If you’re like many, you may have a little extra baggage hanging around your middle that you’d like to unload.
Surprisingly, it’s not ‘actually’ rocket science to drop weight. In fact, you may already know some of the principles below that are really just ‘common sense’ when you think about them.
Sadly, sometimes a busy life pushes common sense out the window. So while some of these things may not seem like a ‘sexy new magic bullet’, the good news is that easy and sustainable fat loss is achievable for ANY one when you incorporate these principles into your lifestyle.
And it does take CONSISTENT application of a few principles.
21 Ways to Lose 21 Pounds
The first seven ways to drop weight will address your nutrition…
No surprise here – losing weight will mean that you need to take a look at what’s falling into your mouth. But don’t worry; I will NOT suggest starving yourself! Consistently apply these seven principles and you’ll be well on your way to losing pounds…
1. Increase Protein
If you want to get off the energy roller coaster, include a minimum of 10 grams of protein at meals and snacks. Protein helps stabilize blood sugar and by moderating swings in blood sugar, your energy will then be steadier.
It’s so much easier to avoid temptation when you’re not starving. As well, you can lessen cravings for caffeine and sugar, which tend to be the ‘go to’ for many when energy crashes.
Leidy H et al. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance .
2. Add Healthy Fat
Contrary to what people used to think, fat does NOT make you fat. In fact, studies prove that increasing the ‘right’ type of fat will aid in fat loss.
Seed and vegetable oils and especially trans fats will increase inflammation in the body. These fats aren’t heat stable, they oxidize during the cooking process and they’re linked to a variety of health issues.
Your BEST bet is to include coconut oil in your diet daily.
Coconut oil, although a saturated fat, actually lowers stroke and heart disease. It’s versatile, delicious and easy to cook with .
3. Reduce Sugar
This principle needs little explanation…
Sugar causes inflammation, which can lead to achy joints and lethargy. When you eat sugar, you crave more of it and eating more sugar causes energy crashes as noted above.
To reduce sugar intake, an easy rule of thumb is to read labels and imagine the sugar content of a food in teaspoons of sugar.
It’s easy to figure out your sugar consumption by reading food labels. The best way to visualize sugar content is to take the carbohydrate count and divide it by four.
For example: if a serving size has 28 g of carbs, then that would amount to 7 teaspoons of sugar.
Your goal should be to limit sugar consumption to a serving size of no more than 4 teaspoons of sugar or 16g of carbs at a time.
Try to keep refined and process sugars out of your diet completely.
4. Drink More Water
Before eating anything, try drinking water because often times you may just be thirsty and not hungry. Adequate hydration is a fat loss key.
It also goes without saying that you need to eliminate drinking your calories.
There’s no room for sugar-laden fruit juices or even diet soda in a healthy nutrition plan. Although there may be some nutritional value in fruit juice, you get none of the fiber and all of the sugar.
Artificial sweeteners in diet soda wreak havoc in your body because the body just doesn’t know what to do with these chemicals so inflammation and bloating results.
5. Eat Carbs!
Carbs are NOT the devil. In fact, your brain needs carbohydrates to function. Your ‘go to’ carbs should come mainly from vegetables and 1-2 fruits daily.
Starchy carbs should be chosen from complex low glycemic options such as quinoa sweet potatoes and rice. For those that aren’t gluten intolerant, sprouted grain bread is a good choice, in moderation.
Pastore R. et al. Paleolithic nutrition improves plasma lipid concentrations of hypercholesterolemic adults to a greater extent…
6. Are You Really Hungry?
It’s helpful to get in touch with your appetite to find out if you’re really hungry or if your eating is fueled by emotion, habit, social pressure or boredom.
Eating while doing other things like driving or watching TV is almost always a recipe for overeating. Being mindful by tasting every bite helps you to slow down, enjoy your food more and eat less.
7. My Best Fat Loss Mantra: Never Starving/Never Stuffed
To avoid energy crashes and overeating, it’s best to eat a little before you get too hungry and stop eating before you get full.
It takes up to 20 minutes for your belly to tell your brain that it’s ‘full’, so slow your eating down!
Often if you’re starving, you’ll stuff your face and by the time your brain gets the message that your belly is full, you’ll need to undo your pants.
Snacks help! Don’t discount the need for snacks throughout the day, here’s a short video on choosing some healthy snacks on the go.
The next seven tips involve exercise.
It’s no mystery that if you want your butt to look better in your jeans, you’d better get off of yours.
8. STOP Steady State Cardio
Save time and reduce repetitive use injuries by stopping the slow plod on the ‘dread-mill’ or another cardio machine.
Here’s a great workout alternative that you can use on your treadmill. It combines BOTH cardio ‘bursts’ with resistance training to get the MOST bang out of your workout time:
9. Build Lean Muscle Tone with Resistance Training
Doing body weight exercise is plenty to start to build lean muscle and muscle is what fuels your metabolism. In order to put the sexy back in your jeans and keep your metabolic fire stoked, focus on MORE resistance training and LESS cardio exercise. The happy surprise is that when done properly, you can keep your workout time well under 30 minutes.
Watch this to understand how to keep your metabolism on fire: