gives the story of a news anchor who had a live on-air melt-down on national TV and used meditation and mindfulness to help him reduce stress and improve his quality of life. I highly recommend reading the book.
3. Cook your own food
There are no short-cuts to fat loss. If you want to lose fat, you need to understand that making your own food most of the time is key. Businesses are realizing that there is a growing demand for healthy home-cooked meals, so many are starting to make a business out of it. Unfortunately, unless you are wealthy this probably isn’t an option for you (at least for very long). If you are new to cooking start by making 2 home cooked meals a week. There are MANY cookbooks and recipes on the internet to help you get started. Find 2 nights a week where you can carve out a little time to make a home cooked meal for yourself and/or friends and family.
4. Write it down!
One of the more common things I see in a gym setting is individuals haphazardly going from one machine or exercise to the next. There doesn’t appear to be much rhyme or reason as to why they chose an exercise, and how they paired that exercise. Same goes for weight selection. If you don’t know what you did from day to day or week to week, how do you know why your progress may be stalling? Same goes for food intake. I try to encourage all my clients to start a food journal. This not only tells you what you are eating obviously but more importantly it allows you to recognize some of your eating patterns. This allows one to go back and see if their eating patterns may be contributing to their lack of progress. Trying to take an educated guess is too difficult. It’s also been shown that individuals aren’t good at this and will consistently under report how much food and calories they are consuming (usually not on purpose). A food journal may help keep you honest. Finally, a generic journal for how you feel is also incredibly valuable. At the end of the day spend 10 minutes writing down how your day went, your training, nutrition, stress levels. Once you do this on a consistent basis you may be able to start noticing trends. Furthemore, it’s very helpful to know what an individual has been doing, how they feel etc. before they come to me for help. It only expedites the entire process of achieving your goals.
5. Eat more!
I saved the best (and maybe most controversial) for last. Yes, it is very possible that you aren’t eating enough of the right food and this will hinder fat loss. When you don’t eat enough of the right calories to support your lifestyle, your body (metabolic rate) slows down. This happens because anytime you restrict calories enough your body thinks you are in starvation mode. When this happens the body simply slows down (burns less calories) because it thinks it is being threatened and is trying to save your life. So while you may be thinking that you are closer to your goal of getting a bikini body by restricting calories, your body is prioritizing saving your life above all else!
Your body loves you, feed it well 🙂
On the flipside it is certainly possible to overeat calories, but if you are eating nutrient dense calories (think mostly veggies, fruit, lean protein and other minimally processed food) your body’s fullness cues will kick in and you simply won’t want to eat more food. The obesity epidemic wasn’t an issue until businesses found a clever way of marketing heavily processed foods that were high in calories but low in nutrients and then were able to attach such dubious labels as ‘natural’ ‘healthy’ ‘organic’ ‘made with real ingredients’ etc.