Fat loss in the fitness industry is one of the most common goals people strive for, whether that be for health reasons or to develop more body confidence, it’s a very common goal amongst the majority of people who want to get in shape.
In today’s blog, Urban Reform co-founder Ricky Gibbins who is an experienced personal trainer and body transformation specialist covers 4 key ways to lose fat quickly and more importantly, keep it off!
Keep it simple
Fat loss in theory is pretty simple, if you consume less calories than you expend daily and as a result of this, you will use stored fat as energy to function, thus resulting in fat loss. In practical terms, eat less and stay active so your body can burn stored fat for energy. Sounds straight forward enough, right? Yet so many of us struggle to actually lose fat. That’s because in reality it’s not that simple. There are a variety of reasons and influences, internally and externally, that make you prone to eating more and moving less!
Although key point I want to address is, how do you lose fat quickly and actually keep it off?
I’ve simplified how to lose fat and how to keep it off into 6 key points. Which include:
DEVELOP HEALTHY HABITS
Your habits and behaviour patterns play a huge role in who you are, more specifically habits that determine consistency and what works for you not what worked for someone else.
The more bad habits you have in your life such as; sitting for long periods, drink little throughout the day, drinking excessive drug/alcohol consumption, lack of sleep etc can evidently lead to low mood states, lack of motivation and may lead to lack of self confidence.
The more good habits you implement such as moving moving, drinking more water, finding time to rest/ breath, eating a well balanced meal etc will evidently lead to you feeling mentally and physically better.
Here are the key GOOD habits you need to develop in order to lose fat and keep it off:
- Opt for whole/nutrient dense foods – These are foods such as meats, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, grains, pasta, tubers, vegetables, fruits etc. Overall, they are lower in calories on average compared to junk/fast foods. Vegetables are a great example of this, a 1kg portion of broccoli is roughly 300-400 calories which is HALF the calories of a triple cheeseburger from McDonald’s. This means you can technically eat more but still lose fat because your calories will be lower. Nutrient dense foods also tend to contain more fibre on average, meaning they will fill you up for longer. Make it a goal to eat 3 meals per day filled with whole/nutrient dense food which you enjoy.
- Build your meals around quality protein – Lean Meats, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products tend to be your best options here. Protein is very satiating (fills you up) and also vital for bodily tissue repair and growth, making it a vital macronutrient to consume in large amounts, especially if you’re training. You will often find that, for example, if you have a considerable amount of lean meat in your meal then you will feel full quicker, and due to its slow digestion rate you will feel fuller for longer, which in turn will make you less likely to eat unnecessary calories (junk foods) which cause you to gain weight easily. Make it a goal to eat at least 3 servings of protein per day.
- Stay hydrated – Most people just don’t drink enough water. These people will often suffer with headaches, nausea, stomach cramps and even worse, kidney stones or decreased kidney function. There’s a reason why we are advised to drink at least 2L of water per day; It’s because at even 5% dehydration our body starts to decline in function and performance. Dehydration can be a false perception that you feel hungry, although this may just be because you are thirsty and yet you’ll eat instead (consuming unnecessary calories). Make it a goal to drink at least 2-3L per day and see how you feel, even log it against when you are dehydrated and you will be much better of keeping yourself topped up with water.
- Sleep more – This is understandable for those that have children as it’s part of the package, but before that or once those kids have got into a good routine, you should be in one too! Especially when it comes to sleep. Lack of sleep is linked to heart disease, obesity, diabetes and much more. I’ve experienced years of bad sleep and it messed me up! I used to wake up at 4.30/5am, work from 6am-11pm/midnight and then go to sleep and repeat the cycle for years on end (THIS ISN’T HEALTHY). Believe me, you have to have A LOT OF DISCIPLINE & DETERMINATION to stay in a good daily routine when your sleep isn’t great. Your chances of developing bad habits increase considerably when you’re not sleeping consistently, for at least 6-8 hours per night. You’re likely to eat more junk food (unnecessary calories) when you don’t sleep well or consistently, which again makes it harder to lose fat. Make it a goal to try to sleep for a minimum of 6-8 hours per night.
- Be more active – Just walking 10,000 steps per day can potentially burn up to 500 calories (the more you weigh the more calories you burn whilst walking). Yet some people don’t even break 5000 steps per day because of various sedentary work and lifestyles. Just standing more and find time in your day to move more is an EASY way to increase your calorie expenditure daily without considerable effort. If anything, it can be a great way to manage your stress, boost your mood and increase circulation throughout your body. Make it a goal to move more more or even increase your steps gradually to achieve 10,000 steps per day, walk fast shorts burst 10 mins x3 a day or perform 30 minutes of intense training.
FIGURE OUT YOUR CALORIE NEEDS
Calories are KING when it comes to weight loss, maintenance or gain, they are our body’s source of energy and when we consume too much energy it gets stored as fat, when we don’t consume enough energy then we use the stored energy (fat) as fuel. Therefore, no one will ever lose fat without consuming calories in a calorie deficit (consuming less calories than you expend daily) consistently for a long period of time. The more fat you have on you, the longer you will have to stay in a calorie deficit (on average) to lose your stored fat. Whilst in the long term this may be up and down, remaining consistent with the process is essential to achieve your weight loss goals.
If you’re wondering why I didn’t talk about this first considering “calories are king”, it’s because our habits play a huge role in whether we can stick to a calorie deficit successfully or not. Hence why you should focus on your habits first above all, then you can focus on the king of fat loss = calories.
The easiest way to figure out your calorie needs would be using an online calorie calculator. Head over to this blog https://legionathletics.com/how-many-calories-should-i-eat/ for a great guide on how to calculate your calorie needs!
START RESISTENCE TRAINING
Resistance training, in my opinion, is a form of training everyone should do. This doesn’t necessarily mean lifting ridiculously heavy weight and becoming a power lifter. It means utilising any type of resistance to stimulate muscle growth and increase strength e.g. resistance band training, free weight training, machine training, etc…
The benefits of resistance training aren’t in short stock:
• Increase in strength and size
• Improved flexibility and balance
• Great for weight management (increased muscle mass increases the amount of calories you burn at rest, which in turn makes it easier to lose more fat)
• Builds muscular endurance
• Prevention and management of chronic conditions e.g. diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, back pain, obesity etc…
• Increased mobility
• Improved posture
• Decreased injury of risk (especially in sport)
• Increased bone density
• Stress management (focusing on the present in your sessions alongside the release of endorphins)
• Better sleep
• Improved body confidence, and the list goes on…
As you can tell from that long list of benefits, it’s kind of a no-brainer to resistance train!
TRACK YOUR NUTRITION AND TRAINING
Now you know the importance of habits, calories and training. Now you need to keep track of it all! This helps you to stay accountable to your goals and makes you aware of what you’re doing on daily basis. You’ll want to do the following:
a) Create a habit log – this is simply a log where you keep track of your main habits e.g. eat protein 3x per day, drink 3L water per day, eat 5 servings of vegetables per day, walk 10,000 steps, sleep 6-8 hours etc… and tick whether you have achieved them or not on a daily basis. If you find you’re not achieving these goals daily, then you know what you need to work on in order to start losing more fat. If you’re easily achieving these habits, then you can focus more on your calorie intake.
b) Track your nutrition on My Fitness Pal – MFP is a great way to keep track of your calorie intake. You can easily input the food you’ve ate, and it will add your calories up for you. You can then compare your fat loss progress. If you’re not losing fat, then you’re eating too many calories, which has a simple solution = be more active to burn more calories or eat less calories, SIMPLE. You’ll also become more aware of the nutritional value of food and be able to make better choices when eating out or even in day to day situations.
c) Track your training in a note pad or pay for a programme – When you monitor your training sessions you can see how you’re performing and measure your progress on a weekly basis. Sometimes you might feel like your training hard, but when you compare it to last week you may have performed half as much! Which easily results in less calorie expenditure, therefore a decreased chance of fat loss. Even better, if you pay for a programme then you will know EXACTLY what you need to do to achieve your goals, so as long as your nutrition is good, you will easily get results.
Tracking is a vital part to getting great results, especially in terms of maintaining or improving on your results in the long term. You’ll often find that people relapse and regain weight because they view training and dieting as a short-term thing, when in reality it should be a constant evolutionary process to help you keep on track and stay fit and healthy for your entire life! Once it becomes a habit, it usually becomes more enjoyable and will feel less like a chore.
If you want to lose fat quickly and keep it off, you need to gather information (track), analyse that information and make appropriate changes (if necessary) to make sure you keep making progress.
1. Develop healthy habits
2. Figure out your calorie needs
3. Start resistance training
4. Track your nutrition and training
4 of the BEST ways to lose fat quickly and keep it off! As usual, I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the following details:
About the author:
Name: Ricky Gibbins – Owner of Urban Reform and Rik Fit Dynamic Coaching Manchester
Ricky is a personal trainer by trade with various facilitator roles and numerous other qualifications. He has well over 11 years experience as a Personal Trainer and Health/Wellness Coach, and worked with a wide range of clients over the years transforming 1000s of people’s lives.
Ricky’s ambition is simple… He aims to help as many people as he possibly can through his skillset of coaching, managing and mentoring clients and coaches to transform as many people’s lives for the better as possible.