Set (and write down) reasonable expectations for what you plan to achieve during your challenge. “You can absolutely make a difference in 10 days,” says Brooke Alpert, RD, a dietitian in New York City and the author of The Diet Detox, but don’t expect to shed 20 pounds a la The Biggest Loser. “While actual weight loss will be around three to four pounds, you can really notice the difference in the way your body feels in about a week.”
Use the meal as a reward for a week’s worth of hard work, or the completion of a project you’ve been dreading. “It’s OK for people to blow one meal a week without feeling guilty,” says James W. Anderson, M.D., director of the Metabolic Research Group at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. “If you follow a healthy diet 95% of the time, you can relax and enjoy yourself the other 5% of the time without gaining weight.”
The popular "flat belly diets"embrace much of the wisdom found in eating a Mediterranean diet, which helps everything from brain health to hearth health. The basic premise for both diets is eat foods rich in monosaturated fatty acids (MUFA) that may help reduce your belly fat storage. MUFA-rich foods include olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocodos, and fish. Eating yogurt regularly has also been found to be helpful in reducing belly fat.
Another win for your morning cup of joe: Caffeinated coffee keeps things moving through the digestive tract. Since staying regular is key to a tighter-looking tummy, drinking about 8 to 16 ounces of java at the same time every day can help you stay on schedule. Remember: Sugary drinks can lead to weight gain, so skip fancy flavorings and synthetic sweeteners containing sugar alcohols, which can cause bloating. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UupXb75cYkc
However, it’s not just the foods we eat that provide the fuel needed to function normally, our body has room for storage too. Glucose from carbs (stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles) and fatty acids (stored as triglycerides and found all over the body in adipose tissue) are stored as reserves to be used by your body under different conditions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ie0POIJ8VgI
If you’re already tracking your calories and your macronutrients, one way to pretty much guarantee success is by preparing all your meals in advance. We advise every body transformation client to have their nutrition game plan in place at least 12 hours ahead. You really want to avoid a situation where you wake up and don’t know what you will be eating that day. Remember, it’s much harder to lose sight of your weight loss goals and eat something you shouldn’t if you have all your healthy and on-plan meals ready for the day and by your side.
The scale is not necessarily your friend. You may want to lose fat – but the scale measures muscles, bone and internal organs as well. Gaining muscle is a good thing. Thus weight or BMI are imperfect ways to measure your progress. This is especially true if you’re just coming off a long period of semi-starvation (calorie counting), as your body may want to restore lost muscles etc. Starting weight training and gaining muscle can also hide your fat loss.
Losing fat doesn't have to be complicated, but it can be so confusing with so much advice coming at you from all angles. Fitness coach Yiannis Fleming (@mrsportofficial on Instagram), who helps thousands of people on their weight-loss journeys, wants to make things simple. With a degree in sport science and a Stanford diploma in health and nutrition, he recently shared a post explaining four tips to help with fat loss.
Plus, a 2015 study from the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that for those who have a hard time following a strict diet, simplifying the weight loss approach by just increasing fiber intake can still lead to weight loss. Women should aim for at least 25 grams of fiber per day (based on a 2,000-calorie) diet, according to the most recent U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Not sure where to start? Check out our step-by-step guide to increasing your fiber intake.
"There's definitely no secret to fat loss. It just takes good old fashioned hard work and dedication," adds Cappotelli. "Just like with anything, the keys are time and consistency. Results come by doing the right things day-in and day-out. It's making the right choices and sticking to your workout plan consistently, not looking for a quick fix or the secret formula to rapid fat loss."
Grains get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss, but that's because refined grains (read: processed foods!) are linked to wider waists. 100% whole grains are bloat-busting superstars, however, as they're packed with minerals and de-puff by counter-balancing salt. Stick to brown rice, quinoa, wheat, barley, millet, farro, sorghum, and amaranth for the biggest benefits.
If you ever needed an excuse to eat more avocados, this is it. People tend to steer clear of healthy fats when they're trying to lose weight, but they might just be the solution. Studies show that by simply adding some avocado to your lunch every day, it'll fill you up enough that you won't be mindlessly munching on junk food later. "Slice one in half, sprinkle a little sea salt, and eat the inside with a spoon," says Alexandra Samit, a Be Well Health Coach at Dr. Frank Lipman's Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in NYC.
The body doesn't react to all fats in the same way. Research correlates high intake of saturated fat (the kind in meat and dairy) to increased visceral fat, says Patton. On the other hand, monounsaturated fats (the kind in olive oil and avocados) and specific types of polyunsaturated fats (mainly omega-3s, found in walnuts, sunflower seeds, and fatty fish like salmon) have anti-inflammatory effects in the body, and if eaten in proper portions may do your body good. But Patton warns that eating too much fat of any kind increases your calorie intake and could lead to weight gain, so enjoy healthy fats in moderation.
Most people think they will lose weight by doing an hour-long session in the gym, but if they’re sedentary for the other 23 hours in the day, their calorie expenditure will be relatively low. How active you are can play a huge part in whether you lose weight or not. One of the greatest ways how to lose weight – one that hardly anyone is aware of – is ‘non-exercise activity thermogenesis’ (NEAT). This is the energy you expend doing day-to-day activities like shopping, cleaning, walking, and even fidgeting.
The final possible culprit behind stubborn weight issues may be the stress hormone, cortisol. Too much cortisol will increase hunger levels, bringing along subsequent weight gain. The most common cause of elevated cortisol is chronic stress and lack of sleep (see tip #10), or cortisone medication (tip #9). It’s a good idea to try your best to do something about this.
When we say "small opportunities," we mean things like dancing while you're doing the dishes. Doing yoga while you watch TV. Planking during commercials. Cleaning your room instead of Facebooking. Scrubbing the floor. Washing the car by hand. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Parking at the far end of the parking lot....Is your mind churning with ideas yet?
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