Think you have exhausted every diet, workout and supplement out there and your weight loss is still stalling! You might think your diet is perfect, your workout is burning enough calories, but chances are you may have hit a plateau, are taking in more calories than you should or are just not burning off enough calories to impact your fat burning. Keep reading – here are 8 weight loss tips!
Weight Loss Tip #1: Eat the Right Foods and the Right Amounts
If you have been denying your body the calories it needs because you think you shouldn’t be eating, the body will think one thing and one thing only that you’re in a state of starvation! And when starvation happens the body tends to hold onto any and all fat on the body since it thinks you will not have food for a while.
In addition to not eating enough, if you decide to feed your body foods that are no good for it – like processed foods and refined sugars this will create inflammation in the body, which can lead to increased abdominal fat. Increased inflammation and increased belly fat can lead to disruption of hormones that control fat burning including leptin.
Leptin is produced by the fat cells, and can impact how much you eat and how much fat you can burn. Leptin resistance can be brought on by high sugar in the diet and can cause your body to produce and accumulate deep visceral fat! Once leptin-resistance occurs the body doesn’t know when to stop eating or when to burn fat! As a result your body continues to store fat even though it has likely had more than enough already!
Not sure how many calories you should be eating to lose weight, a good rule of thumb, multiply your weight by 10 to 12. As far as what to eat – a high protein diet, that provides a moderate amount of good for you fats and cycles between low and high carb days is a good start. Choose whole food that is closest to it’s natural state!
Weight Loss Tip #2 – Get off the Roller Coaster Ride of Fad Diets
By far the biggest problem when it comes to losing weight, is fad dieting, which approaches being over weight as a problem that needs to be solved, and once that problem is solved the diet is no longer necessary. This is the number one reason fad diets fail. Sustainable weight loss means eating healthy for the long run – it’s a lifestyle choice, a commitment not something you do here and there.
Most fad diets are based on diet recommendations that are short-term, they function by reducing calories to levels that are very low, or by eliminating certain types of foods. This might work for the first few weeks of a fad diet, but chances are you will not be able to sustain this type of diet for the long run. More than likely you will give into cravings that are not being met by the diet due to fluctuations in hormone levels and most likely you will end up gaining back not just the weight you lost but much more than that too!
The best solution is not a fad diet but following a consistent eating plan that will meet your daily calorie and macronutrient needs based on your activity level, the amount of muscle you have and the amount of fat you want to burn off.
Weight Loss Tip #3 – Stop Miscounting Your Calories
Do you know where all your calories are coming from? Think about it, do you pay attention and know exactly what you are eating and where that food is coming from? Do you pay attention to your condiments; do you read every nutrition label? What about that drop of milk in your coffee or that spoonful of sugar? Did you use a bit of sauce, a dollop of ketchup or a bit more oil then you should have? Did you sneak an extra spoonful of peanut butter? Did you prepare all your food at home, or did you eat out? If you have problems sticking exactly to your meal plan, than consider using a meal tracker on your smartphone to keep your calories on track.
Weight Loss Tip #4 – Get on a Carb Cycle
Cycling Carbs can help you optimize how your body uses carbs, by switching between high and low carbohydrate days. For one, women don’t need as many carbs, we can tap into our fat stores more efficiently when carbohydrates are reduced, since we tend to have more of them to access. Cycling carbs is when you use a period of low carbohydrate dieting, followed by one day of high carbohydrates. Cycling keeps the body guessing, and your hunger hormones up-regulated. If you eat a diet that is consistently lower in carbs and calories, you can reduce your body’s hormonal response and metabolism, however if you cycle between low and high days you can minimize metabolic down-shifts and keep your body burning! Low carbohydrate days should consist of carbs of no more than 20% of your macronutrients, while high carbohydrate days can consist of upwards of 40 to 50% of your macronutrients.
Weight Loss Tip #5 – Do Cardio and Lift Heavy Sh@%t!
Don’t get me wrong, cardio is an important part of any workout program, but more important is a challenging weight-training workout. If you want to increase metabolism, then long and slow drawn out cardio sessions on a high incline treadmill is not going to cut it. If you want to increase metabolism you need to increase your lean muscle mass. For every pound of muscle you put on, your body’s metabolism increases.
A single weight training session can increase your metabolism for up to 48 hours after a workout while cardio training has significantly shorter effects. Use a weight-training program that incorporates compound movements like squats, overhead presses and rows. Compound movements not only use more muscles at once, they also have an anabolic response that can trigger hormones that stimulate muscle building and recovery.
As for cardio, switch up some of those slow sessions for high intensity interval training such as sprint intervals. These burn more calories and access fat burning more efficiently than low intensity sessions. In fact one study showed that HIIT sessions can stimulate norepinephrine levels by up to 14.5 times greater compared to baseline.
Weight Loss Tip #6 – Get Rid of Stress
Stress increases the stress response, which causes a cascade of stress hormones including cortisol. When stress is high, fat burning pathways and the release of fat burning hormones such as norepinephrine are shut-off! It has been shown that the stress response can cause an increase in fat producing pathways, essentially your body starts to store more fat, because of the stress!
Cortisol has a tendency to re-direct triglycerides – or stored fat to visceral fat to areas such as on the belly! Why would it do this? Cortisol aids in adipocytes or fat cell development, as well as fat metabolism in a biochemical enzymatic reaction that requires cortisol. Visceral fat cells also generate cortisol in a reaction that converts cortisone to cortisol, further increasing cortisol levels and therefore continuing to pack on more fat weight!
Reducing stress may seem impossible but its necessary if you want to shut off cortisol and the stress response for good. Meditate, try Yoga, try journaling, don’t skip out on the gym, and go to bed early! Try different ways to reduce your stress until you find the method that works for you.
Weight Loss Tip #7 – Realize You’re Not 22 Anymore
Take it from me… I’m certainly not in my 20’s anymore and have first hand experience at what it’s like to experience a metabolic slow down! As we age, the body undergoes physiological and metabolic changes. Around the age of 30 the metabolism starts to slow down, growth hormone levels drop off, and hormonal changes start to peak. After age 35, a woman’s hormones start to shift, the balance between estrogen and progesterone starts to change, which can affect metabolism, and even where the body stores body fat. Instead of storing it in the usual places like the hips, thighs, butt and back of the arms, this can switch to areas like the belly! The imbalances in hormones can also have an impact on your ability to build hard lean muscle, and worse – burn off fat!
While you can’t change your age, or your genetics, you can counteract these physiological changes by continuing to keep a healthy lifestyle – that means eating healthy and exercising frequently. Exercise keeps the metabolism moving by stimulating muscle building hormones and fat burning hormones including norepinephrine, HGH, and testosterone. Norepinephrine helps us burn fat, HGH keeps us looking youthful and testosterone helps us build muscle!
Weight Loss Tip #8 – Balance Your Hormones
Age is one factor that can impact our hormone levels, but so is the environment we live in. Chemicals and pesticides that act like estrogen in the body are constantly inundating us; these toxins can falsely increase our estrogen levels, causing imbalances that affect us metabolically. When estrogen levels are high, fat burning pathways get shut off. Reducing chemical estrogen exposure is key for increasing your metabolism, but also for ensuring good long-term health. Whenever possible, eat food that is grown organically, and only use personal products that are made with organic ingredients.
Until Next Time…
Be Fierce & Rule the World!