Trying to lose fat can be frustrating. You get this idea in your head about how you'd like to look and feel but no matter what you do, you can't get yourself there. You go round and round in a circle trying to figure out which way to turn, only to end up frustrated, watching the fat continue to cling.
It isn't your fault. You may just be using the wrong bits of information! Because none of us are the same, the steps required to meet our fat loss goals all look different. Think of it as a puzzle. The way you want your body to look is the overall finished image but if you don't put all the pieces together properly, you aren't going to get anywhere.
This list is designed to help you narrow down what will work for you. Remember, go easy on yourself. It likely took you some time to gain fat, it makes sense that it might take you a little time to lose it. Give yourself at least 6 months before you give up and go on a crazy crash diet. Don't be so desperate for results that you throw away all your hard work. Experiment and see what works for you! Adopt one of these habits every two weeks and you will see fat loss come as a side effect of your improved health!
1. Avoid Processed Carbohydrates
Processed carbs include everything from breads and muffins to chips, sugars, fruit juices, and breakfast cereals. These carbs elevate your blood sugar rapidly, triggering the release of insulin -- one of the hormones responsible for fat storage. If you are able to keep your blood sugar and insulin levels down, your body can use fat as a source of fuel instead of relying on sugar.
2. Eat More Protein
Protein will fill you up faster and keep you feeling satisfied longer which will reduce your cravings for trashy snacks. Eating protein is essential for building muscle and muscle is the key to burning fat. The more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn.
3. Sleep At Least 8 Hours A Night
It is when we are sleeping that our bodies recover from workouts and repair muscle tissue. But, sleep is also essential for helping you keep your diet on track. Sleep helps your body regulate the hormones ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin increases your appetite while leptin makes you feel satiated. When you aren't getting enough sleep, your ghrelin levels increase while leptin levels decrease. Lack of sleep can also lead to elevated blood sugar levels, even without eating, which decreases tolerance of carbohydrates, making it more difficult to burn fat for fuel.
4. Clean Out Your Pantry And Fridge
It is important to know what foods are preventing you from losing weight. If you are hanging on to the food because you've paid for it and you don't want to waste the money, consider giving it away. If foods are unopened, drop them at a local food bank. If you keep these foods out of your home, you will find them much easier to ignore. Now that they aren't there to offer a distraction, you can focus on replacing that urge for junk with healthy eating habits.
When it is time to restock your kitchen, let us help! The BodyRock Meal Plans will provide you with the foundation required for building a balanced, healthy diet for years to come. The Meal Plan covers everyone from meat eaters to vegans and takes virtually all the guess work out of meal prep. We provide you with a weekly grocery list so all you have to do is buy the ingredients and follow along! We are talking 30 days worth of real, whole, exciting, flavorful meals and snacks that will satisfy your taste buds! Proteins, healthy fats, carbs -- we'll show you how!
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5. Be Aware Of How Much You Are Eating
It is important that you keep an eye on the amount of calories you are eating but obsessing over them is useless. A balanced diet is one you will sustain over time. And remember, as you get closer to your goal, you may find the way you were eating stops producing results. If this is the case, you may have to shift around some of your calories or lifestyle habits to see things start to change again.
6. Lift Weights (3-4 times a week)
As mentioned before, the more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn. Training with weights increases your insulin sensitivity which means your body will use carbs more efficiently and fewer carbs will be stored as fat. When lifting heavy, aim for the 3-6 rep range for 3-5 sets. Try to do full body compound lifts like, squats, deadlifts, push presses, dumbbell lunges and pull ups. If you would like to add some weight to your home workouts, check out our weighted sandbag, our bar and weights set, or our weighted vest. Even the smallest addition of weight can make a world of difference to your fat losses, especially when you are just starting out.
7. Stress Management
Our bodies are actually quite masterful when it comes to handling acute bouts of stress and danger that pop up in life. Things that are critical to our survival. What our bodies aren't good at dealing with are the non-life-threatening stresses of day to day life. High levels of stress increase appetite and sugar cravings while making it more difficult to burn fat. Take time each day to manage your stress. Go for a short walk in the park, practice deep breathing or yoga, listen to calming music. Just make it a part of your day.
8. Consume Healthy Fats
Fat has a bad reputation. The problem is, that reputation is based on bad science. If we focus on consuming more healthy fats and less processed carbs, we give our body a chance to use dietary and body fat as a source of fuel. Fat also works to slow gastric emptying which means you will feel fuller, longer and have less sugar and carbohydrate cravings.
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9. Be Patient
You did not gain your fat overnight. One meal did not make you pack on the pounds. In the same way, one day of healthy eating and working out will not take those pounds away. It takes time. Remember that you are not on a 'diet,' you are changing your life. You are building a new lifestyle. Look at the distance you have traveled already. Be proud of your progress.
10. Sprint (1-2 times a week)
Sprinting is an anabolic exercise. This means it helps you to build muscle and strength. Sprinting is far more effective when it comes to fat burning than just steady state cardio. It also takes a fraction of the time to do. This type of exercise creates an afterburn that will see you burning calories long after the workout is complete. And don't just think of sprinting in terms of running. If you are doing a lower impact workout like cycling or swimming, you can up the intensity and sprint there too.
11. Set Goals
Set yourself a short term goal and give yourself a deadline for reaching it. Putting it on paper and posting it in important places around your home and office will prevent you from procrastinating or thinking "I will start tomorrow." Don't be afraid to share your goals with people around you. If you know you have someone holding you accountable, you'll be more likely to stick with your plan.
12. Develop Routines
Willpower has a limit. If you don't have routines and habits in place, you will rely on willpower to get you through the day. The more willpower you use, the less you will have for later. The more decisions you can turn into an automatic good habit, the better. If you are having a hard time getting your workouts into a solid routine, we've got your back! With SweatFlix℠, you'll gain access to the largest collection of workout videos every assembled! Over 115 hours of your favorite BodyRock workouts any time you want them. From beginner to advanced, HIIT bootcamps to yoga, SweatFlix℠ has what you need! Start your free trial today!
13. Get Others To Join You
Having people you can share your successes, motivations, and setbacks with can make all the difference. It is a way to feel truly supported on your journey. You will face very real challenges as you move toward your goal and having people in your corner will help you succeed. If you have a hard time finding people in your life who understand, or people who will offer motivation, the BodyRock community is here for you. We, along with thousands and thousands of other BodyRockers, know the struggle and want you to succeed. We believe you can do it!
Do you have any helpful fat loss tips? Share them with us!