Our TOP fat loss tips!
Trying to lose that holiday weight?
Today we have some fat loss tips (yes, notice how we didn’t say weight loss..) to help you lose any unnecessary body fat.
SO, pull up a chair, grab yourself and tea/coffee because this one is WELL WORTH a full read.
Now first of all, why fat loss and not weight loss?
Well, you can lose weight without necessarily losing just fat. This can be through loss of water in the body (through extreme dieting or not drinking enough), or muscle atrophy (loss of muscle mass)... both of which can cause a loss of body weight!
The key is that both of those factors aren’t things you necessarily want to lose when trying to trim down. It should in fact be excessive body fat.
SO… the key to losing FAT and not just overall weight is…. Written down below haha
Here are our top tips!
1 - Nutrition, first and foremost.
Losing weight comes down to being in a consistent calorie/kilojoule deficit. That means that you are consuming less calories than you burn off on a regular basis. Even for all fad diets and magic shakes, they essentially come down to calories in vs calories out; keto, intermittent fasting… you name it.
Consume less than you burn day by day, week by week, more often than not, and you will gradually start to see a reduction in your weight.
How to start? One tough but simple tip: Pick two of the most unhealthy things you eat/drink the most. Stop consuming them. Replace them with something healthier.
Whoever said losing weight was easy ;)
For example, love your midweek beers or burgers when eating out? Replace the beers with a low-carb option (or preferably water) and try having the grilled meat/fish dish with vegetables instead.
Overcoming just a couple of your worst eating habits and making a regular routine of consuming something healthier will begin to make choosing healthier options in everyday life more of a natural instinct, which in turn builds healthier long-term habits.
As a general guideline of nutrition; a high protein diet (1-1.5g protein per Kg of body weight), lots of vegetables, with 1.5-2L of water a day is what’s recommended.
2. Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)
This is something not commonly spoken about by health and fitness influences… because no one can make any money off of it ;)
So what is NEAT?
NEAT is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, undertaking agricultural tasks and fidgeting. Even trivial physical activities can increase your metabolic rate, which is the cumulative impact of a multitude of exothermic actions that culminate in an individual's daily NEAT.
But wow, a bit of a headache/mouthful right?
Essentially, every little bit of movement throughout the day helps our body’s engine stay active (burning calories at a higher metabolic rate than if you were to sit down all day and do nothing). SO, keep yourself moving and the body’s need to consume calories at a micro and macro level keeps ticking over. Stop moving for prolonged periods and your body has less need for energy/burning calories. Simple as that.
My recommendation, and a simple way to do it: track how many steps you average a day over a weeks long period. If you average 4.5k steps a day, the following week aim for 5k steps, week after that 5.5k, etc etc, until you reach a realistic target for you.
3. High Intensity Resistance Vs Cardio Training
Now lastly, your intentional exercise! This is where fat loss vs weight loss really comes into it.
More often than not, when people come into the clinic saying they are trying to lose weight, when asked what they do, two things are most common. One; “I am trying to eat a lot healthier”, and two; “I’ve been doing a lot of cardio”.
Although eating healthier is absolutely important as mentioned, I tend to find that the exercise side of things tends to be predominantly or solely cardio-based.… and that’s where people tend to go wrong.
Now, that’s NOT to say that cardio training isn’t beneficial, as it can absolutely help. HOWEVER, what tends to be missing is the addition of high intensity progressive resistance training.
Progressive resistance training is where you gradually load up the body over time, whilst performing a strength-based movement. For example, a dumbbell squat.
Performing loaded movements creates contractions in the muscles, in order to perform those contractions your muscles need energy (in the form of muscle glycogen, aka sugar in the blood/muscles).
Performing muscle contractions under heavy load is one of the best ways to help burn additional energy, i.e. calories!
Someone with more muscle mass will also burn more calories when performing day to day tasks than someone with less muscle. That is because a bigger engine requires more fuel to run on.
For example, think about a monster truck compared to a Toyota corolla, which do you think burns more fuel sitting idle at the lights? ;)
This then brings me to fat loss vs weight loss. It is important to ensure when losing weight that it comes primarily from a reduction in visceral body fat, not loss of muscle mass (by not doing strength exercises) or loss of water retention (extreme dieting, dehydration).
1) Eat healthier more regularly!
2) Try to stay as active as possible throughout the day so that your body’s metabolism keeps ticking over.
3) Perform resistance-based exercises as well as cardio training (get the benefits from both, not just the one!)
Hope you enjoyed our tips and have made it this far! If you have, give yourself a pat on the back haha.
If you’d like to build up an exercise program that's specific to you and your goals, or want to try out our Personal Training to help you reach them sooner, click the button!
Written by Pat Hughes
Accredited Exercise Physiologist