7 Weight Loss Strategies that actually work
With weight loss/fat loss there is a lot of information and misinformation out there. The main concept of energy balance still holds true. And calories in vs calories out is still the guiding principle of fat loss. But there are many strategies we can use to harness this and create the right environment for this to happen. Here we have outlined 7 weight loss strategies that actually work.
Be deliberate with your meals
Plan, Plan, Plan. Being organised and having a plan for your meals is essential. Plan breakfast, plan lunch, plan evening meals and plan snacks. You don’t have to get super geeky about it but having the right foods in your cupboards makes a big difference. Do your food shop with a list and make sure you stick to it. Going round the supermarket without a plan leaves you open to cravings and bad choices.
When it comes to fat loss, what you eat is important but energy out is the other side of the equation. Workouts are important but equally important is how much you move outside of this time. Referred to as NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), this is often neglected and can be easily addressed. A tough one hour workout might burn roughly 350 calories. Just keeping active and walking 10000 steps in a day will add this amount to your daily total.
Eat earlier in the day
Now this one might be controversial to some in the intermittent fasting world, but thats a whole other blog post. In my experience, breakfast is the most important meal when it comes to fat loss. Those that skip it, and then maybe skip lunch or just have a small lunch, tend to struggle as late night overeating becomes a problem. These people are also often the ones that say they don’t eat much, but can’t lose any weight!
Keeping calories down is obviously the main goal. But getting the majority of those in earlier in the day, has been proven to elicit more fat loss than having your big meal later.
Protein, Fibre and Total Calories.
If you take only one thing from this post, let it be this. Focus your efforts on increasing protein, increasing fibre and keeping total calories down. Both these food groups are slow to digest and very filling. When planning meals, build them around these two. High fibre foods are generally unprocessed natural foods too and often low in calories. Protein is a mainstay in ALL effective weight loss diets, check out our post on why protein is so good here.
Eating slowly has been proven to decrease the amount of calories eaten per meal. There is a lag in the release and effect of the hormones that makes you feel full (leptin). So slowing down when you eat allows time for leptin to do its thing and thus reduces the risk of overeating. Therefore this is a really simple, and easy to implement, way of cutting down calories.
Getting less than 6 hours sleep has been proven to reduce fat loss, when dieting. Why this is, is less clear but theories are that a lack of sleep increases hunger hormones (ghrelin) in the body and makes you crave high energy/high calorie foods. It also reduces the chances of you adhering to your exercise or nutrition schedule.
Train with Weights
Weight training 2-3 times week will help to build muscle mass. This will also mean that calories consumed are more likely to be used to build and repair this muscle and not be stored as fat. Having more muscle mass also increases your BMR and makes your body more efficient at burning fat.
These 7 weight loss strategies are not the only ones that work. But if you get these right then it can make a significant impact on your weight loss journey. Stay focused on the big things and don’t worry too much about the minute details, like which fat free yoghurts are best and keep going. You will get there if you stay consistent.