Top 10 Tips For Fat Loss!

When it comes to losing body fat, whether it's in small amounts or large, it really does come down to your nutrition. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that cutting back processed foods high in sugar, saturated and trans fat will lead to weight loss. 
There's no quick fix or trick to a healthy body, so forget the detoxes or magic pills. It comes down to just a balanced diet containing the right nutritious foods combined with regular physical activity. 
However, there are a few small tips that not everyone might be aware of, which may help you reach your weight loss goals. 
Quite often it is the smallest changes that make the largest difference.

Here are 10 tips to increase body fat loss that I have found incredibly useful!

1. Start reading nutrition labels.
You're walking down a supermarket or food store aisle and you spot it, FAT FREE, GUILT FREE, just what you needed right? WRONG! We are constantly tricked when it comes to product packaging by what we are led to believe is healthy or will assist our weight loss goals. The reality is, the products on the shelves that are screaming at you with 'Im good for you' slogans, most of the time aren't all that good for you. Quite often you will find the products that are labelled 99% fat free are generally loaded with excess sugar to make it taste great, or, packed with unnecessary chemicals.
All you need to do is start reading the labels on the back of new things before you try them, and don't be afraid to! A lot of the time we're embarrassed to read nutritional information in fear of appearing too picky or being judged, but why? We all have the right to be conscious of what goes into our body. 
So, first and foremost depending on the product, check the saturated/trans fats levels. You want to keep the Trans fats as low as possible, generally less than 1, because this is the bad stuff! Saturated fat you can get away with a very small amount, however again try to keep it limited, you don't want too much of this in your diet at all.
Secondly, check the sugar content and make sure it's not excessive. You will gradually learn what is and what isn't too much, based on the different types of products that you buy. For example, I would avoid a muesli that had more than roughly 6-7 grams of added sugar per serve, because I know this is generally what you will find in them. If I was to pick up a packet of muesli to see that it had 20 grams of added sugar per serve, I would immediately put it back down, unless it was a treat.

2. Think logically about when you eat your carbohydrates and what type.
Carbs... they're great, they taste great, and what's greater is that you don't completely need to drop them to lose weight. BUT, are you eating them at the right time? 
As a general recommendation, you should lower your carbohydrate intake on days that you do not exercise, this can be known as carb cycling. Basically, on training days start the morning with a carbohydrate based meal such as oats and on non training days, start the morning with something like eggs instead. Carb cycling can be a much better approach to weight loss instead of completely restricting yourself to a low carb diet, because it will allow you to avoid binge eating at the time of a carb meal, plus it will allow you to maintain a higher metabolic rate over time and provide the muscles what they need to fuel exercise and recover properly.
The best type of carbohydrates you can consume are from the complex variety, such as brown rice, quinoa, beans and vegetables.

3. Drink enough water.
Sounds simple, doesn't it? Well, it is. Our bodies cannot function to their best ability without hydration, and that means you should be consuming at least 1.5 - 2 litres of water everyday. Now I don't meal skull 2 glasses at once because you realise you haven't had any water at all today, because your body is just going to flush out that excess fluid without processing it properly. Buy a pop top water bottle and sip on it throughout the day.

4. Get enough sleep.
Many people think their body can run adequately on 4 or 5 hours sleep a night, but realistically that's not the case. Not only does 7-8 hours of good sleep every night increase our metabolism, but it gives our bodies the time it needs to adequately recover and restore which is as some would say, the most important part of the process.


5. Enough with endless cardio.
The days of slugging it out on the treadmill for hours are gone. You don't need to bore yourself silly with excessive cardio exercise in order to lose weight and tone your body.
Ladies - meet resistance training! Squats, lunges, push ups, box jumps, bicep curls, the list goes on. Resistance training is known to increase fat loss as we develop muscle. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn and the longer your body burns them well after you've left the gym. Now don't get me wrong, cardio is great for weight loss and it shouldn't be ditched completely if its working for you or if you love it. For an even greater fat loss training session, jump on board the intervals bandwagon or HIIT sessions. (check previous blog post for info on this).

6. Don't do your grocery shopping when you're hungry.
We're all guilty of it. You did the weekly grocery shop before you had breakfast and you ended up coming home with more junk food and snacks than you actually did lunches or dinners. The trick is to go shopping on a full tummy! If you go when you're hungry, everything is going to seem appetizing, but not so much if you're satisfied.
If you buy the wrong things, you're going to eat the wrong things.

7. Swap soft drinks for green tea.
Trust me, the sugar filled cans are doing you no good. They might be delicious and addictive, but they're also adding centimeters to your waist line. Dropping soft drink for green tea might sound impossible to you, especially if you are as hooked on it as I was only 12 months ago. I was consuming on average 4 cans of soft drink per day, not only were my teeth suffering, but my insides were as well. If I can give it up, YOU CAN TOO.
Green tea is brilliant, it's an overall health and metabolism booster that will be your best friend and give you energy.

8. Chew on sugarfree gum to banish cravings.
If you've got a sweet tooth, you probably REALLY struggle around 11am, 3pm and after dinner, right? I know I do. If you lack the self control to tell yourself NO and avoid those sugary and fatty bundles of deliciousness and joy, carry chewing gum with you everywhere! This is something that has really worked for me, so when you start feeling like you're going to cave, take some sweet gum like strawberry or melon, or even peppermint. The taste will most of the time satisfy you and you'll forget all about those donuts!


9. Add coconut oil to your diet.
Of all the fats (good fats), coconut oil has a thermogenic effect. Eating it helps your body burn more calories and boost your metabolic rate. Coconut also contains medium-chain triglycerides, which can be immediately used as an energy source in your body, enhancing total body fat loss results. The great thing about coconut oil is that it can be used in so many ways. You can use it to stir fry your veggies, add taste to sauces, fry your eggs or use it in your baking.


10. Focus on technique when you workout.
Sometimes you just want to smash out the exercise, work up a huge sweat and have it over and done with. But this isn't always going to get you the results that you want. With resistance training of any form, you need to contract your muscles and perform them safely to avoid injury.
To get the absolute most out of your workouts, you need to slow down. You need to focus on your movements and actively engage the muscles through each repetition.
For example, when you squat, are you making sure that your spine is neutral? Are you making sure that you drive through the heels of your feet? Are you making sure that you squeeze your glutes as you come up? And when you do crunches are you actually contracting your abs and breathing throughout the movement?
Think more about this next time you're in the gym or working out. Use your mind to control your muscles for the most benefits possible.



Resources:
Majority of these tips are based on my own general knowlegde and are not specific professional advice in any way.
Other information sourced from www.bodybuilding.com