25 INSANELY HELPFUL Fat-Loss Nutrition Tips
We are excited to announce that in just a few weeks, we will be kicking off our Winter Online Nutrition Coaching Program.
This program can be accessed from anywhere and is perfect for those looking for:
- Weekly meal plans and recipes
- Nutritional education
- Support, consistency, and accountability
- Reaching your 2019 health and fitness goals
- A sustainable approach, not another diet
To kick things off, we've created a list of 25 INSANELY HELPFUL fat-loss tips!
1) Stop trying to out exercise a bad diet
You've probably heard some statistic like fat-loss success being 80% about your diet and 20% about your workouts.
Although these numbers may be a bit random and certainly dependent on the individual, they aren't far off.
Think about it.
If you were to workout 2-4x/week, that's typically 2-4 hours a week of work.
That's only 14-28 hours per week out of the 168 hours out of the total week.
As you can see, these workouts make up a tiny percentage of your days, weeks and months.
Although your workouts greatly impact your mood, strength, balance, fitness, muscle tone, etc., the real magic happens during your time outside of the gym when it comes to reaching your goals.
It's the foods we eat and in the proper amounts, that fuel our workouts and our fat-loss.
2) Remove the junk food from home
Having junk food present, even if it is not intended for you, is more likely to be eaten by you -- especially when you're hungry! As the saying goes "out of sight, out of mind".
Replace these foods with more nutritious foods that will keep you satisfied. Foods like nuts, seeds, greek yogurt, veggies & hummus make great snacks.
3) Eat protein at every meal/snack
Having a protein at every meal is a great way to help you build muscle, regulate blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full, longer. Stick to non-processed, protein sources like eggs, chicken, turkey, fish and greek yogurt.
4) Decrease caffeine intake after 12pm
Sleep is incredibly important for fat loss, strength, and recovery. Drinking caffeine throughout the evening is only going to delay or disrupt your sleep, elevate stress hormones and hinder weight loss. In fact, this spiral of elevated stress hormones and lack of sleep actually promotes you to store fat.
Instead of reaching for another coffee, increase your water intake or switch to green tea.
5) Drink more water
We have all heard that our bodies are 60% water. Why does this matter?
Water is crucial for keeping many of our bodily functions working properly. Being properly hydrated improves our energy, performance, cognitive and immune function.
How does this effect fat loss?
Drinking more water helps us feel more full, preventing us from over eating. At the same time, when we drink more water, we are less likely to drink other, high-sugar, high-calorie drinks.
How much should you drink?
Start by aiming for 8-10 cups of water per day. Adding in more fruits and vegetables can help as well.
6) Plan meals for the week
Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail.
If you leave yourself in situations where you are scrambling to pack a lunch or grabbing absolutely anything (or nothing) as you run out the door for your day, you are going to be grabbing bad food.
Or you will be grabbing no food at all which is setting yourself up to starve at work or need to purchase food from a restaurant (which is not a good habit or the healthiest option).
Instead, prepare meals for the week in portioned containers that make for quick grab n' go options that are healthy.
7) Cook in bulk
This goes off #5. Always cook extra of your home cooked meals as this makes meal prep easy throughout the week. Make big, healthy batches of food like chili on Sunday and have yourself a week's worth of lunches.
8) Stop eating when 80% full
Portion sizes in America today are at an all-time high. What used to feed 2 or 3 people is now overfeeding one. To avoid taking in too many calories at your next meal, especially when you eat out, is to be mindful about how full you feel.
Instead of eating until the plate is clean. Stop eating when you feel about 80% full.
9) Set goals (short and long term)
This could be the most important tip of all.
Too many people want or wish things to happen but aren't specific enough about them to actually makes things happen. This leads us drifting through life without an action plan. Setting goals is a fantastic way to keep you focused and accountable to what you want.
Goals must be:
Make sure your goals aren't something broad like "I want to eat more vegetables". Instead, pick something more specific like "I will eat vegetables with 2 meals/day". This will push you to take targeted action towards that goal.
- Written down
Writing them down creates an unbelievable amount of accountability. Seeing it everyday keeps it in mind and you focused on the mission.
- Have a timeline
Set a deadline for your short and long term goals. This will help you stay focused and keep you taking targeted steps towards your goals.
Make sure you can track your progress with measurable goals. This will help you see if the action plan you are taking is working or if you need to change things up.
These must be your goals. Not your husband's or friend's. When they are yours they are much more likely to become a reality.
10) Have a support system
There is nothing like having a team in reaching your fitness and nutrition goals. We see it everyday at Dynamic within our group training programs. It is amazing what can happen with the encouragement and support of others. When it comes to changing your nutrition, having a group or an individual there to support and hold you accountable goes such a long way to helping you stay committed.
On the flip side, an unsupportive spouse or friend can really derail your progress.
11) Hire a nutrition coach
Too many people try to improve their nutrition on their own. Nowadays there is so much information and gimmicks out there, it's becoming harder and harder to figure out what is good information versus good marketing.
This is where a coach can come in to provide you with the right knowledge and steps to help clear the confusion and get you on your way to the healthiest and happiest you!
12) Eat the right foods before your workouts
Supporting your exercise with proper nutrition is crucial for a leaner, stronger you. Fueling your body with junk or not enough food is a recipe for a bad workout and bad results. Eating the right foods will give you the energy to support your workouts and allow you to push harder and longer.
Everything you need to know about what to eat before your workout can be found HERE!
13) Eat the right foods after your workouts
One of the most important meals you can have is after your workouts. Having the right foods when you're done training is crucial for improving recovery and soreness, allowing you to build muscle, burn fat and get ready for your next workout!
Everything you need to know about what to eat before your workout can be found HERE!
14) Make more meals at home
Cooking more at home will help you eat more real, nutritious foods. Not only that, it will allow you to see what exactly is in the foods you are eating since many packages and foods from restaurants are full of high-calorie additives.
Cooking at home is a great way to get the family involved as well!
15) Drink protein smoothies
Protein smoothies are one of the best and quickest ways to get a ton of good nutrients. Combining the right ingredients will give you a great amount of vitamins, minerals, protein and energy!
- 1-2 scoops of protein powder
- Handful of frozen strawberries
- 1 banana
- Handful of fresh spinach
- Tbsp. of shredded coconut
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Blend and enjoy
16) Eat mostly foods without a label
“Don't eat anything incapable of rotting.” - Michael Pollan
The majority of your diet should be made up of foods that come from the earth. These are non-processed, real foods packed with nutrients that are great for boosting energy, shredding fat, and reducing your risk of disease.
You can find these foods on the perimeter of the grocery store next time you're shopping.
17) Eat before grocery shopping
Grocery shopping while hungry is going to make you rush and make poor food choices. You will make poor food choices based on cravings rather than rational thinking. Then after filling your house with bad foods, you have set yourself up for a week of bad eating. (See #'s 2 and 6)
18) Add healthy fats to meals
There is a popular belief that eating fat makes you fat.
In reality, eating too much of anything makes us over weight.
Healthy fats (poly/monounsaturated), such as avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut, grass-fed butter and salmon are full of heart-healthy fats that are crucial for things like immune and cognitive function and nutrient absorption.
They also help you feel full longer and help improve body composition.
Start with a 1-2 thumb size portions of healthy fats at each meal.
19) Celebrate the small wins
You replace that soda with a water.
You add a salad to your meal instead of that side of fries.
You add a workout to your week.
Something special happens when you have a small win.
You have another one. And then another.
You start to see that change is possible and start to build some serious momentum.
20) Don't sabotage your hard work on the weekends
The weekend cannot be treated as a vacation from healthy eating every week.
The weekend comprises 2/7 days of the week. That's 30% of your week.
Doing this makes you lose momentum and can take you out of the swing of things and in the nutrition and fitness game, consistency is king.
21) Make small changes over time
The key to reaching your goals is progress.
We are a big fan of what is known as MED (minimal effective dose)
This refers to the smallest amount of change needed to have a positive impact.
Small changes will keep you progressing and make sure you do not try to overhaul your entire nutrition, getting overwhelmed and setting you up for failure.
22) Avoid fad diets
Fad diets and 21 day fixes don't work.
We know that because they are exactly that, short term.
Any results seen in a short term diet are completely lost afterwards, often times with even more weight gain as a subsequent result. This is because they are not sustainable.
Focus on eating a healthy diet and incorporating that as a new part of your lifestyle and you will be able to see steady results and keep fat off over the course of your entire life.
23) Eat well on the go and when you're out
There's going to be many times when you're eating on the go or out at a restaurant.
Many of these food choices are created for taste not health.
This means they're loaded with extra calories, fat, and salt.
Making better choices when you're out or on the go will be a game-changer for you.
Here's a few tips:
- Eat before you go out (this will allow you to get something healthy in and not leave you starving where you're more likely to make a poor food choice)
- Pack a snack (stick to foods like: fresh fruit, low-sugar yogurt, low-sugar protein bar, beef jerky, veggies & hummus, hard boiled eggs, or celery & peanut butter)
- Eat well at a restaurant (substitute starchy sides with steamed veggies or a salad, stick to lean protein sources)
24) Understand it's OK to be hungry
For some, being hungry can turn into a mini-emergency.
This leads to quick and easy food choices which most often means poor food choices.
It is OK to feel hungry.
Understanding this can allow you to both have a better relationship with food and allow you time to make better food choices vs. the first thing to curb your appetite.
25) Understand it's not selfish
One area I see a lot of people struggle with initially is thinking that it's selfish to make time to improve their health and fitness.
They feel like it's selfish to take time away from their families to work on themselves.
One thing they discover though as they start to feel so much better, is that the opposite is true.
Instead, their energy increases.
Their confidence grows.
And then they're able to give so much more to those around them.
How helpful will you be to those you love if you're tired, run down, and sick?
Take care of yourself and make health and energy your priority!