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  • Writer's pictureAmie

Fat loss tips... Part One

Updated: Jan 9, 2019

Fat loss is hard… there’s no getting around that. You need to change habits, make smart choices, plan ahead and stick to your commitment to yourself.

Meal plans work well, but there are some basic principles that once you learn them, you can use them forever to maintain your health and fitness.

Here is Part One of my Ten Fat Loss Tips to give you a head start for effective fat loss.

Do you have our Fat Loss Checklist to find out how well what you eat is matched to your fat loss goals? Get it here

But here are those fat loss tips…

1. Adjust your energy intake to reflect your energy expenditure.

You’ve probably heard about calories in vs calories out? When you want to lose fat you need your calories out to exceed your calories in.

What most people do is they eat the same amount of energy from food and drinks every day. But if you’ve had a rest day from training or had an early start at work and missed the gym, your energy expenditure will vary significantly from a day you do work out.

Unfortunately for many people, our appetite isn’t very sensitive to these changes in energy expenditure so despite doing little exercise, people still tend to eat the same type and amount of food every day.

If nothing else differs, as carbs are the main fuel used during training, it makes sense that your carb intake should increase and decrease based on the amount of exercise you do.

2. Limit your intake of energy containing drinks

The energy (or calories/kilojoules) in drinks aren’t recognised by your body which makes it very easy to blow out on your calorie intake just by drinking. Because you don’t have to chew drinks and they are rapidly absorbed by the body, the energy they contain simply doesn’t register with your body’s appetite control centre.

So it’s best to avoid drinks like fruit juice, soft drinks, energy drinks, flavoured waters, cordials and alcohol, and instead eat your daily calories. Both your waistline and your teeth will thank you for limiting these sugary drinks.

A side-bar about milk and coffee…

While the energy in milk does tend to be recognised by the body (most likely because of the protein and calcium), this isn’t a justification to have milk shakes, smoothies, flavoured milks and sweetened milk-based coffees in your meal plan every day. Milk based coffees can be an excellent snack (especially if made with skim milk) to take the edge off your hunger but if you are hitting a mid-afternoon slump and need a ‘pick me up’, then an instant coffee or long black is a better choice. (see our post about coffee calories here).

3. Use your appetite to help guide your daily food intake and eat mindfully

I know this sounds pretty obvious but… learn to listen to your body by eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are satisfied. While the message is so simple, our abundant supply of tasty food - combined with the fact that food is often associated with social activities and celebrations – means we are often offered food when we simply don’t need it.

How many times did you eat today simply because you were ‘hungry’? When you think about it, we eat because it’s ‘time’, because there was food left in the container, because our friends and family are, because it’s convenient, because food is labelled with elaborate gourmet names, for the comfort factor, because we’re bored! Studies have suggested that we make over 250 decisions about food every day! So how can you eat more mindfully?

· Turn off technology and always sit down to eat.

· Taste your food, chew slowly and put your fork down between bites.

· Use smaller plates and spoons and long skinny glasses vs short, wide glasses where people tend to consume more (unless it’s water then drink as much as you like!)

· Keep junk food (chips, lollies, chocolates, biscuits etc) out of sight so its inconvenient to eat them.

· Be the family ‘gate-keeper’ at home… over 70% of what you eat is determined by the chief cook in the home.

· Beware of the ‘halo effect’ or the ‘what the hell effect’ – just because the label says it’s light, low-fat, 99% fat free, organic, or gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s a free for all on consumption! The same goes if it’s free, do you really need it?

· Know your comfort foods… males tend to prefer more comfort meals (like pizza and pasta) and females prefer snack-like choices (ice-cream, cakes, chocolate, biscuits)

· Serve your plate at the kitchen bench, then eat at the table so you are away from the serving dishes (and it’s not so easy to go back for more!).

So that’s a wrap for Part One of my Ten Fat Loss Tips.

A lot of this sounds so obvious but when you are really honest with yourself about your habits, you will likely find you are undoing a lot of your good work and making it that much harder to lose fat.

Do you have our Fat Loss Checklist to find out how well what you eat is matched to your fat loss goals? Get it here

And if you need more support to plan your meals or measure your fat loss, BOOK HERE for a consultation with a dietitian or DEXA scan.

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