Don’t get me wrong, we need fat. Fat stores energy; it is needed for growth, development, and function when there is a shortage of food supply. Fat also helps to keep you full. If you read the headlines, low-fat dieting is not a successful strategy for losing weight. I’m not telling you to eat burgers with bacon and cheese, but a little fat – namely more of the good fats – is good.
So if you want to shave off a little, here are four ways to do it without plastic surgery.
1. Eat more good fat
The low fat revolution started about 20 years ago, and obesity rates have exploded. Eat some fat – just don’t overdo it. There are even a group of people that eat high fat diets and lose weight, which is called a ketogenic diet. Then there are the paleo people who eat a ton of animal protein but little carbohydrates, and of course vegans, who eat zero animal products and claim their diet is the best.
The ketogenic diet was originally designed for children with epilepsy and has started to gain popularity with nutrition gurus. This diet is high in fat, moderate protein, and low in carbs. Bill Clinton switched from a vegan diet to a diet like this to lose more weight. I am not a nutritionist, but in my opinion, eating the following foods can help with feeling full and energized so you don’t snack from the office candy bowl:
Avocado (great smeared on toast)
Almonds, walnuts, cashews
Pumpkin, hemp, chia and sunflower seeds
2. Eat less sugar
This is a no-brainer: sugar is the enemy. Whether you drink soda, love candy, or are a choco-holic, eat less. I would never say to quit sweets. I have provided many tips in past blogs for enjoying sweets without overindulging, but here are some highlights:
Sample - try a tiny bite and only it’s good, go back for more
Share - my wife gets upset that I make her share sweets with me, but it forces to me portion control
Don’t buy it at home - there are certain things I can buy, like ice cream, that will last in my house for ever – then there are Oreos
Mini cokes - soda is empty calories that ruin your blood sugar level, waist line and teeth. It’s so easy to keep refilling the soda, but a small can lets you get the satisfaction without all the calories
Dark chocolate - because it’s so rich it’s hard to overeat; dark chocolate has less sugar and has many beneficial properties
3. Intensity matters
It’s not the weight you lift or how far you run – it’s the level you are working at. Not every workout should be super hard, but you need to intensify. I’m not recommending you work out so hard you puke, or feel light-headed; if you want to burn fat, short bouts of high intensity training are effective. Here are some examples:
Intervals: It doesn’t matter if you are walking, running or jogging, pick up the pace for 30-45 seconds, cool down and then speed up again
Mix it up: If you normally run, trying boxing; if yoga is your thing, try a different kind. Zumba your jam? Try pilates. Your body adjusts to how you train, so mixing it up will work different muscles
4. Have fun!
The more you stress about your body, the harder it is to lose weight. Make exercise and eating healthy enjoyable. Experiment with different fruits and vegetables, or buy a new healthy oil like coconut and figure out how to cook with it. Keep it in the fridge and know it spoils and is best for cooking at lower temperatures. Take a different exercise class, enlist a friend, make a total 80s mix and enjoy the workout. And most importantly – don’t give up!
If you want to work out with a trainer, get coached through the web, or just ask a question, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.