You want to lose fat. You want to be comfortable wearing shorts and tank tops in the summer. You want to feel good in your skin and be confident in your body.
You’ve tried the diets, the cleanses, the detoxes and the latest exercise fads. You got results of course, but they didn’t last.
One of your goals for 2017 was to get your nutrition and exercise habits together and this was the year you were going to do it. Now there’s less than 5 months to go and you’re right back to where you started in January standing in the mirror looking at yourself wondering WTF you’re supposed to do now. You’ve tried it all and nothing works. It must be you, right?
Wrong. It’s not YOU, it’s the approach you’re choosing to take.
When we jump on a new diet, most often it involves some kind of restriction (ex: cutting out carbs), calorie counting and/or extreme exercise. And yes, those things will get you results. But, as you know because you’ve been through it yourself, those results do not last.
The good news? There are three things you can do to help accelerate your fat loss efforts that are super effective and produces lasting results.
1. Stop buying supplements, doing cleanses and detoxes and start with the nutritional basics.
If you’re reading this it means that you’re alive, and if you’re alive, you have a liver. Which is really good news because the job of the liver is to detoxify your body and rid it of chemicals and toxins that are then put into our intestines and digested as waste. To think that a “detoxifying” supplement is going to do a better job than a major, vital organ in your body that you literally can’t live without is kinda nuts if you really think about it. Your body knows exactly what to do if you just give it a chance to work for you. If you follow the simple nutritional guidelines I’ve listed for you below, your liver will be a high functioning, detoxifying machine- no supplements required.
>> Eat lots of vegetables. Veggies are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and if they’re organic, they’ll be low in chemicals and pesticides. Fiber normalizes bowel movements and maintains a healthy bowels. Since the liver dumps toxins into our intestines, it’s in our best interest to keep fiber high.
Also, yes, organic produce can be expensive, but it’s not nearly as expensive as those “natural” supplements you’re buying. Word to the wise: nothing is more natural than foods that grow in nature especially not a supplement made in a lab. Veggies like broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, kale and Brussel sprouts are incredibly beneficial to add to your diet for the reasons listed above.
>> Drink water. Water helps flush toxins out of our body through sweat and urine and also helps our digestive system by keeping things moving right along, if you know what I mean ;o) Being hydrated can also improve our complexion, aids in fat loss, increases energy and relieves fatigue. Best part? Water is FREE- free is definitely cheaper than supplements ;o)
2. Become aware of what you’re really eating.
When I’m first starting with a nutrition client, I always have them keep a five day food journal so I can see what they’re eating and when they’re eating it. Most often my request is met with “Oh I can tell you what I eat- breakfast is yogurt with some fruit or toast with peanut butter. Sometimes I get a bagel with cream cheese. Lunch is a salad with chicken or a panini from the cafeteria at work. Dinner is usually some pasta with spaghetti sauce and a glass of wine. If I go out I get…” And on it goes. Can you see that, while yes this person is telling me what they eat from time to time, they’re not actually giving me any concrete information? And they’re actually not giving themselves any information, either.
What you need to do is put it down in black and white. You need to write down every single thing you eat so that you become innately aware of what’s really going on. This results in huge lightbulb moments for my clients when they realize that they’re eating an entire chocolate bar each day or that they have bread with every meal and snack.
In the beginning stages of fat loss, food tracking is essential. But here’s the twist- I don’t want you to track calories or macros- I only want you to track what you eat/drink and when you eat/drink it. The idea of tracking is to simply make you aware of what is actually going on, then you can make small changes to clean things up a bit. Things like adding protein to each meal and snack, increasing your water intake and/or replacing your trip to the vending machine each afternoon with an apple and a couple pieces of chocolate are all small changes that have help my peeps drop some serious LBS.
3. Start strength training regularly.
If you want fat loss, and you want it relatively quickly, ditch the elliptical for the iron. Heavy lifting is the second most important thing you can do for yourself when it comes to fat loss after changing up your diet. When you lift heavy and lift with intensity, your body continue burning calories at a higher rate for 24-48 hours after you’re done exercising, whereas when you hop off the elliptical, your body is done burning calories as soon as you step off of the machine.
Strength training will also help you build muscle. I’m not talking Hulk-like muscle because women can’t build like that without some serious supplementation and a very specific diet and exercise routine. I’m talking lean muscle mass that will results in a tighter and more toned physique and an accelerated metabolism.
A note on the scale: Know that since you’ll be replacing muscle with fat, the scale probably won’t move much when you begin lifting. What will happen, though, is your clothes will fit better, you’ll feel stronger and you’ll have more energy all because your body composition is changing. The scale only tells a small fraction of the story, especially when you’re lifting heavy weights.