Fat loss is a tricky business for your body. You need a good amount of fat to keep your skin looking good, your body insulated and even your brain operating optimally. But when you gain too much in the wrong places, it both undesirable and unhealthy. Here are a few ways you can lose fat without dieting or damaging your metabolism and hormones.
WARNING: Following just one of these tips a few times a week will not move the needle at all. You have to stay committed to these tips and making them a part of your daily ritual. I understand that tip #3 might be hard for everyone to follow all the time, but if you can nail this at least 90% of the time, you'll be flying!
4 Simple Ways to Lose Body Fat
1) DO drink room temp water first thing in the morning to kickstart metabolism
Drinking water on an empty stomach boosts resting metabolism by 25%. Some studies even say as much as 30%. You'll also eliminate toxins much easier and reduce acidity in your body. Drinking plenty of water day in and day out helps that much. Don't underestimate this one. Your skin and hair will also thank you.
I know you've heard this tip 1000 times before, but if you're not committing to this type of hydration, you're absolutely missing out on the regular benefits. Having a cup of coffee first thing in the morning is not the same as having a big glass of water. You can still have your morning coffee or tea, but kick the day off with water right away.
2) DO eat 5 to 6 cups of non-starchy vegetables a day to boost fiber that pulls fat-soluble toxins out!
Find a way to start incorporating a bunch of veggies into your meals and snacks. Five or 6 cups may sounds like a lot, but it doesn't take that much to get there. Non-starchy vegetables contain phytonutrients that increase metabolism but also pull out toxins via soluble and insoluble fiber. Every gram of fiber you eat means you're pulling toxins out of your body that doesn't need to be there. Toxins are fat-soluble, meaning they stick to your fat cells. Eliminating these toxins through a diet that's higher in vegetables is a natural way to increase your metabolism and get rid of fat.
**If you have a problem with digestion, or notice a lot of bloating after you eat fresh vegetables, try steaming or roasting them a little bit first. This will help to break the vegetables down a bit more, making them easier to digest.**
3) DON'T eat 2 to 3 hours before bedtime
**IMPORTANT** When you eat too close to bedtime, a really important hormone that helps to increase muscle mass and decrease fat hits a stop sign.
After you eat, insulin increases to help manage blood sugar levels that naturally rise. But here's the thing...when after you go to sleep, your body wants to release another hormone called human growth hormone (HGH). HGH helps our body repair, improve muscle tone, burn fat, and stay young (among many other benefits). A big burst of HGH is released during our first sleep cycle (within the first 90 minutes of sleep).
When you eat before you go to sleep, insulin is so busy managing blood sugar levels that HGH can't be released. Insulin trumps HGH, and on a physiological level, always will.
Don't cheat your body out of all of that valuable HGH just because you want a couple of chocolate chip cookies before you hit the sack. It's not worth it!
4) DON'T eat unhealthy fats that increase inflammation
I CAN NOT stress this enough, but avoiding fats that contain refined oils will benefit your body in so many great ways. Processed oils are inflammatory, meaning they make it very hard for your body to lose weight. Cutting out refined oils helps your body reduce inflammation and weight*.
Refined oils are highly processed and oxidized. These oils include corn, canola, soybean, and hydrogenated oils. They also read as vegetable oil or organic vegetable oil on food labels.
If you eat a lot of prepared foods or processed foods, chances are you're getting a fair share of fat from this group. The easiest thing to do is to observe what you're eating throughout the day by reading food labels. If you notice a lot of the foods you're eating contain these fats, cut them out.
Healthier fats include avocado, avocado oils, walnuts, walnut oil, coconut oil, olives, olive oil, cold-pressed sunflower oil, eggs, and peanut oil (especially if you have a tree nut allergy).
Do you have body fat or is it inflammation?
If you think you've ticked all the boxes on the list above and still can't lose weight, you could be dealing with inflammation. If you have inflammation, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to lose weight. You'll start tapping into real fat loss after you decrease inflammation, which can most easily be achieved through consistently eating anti-inflammatory.
What about exercise and calories?
I could definitely go on and on about the importance of exercise and other lifestyle factors, but getting your nutrition house in order is always the first step. Resist the temptation to crash diet, follow a crazy fad diet, or over-exercise. Any of those will mess with your metabolism and hormones, making it much more challenging to shift fat off your body.
If unhealthy body fat is a problem for you, and you know you feel a lot better at a more optimal weight, then do an honest assessment of what you're eating. The easiest way to do this is to keep a food journal. It's eye-opening when you have to write everything you eat and drink down. It also makes you aware of what you're not eating. Every time you sneak a bite off your kid's plate or grab an extra handful of crackers or nuts or candy or...really anything...it will all be there on the food journal.
I offer a number of programs that can help get you on track (listed below), but if you need something more personalized for your body, feel free to reach out to me.
Here are a few resources for you:
- 50 Healthy Foods When You're On a Budget (this is good for anyone, really)
- 50 of the Best Foods for Apple-Shaped Bodies (this is good for people with belly fat)
- 50 of the Best foods for Pear-Shaped Bodies (this is good for people with excess lower body fat)
- The Belly Fat/Inflammation Connection (just some good information to know)
- The Belly Burn Challenge (4-Week Online Program)
- The 10-Day Pear-Shaped Meal Plan (10-Day Download for Pear-Shaped Bodies)
- The 10-Day Apple-Shaped Meal Plan (10-Day Download for Apple-Shaped Bodies)
- The Belly Burn Plan (my book!)