It seems like it is the ultimate goal of everyone to get rid of stubborn fat and everyone is looking for a magic potion, which would do the trick. Unfortunately, there are no magic potions. All those internet claims and diet pills in the market, might seem to help at the moment, but their side effect is much greater than their benefit. I also wish, I could tell you that there was an easy and fast way to lose fat, but I would be a big fat liar, if I say that.
Now you are probably saying, ok Roya, then what is the point of this article? So let’s get to the point.
Good news, even though there is no magical potion or fast and easy way to lose stubborn fat, there are scientifically proven ways that you can follow starting today to get rid of those unwanted fats and become healthier in the journey. The only side effect, might be the obsession with your body and health :). Here is your step by step guide to lose fat and keep it off.
This step is inevitable. You won’t be able to achieve your goal without mastering this step first. Step one is to fix your mind-set. If you really want to get rid of those unwanted fats and keep them away, you need to change your lifestyle. Your lifestyle, meaning there are no short programs that can do the trick. You might have read or seen commercials about 30-60-90 day programs that promises you to lose unwanted fat, with before and after pictures of those who followed the program, these are not scams, they are smart marketing. Those before and after pictures are real. These results are from those people with the fixed mind-set. They followed the program to the T without skipping a single step. Same person, if they stop the program and go back to their old ways of eating and activity, they will gain all that unwanted fat back plus more.
So fix your mind-set, once you start this journey, you are in it for life. Quick and easy won’t give you the result that you are looking for. Consistency and discipline will give it to you.
Take your time, and start at a pace that is right for you. Start by cutting back on your favorite junk foods slowly. Studies have shown that denying yourself of your favorite foods, causes more craving and eventually over consuming them. Here is an example, if you are a potato chip lover, like I was, and are used to eating a pack of chips with your lunch every day, start by portion sizing your chip into smaller portions. Instead of taking the whole bag with you to work, pour a handful into a ziplock bag and take that to work. Then slowly reduce to eating chip every other day. When ready reduce to once a week and so on until you are ready to eliminate it 100%.
While in this step, eliminate refined sugars, carbohydrates, and highly processed foods.
If you are one of those super humans, who can decide not to eat a certain food and is able to stop immediately and forever, then good for you, go for it, you will get very fast result. But for most of us, ordinary people, we need to take the above advice and take our time, if we are going to stick to our fat burning plan.
Be mindful of what you eat, how much you eat, and the way your body reacts to them. I am not saying count your calories, but be mindful of what you eat and how you feel after each meal. Create a simple food journal that you can document everything that you eat in a day and how you feel. There are so many healthy foods, that your body can have allergic to and get inflamed when consuming them. Hence, you will feel fatigued, bloated and foggy once consuming them. Nothing like a good food journal and elimination test will help with solving your food allergy mysteries.To learn more about Inflammation in our body, how they result in weight gain and how to eliminate them, please visit my post “Inflammation in our body and how to address it“.
Get into your fat burning zone. Hopefully by now, we all know that we should exercise to lose fat, and diet alone cannot do the trick. But what kind of exercise is more effective in losing fat? Let’s look at some studies to find the best answer. Studies have shown that High Intensity Training, HIT, will increase fat loss, especially visceral fat which accumulates around your organs in your stomach. Add Resistance to these High Intensity Training and you will lose even more fat. But to be honest, working at very high intensity is torturous and the chances that you hurt yourself is higher. The good news is, Studies have shown that Moderate intensity exercises also help with increased fat loss. In a moderate intensity workout, Fatty acid delivery to exercising muscles, increases compared to High intensity exercise. So lets put both these workouts together to maximize our fat loss and we will get High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT.
What Is HIIT? HIIT training is quick bursts of very intense exercise, which you will give your 100% effort, followed by short Moderate-low intensity workout. An example of HIIT workout can be, sprinting for 30 second at full speed, followed by 60 Seconds of fast walk at moderate intensity for 15-20 minutes.
These workouts can be intense, so If you are not at the fitness level to do a HIIT workout, don’t get discouraged. Studies have shown that just moderate intensity workout (30-60 min/day) or Longer low intensity workouts, such as walking, (50-70 min/ day) if done consistently (at least 4 times a week), can help with fat loss.
Get enough sleep. This step might seem pretty easy to do, but according to CDC (Center for Disease Control and prevention), 1 in 3 adults in America is not getting enough sleep. At least 7 hours of sleep has been recommended for adults 18-60 years of age. Studies have suggested that poor sleep can result in obesity. Loss of sleep can result in decreased glucose tolerance, decreased insulin sensitivity, increased evening concentrations of cortisol, increased levels of ghrelin, decreased levels of leptin, and increased hunger and appetite.
Keep on going and don’t give up. Now that you have mastered the 1st 4 steps, it is time to know that it is OK to have an off day. If you have a bad day and you eat a piece of candy or a whole bag of potato chip, it is Ok as long as you don’t let that 1 bad day becomes a bad week or a bad month. Never let a bad day, be an end to your journey. Accept, that you had a bad day and everyone is entitled to having bad days and get back to your routine as soon as possible.
If you want to burn the unwanted fat and keep it off, you need to change your lifestyle. There is no quick, short cut to get the result that you want. You need to be committed to change and change slowly.
Stay happy and healthy