1) Stay hydrated!
The magic that is, H20. Staying hydrated is incredibly important for optimizing bodily functions such as fat metabolism and has consistently been shown to increase levels of satiety (basically it will leave you feeling fuller for longer).
So, how much water should I have?
Giving an exact water intake recommendation without context is next to impossible and not incredibly helpful. There are many variables that dictate your daily water intake needs. Your body mass, activity levels and the climate in which you reside heavily impact how much water you need.
As a rule of thumb multiplying your body weight (kg) by 0.035 should give you a good starting point (For a 70kg individual this roughly equates to 2.5 litres p/day). The hotter the temperature, the more frequently, intensely and longer your train as well as several other individual variances will inflict greater water intake needs.
Pro tip: Drink a Glass or two before and/or after your meals. This is likely to leave you feeling fuller for longer.
2) Get moving!
The age old saying of “eat less, move more” sounds incredibly over simplified and as a standalone statement, doesn’t add any real value to your fat loss journey. However, at a fundamental level this is generally exactly what you need to do to induce fat/weight loss.
Your daily TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) is comprised of a number of components. BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) TEF (Thermic Effect of Food) EAT (Exercise related Activity Thermogenesis) and last but certainly not least NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis).
As we get older and/or start working more sedentary jobs our NEAT is often the first thing to be impacted. Our daily step output decreases, we spend more time sat down and this reduction of activity is frequently synonyms with an increase in food intake (Not ideal for weight loss, right?)
What can I do to up my NEAT?
Lots! You can schedule in daily walks, take the stairs not the elevator, park a little further away when you go shopping and get out to play with your kids.
3) Eat your protein!
Protein is the building block of the body. This magical macronutrient is responsible for a host of fundamental physiological processes. From building and repairing tissue to aiding immune health, Protein is rightly considered an essential macronutrient.
That’s all well and nice but how does that help me with my fat loss goals?
Satiety! Higher protein intakes have been shown to positively impact satiety. This increased feeling fullness generally leads to a decrease in daily caloric intake, a reduction in caloric intake then generally leads to weight loss!
As previously mentioned, Protein is the building block of the body and in turn is essential for muscle growth and retention. When dieting your body will start breaking down stored energy (body fat) to fuel activity. If you are not resistance training and have an inadequate protein intake your body is likely to also break down muscle tissue to aid with the energy demands.
Pro tip: To maintain muscle mass while losing weight it is important that you continue to resistance train with good intensity (train hard) and to ensure you are having enough protein. (For resistance training individuals this is somewhere between 1.6-2.3g of protein per kg of bodyweight a day).
4) Resistance Train!
When starting a weight loss journey the majority of us immediately think “CARDIO TIME!”. It’s the most effective form of exercise for fat loss, right? Not so fast. Cardio can be a good tool to increase your caloric output, but the effects are in the majority, somewhat short term.
Resistance training does a lot for long term fat loss and the effect it has on your body is consistent. More muscle mass = higher caloric output and as you can probably gather by now, this often results in weight loss.
Unless you are competing in a weight specific event, your “weight” is usually somewhat irrelevant. We generally want to lose weight because of a desired look, not because people will be looking at us at the beach thinking “Dammmnn, I bet they are 60kg”. Building muscle quite literally changes the shape of your body and you can look completely different at the same weight depending on your body composition (how much of your body is fat and how much is muscle).
Following a well-structured resistance training program while dieting is the best approach for anyone wanting to achieve a leaner, stronger, healthier and somewhat more defined look.
When applied in conjunction with one another, these FOUR FAT LOSS FUNDAMENTALS will aid you on your journey to a leaner physique. So, to put it simply, if you want to drop body fat you should stay hydrated, move more, eat enough protein and lift some weights!