STOP STARVING YOURSELF AND USE THESE 4 EATING STRATEGIES TO LOSE BODY FAT
When on a mission to lose body fat, do you drastically cut your calories? Do you promise to starve yourself until you hit a certain number on the scale?
By drastically depriving yourself of food and calories in the short term, your body reduces the ability to maintain fat loss in the long term.
Here are four eating strategies to help you lose body fat and keep it off by eating enough of the right things.
1. EAT PROTEIN WITH EACH MEAL
When you work out to lose body fat, it’s important to do so with the aim of building lean muscle at the same time.
When you build lean muscle, your body will burn more calories at rest. Imagine how amazing that is. Being able to burn more calories by sitting down. I’ll sign up for that!
This is why it’s important to maintain lean muscle. And this is where protein with each meal helps.
By eating protein consistently, you’ll ensure you maintain the lean muscle you’ve worked so hard to achieve in the gym. By maintaining lean muscle, you’ll always burn more calories, whether you’re active or not.
Additionally, eating protein with each meal will help you to feel fuller for longer. This means you’ll be more satisfied with your meals, and less likely to snack unnecessarily.
2. DON’T BAN CARBS. EAT SLOW RELEASE CARBS INSTEAD
Carbs have been given a bad reputation for far too long.
But not all carbs are created equally. While a common approach to losing body fat is to eliminate carbs outright, drastic reduction or elimination is more harmful than helpful.
The harmful effects of carb deprivation include brain fog, lack of energy, uncontrollable cravings and mood swings. These can all be avoided by choosing the right carbs to consume.
By opting for smaller quantities of slow-release carbohydrates, you’ll have the energy to be more active, as well as the brain power to make better food choices.
To pick out slow release carbs choose brown over white i.e. brown rice vs white rice, brown pasta vs white pasta, sweet potato vs white potatoes and choose whole grains.
3. INCLUDE FIBRE WITH EACH MEAL
One of the most important things you can do to lose body fat is manage how your body responds to sugar.
Fibre slows down your digestive process. You don’t get the dramatic peak/trough, and your blood sugar levels stay level.
When your blood sugar stays level, you’re less inclined to crave foods that can lead to gaining body fat.
To include fibre in your meals, add vegetables and legumes.
4. EAT SLOWLY
Feeling hungry and feeling full are largely regulated by two hormones – ghrelin and leptin.
Ghrelin makes you feel hungry, and leptin makes you feel full. Leptin takes time to kick in – approximately 20 minutes.
Ever eaten a meal quickly and returned for more because you thought you were still hungry, then felt completely stuffed afterwards? That’s an example of the time delay associated with leptin release. You think you’re still hungry after eating quickly, so you eat more only to realise after that you ate too much.
By eating slowly you allow your body to give you the biological cues that you’ve eaten enough. This is a super-simple way to lose body fat. Eat slower so you can listen to your body and stop eating more than you need to.
Try one of these strategies initially. They all work really well, but don’t try to change too much at once.
Start with one, make it a habit, and then add the next one. This will help you entrench habits that will work over the long-term, leading to lasting results.
ABOUT JAMES STARING
James Staring is a personal trainer based in Clapham, London. His methods have featured in publications such as Your Fitness, Hello, Healthy, Daily Mail, Closer, and many more. After giving up smoking and entering the fitness industry in 2009, James has focused on his passion to help others transform their health and fitness. However, James is convinced that most people struggle so much more than they need to in an effort to improve their fitness. Through his company, Fit to Last, James has helped hundreds of men and women make small adjustments in their daily habits to transform their fitness and to love how they look and feel.