You can't out train a bad diet, it's as simple as that. If you want to start seeing real changes and create the body of your dreams this summer, you have to pay attention to your nutrition. But it doesn't have to be a bland food, liquid diet nightmare! Fat loss takes knowledge and consistency, but there's a common misconception that this means greatly restricting your calories and doing cardio for 2 hours every day. We promise that the right type of workouts paired with smart diet decisions will yield the results you want.
Outside of the obvious (decreasing your fat intake), here are our 5 tips for fat loss that won't make you miserable:
1. Up your protein intake
Protein is the dietary golden ticket to fat loss! It boosts your metabolism (your body burns more calories breaking it down) and keeps you full longer. Not to mention all the other amazing things it does for your body. Aim to eat protein with every meal: egg whites/whole eggs, raw nut butters, rice and beans etc. (and other great plant based sources). For our meat eating friends, aim for organic, lean meats including chicken, fish and ground turkey.
2. Cut out processed sugar
The key word here is processed and it will make a HUGE difference when trying to cut fat. Basically anything sweet and pre-packaged, including juices and other sugary beverages is off limits. There's the obvious things like cookies and baked goods, but steer clear of breakfast bars and so called "healthy" products that pack a seriously sweet punch. Natural sugars from fruit are a great way to curb those cravings, but keep those to a fairly low daily intake as well. Your entire body will thank you for cutting out this junk, not just your waistline!
3. Incorporate more low intensity steady state cardio (LISS)
The goal here is to stay in an anaerobic state, meaning your heart rate stays low and your breathing is even. Focus on breathing through your nose the whole time, if you feel the need to breathe through your mouth or you get breathless, slow down. This will keep your body in a fat burning state! LISS cardio activities include walking, the stair master, rowing or biking. Aim to do between 30-45 minutes of work.
4. Hit the weights in the morning
Weight training allows your body to continue burning calories long after your workout has ended. Awesome, right? Lifting weights is a fantastic way to cut fat for this reason alone. Hitting a weights session first thing in the AM just means you have more time throughout the day to burn those calories! Added bonus: continue moving throughout the day--especially if you work at a desk--to stay in that fat burning state!
5. Focus on clean carbs (don't eliminate them!)
Carbohydrates provide your body with energy, therefore they're pretty important. Carbs can also be the culprit of weight gain as our culture tends to boast a carb heavy diet, and when we eat an excess of carbs the glucose and sugars build up and store as fat. Not all carbs are created equal though, and our bodies respond much better to clean carbs like: starchy vegetables, rice, quinoa, and fruit (limited).
To reinforce the above message, this takes consistency, as any successful endeavor in life does. If you continuously implement these 5 tips, you will see results. Skip days and cheat every weekend, and you won't. There's no easy way to reach our goals, but we can make it more enjoyable along the way.
Here's an example's of what a balanced day of healthy eating could look like (servings sizes and calories vary for each person).
Morning Snack: Oatmeal with almond milk, blueberries and cinnamon to taste
Breakfast: 1 egg + 3 egg white omelette with spinach and mushrooms cooked in 1/2 Tbs olive oil; 1 slice of Ezekiel bread with 1 Tbs almond butter and drizzle of honey. Aim to eat this within 30 minutes of your workout.
Mid Morning Snack: Protein shake with unsweetened nut milk
Lunch: Mexican tempeh and quinoa salad
Afternoon Snacks: Vegetables with hummus, one piece of fruit (if berries, 1/3 cup)
Dinner: Grilled salmon or Tofu with starchy and non starchy vegetables
Evening Snack: 2-3 pieces sea salt dark chocolate