There are so many different approaches to losing weight. To name a few: low fat, low carb, high protein, no sugar, 5:2, fasting and so on.
Each approach has its merits (well mostly anyway) and my approach I guess is a combo of many different ideas taking the best from each in regards to improving health while losing excess weight.
I don’t have a trendy name for my approach at FitterFaster, although it could loosely be linked to most Paleo, lower carb, no junk food plans.
In fact, if you examine all of the successful diets carefully, you’ll find that most have more in common than they are different.
And its these things I mostly focus on.
The following tips and strategies will work no matter which plan you are following and are what my programs are based on:
EAT REAL, WHOLE FOODS MOST OF THE TIME
Modern diets and weight loss programs nearly all focus on this because its been proven to provide better results and is sustainable. In the late 1900’s and early 2000’s there were many plans that used shakes, bars and other special meal replacement type products as well as special biscuits and similar that you ate instead of real food.
While some programs still focus on these, mostly its because the manufacturers of these products are the ones promoting that particular plan. You do not need these special products to lose weight or keep it off.
Instead, focus on eating real food; vegetables, meats, poultry, fruit, eggs, fish and seafood, with some nuts and seeds.
BE HUNGRY SOMETIMES
I do promote that you should not be feeling deprived or starving while trying to lose body fat. Constant hunger will result in cravings and end up with you bingeing and most likely giving up. No one can sustain a program that leaves you starving and unsatisfied all the time.
But…….. if you want to lose excess body fat, you’re going to have to allow your body to ‘need’ to use some of that fat as an energy source. This means, that you have to eat less (provide less energy via food) to enable that to happen.
It’s good to feel a bit hungry before eating again.
This means you’re on the right track. Just don’t confuse cravings and habit-eating with real hunger.
A benefit of eating real food is that you actually start to experience real hunger because you’re not eating all the additives and chemicals added to processed foods that are added for the simple task of keeping you craving the food. Real food doesn’t have these additives
When you’re slightly hungry, your body is forced to start using your body fat for energy. If you’re constantly topping up your energy stores by too much, you’ll never tap into your body fat. You may maintain, but you won’t lose.
Don’t end up ‘starving’ though.
This will, probably sooner than later end up with bingeing and eating more than you need.
There are 2 ways to do this;
EAT LITTLE AND OFTEN – this is the usual approach I suggest at first when you’re making major changes to the type of food your’e eating. Topping up often, but keeping meals and snacks smaller should result in slight hunger most times before your next feed, but you should never be really, really hungry.
EAT MORE BUT LESS OFTEN – Once you’re eating the right kinds of foods, you can swap to this method. But you don’t have to. If Less but more often is still working for you, stick with that if it fits into your routine well.
There are many ways to do ‘eat more but less often’ such as;
- Fasting overnight and through the morning and then eating a larger lunch and tea.
- Eating 3 larger meals per day and no snacks
- Some even eat a large breakfast and lunch and then skip their evening meal.
All of these can work as long as you’re eating enough at those meals/snacks that you don’t end up starving between feeds and therefore bingeing
A side note: Fasting does not work for all people. Men are more likely to achieve success with fasting than women and anyone with higher stress levels and some type A personality people do not do well with fasting. These people need more regular feeds to keep their hormones in check.
FAT LOSS WILL NOT HAPPEN IN A STRAIGHT LINE
During your journey to a lean body, you’ll find that you have spits and spurts of success seemingly despite what you’re doing at the time. This is not a tip as such, but something you really need to know.
I’ve written about this before and you can find that article here: Transformation In Stages
To summarise, you’ll drop some weight, then plateau for a while, maybe even gain some before losing again.
The key here is to maintain between those fat loss efforts and not gain if possible (which it is)
Taking part in challenges and concentrated programs is great to give you that boost of fat loss (as long as they’re not extreme and result in large rebound weigh gain) but in between, you need to maintain most of the habits that caused the fat loss before putting in a big effort again to lose some more.
The older you are, the longer it will take – sad but true. It’s not impossible though, you can do it and you can get there.
You just need to keep going long enough to get there.
And this is where most people go wrong. They try following a program that they just cannot stick with for long enough to get to where they want to go.
My challenge programs focus on establishing the habits that you can and should maintain long term till you reach your goals.
We all know someone who did an amazing and fast transformation at some time.
I bet you also know many that put that weight all back on plus more.
Those people missed the bit where they learnt how to maintain their new body. So while their results were perhaps amazing, they were also short lived.
They would have been heaps better off losing the weight in a way that enabled them to keep it off. This doesn’t have to mean slow, it just means smart!
YOU’LL NEED TO EXERCISE
Almost all successful fat loss programs include some kind of exercise. From really extreme multiple times per day to walking a few times per week and everywhere in between.
Exercise is a part of successful fat loss and body transformation and is key to maintaining those results.
I occasionally do online nutrition programs without exercise and participants can and do lose some body fat. More importantly, they learn how to eat healthy, real food again and this leads to long term results.
At some stage though, those people are going to have to add exercise to be really happy with results. I always include exercise as a non-negotiable part of my programs or at the least, as an add-on from time to time. Those that add the exercise component ALWAYS get better results without exception.
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