Following on from yesterday’s article I will today go over some simple rules for people looking to drop body fat.
Some aspects of weight loss will change depending on your current body fat percentage but the following list will apply to the majority.
Rule 1: Be in a caloric deficit; As apposed to yesterday, to lose weight we need to put in less calories than we are spending. Going to extremes can affect your hormone levels and send our body into survival mode so try and hover around 300-500 calories below your daily intake. On top of this we need a refeed day every 3-4 days (calorie surplus) to ensure hormones such as ghrelin and leptin are are maintained at appropriate levels.
Rule 2: Increase your protein intake; Protein is great for fat loss, not only is it harder to convert into useable energy by the body, but it helps maintain and increase lean muscle. Lean muscle requires a fair percentage of energy to function appropriately and therefore allows you to burn more calories throughout the day.
Rule 3: Stay away from sugars; Converting sweet snacks for low GI carbohydrates such as brown and basmati rice, wholemeal pasta and bread, vegetables and sweet potatoes will keep your insulin levels down and therefore limit the production of fat. In doing so you will also lower your chance of metabolic disease as the constant insulin flux produced through high sugar intake can lead to insulin resistance and low level inflammation of adipose (fat) tissue that leads to further complications.
Rule 4: Fill up on food with low calorie density; The hardest part about losing weight is feeling like you are not eating enough. Vegetables have a very low calorie density which means we can eat plenty without sending our calorie intake through the roof. Our stomach is stretch sensitive and by providing high volume meals it can send messages to your brain that tell you that you have eaten enough.
Rule 5: Drink lots of water; Amongst other things, water is required for excretion, sweating and blood volume. Being adequately hydrated will increase your exercise potential and mental alertness.
Rule 6: Exercise; Diet alone can help you lose weight, though regular exercise is generally required to keep the weight off. A mix of resistance training (weights) and anaerobic exercise (running, riding etc) is the best way to drop body fat whilst increasing lean muscle mass.