Balancing mindset, movement, and nutrition is necessary to accelerate fat loss.
In part 2 of this 3 part blog about the keys to fat loss, we will review some unexpected tips to lose stubborn fat. Again, there is no magic bullet for fat loss. It is deliberately balancing multiple healthy behaviors that actually yields results!
We have all had the experience when we sit down in front of the TV with a new bag of chips only to look down shortly after and realize we have eaten the entire bag. This obviously halts your fat loss progress, and the worst part is you didn’t even enjoy the chips because you weren’t paying attention when you were eating them. For this reason, try not to multitask when you’re eating. Avoid eating in the car, doing work while you’re eating, or watching tv while you’re eating when possible. Sit and savor each bite.
Avoid feeling guilty for what you’re eating. Mindful food choices revolve around whether the food you are about to put in your mouth will support your goals or detract from them. With this train of thought you are more likely to make better choices. If you do choose something that’s more of a “cheat”, it should be for something engaging. I would rather you choose to eat a dessert while celebrating an anniversary dinner rather than noshing the stale donuts at work just because they are there. You won’t indulge in the anniversary dessert as frequently and you’ll get more enjoyment out of it when you do. So when you CONSCIOUSLY make the choice to indulge in a treat that might not be in line with your goals, don’t judge yourself. Accept the choice, enjoy the taste, and get back on track with the next meal.
On a physiological level, mindfulness also has a very beneficial impact on your stress levels. We are overstimulated as a society and trying to keep up has left us busier and more stressed out than ever. When stress levels are high, a hormone called cortisol is also high. Chronically elevated cortisol puts the body in a state where it wants to store fat and lose muscle. As we said in Part 1, if your body is in a state that it’s actively trying to store fat it doesn’t matter how hard you workout or how well you eat. You will get much quicker results from decreasing your stress levels and getting your body in a state that it WANTS to burn fat. Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, have been proven to DECREASE stress levels and ACCELERATE fat loss. We recommend meditating every day. This doesn’t have to mean sitting in lotus position on a mountaintop. You can just sit for a few minutes in a quiet place and focus on your diaphragmatic breathing. Whenever you feel your mind start to wander, just acknowledge it and re-center your focus on your breathing. The magic of meditation is in consistency. You don’t have to be “good” at meditation and it doesn’t have to be hours long. The most important thing is that you are meditating on a regular basis. Mindfulness is a skill. Meditation is a way to PRACTICE mindfulness so you’re ready for whatever life throws at you.
Manage Your Physical Activity
Most people take the “all or nothing” approach to exercise. They’re either going to workout as hard as they can 7 days a week or they’re not going to do anything. The problem is working out super intensely 7 days a week isn’t sustainable. And even if it was, it’s not a good approach to fat loss. Remember the number one key to fat loss is keeping your hormones in balance, especially your stress hormones. Intense exercise is actually a stress on the body. The magic of exercise happens during the RECOVERY time when the muscles repair and grow back stronger and more resilient to the challenges they might face in the future. If you never allow your body off-days to recover, your stress hormones will continue to rise. And as we established above, when stress hormones like cortisol are elevated your body is trying to store fat and your hard work in the gym could actually be working against your goals. We recommend working SMARTER instead of HARDER. This looks like 2-4 days of hard workouts that include weight training and interval training. Just make sure this type of training isn’t causing pain or exacerbating an injury.
Just because we don’t recommend intense workouts 7 days a week doesn’t mean we recommend 8 hour Netflix binges on your off days. For best results, MOVE EVERY DAY! The difference is your off days shouldn’t be intense movement. These days should include restorative movements that help to accelerate the recovery process. This can be flexibility and mobility work, “reset” exercises, or non-competitive games. And to really accelerate fat loss, WALK AS MUCH AS YOU CAN! Our problem as a society is we are way too sedentary. If your think about movement from an evolutionary perspective, our hunter and gatherer ancestors would have walked about 11 miles a day, picked up heavy things to carry them somewhere else, played games with their relatives, and occasionally sprinted to catch food or to escape being food. This is how our bodies are designed to function optimally, so our physical activity should resemble this as closely as possible.
Pair Your Foods Better
There are some specific protocols we can help guide you through if you want go through our nutrition consultation, but as a general rule try not to mix high fat and high carbs in the same meal. Neither fat or carbs are the enemy, but when they are together in large amounts they can cause some issues. There is no naturally occurring food you would find in nature that is high in both carbs and fats. Most foods that contain high amounts of both are man-made, processed foods, which we recommend you keep to a minimum anyway. If you stay away from overly-processed foods and choose to eat more REAL food that came from the ground or came from an animal, you are already on the right track. For reference, an example of a high fat and low carb meal would be a steak with avocado and roasted cauliflower. An example of a high carb low fat meal would be a chicken breast with a sweet potato and a side salad.
Let us help you reach your weight goals! Talk to us or call us at 469-619-7499