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The Ultimate Guide to Lasting Fat Loss: Dos and Don'ts

Fit woman exercising

Welcome to the ultimate guide to quicker, sustainable fat loss. In this article, I'll be sharing with you some of my top DO's and DON'Ts that have helped my clients get fantastic results. 


Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this topic though, let me be clear - there is no such thing as truly quick fat loss. 


Sure, there are diets where you can lose weight quickly (example: keto, low carb, juice cleanses); however, that initial substantial weight loss is nearly all water


The difference between those approaches and what I’m about to talk about is that my suggestions actually yield true fat loss results. 


And by following my guidance, you will set yourself up to lose fat as efficiently as possible in a way that works for your body.


You may not lose 10 pounds in 1 week, but also won’t immediately regain the weight when you quit.


So if you’re ready to lose actual fat without a gimmick or fad, then let’s jump in!


The DOs of Fat Loss:


DO Prioritize Protein

Protein packed chicken breast

When planning out your food each day (a practice I highly recommend to all of my clients), anchor every meal and snack with protein. 


While most save the majority of their protein for their evening meal, those who excel at shedding fat dole out protein fairly evenly throughout the day.


This allows the body to better utilize and absorb it.


And studies show that even if you’re not doing any resistance training whatsoever, simply eating protein will help you build muscle mass.


Lean meats, eggs, Greek yogurt, and beans are your allies in quenching hunger, building muscle, and boosting metabolism. 


Generally speaking, you want to have about 20-30 grams per meal. Sneak in a variety of protein sources to keep things exciting and effective. The last thing you want is to burn out of chicken breast or lean ground turkey.


DO Embrace the Concept of “True Hunger” and "Enough"

Most of us overeat in subtle ways throughout the day. This is especially true in the evening, but can happen at any point. 

Sharing food and moderating portions


Sometimes we eat a meal or snack, not because we’re truly hungry, but because it’s “time” or we’re bored. Or we overfill our plate for what the body actually needs because the food looks so good. 


Here are two secret tricks for you: 


First, before you eat anything, simply pause and question whether you’re physically hungry, or just want to eat. Second, put just slightly less food on your plate than you typically do at meals. Once you finish, wait about 10 minutes before considering going back for seconds. Generally, you’ll likely realize that your body feels just fine without the extra helping.


These two tricks will help you experience what “true hunger” and “enough” really feel like.


DO Add Muscle to Your Body


Did you know that strength training is actually the best activity you can do for fat loss?

Man and woman lifting weights

Focusing primarily on strength training can give your metabolism a significant boost because when you engage in resistance exercises, your body's muscle mass increases. Muscle is metabolically active tissue, which means it burns more calories at rest than fat. 


Even better, that extra calorie burn continues even after your workout.


Moreover, as you build muscle, your body becomes more efficient at using stored fat for energy. So, not only does strength training help you tone up, but it's a key player in your journey towards quicker fat loss. 


DO Hydrate with Intent


Hydrating with water

Your body needs adequate hydration to function and shed fat optimally. In order to make sure that happens, I recommend you drink half of your bodyweight in ounces of water every day (that does not include whatever you drink during a workout).


Meaning, if you weigh 200 pounds, aim for 100 ounces of water per day.


One practical way to make a significant dent in this number and get your metabolism rolling each morning is to start off with a big glass of water (16-20+ ounces)...before coffee.


After that, sip smartly throughout the day, especially before meals. Not only will you conquer thirst, but you'll also conquer hunger. 


Water is your undercover appetite suppressant, helping you win the war against mindless munching.


DO Get Substantial Sleep

Woman getting good quality sleep

The connection between quality sleep and effective fat loss is often underestimated. Deep, restorative sleep supports hormone balance and turbocharges your body's natural fat-burning prowess.


When you prioritize restful sleep, you're essentially giving your body and mind the chance to recover, recharge, process nutrients efficiently, and rebuild strong muscles. 


Additionally, during deep slumber, your hormones, particularly those responsible for hunger and appetite, find their balance. Leptin and ghrelin, the appetite-regulating hormones, are influenced by sleep. Inadequate sleep can disrupt this balance, leading to increased hunger and unhealthy cravings. 


Sufficient, good-quality rest (7-9 hours per night), ensures that both your body and mind function optimally. You’re less likely to give into cravings, overeat, and store fat when you are rested.


DO Manage Your Stress Throughout the Day


Woman meditating

Stress management isn't just about maintaining mental well-being; it plays a pivotal role in accelerating your fat loss goals. 


Chronic stress triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone linked to increased appetite and the storage of fat, particularly in the abdominal region. Although high cortisol levels are expected in the morning, insufficient stress management can keep those cortisol levels high late into the day (not good for fat loss).


High stress levels can also lead to emotional eating, where comfort foods become a go-to choice, often high in calories and low in nutrition. 


To top it off, stress can disrupt your sleep patterns, as mentioned earlier, compounding the challenges of losing fat. 


Keep stress levels down by adopting effective techniques, such as deep box breathing, meditation, or regular exercise. The key is to find the technique(s) that work best for you…and deploy them throughout the day. Not just at the end of the day. Waiting until the end of the day to try to relieve stress when you're mentally and physically exhausted (and frankly, just don't care as much about your goals) generally leads to self-sabotage behaviors like excessive snacking or drinking.


Simply give yourself just 5 minutes to decompress every 1-2 hours. Take a short walk, deep breath, or remind yourself of 3 things you’re grateful for.  


The DON'Ts of Fat Loss


DON'T Fall for Empty Calorie Traps

Snacking on processed foods

Avoid the allure of empty calories that offer nothing but fleeting satisfaction. Chips, candy, breakroom cookies…these foods may temporarily entertain your palate and take away your boredom or stress, but they’ll leave you feeling tired and regretful. 


Instead, purposely plan nutrient-dense snacks that nourish your body and propel you closer to your goals. Incorporate proteins and produce wherever possible! The combination of protein and fiber will have you feeling great all day.


DON'T Underestimate Bites and Tastes


Beware of the nibbles that slip beneath the radar. Those "innocent" bites and tastes while cooking or cleaning up dinner accumulate quickly, sabotaging your fat loss aspirations. Opt instead for deliberately planned meals and snacks.


If you have anxiety about wasting the small bits of food left over on your kiddo's plate, simply remind yourself that it's probably more wasteful to your goals and your health to eat that $0.05 of food instead of letting it go. 


DON'T Overstay the Cardio Party


Doing cardio on treadmill

Cardio has its place, and for overall health, I recommend about 180 minutes per week of zone 2 cardio...but don't let it dominate your workout routine.


If you want to burn fat faster and more efficiently, you need to focus on strength training. Putting more muscle into your body is a way of automatically boosting your metabolism so that, even at rest, you naturally burn more calories. Plus, strength training is a way to shape your body into an attractive physique. 


DON'T Let Perfectionism Rule


In the world of nutrition and fitness, the pursuit of perfection can be a slippery slope that hinders rather than helps. It's important to remember perfectionism and unrealistic expectations (especially about the weight loss timeline) only lead to disappointment, frustration, and giving up. 


Weight loss is a journey filled with ups and downs, and making mistakes is a natural part of the process. In fact, it's through these mistakes that we often learn and grow the most. Be it an occasional indulgence or a missed workout, these are not reasons to abandon your goals. Instead, they are opportunities for self-compassion and course correction. 


Embrace the imperfections and learn from them. Fat loss will happen much quicker if, instead of giving up when you make a mistake, you simply forgive yourself and ask, “what’s my next best choice?”


The Biggest "DO" of Fat Loss


As you embark on your fat loss journey, consider the biggest "do" of all: invest in a coach


Having a skilled, experienced, and empathetic coach by your side can make an incredible difference in your journey towards a healthier you.


A coach provides expert guidance tailored to your specific needs and goals. They can create a personalized plan, taking into account your unique circumstances, preferences, and challenges. This level of individualization is hard to achieve on your own. Additionally, a coach offers you unwavering accountability. Knowing that someone is there to support and monitor your progress can be a powerful motivator. It helps you stay on track, make better choices, and push through plateaus.


But it's not just about the technical aspects of nutrition and exercise. You likely know what to do to lose weight…you just aren’t doing it (yet). A coach provides invaluable emotional and mental support to help you gain clarity, focus, and navigate the inevitable setbacks.


It's a decision that can transform your approach to weight loss, making it not just effective, but also enjoyable and sustainable. Schedule a complimentary consultation with me today if you’re ready to get results now.


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