15 Tips to kickstart your fat loss
15 Tips to kickstart your fat loss. Starting a diet is never the most fun thing to do, but it is even worse when you are not getting any results. So here are some tips to kickstart your fat loss!
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1. Set a calorie deficit
A calorie deficit, meaning you consume fewer calories than you actually burn, is the most important thing when it comes to fat loss.
You can do this by using an online calculator, this will give you a rough idea of your energy need. Aim for a deficit of 200-300 calories. With this number, you can go and make your own fat loss diet plan.
It might not feel like much, however, starting with a bigger deficit can have some negative effects. You will feel a lot hungrier, cravings get more intense and it is a lot easier to hit weight loss plateaus.
2. Drink water for fat loss
Drinking water will increase your metabolism. Every time you consume some water your body has to put in work to process it. This process takes up energy or calories.
Drinking about 16 ounces of water can boost your metabolic rate by 30% temporarily. (1)
Consuming half a liter of water before a meal can decrease your calorie intake and make you lose 44% more weight. (2)
Dehydration can have a negative impact on your workouts and your results. You notice that you are thirsty when you lose around 2% of your body weight in water. This is also the point where exercise performance will go down.
3. Don’t go on a diet
This might sound weird to a lot of you. When in fact, I would suggest that you don’t go on a diet. Especially diets that restrict certain foods or food groups.
Above all, you understand that I am not talking about diet here that are based on beliefs or religion. I mean the diets that are designed to lose weight.
These diets make it a lot harder to sustain since you need to avoid certain foods or eat certain things. Sustainability is key when it comes to weight loss, it is not something that will happen in a short period of time.
When you are out for dinner or eating at a friends house it is hard to find the sinning points of the meal or find a keto friendly option.
4. Fiber for fat loss
One of the biggest problems you are going to encounter when dieting is hunger. With this in mind, you need to fight this by making food choices that leave you satiated.
Some foods are more satiating than others, usually, the foods that will leave you full are high in protein, high in fiber, or high in volume.
The fact that, fiber is usually found in very nutritious and low-calorie foods. Can really help you with weight loss.
Like vegetables, fruits, and legumes. But also in some higher calorie foods like whole grains, avocados, dark chocolate, and potatoes.
The intake recommendation of fiber is 14 grams of fiber per 1000 kcal you take in.
5. Eat your calories instead of drinking them
The last tip also mentioned satiation. Your goal is to not feel hungry while still being in a calorie deficit. The best way to achieve this is by eating whole foods.
Drinking your calories is a bad idea when you are dieting. This is because they are empty calories. With this is mean that the calories you take in don’t provide you with nutrients or the feeling of being full.
It will only get you further away from your goal in this case, since you are consuming more calories and a deficit is harder to sustain.
I definitely don’t deny that there is a difference between the calories you take in from a soda and the ones you take in from a homemade smoothie.
However, if you are in a big deficit your best bet is to avoid all liquid calories.
6. Make a fat loss grocery list
Out of sight out of mind, that is the idea here. Make sure your grocery list is full of foods and drinks that are going to help you reach your goals.
When you have a meal plan you also have your grocery list as well!
But if you don’t have this you can still make a good grocery list. Make sure you have some staples like oatmeal, rice, and peanut butter.
However, I would advise checking the fresh stuff, like vegetables, fruits, and most protein sources every week. This way you are sure you don’t buy too much and have to throw it out at some point.
Keeping snacks and trigger foods out of your house can make weight loss a lot easier to sustain!
7. Start with veggies and protein
Start your meal with veggies and protein. This can be seen as a fat loss rule you should live by. Often people start their meal with what they like the most, these are often the carb source.
But they end up full and leave the protein and veggies behind, what you want to do is the exact opposite.
By starting out with veggies and protein you make sure that you get in the most important things in the beginning. Now when you are satiated you’ll leave the carbs and fats, which can increase your deficit.
Protein is super satiating and relatively low in calories. And vegetables will provide you with the nutrients you need to function properly.
8. Weigh yourself every day
I see a lot of people that share their weekly weigh-in moment. But I am not a big fan of weighing yourself only once a week. Weight can easily fluctuate. There is a chance you weigh in at a peak or low.
This way you don’t have a good idea of your average weight loss of that week. I always advise to weigh yourself every single day.
Preferably around the same time and same conditions (clothes, bathroom visits, that kind of stuff). But it is important to understand that there will be some spikes every now and then.
Don’t freak out about this, you might be holding some water or you might be constipated. This can already influence the number drastically.
So focus on the weekly averages, if this still goes down, great! You are on the right path. Don’t focus on one moment in the week, or on daily weigh-ins. It is all about the bigger picture.
9. Track your food intake
For weight loss, it is important to know what goes in and what goes out. To know what goes in you need to track your food intake. You need two things to do this.
One is a kitchen scale. This way you know exactly how much you are taking in. You can eyeball it, but if you never tracked your food intake before it is really hard to get it right.
The other thing you need is a way of tracking, most people like to use an app like Myfitnesspal. But there is nothing wrong with going old school and writing down everything you eat on a piece of paper.
To lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit, but it is better to also track your macronutrient intake as well. A calorie deficit alone can already give you results.
This is easier because you only have to track one thing. However, if you want the more optimal approach (again you need to weigh out effort, optimal approach and sustainability here) you need to track your macros as well.
Tracking apps already do this for you and that is why I advice to use those instead of writing it down. They also have a huge database of foods for when you are eating out or need to estimate.
There is a middle ground for tracking. And that is tracking your calories and protein. This is less effort than all three macros and you make sure you focus on the most important macro for weight loss, protein.
10. Don’t get too hungry
A big mistake a lot of people make is waiting too long to eat again and getting too hungry. The hungrier we get the harder it gets to make rational and well thought out decisions.
So, if you let yourself get really hungry there is a way bigger chance that you’ll end up eating that slice of cake.
If you had an apple an hour before that you probably had the willpower to leave that cake.
Hunger does not only influence the noises your stomach makes, it will also take a toll on you mentally. There are a lot of people that get ‘hangry’ when they get too hungry.
The longer you fast (period of not consuming any calories), the more your blood glucose levels will drop. The brain needs glucose, there is no other fuel source for your brain.
Therefore, the lower your levels the more it will see your state of being as a life-threatening situation.
To prevent this all from happening you can work on a hunger scale. 10 is absolutely starving and 1 is being so full you feel sick.
Don’t ever let yourself get higher than 7, this way you are sure you’ll be fine!
11. Get good quality sleep and eliminate stress
So, bad sleep or stress isn’t a direct reason that can stop you from losing weight, like a calorie deficit, but it can be a huge factor!
We can’t always influence how much sleep we get or how stressful situations we are in. In contrast, we can make a conscious effort to de-stress.
Go for a walk, try some meditation or watch a good comedy. These are all ways you can fight that stress hormone stopping you from losing weight.
12. Snack on protein
When you snack on a diet, make sure you do it smart. Sure there will be some of you who can fit snickers or mars into your daily calories. But it won’t leave you satiated for long.
The best snacks you can choose from are high in protein, I’ve previously discussed the importance of protein for fat loss in an in-depth article.
To do this you can go for a protein bar instead of a snicker, or some jerky. You can also go for some low-fat Greek yogurt.
13. Strenght training
As a result of weight loss, your metabolism is going to slow down. When this happens you are not broken, your body is just adapting.
With this in mind, you need to find a way to fight this.
Doing this will keep your metabolism high. In combination with a high protein diet, you can even build some muscle as well. But building muscle in a deficit is really hard and only possible for beginners.
Muscle burns more calories than fat does, so you are increasing your overall energy expenditure as well!
14. Add some caffeine to your diet
Not only does drinking water help you with weight loss, drinking some tea or coffee will also support fat loss.
The caffeine you find in these drinks can boost your metabolism with 3-11%. (x) Consequently, you will have an easier time getting in a calorie deficit.
Although, this effect will go away if you add high-calorie sweeteners or full-fat milk to your drinks. As tip 5 already explained, drinking your calories is not a good idea.
15. Intermittent fasting for fat loss
Intermittent fasting is a diet approach where you consume all your calories within a specific time frame, the rest of the day you don’t consume any calories.
There are different approaches to intermittent fasting. Some like to fast for 12 hours and some like to do it for 16 hours. It takes some time to get used to and make sure you give yourself the time to adjust.
Intermittent fasting can be a great way to make a calorie deficit easier to sustain. Since you consume all your calories in a shorter time frame you feel full for longer.
Try to include your strength training in your meal window, so you can have a pre and post workout meal to fuel recovery.
The idea of intermittent fasting is that your insulin levels drop during your fasting periods. You increase these by eating food, mostly carbohydrates.
Insulin is a hormone that can prevent you from losing fat. It breaks de lipolysis, the fat burning in your body. In contrast, insulin stimulates the synthesis (creating) of fat.
There is no magic pill or plastic wrapper that you can use to lose fat. You still need to put in the work to create a calorie deficit and to maintain this.
However, you now know some tips and tricks to make this a lot easier so you can kickstart your fat loss journey. Note that these will not work if you are not in a calorie deficit, that is still the most important aspect of weight loss.
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