A scientific study done by UCLA(1), shows that dieting does not work and most dieters regain the weight they lost. In this post, I am going to show you a better way to lose fat and maintain your shape.
Lose body fat
The Internet is flooded with advice on how to lose body fat. From cutting calories to heavy gym workouts and taking fat burner supplements. The information is endless. But do they really work? What is the best way to safely reduce your body fat?
Let’s understand what body fat is first. Body fat is natural. Our body needs some amount of fat to function. The role of body fat is to store energy for the body and protect organs and joints. It is also responsible for regulating hormones and body temperature. But a high amount of fat can result in many health issues. It can elevate the risk of obesity, diabetes, and other heart conditions. But you should remember that too little body fat is also not good. Having too little body fat can affect the level of the hormone leptin. It can also cause fatigue, hair loss, muscle cramp, and low blood pressure.
How to lose body fat naturally
Start with measuring body fat
There are many ways to measure your body fat percentage. Some different ways to calculate body fat percentage are:
Skinfold calipers, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry(DXA), and body circumference measuring.
Get in a calorie deficit
Your body fat is nothing but excess energy stored as fat. To lose body fat you need to cut back on calories and staying in a calorie deficit. You will need to consume fewer calories than you expend and force your body to burn stored fat for fuel. Start with a caloric deficit of 400-500 calories per day.
Remember, if you restrict your calorie too much, you will enter starvation mode and start losing muscle mass. To do this effectively you need to determine your daily calorie intake and stick to that fixed calorie deficit number.
There are two ways of doing it.
- You can use this tool to calculate your daily calorie intake
CALCULATE YOUR DAILY CALORIES REQUIREMENTSEnter your email for results:
- Log your diet for the last 6-7 days and take the average.
Set your macro
If you are trying to lose fat in 30 days, the first approach should be calculating your macros. Macros/ macronutrients are the main food your body needs – protein, fat, and carbs. These are essential elements in your diet for the normal functioning of your body. Everyone’s macros ratio would be different depending on their body and needs. If you are setting your macros, you should also keep in mind your calories intake. Set your macros ratio in a way that you also cut calories. Aim for 40-50% carbs, 30-40% protein and 20-30%fat. If you are performing intense exercise every day, you can increase your carbs intake. Carbs help you feel energetic and support your exercise performance.
Strength training or resistance training is one of the most effective exercises to lose fat. It involves contracting your muscles against a resisting force. The most common type of resistance training is weight lifting. Weight lifting has many health benefits including burning fat. One study found that 10 weeks of strength training can reduce body fat by 4 pounds. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22777332/
Another study showed that strength training reduced belly fat in 78 people with metabolic syndrome. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23714599/
Besides reducing fat, weight lifting also helps you build muscle. Having fat-free mussels can increase the number of calories you burn at rest. So start with strength training on regular basis to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat.
Do more HIIT
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an excellent form of exercise to reduce body fat. It’s a high-energy workout that involves high-intensity exercise with short periods of rest. HIIT exercise keeps your heart rate up and allows you to burn calories in a short time. It is known to be more effective than cardio exercise. One study showed that HIIT burns 30% more calories than any other form of cardio. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25162652/
Get enough sleep
If you want to lose body fat, ensure that your sleep pattern is right. Those with Irregular sleep patterns tend to feel more hungry in the morning and consume more calories during the day.
Lack of sleep can affect the regulation of your hunger hormones- ghrelin and leptin. When you are sleep-deprived, your leptin can go low and reduce your feeling of fullness. While ghrelin can increase and make you feel more hungry. Adjusting your sleep pattern also has a positive effect on mood and overall health.
Diet to lose body fat
Get more protein
Protein can do much more than just repairing your muscles after a workout. Protein is an incredible nutrient that can reduce your appetite and burn more fat. Eating high protein food can promote a feeling of fullness and reduce calorie intake. This effect can be very beneficial in weight loss. Studies have shown that eating high-quality protein can reduce belly fat.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22284338/
Protein also helps you boost your metabolism and retain muscle mass.
Try to include good sources of protein in your diet. Eggs, chicken, oats, beef, fish, and almonds are some great protein-rich food you can consider.
Include healthy fats
This may be surprising. But eating healthy fats can aid your fat loss journey. Not all fats are made equally, nor have the same effect on your body. Just like protein, fats can also reduce appetite and limit calorie consumption. Because fat is slow on the digestive system, it takes longer for your stomach to empty after eating. This results in more satiety and reduces hunger.
Eating fats like nuts and olive oils is linked to a lower risk of weight loss. Avocado, nuts, olive oil, and seeds are great healthy types of fat. But keep in mind that fats are high in calories. Hence, be mindful of how much you consume.
It is important to pay attention to what you drink. Consuming surgery beverages, soda, and alcohol is bad for your health and can minimize the result of fat loss efforts. Such drinks are packed with calories and offer almost zero nutritional value. Studies have found that alcohol and sugary drinks can lead to increased belly fat. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28487104/
Try to limit your intake of these beverages and include more healthy drinks such as coffee and green tea.
Get more iron
Iron is an important mineral that your body needs to make healthy blood cells. It delivers oxygen to the blood cells. Those with low iron levels may feel tired and lightheaded due to delayed oxygen supply to the cells. The more oxygen your cells receive, the more fat oxidation can occur and fatty acids can break down. Hence, it is important to get enough iron when trying to lose body fat. Low iron levels can affect your thyroid. This can limit the production of hormones which keeps your metabolism in check. Include more sources of iron into your diets such as meat, seafood, and spinach.
Fiber is often overlooked but soluble fiber is beneficial for fat loss. They absorb water easily and move through the digestive tract slowly. This means they contribute to a longer feeling of fullness. Besides that, consuming high-fiber food can reduce excess weight and protect you from fat accumulation. You can fill up on high-fiber food by including this food in your diet.
Nuts, green vegetables, fruits, whole grain.
Avoid refined carb
refined carbs undergo processing which removes the nutritional value of the food. They tend to have a higher glycemic index, which raises blood sugar and increases hunger. Studies show that consuming too many refined carbs can lead to increased belly fat. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26707058/
On the contrary, a diet packed with whole-grain lowers body weight and waist circumference. To lose body fat, lower the intake of processed food, white bread or rice, and pastries. You can replace these with whole grain, buckwheat, quinoa, and oats.
Coffee contains a high amount of caffeine content. Caffeine is shown to increase metabolic rate and promote fat loss. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26189608/ It has a fast stimulating effect on the central nervous system. It increases the adenosine hormone that releases fatty acids from fat cells. Caffeine is also known to have a great resting metabolic rate (RMR). This means it allows you to burn fat while you sleep. However, caffeine may not have the same effect once you become tolerant of it. But it will still benefit you in weight loss by curbing your hunger and calorie intake.
Learn about more amazing drinks that can help you lose body fat. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_rgXXu2X3X6Sc0A7LrEgMMSZfCcu2b4F0BkrShUtbzM/edit
7 things that do not let you lose fat.
So, let me tell you first How not to reduce body fat.
- Exercising too much: I have seen people working out for hours in the gym like 2-3 hour every day. It doesn’t work.
- Too much cardio: The same thing, people hop on to Treadmill and they forget life.
- Eating very little: This is a deal breaker, as you will lose a lot of weight but a significant part of it would be muscle.
- Lightweights and heavy reps: I don’t know how this notion got popular, but this is stupid!!. You need to lift heavy weights to gain/maintain big muscles.
- Taking too many supplements: While this may not harm you depending on what you are taking, but I have noticed two problems with most people.
- When they take supplements they believe that this is what is going to give them results and they stop focusing on things that actually work.
- Most supplements are a pure waste of money and don’t work.
- Pushing too hard: This is way too common when people want results they just go after it with all guns blazing. Workout 6 days a week, 2 hours of weight training, 1 hour of cardio, with little to no eating. They believe they can torture their body to lose fat.
- Overnight success: You gained weight in years not months or weeks. Then how would you expect it to lose in 2 weeks or 4 weeks?
Lose Body Fat Questions
What burns the most fat?
Strength training or resistance and HIIT training burn the most fat. You can also include cardio in your daily routine to be more active and achieve better results.
How much body fat can you lose in a month?
On average, you can lose 1 to 3% of body fat in a month. However, the result may vary from person to person due to differences in age, gender, muscle mass, and body fat.
What exercises reduce body fat?
Resistance training like weight lifting is a common exercise to reduce body fat. Including cardio in your routine such as walking, running and cycling also helps reduce body fat.
What foods reduce body fat?
Fish, eggs, oats, greek yogurt, chili pepper, and berries are some food that reduces body fat.
What burns the most belly fat?
Green tea, avocado, greek yogurt, banana, green tea, and leafy green vegetables are the best foods that burn belly fat.
Does sweating burn fat?
Sweating does not mean burning fat. During intense exercise, we spend energy that generates internal heat and results in sweating. This is a sign that we are burning calories
How long does it take to lose 1% body fat?
If you are following the right diet and performing exercise daily, you can expect to lose .5 to 1% body fat every week. If you are extremely overweight you can expect faster results. As you get leaner the rate of fat loss slows down. There are many other variables that affect the result including age, gender, body fat and muscle mass.
How can I get skinny in 7 days?
To get skinny in 7 days, you need to perform regular exercise and follow the right diet. Cut down calories, eat more protein and fiber. Losing fat and getting skinny takes time. Hence, maintain consistency and track your progress regularly.
Do planks burn fat?
Yes, planks burn fat. It allows you to engage more than one muscle at once and improve core strength. Besides burning fat, planks also flexibility and improve body posture.
Is working out 30 minutes a day enough to lose weight?
Yes, working out 30 minutes a day is enough to lose weight. Focus on the intensity and be consistent.
Is coffee a fat burner?
Yes, coffee is a great fat burner. Caffeine is shown to increase metabolic rate and promote fat loss. It also has a great resting metabolic rate (RMR). This means it allows you to burn fat while you sleep.
Which fruit burns the most fat?
Guava, apple, berries, kiwi, pomegranate, and grapefruit are the best fruits that burn the most fat.
How can I lose my belly fat overnight?
It is not possible to lose belly fat overnight. You maybe able to lose excess water which can make your belly appear flatter. But this is a temporary trick. You can drink ginger tea or chamomile tea before bedtime. It helps you control glucose and has a calming effect on the stomach.
How can a girl lose stomach fat?
For a girl to lose stomach fat, it is important to include aerobic or cardio exercise into her daily routine. Eat more protein and soluble fiber and avoid process and refined food. Fat burning drinks such as coffee, black tea, or green tea can also help.
Does sweating detox your body?
No, sweating does not detox your body. Sweating is a natural occurrence to cool down your body when muscles are more heated. Water is released through the skin glands to reduce the temperature but it does not excrete any toxins.
Is it bad to sweat a lot?
Sweating is a natural phenomenon, it is not bad. Our body regulates body temperature by releasing sweat from our skin. Sweating a lot might be due to certain conditions such as diabetes or thyroid conditions.
How do I know if I’m burning fat?
There are signs that can tell if you are burning fat. If you are burning fat, your energy will be more stable and your weight will decrease. Getting leaner is a visible sign of burning fat.
Now that you understand how to lose fat, here is a simple yet powerful Fat loss Diet and Workout Plan to get you started.
Lose Body Fat Summary
Losing body fat has become a major concern among people these days. With our busy lives and little time for physical activity has led many people to obesity. If you are trying to lose body fat, know that it requires lifestyle changes. Exercise and diet will only help when you are ready to make these changes. Work towards developing healthy habits. Switch to healthy food, take a walk, make time for cycling and get more physically active. Remember that stored fat is a form of energy that has not been used. The only way to cut it off is to release that energy through exercise. If you are consistent with your diet and routine, losing body fat will not be as difficult as you might be thinking.