The first step in losing the fat from your belly, butt, hips or thighs is to just take action. You can read and read and read on everything you are supposed to be doing, but until you actually do something you won’t ever succeed. I have outlined 17 important guidelines to follow for you to start taking action.
Do you need to follow all 17 to be successful ?
If you want to maximize your success yes you will need to follow all 17. Will you lose your unwanted fat if you only follow some of them? Yes, you most likely will, but it will take you longer to see that success.
So let’s not waste any more time here. The objective is to take action so read the guidelines below and just start with the first guideline and work your way down the list until you are completing all 17 guidelines for weight loss success.
- Eat 4-6 small meals day a day instead of the usual 2-3 large meals. Eating frequently will help regulate and boost your metabolism to burn more calories.
- Eat some type of lean protein at each meal. Protein helps to satisfy hunger and provide the necessary building blocks to maintain lean body mass while losing body fat.
- Recommend eating 5-10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day to meet your micronutrient needs. Vegetables also contain a good amount of fiber and help to control appetites and curb hunger.
- If you want to start building habits then you need to follow a plan. Habits are formed by repetitively following a prescribed plan. Therefore map out your meals every day and follow them. If you follow your plan every day for 2-3 weeks you will form habits that become part of your daily routine and you won’t even notice it. How do you think bad habits are formed? By repetitively doing something over and over again.
- Keep total fat intake under 30% for the day. This can be accomplished by not adding too many extra fats such as butter, sour cream, mayonnaise, etc. This doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate these items, but do not eat them as a regular food item every day.
- EXERCISE!! You can lose weight by just following a nutrition plan on its own but very few succeed at it and it takes much longer than when you eat properly as well as exercise. I am not talking about just getting on a treadmill for 30 minutes every other day. Though you can lose weight this way it is not the most efficient use of your time nor maximizing the ability to burn calories. The most effective way to lose fat is by strength training or some type of interval training utilizing strength training and cardiovascular exercises. A properly designed program can burn more overall calories in 20 minutes than 20 minutes on a treadmill. Also, the X factor in all this is that you will burn more calories per minute hours after you finished strength training because of the EPOC effect. Static exercise on a treadmill doesn’t produce this X factor.
- Record what you eat and drink. You will be amazed at what you consume and not even realize you did it until you right it down and reflect back on the day. Keeping a food log is critical to your success because if modifications need to be made you need something to be able to evaluate and analyze. If changes aren’t happening like you had hoped the answer can usually be found in the food and or exercise journal.
- Follow the 90% rule. If you can follow your plan 90% of the time then that is enough to have success with weight loss. If you find yourself breaking the rules more than 90% of the time then the chance of being successful with weight loss is not as likely. Your chances of failing increase significantly. Lose the all or nothing attitude and just take one day at a time. Reflect on your day before you go to bed at night and instead of getting down on yourself because you weren’t perfect just set goals to accomplish next day that would eliminate those errors.
- Review food labels. Avoid foods that contain excess sugar, calories. Especially avoid foods that contain any trans-fats. Look for foods that are low in energy density. This means you get a good size portion, but low calorie. This will generally be your non-processed foods. So your fruits, vegetables and whole grains along with lean protein are your best choices.
- Drink 1oz per 50-75% of your bodyweight. This equates for most people to 13- 20 (8) ounce glasses a day. This is important to maintain efficiency of your metabolism and provide fullness.
- Balance your fat intake for the day. 1/3 should come from saturated fats, 1/3 from monounsaturated fats, and 1/3 from polyunsaturated fats
- Avoid soft drinks and other calorie filled drinks. These types of drink are very high in calories and energy density. A 12 ounce soda can contain 150 calories of almost all sugar.
- I recommend consuming 25-35 grams of fiber per day. Since the average diet contains only 14 grams we could all use more fiber. Fiber will help satisfy hunger pangs as well as control insulin and blood sugar levels which tend to promote fat storage when they are elevated.
- Eat low-glycemic carbohydrates such as vegetables, whole-wheat products and oatmeal instead of refined processed carbohydrates which usually come in a box or a bag.
- Consume adequate amounts of healthy fat foods such as olive oil, walnuts, almonds, Omega-3 fortified eggs or other Omega-3 products. Healthy fats are great antioxidants as well as help with brain function and many other essentials processes that take place in the body on a daily basis. Essential Fatty acids also help prevent certain diseases.
- Include what I call “Superfoods” into your meal plan on a daily basis. These include but not entirely lean meat, salmon, low fat plain yogurt, tomatoes, spinach, mixed berries, whole oats, mixed nuts, olive oil, flax seeds(or flax meal), green tea, and various beans. These are just some of the “Superfoods” who should be incorporating into your daily meal plans.
- Be consistent! Don’t try to change everything at once. Aim for 2-3 improvements each week. Try to master 2-3 guidelines a week and then move down the list until you have mastered all 17.
Now that you know some of the most important steps to losing your gut go ahead and get started with #1. Work on eating 4-6 small meals a day to start increasing your metabolic rate and turning up the fat burning furnace.