Fat loss means reducing body fat percentage by either increasing muscle mass or reducing overall body fat. Whether it’s to live a healthier life, reduce risk of diseases, to lose weight, look and feel better, or a mix of these, losing fat might always seem easier said than done. It can get frustrating when you try different ways to lose fat, but don’t see any progress.
Fat loss shouldn't be scary, as long as you take it one step at a time. It’s never about fitting in what works for all, but rather, fitting what works for us into our lifestyles. So, we’re sharing fat loss facts and tips from our in-house nutritionist and dietician Jo Sebastian, to help you stay on track in reaching your goal:
When we talk about food, we talk about energy, and energy also means calories, or the unit of energy in food. Calories need not be a scary thing, because all you have to take into consideration is the Energy Balance Equation, which strikes a balance between Energy Used to Survive and Energy Consumed from Food. This simply means that for weight maintenance, we use up the energy we put in; for weight loss, we consume more energy than we take in; and for weight gain, we take in more energy than we use.
Just because the scale doesn’t tip in our favor, it doesn’t mean that we’re off-course. Factors like water retention, stress levels, and food intake and volume are things we have to consider before we jump into the conclusion of not losing fat.
Your diet has to fit you. If you follow someone else’s plan, you might not necessarily see the same results they see, because every body is different. While it might take multiple trials and errors to get us to know what really works for us, it’s definitely worth it in the end. This brings us consistency, and leads us closer to results we want to see. If you’re having trouble figuring out what works for you, professionals like dieticians and fitness trainers can help.
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Make sure your meals consist of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Balanced meals not only provide us with the energy we need to keep our system functioning efficiently, but they also keep us fuller for longer. Limiting yourself too much can be counterproductive to achieving your goals, because it doesn’t allow you to be consistent. Fat loss doesn’t mean going hungry and starving ourselves, because if we’re getting the nutrients we need from the food we eat, we won’t have to feel hungry, and we can reach our overall goal.
A common misconception with fat loss is that people equate losing fat to eating less. Doing this over and over isn’t exactly the most sustainable solution to reaching your goal. While weight loss can come with eating less, the urge to eat more or binge later on can come if we don’t eat satisfying enough meals. Being on a restrictive diet for too long can slow down our metabolism, because the body already gets used to eating so little, and it wants to hold on to more water or energy to help you survive. Eating enough, on the other hand, preserves muscle that helps you with body recomposition, and gives you enough energy to live and enjoy your life.
Moving our body more lets us use up more energy. By incorporating exercise—particularly weight training, high intensity interval training (HIIT), and cardio workouts—into our routines, we don’t just use up more energy, but we can also build more muscle to speed up our metabolism.
Drinking enough water in a day keeps our metabolism up and running; and prevents dehydration, which can lead to fatigue, nausea, vomiting, mental confusion, and in severe cases, comas. A good rule of thumb is to check your urine—if it’s very yellow, then that means you have to drink more, but if it’s closer to clear, then you’re doing a good job. Another way to check is to track how much you drink: you should be drinking at least 30-45ml of water per kilogram of body weight.
It’s one of the most overlooked things when it comes to fat loss, but sleep lets us recover from exercises, resets our hormones, and helps our body systems function efficiently. The requirement for adults is to have at least 7 hours of continuous sleep at night. We sometimes think that sleep is for the weak, but sometimes, it’s the lack of sleep that makes you weak.
Is 7 hours looking like a challenge? Check out this video for tips on how to sleep better!
Fitness, health, and nutrition are never all or nothing. There’s always a balance of finding rest, workouts you enjoy, food you love, and nourishing your body with what it needs. Having an all-or-nothing mindset makes us give up easily, the second we fall off track. Switching our mindset to finding that balance is what will help you stay consistent. Long-term results need long-term approaches.
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