7 Ways To Drop Body Fat
1. Say no to extreme restrictions!
You CAN enjoy treats whilst leaning down. While leaning down, you may choose to adjust your food ratio, but it shouldn’t be so drastic where you go from eating 2500 calories to 1000 calories or start putting foods like potatoes, bananas or your favourite treats on a banned 'never to be eaten' food list! Overly restricting food groups can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food or, worse, eating disorders like binge eating. And, honestly, how long would you be able to maintain that? Remember, lowering your calorie intake doesn’t mean eliminating food groups. It just means eating them in moderation and at times which helps you get better results..
2. Keep getting in your first class sources of protein!
By consuming less calories you will encourage the body to use more of its own resources for energy, preferably fat stores! During the process, however, we want to minimize lean tissue loss as much as possible. Remember metabolically active tissue (aka muscle) boosts your metabolism rate. Staying on top of your protein intake will aid in keeping it around. In fact, you might consider adding a little extra protein. Keep in mind – yes nuts have protein, and so does broccoli even, but they aren’t ‘first class sources’ of protein.
3. Fat loss does not equate to crazy woman cardio!
Many of us, especially those who have experienced weight/fat/muscle loss in the past from doing extensive cardio, may think it is the perfect time to reintroduce cardio as the mainstay of our fitness program and, as a result, start adding more of it to our regimen. After all, we’re trying to create a deficit, right? Wrong. This is a mistake! The reality is that your training should continue to be based in strength. No need for excessive cardio shenanigans!
4. Manage other stress
Deficits are stressful to the body and can be stressful mentally. Plan for it by including more relaxing activities in your program, such as low intensity/casual walks, meditation, a massage or whatever helps you to unwind. Make sure you are getting sufficient quality sleep as well. Here’s a great app that can help you establish a meditation practice www.headspace.com.
5. Outsmart your deficit
No one likes to feel deprived and one way to avoid those feelings is by including more nutrient dense foods in your meals! Keeping the volume of food high with low-calorie high fiber foods like veggies and fruit may help you avoid those diet-like feelings. Bonus: You’ll boost your nutritional profile at the same time.
6. Less is not more!
Crazy as it seems, your goals should still be to maximize food intake which will enable you to still lose fat. Starting with a small deficit of 5-10% allows you to do just that. Jumping straight to a big deficit like 20% means that should you need/want to adjust your deficit, you will be eating even less food (say it isn’t so!). While larger deficits might get the scale moving more quickly in the short term, they are also harder to stick with and can and almost certainly will backfire.
7. Have patience and manage expectations!
Like every other phase of your fitness journey, losing body fat requires time, consistency and patience. If it is your first time leaning down, or you are on a “new plan”, you may have high expectations, however, just like building muscle takes time, losing fat does as well. Don’t expect your clothes to be suddenly falling off you after two weeks. You can speed the process up by truly being consistent with your efforts and keeping a positive mindset.