The final part in my top tips for fat loss series… the next 500 words could save you hundreds of calories a day every day for the rest of your life!
Do you have our Fat Loss Checklist to find out how well what you eat is matched to your fat loss goals? Get it here
1. Making informed choices at the point of purchase is a powerful tool in your arsenal to fight fat.
Learning how to read food labels will mean you can make better choices in the supermarket.
Try not to be deceived by clever labelling terms like ‘lite’ or ‘99% fat free’. Instead compare food with the “per 100g” column on the nutritional label to decide which product is a better choice.
2. Keeping fat intake in check WILL reduce your overall energy intake.
As a very concentrated source of energy, just a small reduction in fat intake can cause a big drop in total calories without affecting the amount of food you eat.
· Choose low fat methods of cooking like grilling, dry or light frying, baking on a rack, microwaving, steaming or poaching. All these techniques require little or no added fat/oil. When you are light or stir-frying choose a non-stick pan or try oil sprays. They provide just the right among of oil for cooking – a very fine film to stop food sticking to the pan.
· Choose lean cuts of meat and chicken. Trim meat of all fat and remove the skin from chicken prior to cooking.
· Be aware of the fat added to many foods. Butter, margarine or mayonnaise on bread, oil-based dressings on salad, oil in tinned fish and nuts or cream (coconut or diary) in sauces. Use sparingly or trial low fat alternatives eg oil free dressings, low fat mayo, evaporated skim milk with coconut essences instead of coconut milk, tinned fish in water or brine rather than oil.
· Hidden fats and oils in cooking – oily dressings, creamy sauces, biscuits, cakes, desserts, danishes and other pastries.
· Flavour foods with oil-free dressings, low-fat mayo, lemon or lime juice, balsamic vinegar, salsa, tomato sauce, mustard etc.
· Ditch the butter/margarine on sandwiches. Instead replace with a scrape of avocado, mustard, salsa, chutney, low fat mayo.
· Trial low fat varieties of foods now readily available – low-fat dairy products.
· When dining out, choose the lower fat options. This will be especially important if you lead a busy lifestyle and rely heavily on takeaway and convenience foods. Look for options that are based on noodles, rice or pasta with a healthy serve of vegetables and some lean meat, fish or chicken. Avoid deep-fried choices, creamy or satay sauces or options with a lot of added oil. And stash one or two packs for two-fat frozen meals in the freezer for when pressed for time.
3. Just get organised
Eating for fitness and fat loss demands that you are organised and have ready access to food.
To strictly follow a meal plan that includes regular meals and snacks, you HAVE to be organised and have access to foods throughout the day that are in-line with your meal plan.
The more meals and snacks that come from home (made fresh by you), the more successful you’ll likely be. It gives you absolute control over what goes into your mouth.
Doing a ‘cook up’ 1-2 times a week will give you access to great quality options every day.
It takes virtually the same time to cook up enough for four meals as it does just one, so make the most of the time you invest in the kitchen. If you know what you have to eat tomorrow, pack up your meals and snacks for the next day too so that all you need do is pack them into a cold pack on the way out the door.
This is SO especially important for those individuals juggling commitments, including family, work and training. Plan to do one main shop a week but factor but be prepared to shop up to three times a week to get additional fresh produce. FRESH is BEST…. not just for nutritional value but also taste and you HAVE to enjoy what you eat.
And because I am SOOOOO nice, here’s a bonus TIP!
4. Occasional foods are allowed… you just need to work out how much and how often.
You don’t need to be perfect.
Let me say that again… you don’t need to be perfect. Just be consistent enough to reach your goals.
Changing ingrained habits takes time, commitment, and support. You can have your fave foods… even if they aren’t what you would call healthy. The key is to ensure you are committed to your meal plan for the majority of your meals and snacks.
So that’s a wrap for my Top Ten (which was really eleven) Fat Loss Tips.
If you want to change your body shape by decreasing body fat, make sure your goals are achievable. Changing shape takes time. How quickly you change shape will depend on an array of factors, including your commitment to training and diet, but also other factors like your training history and genetics.
If you are looking to drop some body fat, aim for no more than ½ a kg a week. Faster rates are likely to be associated with muscle loss and/or impaired training quality.
Remember to be really honest with yourself about your habits and accept where you can make some changes to help you on your fat loss journey.
If you haven’t downloaded our Fat Loss Checklist yet, get it here and find out how well what you eat is matched to your fat loss goals.
And if you need more support to plan your meals or measure your fat loss, BOOK HERE for a consultation with a dietitian or a DEXA scan.