Fat loss. Everyone talks about it. When people talk about losing weight they are usually referring to fat loss. It’s confusing though. There is so much hype and so many trends that what is sustainable? Even though it worked for your friend, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. THIS is the thing that we all have to understand and come to terms with. Any aesthetic goal is INDIVIDUAL. With that said, when I have a client who asks me about the latest diet trend, I ask the question back:
“Is this sustainable LONG term. Could you see yourself eating this way in 30 years?” If the answer is “No” or even “I don’t know” then it’s probably a quick fix.
If your goal is fat loss or to put on lean muscle, eating, protein at every meal is a non-negotiable. The reasons are twofold: First, protein is the most satiating of the three macronutrients – the others are carbohydrates and fat – so it’ll leave you feeling fuller, longer.
And second, if you want to build and maintain muscle mass, you’ll need adequate protein intake each day to do it. It’s a bit of a positive feedback loop: Build muscle, and your ability to burn body fat improves.
For fat loss, aim for the range of 0.75 to 1 g protein / pound of bodyweight each day. The best sources are nutrient-dense, real, whole protein sources like meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and shellfish.
#2 HEALTHY FATS
We need fat in order to lose fat. The truth is that dietary fat is absolutely essential.There are 3 types of fat: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Eating all three kinds in a healthy balance can dramatically improve your health, and actually help you lose fat. The job of fats is not only to make sure our internal organs are running smoothly, but also helps to ward of hunger and ensure that we feel satiated. They DO contain the most calories per gram (9 cal//gram) so just be sure to keep an eye out for how much you’re eating If your goal is fat loss.
- The saturated fat is usually found naturally in many foods like chicken or dark meat turkey, but you can also use a bit go ghee or coconut oil as well during your cooking.
- The monounsaturated fat should come from mixed nuts, olives, and olive oil. Many of us cook with olive oil already (which is great) but also try to use some chopped olives in your next chicken or fish dish. It adds delicious flavor some of those great fats.
- The polyunsaturated fats come from sources that may be the hardest for may of us to get; flaxseed oil, UDOS oil, fish oil, and to a lesser extent mixed nuts. (all I mean by this is that it is in its pure form from the oils I mentioned) I would recommend taking fish oil everyday as well as throwing in some flaxseed oil to your protein shakes. it doesn’t taste the most pleasant on its own so hiding it in a shake is helpful!
#3 EAT YOUR MEALS, DON’T DRINK THEM
DOn’t get me wrong here, I love a protein shake, especially one that I make at home after a hard workout (in fact, I have a whole post dedicated to 10 delicious protein shake recipes) so I am not at all suggesting that you never have a protein shake, but liquid meal replacements can often leave you hungry sooner than with a fork and knife meal. For this tip, I more am referring to things like bulletproof coffee (butter or MCT oil in coffee to replace a meal) While it may seem great in theory (and if this works for you, then by all means go for it) If you can’t see yourself putting butter in your coffee for the rest of your life, its PROBABLY a fad that you’re trying out. Remember that the title of this post is tips for SUSTAINABLE fat loss. If you are into other liquids like bone broth, coffee, tea-that’s amazing (so am I!) but I would never suggest subbing them for a meal, in fact I love to have bone broth before or with a meal!
#4 EAT VEGETABLES AT MOST IF NOT, ALL MEALS
Now, let me clear something up first, which is you don’t NEED vegetables to lose body fat. Vegetables provide your body with essential nutrients, minerals and not to mention filling fiber that helps you stay fuller longer and also keeps you regular. Your meals will gain flavor, texture and color with additional vegetables. Try to aim for a few servings of vegetables throughout your day. Pick a few new ones at the grocery store and use them for your week of meals! Include lots of variety like leafy greens, peppers, zucchini, brussels sprouts, eggplant and more! Click here to read my post about building the perfect salad.
Also try my lemony shrimp stir fry that is packed with vegetables!
#5 CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
This one isn’t specifically a nutrition hack, but I wanted to take a moment to talk about how important your environment is to sustainable fat loss. I think people don’t realize how important one’s environment is when it comes to fat loss or leading a healthy lifestyle. I am talking about 3 different instances; personal (at home) and professional (at work) and social (friends or people you hang out with)
Personal Environment: If your house is filled with high calorie, hyperpalatable foods, there’s a very good chance you’re going to eat them even if you have healthier alternatives available. On the other hand, if your kitchen is filled with fruits and vegetables you’re more likely to eat a piece of fruit. I am not telling you to get ‘rid’ of any food because I ALWAYS believe that there is a time and place for every single thing under the sun. With that said, if you want to make more conscious choices that align with your goals, just be sure to have your kitchen stocked with plenty of fruits, veggies, healthy fats, protein options and healthy starches for you to more likely pick those foods. Don’t throw out that ice cream pint! There is a time you’ll want it, and you SHOULD have it. Just be mindful—thats all!
Professional Environment: If you work in an office that has unlimited snacks, this is a challenge in itself! I couldn’t imagine working somewhere where i could literally have my pick of snacks and drinks all day, so i get that this makes things more challenging. In this instance, my suggestion would be to BE PREPARED.
I have a few tips to help!
- First: if you got into the habit of walking toward the office treat epicenter mid-afternoon, replace that ritual with another. visit a co-worker, get a cup of coffee or tea, go for a walk for five minutes. If it helps, create an automatic reminder in your calendar to reinforce the new habit.
- Second: be prepared with snacks at your desk that you bring yourself (or if they are there in your office then grab a few!) String cheese, fresh fruit, nuts, jerky, protein bars or hard boiled eggs are all great options. They will keep you satiated, focused and energized, way more than a bag of chips or a candy bar.
- Third: Friends are different than (certain) co-workers, so be cautious telling a lot of people your goals while in the workplace or with those you DON’T know so well. I would actually advise not making your way of eating a huge deal (unless you have a group of co workers who are completely supportive of one another and love chatting nutrition and exercise, of course) With that said, people like to *egg on* those who have specific goals, thus they may be envious of you and say things like “Oh, Suzie-you’re being so “good” by just having an apple and nuts. Why don’t you just have this donut with us” My point being, how you are choosing to eat is YOUR business at the workplace, so just stay true to yourself and don’t make a HUGE deal. There is no need to make a huge deal how your choosing NOT to have the pizza and instead gush over your homemade salad for lunch and hard boiled eggs for snack. Just eat your food and if anyone has any comments like “oh you’re being so good” just shrug it off and say you enjoy eating the food you brought!
Social Environment: Now the OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE SPECTRUM. I think friends/family (can be) completely opposite of coworkers. Let’s face it- if your friends and family whom you hang out with a lot are not supportive of your goal or what you are trying to accomplish, this makes the process WAY harder. My first step of advice here would to be to TELL your close friends and family your goal. Make it apparent that you are doing this and trying to stick to it 100% The more you tell those around you, the more likely they will support and be a helping hand when in social environments and beyond. Obviously this doesn’t apply if you have a friend or family member who, again doesn’t ‘get it’ and chances are they never will, so steer clear of those you will think will be toxic to your success.
If you are trying to lose fat, but every weekend your friends go out, eat, drink and party, just be weary that this may be hard to do all of the time with specific goals in mind. Now, I would NEVER suggest that you stop hanging out with your friends or give up your social life, because we NEED our friends and social lives, of course- but I just want you to think about what your goals are and just be honest and outright to the people in your lives that you spend time so they *get it* and understand that if you DO go out, you may not drink as much or choose your food based on your goals. Check out 8 ways you could be sabotaging your results
#6 EAT MOSTLY WHOLE UNPROCESSED FOODS:
Eat natural, whole, unprocessed foods that are in their natural state and meat that comes from animals raised in their natural environments. This means grass-fed meats, grass-fed dairy (if you can tolerate it or even want to include it), free range poultry and eggs, wild caught fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat those foods MOST of the time.
Many of the tips I share here are not rocket science; in fact they are pretty boring, but they WORK. Every single time they will work. Maybe you will think this info is not helpful, but I want to remind you over and over again, there is NO quick fix here. These hacks aren’t complicated and they are probably things you know already. They’ve been around for YEARS but we keep coming back to them because they are what WORKS when it comes to achieving your goals, fat loss, and longevity. .
RANDOM LAST THOUGHTS TO THINK ABOUT:
- Try to not exclude entire food groups (unless you have a food allergy or intolerance of course) I want to stress to you that NOTHING should be off limits. There are no “good” and “bad” foods; they are not labeled in the store that way, so they should NOT be labeled by you in that way either. Just keep in mind that the degree to which you restrict is the degree to which you will binge. Be mindful, slow down when you eat and always have your goals in your forefront.
- If you are following a ‘fad’ diet (Keto, Paleo, Whole 30, low carb, vegan, vegetarian) think about if this is something you can follow your WHOLE life. If the answer is “yes” then by all means see it going, but at some point, I bet something will change. You want to live your life to the fullest and be happy about your choices. We are ALL trying to constantly improve our quality of life and habits; whatever that means for YOU. Think sustainability and life long goals. I wish I could make this more black and white and tell you things to do for fat loss but it just doesn’t work like that. Don’t overcomplicate it. The simpler the better. Remember there is a reason that diets usually don’t work (and in that post, some things you can do instead!)
- Stay true to however and whatever you choose to eat. You don’t need to justify it or make it a huge deal to your co-workers. We love to pick apart each others diets but it is NO ONE ELSE’S BODY but yours so just remember that. REMEMBER: Your journey matters