Fat Loss Made Easy: 5 Strategies for Long Term Results
We live in a world where gratification is nearly instantaneous. Want to lose 10 lbs in two weeks? Try this brand new detox diet! Are you ready to get that flat stomach you've always dreamed of? Take this pill! While these quick fixes may be well-intentioned, their effectiveness is usually limited by how long you're able to remain hungry. The truth of it is, a healthy lifestyle doesn't come in a box...it comes from adopting new habits. Making just one small change to your daily routine could make a difference that lasts a lifetime. Here are five easy fat loss strategies that yield long term results...
1. Ask WHY
- In order make a serious commitment it's critical to know what's driving you. Begin by asking yourself WHY before HOW. I think it's safe to assume that everyone knows HOW to lose weight...eat healthy, exercise, sleep, etc....but oftentimes we forget WHY maintaining a healthy weight is important. Do you have chronic issues with joint pain? Stress? Fatigue? Illness? Sexual dysfunction? Allow me to save you a trip to the doctor. Numerous studies have shown that losing excess bodyfat can:
-Lower cholesterol/blood pressure
-Reduce your risk for dementia/sleep apnea/cancer/diabetes
-Improve your quality of sleep
-Significantly reduce joint pain
-Improve skin health
You might even identify with more personal reasons WHY. Do you want spend more time being active with your kids? Trying to look good in a dress or bathing suit? Maybe you just want to feel and move better.
2. Do more with less
- Whether it's going grocery shopping, preparing meals at home, or exercising, efficiency is everything. Once you discover these activities don't take as long as you might think, the old refrain "I don't have enough time" seems a lot less plausible. A few established methods that'll cut your food prep and workout time in half....
BATCH COOKING. Let's face it..most of us eat the same meals several times per week. Bulk cook a few of your favorite staple meals over the weekend so you'll have something readily accessible for the oftentimes hectic work week. This can even be taken a step further if you utilize your freezer. Imagine having dinner almost instantly available every night for a month.
USE A SLOW COOKER. With just a handful of ingredients and minimal prep work, a slow cooker dishes out healthy, delicious meals that even reluctant chefs will find easy to make. Prep the ingredients the night before, put the slow cooker in the fridge, then put it on before you leave for work in the morning. Dinner will be waiting by the time you get home.
WORK OUT IN LESS TIME. Think you have to grind away at the gym for over an hour to see results? What if I told you that you could just as easily get an effective, fat burning, full body workout in a fraction of the time? High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become increasingly popular for good reason...it's provides the fastest route to stregth, conditioning, and fat loss. If you're looking for some ideas start
3. Think long term
- You might've noticed that it's harder to find an empty piece of equipment in a gym after January 1st than it is to solve a rubix cube. Come back a couple months later and it looks like a ghost town. What gives? So many are willing to take that first step towards a healthier lifestyle but then quickly falter once they see that their hard work isn't paying off as quickly as they expected it to. As important as it is to remain active and exercise, you'll never out train a bad diet. It's widely known (and commonly used in most 12-week diet programs) that a safe pace for weight loss is 2lbs per week. When you break it down to calories this means that you're consuming 7,000 less than what you've burned via activity or exercise in a week. Divide 7,000 into a week and you wind up with nearly 3 days worth of food. If I'm being honest, I know very few who can realistically commit to this goal long term. In order for a nutrition and exercise program to be manageable AND sustainable, it needs to fit into your lifestyle. If you've struggled to be consistent with a weight loss goal in the past, simply extend your timeline. Losing 1 lb a week on a nutrition program you can stick with means you'll be down 12 lbs after 3 months.
4. Let go
- Knowledge is power when it comes to nutrition. Even commonly used labels such as "Gluten-Free" and "Organic" provide little guarantee that you're not diving into a calorie bomb. Always read the label and monitor what you're eating. We've all heard stories about people going down 3 sizes after eliminating just one item from their diet. Is something on your daily menu keeping that number on the weight scale from budging? A few food/beverages that fall into the 'sneaky calories' category....
-Sweetened and Diet Soda
-Granola and Trail Mix
-Fats from nuts, nut butters, avocados, and salad dressings
-Refined carbohydrates such as bagels, breads, cereals, and pasta
-Dairy products with sweeteners such as yogurts and smoothies
-Meal replacement/snack/cereal/protein bars
- Think that starting a nutrition and exercise program means bidding your drinking buddies a tearful goodbye and swearing off pizza forever? Fear not. Successful strategies for fat loss strike a balance between old vices and new habits. Since your main objective is to burn more calories than you consume, try to offset the effects of your cheat days with some additional workout time. Know you're going to be out with friends or having a cheat meal at night? Hit the gym in the morning. Late night at work and feeling guilty about not getting a workout in? Go for a salad instead of a burrito. Breaking even is always better than going broke.