The fat loss market is so saturated these days with all these quick fix gizmos and doodads, from programmes offering drastic changes in a matter of hours and fad diets. The promise to shed weight fast using these gimmicks means the industry profits well from its sincere consumer.
The unfortunate consequence of this means that the science behind what it actually takes to lose fat gets lost in translation – or not translated at all. Below are 10 alternative ways to actually shed weight that you may or may not have heard of before.
The hormone ghrelin, otherwise known as the ‘hunger hormone’, is triggered by a lack of sleep. When your ghrelin levels are high you crave more food and your energy stores begin to deplete.
Did you know that our capability to lose fat can be reduced by as much as 55 percent if you are not getting enough sleep?
We have all been told we should not skip breakfast. However, most traditional breakfasts these days are packed full of carbohydrates. Too many carbs first thing in the morning can hinder your weight loss journey before you have even started your day.
Replacing your breakfast with a hot drink in the morning means you remain in a fasted state and your blood sugar levels stay stable for longer. This will increase your fat loss.
Training on an empty stomach in the morning can be an effective way to lose fat. The way it works is the nutrients you feed your body post workout act as fuel for your already drained muscles, accelerating your recovery process.
Quite simply, make your response to sugars your friend not your enemy!
Focus on strength training
Do not fall into the trap of endless days doing cardio workouts. Shift your focus onto strength training.
Compound lifts will increase your metabolism, lean body mass and optimise your hormone levels.
Don't forget short bursts of cardio
I know I just said don’t focus on cardio, which is true! However, that does not mean forget cardio all together.
You should make room for the likes of HIIT (Hight Intensity Interval Training) or Tabata drills if you really want to burn those calories and shift some weight.
Eat according to your body
Firstly, establish your body type. This is key as when it comes to nutrition, altering your macronutrients to work with your body type can be vital to fat loss. Let’s take endomorphs who typically cannot handle as much carbs as ectomorphs or mesomorphs.
Once you understand there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to nutrition you can begin to play with your macronutrient intake.
Eat carbs at night
Contrary to what you may have been told in the past, eating carbs at night will not make you put on weight – as long as they are ‘good quality.
We associate late night eating with fat gain because typically it is the bad sugars and carbs people crave at night. Those calories will not get burnt during sleep so ends up in your fat stores.
If you consume ‘good quality’ carbs before bed and you managed to complete a fasted workout in the morning, then you should hit your calorie intake goals for the day and burn the remainder of your glycogen stores.
Stress can affect many aspects of your health and fitness.
The fat hormone cortisol is released when you are stressed which can affect your hormone levels and make you feel unenthusiastic for your workouts.
Stress at times is unavoidable, especially in modern day life. When this happens do not panic, I suggest you focus on your strength training and do not worry too much about your diet that week. This will allow you to keep your strength up without drastically increasing your weight whilst you get through your stressful period.
This is a controversial one and should be a personal choice, however their results speak for themselves. Before embarking on intermittent and protein fasts please do your research. For best results with safety in mind, I suggest a 24 hour fast every 2 – 3 weeks and a weekend fast every quarter.
It can be tough, but the results are well worth it.
Eat more fat
Consuming fat does not necessarily mean you will put on fat, despite what we have been told throughout our lives.
What we need to remember is that not all fats are created equally. Additionally, fats help to maintain a healthy hormone balance and are an essential part of our diet.
It is the saturated fats in foods such as burgers and fried chips that we need to avoid. Eggs, avocados, fish and olives are all a great source of healthy fats.