Food Freedom Friday Edition 167 - New Year Fat Loss Goals
Yes, you may be trying this again.
You’ve heard it all before….
To lose fat just eat less calories, workout harder, and don’t binge on [insert favorite indulgence(s) here]. I get it, the same old advice is repetitive and you’re tired of hearing all you have to do is sacrifice your favorite foods – life’s little but necessary pleasures. It’s annoyingly obvious and you wonder if there is more to burning fat than just nutrition and exercise.
Are there more aspects to fighting a growing waistline that can speed up coveted results?
On your lifelong quest to get rid of those last few stubborn pounds, you need a few new powerful tricks to destroy those last few inches off your waist, so you could fit into that old pair of pants that’s been collecting dust in the closet.
Worry no more - these fat loss strategies will support your efforts in losing more fat than you ever imagined.
Important to note: Although these fat loss strategies are beyond powerful, they will never replace a lack of solid nutrition! That is still the foundation. With that in place these 5 not so obvious fat loss strategies will make your fat burning current efforts more effective.
By gut health, I am not referring to a belly hanging over your jeans. Gut health is a term that refers to how healthy your stomach, small, and large intestines are.
A person with a healthy gut can eat a wide variety of foods without abdominal pain, heartburn, or bloating. They are able to absorb nearly all nutrients consumed, have a lot of beneficial bacteria partying in their body, and are able to consistently poop soft logs of waste.
An individual with poor gut health has difficulty absorbing nutrients. They also have irregular bowel patterns, can’t taste food as well, and tend to have a worse mood. You don’t want this to be you.
Why is having an unhealthy gut bad for fat loss?
Increased cravings: When gut health is poor, nutrient absorption is poor due to the bacteria makeup in your gut. With poor nutrient absorption your body wonders where all the nutrients are hiding, so it triggers a desire to eat more.
Satiety: Having poor gut health can cause chronic inflammation which interferes with the hormone leptin. When leptin is doing its job correctly it helps your body regulate calorie expenditure and sends signals telling you that you’re full.
Poor sleep: Having poor gut health not only messes with the hormone leptin, but many of the important sleep hormones to regulate deep sleep.
Making poor eating choices: The makeup of bacteria is correlated to the foods you choose and their taste. People with a healthy gut enjoy more nutritious foods and are more easily satisfied when eating less nutritious foods.
With good gut health, you crave more nutritious foods, get full sooner, sleep better, and your stomach is able to handle a wide range of foods without pain which makes it easier to adhere to a nutrition plan with more choices.
You are literally the health of your gut. If you have a high ratio of bad bacteria in your gut, they will control what you crave and create chaos in your body. Having more good bacteria in your gut will support you enjoying nutritious foods a lot more.
Here’s how to improve the health of your gut, so you can lose more fat:
Aid your body in digestion: Chew your food a lot before swallowing and eat slower.
Bring more good bacteria to the party: You can add more beneficial living bacteria from fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha tea as well as a high-quality supplement.
Quit feeding the bad bacteria: I’m all for indulging in a few treats occasionally, but to improve your gut health, try to limit the consumption of processed foods.
We live in chaotic world where we have bills, deadlines, temptations, and protein scoops at the bottom of the tub. It’s rough and stress is inevitable. Not managing it correctly will lead to chronic stress which will negatively affect your mission to lose fat.
With chronic stress, you get surges of the hormone cortisol which hinders testosterone production, signals for more energy to be replenished (aka more cravings) and encourages the storage of fat. Now that’s a terrible recipe for any fat loss goal.
To better manage stress and increase your chances of burning fat try:
Yoga or any form of mobility if you’re not into a group setting
Write down 3 things you’re grateful for each night whether its beloved ones, bros, or barbells
Going for a daily walk outside to clear your mind
Try grounding by simply walking barefoot on grass while taking deep breaths
Remove toxic people in your life like that co-worker that always maliciously makes fun of your calf size
Spend time with close friends or call up one you haven’t talked to in awhile
Get more sleep
We can all admit that there have been points in our lives where our sleep was not prioritized. Those were terrible times and not a great approach to losing fat.
Sleeping more, and sleeping better is a strategy that can give you an edge to shredding more fat.
Because sleep makes everything you do in your fat loss quest more efficient.
Sleep increases recovery, controls cravings, gives you more energy, increases gym performance, helps with stress, and decreases the storage of fat. Good sleep will help get the body you’re looking for as well as increase your mood, so you’re not one of those grouchy dieters who’s deprived of energy.
Practice good sleep hygiene including
Aiming for 7-8+ hours of sleep each night. Everyone is different and some might need more/less than others, but getting below 6 is not optimal for anyone
Sleeping in a cave like environment. This means pitch dark room and cool temperature between 17C - 20C (60F - 70F)
Having a journal to write down your worries, thoughts, concerns, and goals for the next day to clear your mind before bed
Turning off all electronics and devices 1 hour before bed because the blue light in them makes it more difficult for your body to shut off
Reading a book before bed and for those saying that this doesn’t work, try reading something deeply boring to knock you out
Drinking tea or taking melatonin, if needed
While getting sunlight is not the main driver in your fat loss journey, it is hugely important if you want some extra results.
Getting early morning sunlight is responsible for aiding in a good metabolism, turning your body on, increasing energy, and help synchronize your body’s circadian rhythm which helps with overall mood. All of these will make losing fat more efficient and more enjoyable.
A good strategy is to take a walk early morning, do some grounding in the sun, or simply go outside before you start your day while sipping your morning brew.
If you start working before the sun rises, take a break from your computer when the sun comes up and walk outside to reap the benefits. Your waistline will thank you later.
This is one that many people would never guess as a fat loss strategy. Many people neglect stretching and foam rolling because they feel it is pointless. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Stretching and rolling are the missing components to your fat loss quest because they.
Increase recovery, which means a better performance in the following workout. Over the course of a program this could mean many extra reps performed.
Manage stress and improve sleep; no more tightness in the hips, back, and shoulders which means deeper sleep
Less chance for injury, which is last thing we want when trying to aggressively torch fat
Stretching and foam rolling is the glue to hold your fat loss efforts together!
While nutrition is important, it fails to tell the whole story. In fact, the whole saying that “nutrition is 80% and exercise is the remaining 20%” is pretty close-minded. There are other aspects and strategies involved in fat loss results that are vital as well. These strategies could be a few of the missing puzzle pieces you’ve been searching for.
Adding these will be a game changer. Take care of your gut health, sleep deep, manage stress, absorb some sunlight, and be disciplined with stretching. These powerful fat loss strategies aren’t the first things that come to mind, so be sure to share this with a close friend who is also on a mission to fight stubborn fat.