If you’ve ever tried losing weight, you’ll know right off the bat that losing fat is not the easiest of tasks, in fact, it can be extremely difficult, especially if you aren’t sure where to begin. Sure, you can talk to avid health and fitness freaks who exercise 6, even 7 times per week, and they’ll bombard you with all kinds of technical advice, that truthfully will probably make little sense to you, but that is obviously not the most practical way to go about things. If for example, you are a casual gym goer who takes health and fitness relatively seriously, without letting it rule your life, you may need to approach your diet and your weight loss slightly differently. Here are 4 simple fat loss diet tips for the casual gym goer.
Don’t starve yourself – One of the most common mistakes that people make when it comes to losing weight, is that they pretty much starve themselves and will drop their calories way, way below maintenance, and will often skip meals in the process. Whilst a caloric deficit is required for fat loss, extreme deficits will slow down the metabolism and will leave you feeling tired, lethargic, and incredibly hungry. Ideally you should eat little and often, making sure to eat a healthy and balanced meal every three hours or so. This will help ward off hunger pains, it will keep your energy levels up, and it will keep your metabolism firing on all cylinders, which in turn will make it easier for you to lose weight.
Snack healthily – If you do get hunger pains or food cravings, rather than mentally torturing yourself, grab yourself a healthy snack instead. When snacking however, avoid unhealthy junk foods such as chips, biscuits, cookies, and cakes etc, and instead, go for healthy alternatives. Fresh fruit and yoghurt, a little almond butter on a whole wheat bagel, or a boiled egg or two will take away your hunger, whilst nourishing your body and keeping your caloric intakes low in the process.
Track your food and drink – If you are trying to burn body fat, as mentioned, you need to force your body into a caloric deficit. This basically means that you should consume slightly less calories per day than your body requires for maintenance. You can easily find out your daily caloric targets online or via special apps and tools. Once you know them, you should make sure that you track and log every single thing you eat and drink. By doing this, you know exactly how many calories are going into your body, and how many macros (fats, proteins, carbohydrates). This means there is no guess work, so if your daily requirements for maintenance are 2500 calories, by tracking food and drink intakes with apps or online tools, or even manually, you can ensure that you don’t go above your 2500 calorie target.
Up your protein intakes – When it comes to fat loss, protein is incredibly important. Protein is vital for the growth and repair of muscle tissue, so when you increase protein intakes, you are more likely to build more lean muscle. Muscle requires more calories for maintenance than fat, so the more muscle you build, the harder your metabolism works, and the more calories you will be burning, even in a rested state. What’s more, protein is harder to digest than fats or carbs, so when you consume it, your body actually burns off more calories just by digesting it and breaking it down. As if that wasn’t enough, the protein will also keep you feeling full for longer, because it remains in your stomach for longer, so it is ideal for warding off hunger pains and cravings.