Since it is almost April and summer is just around the corner, I thought I would do some research and find ways to help you lose body fat. Since my goal is to decrease my body fat by 5% I found these articles interesting. Here is what I learned:
1) Eating too much is your first mistake- How many calories are you actually consuming? The type of calories you eat matter! You will need the right combination of fats, carbs, and protein. (See previous post about calculating macros: MACROS)
2) You don't eat enough protein- This can hinder your fat burning results. Protein helps your muscles and also keeps you full longer. Add protein to every meal
3) The next mistake is drinking too much- WATER is the only liquid your body actually needs. Pass on those sugary drinks, artificially sweetened beverages, and alcohol. Yes you heard me.. alcohol derails your ability to decrease body fat. Now, a drink every now and then will not hurt. For myself, I like to maybe drink with friends one time every couple months. These beverages are just extra empty calories that your body stores as fat.
4) You assume healthy food is calorie free- WRONG! One of the biggest culprits of this is nuts, seeds, and nut butters. Do you really know what a serving of almonds looks like? Count out 24 almonds next time you go to eat nuts. You probably overeat them all the time. Pre portion out these types of foods before you begin to eat them.
5) Next mistake is not training hard enough- Each workout should be hard and make you sweat. Put down those 5 lb dumbbells for bicep curls and reach for 15 lbs instead. Lift heavy. It should be hard and challenging. I promise it will not make you look bulky or manly!
6) Lots of low intensity cardio is not going to get you there-incorporate your whole body into your workouts and decrease rest time between each move or set. For example, I will do 12 bicep curls and do 15 weighted lunges right after. This gets your heart rate up and helps to work the entire body.
7) The next mistake is being too stressed- Stress creates imbalances in your body that makes you store fat, particularly in the belly area for a lot of women. Relax! Try some yoga! It has helped me so so much in the past few months, especially with being in graduate school.
8) The last mistake is not getting enough SLEEP!- Sleep is so important. Shoot for 7-8 hours of sleep every night. This helps your body recover from your intense workouts. Sleep helps decrease cortisol levels (same hormone that increases when you're stressed).
Quote from the second article: We live in an all-or-nothing world. For a lot of people, dieting is definitely no exception. I've heard it all: "You have to eat 10 times per day for fat loss!" "Make sure you get 600 grams of carbs." "Never eat fruit or dairy products." "You need these 30 supplements to be successful." Sure some of these things may work for some people, but whatever happened to the middle ground? From my experience, going to extremes got me nowhere but right back where I started.