Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Few Helpful Fatloss Tips

I hear the same comments and get the same questions all the time from people.  Just about everyone says they want to lose weight but losing body fat would probably be more accurate.  The following are a few helpful tips for losing fat.  I will add to this article as I get time.  I am also too lazy right now to put up references for everything, but eventually I will.

Eat enough Protein

The FDA is way off with their recommended daily intake of protein.  This is especially true when fat loss is the goal.  In a caloric deficit protein requirements are at their highest.  This will allow you to preserve the muscle mass that you have and also provide greater satiety during your meals.  At a minimum you should be eating your LBM in protein.  (Ex: 200 lb male @ 10% BF would require 180g protein a day minimum)  If you don't know your LBM then shame on you.

Vegetables, Vegetables, Vegetables

Vegetables are a great way to increase fullness when in a caloric deficit.  Each meal you eat should contain a few servings of vegetables.  Pile on that spinach, broccoli, asparagus and whatever else you enjoy.  Not only are they cheap but they are a great source of fiber.  Starchy vegetables like peas, carrots and corn, and beets should be kept at a minimum because they are more calorically dense than the others but they are still viable options.  There are certainly worse choices out there.

Chew Your Calories

This should be common sense but a can of soda (160cal) is not as filling as 160cal of a solid food.  The same goes for protein shakes and meal replacements.  They will not be as satiating as eating the same caloric amount from a whole food source.  If you are able to accept this fact and are using them as more of a convenience and it is working for you then by all means, stick with it.  If you find yourself hungry an hour or so after a meal replacement or protein shake, then try making a meal that matches the calories of the shake.  I can guarantee you feel fuller for longer.


Drink Water

Proper hydration is often neglected when people focus too much on the foods they are eating.  Drinking enough water is a very important part of losing fat.  Water helps regulate body temperature, aids in digestion, helps fill your stomach, improves skin health, lubricates joints and about 1000 other things.  Water recommendations vary depending on who you ask but I would say 2-3 liters a day is a good goal for most people.

Keep a Food Log

Just like a workout log(read me!), a food log helps you keep track of your progress, nutritionally speaking.  If you actually write down everything you eat you tend to eat less.  Use a program like FitDay or an app like myfitnesspal to track your meals.  People tend to drastically under estimate what they eat and then wonder why they aren't losing weight.  The answer is simple.  Eat less!  Writing down what you eat also makes you more accountable for what you put in your mouth.  What you eat in private, you wear in public.

Foods to Stay Away From

This may come as a shock to you but there are literally no foods that I tell clients to stay away from or never eat.  I would be a hypocrite if I told people to never eat cereal, cookies, ice cream, muffins, bagels, pizza etc. because I eat them all quite regularly.  I have eaten all of the above during my cuts and have still had great success.  The key to everything is moderation.  IIFYM.  Strict diet adherence is the reason that most people fail to reach their goals.  They are either ON their diet or OFF their diet.  Well, if your diet contains a treat every now and then you are more likely to stick with it long term.  A great book on this topic is A Guide to Flexible Dieting by Lyle McDonald.