The Basics Of Fat Loss
Over the last few months there have been the usual tirade of fat loss articles, new year new you programs and, fad diets and aparently life changing training programs thrown around. I have deliberately avoided becoming part of the usual January fitness flurry. At EP we train all year round and living a healthy lifestyle and performing well are the norm, not the new.
That said, after all the fads and new crazes have passed, even if they worked for you, you’re left with the problem of how to live day to day to remain lean and healthy, while feeling your training and enjoying your life. As such, heres the basics of sustainable, permanent fat loss. These principles wont get you absolutely shredded, more effort and detail will be necessary for that, but they will get you respectably lean, in a healthy way, and keep you there indefinitely.
Hydration. There are so many people who happily spend hundreds on supplements every month but barely drink pure water. Being dehydrated makes you inefficient at burning fat as fuel. It’s a very basic easy win.
Reduce sugar. Sugar is the single most damaging nutrient, way worse than fats. There are a number of pathways through which sugar will inhibit fat loss. Eliminating sugar down to one serving a week will do more good for you than almost any other dietary change, regardless of wether you’re low carb, low fat, keto’, paleo, or in any other nutritional camp.
Eat more veg. Yes, it’s seriously basic stuff, but are you actually doing it? Eating more veg helps fat loss through one very simple pathway: Hunger control. Simply put, in 1kg of spinach, broccoli, raw carrots and kale, theres far fewer calories than in a kilo of bread, rice, pork and dairy. On average people eat about 1.6kg of food per day (which is surprisingly consistent regardless of diet), so filling up that volume with veg, which is not calorically dense keeps you full without providing many calories. Its really simple, but if you’re hungry you’re more likely to fall off the wagon. The added fibre will also do wonders for your gut biome which is a major component of health and body composition.
Humans are built to move, not sit all day. Many people think that exercise is a thing we add in to life in order to be fit or lose weight. But in fact being active is the default. Sitting all day doesn’t simply have a negative impact on our health due to a lack of stimulus. It actively destroys our health. With negative impacts on insulin sensitivity, metabolic rate, muscle tone and posture. Being active by walking, standing etc is super important. Try to be as active as you possible can be. A person who does not train but leads an active life has a healthier metabolism than a person who sits all day but makes it to the gym in the evening.
Train. Strength train, specifically. Strength training maintains muscle mass, which maintains higher metabolic rate, which makes it easier to stay lean. Strength training improves insulin sensitivity, which makes it easier to stay lean. In fact one recent study found that for every day in the week a middle aged female lifts, she holds on average 1.3% body fat less than her non-lifting counterpart. (1)