There are numerous diets, weight-loss theories, fat-burning supplements, and surgeries claiming to be the magic answer to help you lose weight fast. Unfortunately, there are very few of these weight loss strategies that are backed by science to be both healthy and long-term. A sound, healthy, and proven fat loss plan will teach you how to cut body fat AND help you keep it off.
Let’s take a look at seven science-based tactics proven to get lasting results:
1. Track Your Nutrition With an Old School Journal.
Without writing down what you eat or drink every day, you are simply guessing at what your intake was in reality. Science tells us people tend to overestimate how many calories they burn during exercise and underestimate how many they consume through food and beverages.
A food journal eliminates this mistake and allows you to track exactly where you are at. This is the only way to be able to look back and make adjustments to your eating habits based on how you feel, recover from workouts, sleep, encounter cravings, or perform your exercise.
Why do I recommend an old-school notebook for tracking? Your body has no idea what breakfast, lunch, and dinner are, so I encourage clients to treat every time they eat as a meal and eliminate the notion of a “snack.” Unfortunately, most tracking apps use the snacking space to track food intake between meals, so a simple notebook gets the job done for us.
2. Eat on Purpose.
Eating on Purpose is a nutrition philosophy I developed to help my clients be more mindful of what, why, and how they eat. By Eating on Purpose, you will begin to treat food as fuel for every, recovery, and performance.
This mindful consideration of food choices will help you pick more nutrient-dense options that work to balance your blood sugar and keep you fueled and full longer.
In terms of healthy weight loss, Eating on Purpose will also help you control your portions (and calories) and help you learn to spread your meals throughout the day to avoid afternoon energy crashes and evening cravings.
3. Start Your Day With Protein.
When first meeting with a new client I ask them to tell me about their current daily food intake. Oftentimes, they tell me they start their day off with either no food, or highly processed and sugary bread, bagels, or cereals. While neither of those situations is beneficial for optimal health or weight loss, they also do not include protein.
Not only does eating protein help to balance blood sugar and promote recovery from workouts, but it is also known to regulate the hormones responsible for feelings of fullness or satiety. Starting your day with foods high in healthy protein like eggs, oats, nuts, quinoa, and meats you will set yourself up for weightless success by reducing the potential for uncontrolled hunger and over-eating later on.
4. Cut Back on Processed Carbohydrates.
When I say “cut back,” I mean, eliminate these refined sugars whenever possible. While it sounds like I think that is an easy task, but I understand in our current culture, we are increasingly busy and pressed for time.
Along with those pressures, we are exposed to more and more quick and easy “meal” options, sugary beverages, and convenient sweet treats. In addition to these more obvious, fast food pitfalls are highly processed foods from box-like bread and pasta.
All of these “food-like” substances have a couple of things in common: They all have extremely low nutritional value and they all contribute to excess blood sugar. This excess glucose ends up being the spillage that is stored as body fat.
Decreasing your intake of these highly processed and sugary carbohydrates will have an immediate impact on improving your health and promoting healthy weight loss.
5. Increase Your Intake of Fiber-rich Foods.
Fiber-rich foods include dense vegetables like asparagus and broccoli, oats, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Not only do these natural foods provide plenty of micronutrients, but their digestion process is slow, promoting feelings of fullness and making them an excellent option to balance meals.
6. Get the Best Sleep You Can.
Numerous studies have shown a direct correlation between low quality or lack of sleep and the likelihood of obesity. The reason for this can be blamed on the effects poor sleep can have on metabolism.
When metabolism is compromised, the body is unable to efficiently process energy, contributing to fat storage. Likewise, sleep-deprived individuals produce more insulin and cortisol, which also leads to fat storage.
By getting more sleep, you can alleviate those concerns and also improve the balance of hormones that control hunger and fullness.
7. Stop Stressing Out!
While eliminating stress may be an unrealistic goal, it is still something we should work on for long-term health and weight loss. Stress triggers the release of hormones that are helpful in some situations, but when it comes to cutting fat, some hormones like adrenaline and cortisol can increase the appetite, leading to over-eating and more body fat.
Studies have shown that a focus on significantly reducing stress can have a direct reduction in body fat in overweight study subjects. Some of the methods used to manage stress included: time outdoors, walks, meditation, gardening, painting, listening to music, yoga, running, etc.
The best thing about all of these tactics is that they can be implemented by everyone. They can also be started today. However, these improvements to your health and wellness are just part of the story.
Because everyone is different, there are many more tactics I use with personal training and nutrition coaching clients at https://transformingstrength.com to help them learn how to lose body weight fast and keep it off, but these strategies are an excellent foundation for your journey to healthy weight loss.