Want to lose weight once and for all? These 7 simple habits will help curb your appetite and optimize your body for fat loss. Lets' dive straight in.
# 1 Fuel up on protein
Muscle burns 3 times as many calories as fat. Therefore, the more muscle you have, the more calories, and thus fat, your body burns throughout the day.
The amino acids in protein help you build and maintain this muscle. After strength training, muscle fiber breaks down and is restored with the help of amino acids. As an added bonus, protein also helps you recover quicker from workouts and feel less sore!
Eating protein speeds up your metabolism because it uses up calories to digest and metabolize. This keeps your digestive system busy and thus reduces your appetite too.
The western diet has us filling up on carbs, leaving little room for protein so it tends to take a conscious effort to make high protein choices especially if you have a vegetarian diet. Plant based sources of protein tend to have a lot less protein pound for pound than meat and dairy sources. You can get some ideas for high protein foods here
# 2 Eat Fiber
Eating plenty of fiber helps you maintain a calorie deficit by keeping you feeling full.
Insoluble fiber helps stave off hunger pangs and soluble (viscous) fiber dissolves and reduces your body’s ability to absorb fat among other awesome things!
Fiber is associated with keeping us regular, which is a sad reflection of how bad our western diets are! But fiber provides a whole host of wonderful benefits such as detoxing you naturally and maintaining strong bones . Check out some more here
Find a balance of both soluble and insoluble that works for you and aim to build up to a total of 25g overall.
# 3 Drink Water
Drinking enough water, like eating fiber & protein, can help you lose weight automatically
Water reduces your appetite because dehydration can be confused with hunger, and water also helps you feel full with zero calories. Drinking it before meals, for example, reduces your appetite for food. In addition, being fully hydrated means you feel less stressed and can make better food decisions.
Water helps you build calorie burning muscle faster during exercise by improving electrical triggers for muscle contraction. It also helps your workouts overall by allowing sweat to keep you cool and lubricating joints
Drinking cold water even boosts your metabolism while your body burns calories to warm it up!
# 4 Do compound strength exercises
The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism and the more calories you burn throughout the day. This doesn’t mean bulking up, it just means getting more toned through strength training.
Compound strength exercises optimize your body for fat loss by building more muscle overall and burning more calories during the workout itself by engaging more than one muscle. Some examples of compound exercises are squats, deadlifts and push ups. Get some personal training sessions to learn how.
# 5 Prioritize sleep
A good night’s sleep sets you up for successful weight loss by helping you make better food choices and leaving you with more energy to be active.
When you get enough sleep, the hormones ghrelin & leptin let you know when you’re hungry and full so it’s easier to say no to high calorie foods. If you’ve had a really bad night’s sleep and you feel hungry all day, that is why..
With more energy you’ll move more throughout the day and ace those scheduled workouts (and recover from them quicker). Also, your mood is less likely to drop so you’re less likely to reach for that high calorie mood pick me up.
# 6 Journal
You can get really clear on your personal challenges when it comes to reaching your target weight.
Journaling keeps your weight loss goal at front of mind by helping you stay focused on why you want to lose weight. It’s a safe place to cheer yourself on and reflect on how much you're eating and why and on what else could bring you joy and comfort instead of food. It’s also a place to process difficult emotions so you don’t eat to block them out.
# 7 Move throughout the day
Staying active throughout the day burns more calories than your workouts because it’s the lion’s share of your day.
And here’s the thing, women who exercise for 60 minutes a day keep weight off long term. They did some big research on this. 60 minutes a day can be a workout, 5 minutes of exercise here and there OR a walk, gardening, playing with the grandkids or getting up from your desk every hour.
The ‘150 mins of activity a week’ guidance from the FDA is not weight loss or weight maintenance advice: “while clearly sufficient based on data from many studies to lower the risk of developing chronic diseases, is insufficient for weight-gain prevention, without restricting caloric intake.” link
If you’re moving, you're not sedentary - your heart rate’s a little bit higher. You’re probably not going to be eating out of boredom or because your mood is low. You’re probably doing something that is engaging you or at least keeping you busy.
Maintaining the right amount of protein, fiber and water in your diet, helps reduce your overall calorie intake and lose fat. Basically you will feel full on less food and you speed up your metabolism.
Muscle burns 3 times as many calories as fat. Creating a body that has more toned muscle, through strength training, turns your body into a lean mean fat burning machine. Protein is important here too to help build muscle through exercise.
My hope is that if you want to lose weight, you also want to keep it off so you don’t have to spend extra time and energy on it. You can get into habits that work for you once and for all and then get on with all the other precious things you want to do in life, because life is short right?
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Clara Depont is a certified personal trainer at www.claradepont.com where she trains women in their 50s and 60s. When she’s not writing blogs on how to stay vibrant, fit and happy she’s traveling in search of a forest or a sexy coastline. You can get to know her best through Weekly Emails, Instagram or Facebook. She is British and lives in New Mexico.
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