Eating Plenty Of Micronutrient
One of the really great things about flexible dieting is that its, well, flexible. Theres a lot of room for you to eat all of your favorite foods while still staying within your macros.
But if youve noticed a stall in your progress or you just really want to dial it in, try to focus on including as many micronutrient-rich foods into your meal plan as possible.
In other words, choose foods with high amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants over foods that dont have as much to offer in that department.
This will naturally lead you to choices like fruits, fiber-rich vegetables, lean proteins and slow-digesting carbs that keep you full and balance your blood sugar, while also helping to slim you down.
Resistance Training For Fat Loss
Along with high-intensity interval training, you’ll also want to incorporate resistance training, aka strength training or weight training, regularly.
Resistance training can help improve your body composition by helping you build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
In one study, a group of overweight women was instructed to start resistance training, with resistance bands, three times per week. After a 12-week period, the women lost a significant amount of overall body fat and belly fat without any muscle loss .
When compared to other types of exercise, resistance training also has a higher excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, for short. This means that your metabolism may stay higher for longer after weightlifting, so you can burn more calories even after your workout is over .
When you gain muscle, it can increase your resting metabolic rate, or RMR, which means you burn more calories, even when you’re not doing anything.
How To Get To Less Than 15% Body Fat
If you want to get less than 15% body fat, then youll need to put in some serious work. Making the change from 30% down to 20% is relatively easy in comparison. But as your body fat decreases, youll need to work even harder to reduce every 1%. Here is what youll need to do to get down to this level Nutrition Theres no denying the fact that nutrition is key if you really want to get lean. You cant out-train a bad diet so youll need to cut out takeaways, junk food, sugary treats, and alcohol completely. For some people, this simply wont be sustainable long-term but its what is required to really drop those last few percentage points. A 10% body fat diet has very little room for flexibility youll need to be diligent about calorie and macronutrient intake. Primarily eating plenty of protein and nutritious vegetables is key but that doesnt mean youre limited to just chicken and broccoli. Here are some tasty foods you should look to incorporate
- Turkey, chicken, and fish.
- Chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, black beans, etc.
- Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, peas, tomatoes, and peppers.
- Blueberries, raspberries, apples, lemons, and limes.
- Water, coffee, and herbal teas .
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Can You Lose Fat And Gain Muscle At The Same Time
Let’s face it: belly fat is the bane of any fitness enthusiast. If we could target stubborn fat deposits like we could isolate specific muscle groups, it wouldn’t be that complicated to lose fat and gain muscle. Alas, body recomposition is not as straightforward as one would hope.
Where your body holds onto excess body fat is unfortunately out of your control, and you can’t gain muscle if you’re in a chronic calorie deficit .
If you want rock-hard abs, you need to be lean all over generally under 10% body fat if you’re a man and sub-12% body fat if you’re a woman. Countless hours of cardio and crunches aren’t the answer, either .
However, this shouldn’t discourage you! Body recomposition is achievable with the right diet, training, and supplement regimen.
This guide will outline all the finer points of body recomposition and help you get started on the right foot with an 8-week diet and workout protocol to lose fat and gain muscle.
Managing Macronutrients: Does It Matter
With the proliferation of macronutrient-based diets over the past several decades, from low-fat to low-carbohydrate, discussion of the three main macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins, and fats has become standard when talking about optimal diets. Researchers have begun comparing these macronutrient management-style diets to one another in order to determine which is most effective, but thus far evidence is largely inconclusive.
One study, published in JAMA in 2007, compared four weight-loss diets ranging from low to high carbohydrate intake. This 12-month trial followed over 300 overweight and obese premenopausal women, randomly assigning them to either an Atkins , Zone , LEARN , or Ornish diet.
- After one year, weight loss was greater for women in the Atkins diet group compared with the other diet groups.
- This study also examined secondary outcomes focused on metabolic effects , and found that those for the Atkins group were comparable with or more favorable than the other diet groups.
- There was no significant difference in weight loss among the other three diets .
- This study does raise questions about about long-term effects and mechanisms, but the researchers concluded that a low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diet may be considered a feasible recommendation for weight loss.
- Researchers concluded that all of the diets resulted in meaningful weight loss, despite the differences in macronutrient composition.
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Calories Energy And Body Fat
Successfully managing a consistent weight requires that you achieve an energy balance. An energy balance means that the number of calories you consume equals the number of calories you expend or burn.
Calories are units of energy taken from food that our body uses both during normal functioning and to engage in physical activity. A simple way to easily understand how calorie intake and expenditure can affect you over time is:
- When you take in the same amount of calories as your body burns, your weight stays the same.
- When you take in more calories than you burn, you gain weight.
- When you take in fewer calories than you burn, you have weight loss.
The easiest way to produce a calorie deficit is by both increasing output and decreasing input . This depends on each individual’s activity level, though. An endurance athlete burning many calories through exercise might increase their calorie intake and still lose weight.
Research shows that energy balance is a dynamic process. Changing your energy input affects your energy output, impacting your ability to achieve specific weight-related goals.
Meal : Late Night Meal
This is something Ill typically have shortly before bed since I personally enjoy going to bed feeling full and it doesnt impact my sleep. Its usually a combination of eggs, egg whites, toast, peanut butter topped with stevia sweetener, and a salad with 0 calorie dressing.And for those against eating this late, the literature has shown time and time again that eating carbs or even food in general late at night will NOT contribute to fat gain given that youre still staying at a calorie deficit.
Something I do want to mention though is that for very calorie-dense foods like peanut butter, I would highly recommend that you take the time and effort to at least measure or even better weigh out how much youre using.Several studies have shown that under-reporting calories is a very common reason why overweight individuals struggle to lose weight despite dieting. Which is probably because its so easy to do.
For example, heres 300 calories worth of peanut butter compared to 100 calories the difference is almost unnoticeable.Yet this can easily be the factor thats inhibiting your fat loss.
So if you have any measuring tools, use those, otherwise here’s a link to a very affordable scale that I personally use myself.
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Ways To Lose Belly Fat And Live A Healthier Life
Maintaining a trim midsection does more than make you look greatit canhelp you live longer. Larger waistlines are linked to a higher risk ofheart disease, diabetes and even cancer. Losing weight, especially bellyfat, also improvesblood vesselfunctioning and also improves sleep quality.
Its impossible to target belly fat specifically when you diet. But losing weight overall will help shrink your waistline more importantly, it will help reduce the dangerous layer of visceral fat, a type of fat within the abdominal cavity that you cant see but that heightens health risks, says Kerry Stewart, Ed.D. , director of Clinical and Research Physiology at Johns Hopkins.
Heres how to whittle down where it matters most.
Crash Diets Lack Scientific Evidence
As the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics points out, fad diets cause you to lose water, muscle and bone mass. Furthermore, there’s no evidence that combining certain foods or eating just one type of food all day will result in fat loss.
A bananas-only diet, for example, may cause quick weight loss, but the results won’t last. On top of that, you’ll feel hungry and deprived, which can make everything a lot more difficult.
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How Much Protein Should You Eat Every Day
The optimal amount of protein to consume per day is somewhat controversial.
Based on the DRI of 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, or 0.8 grams per kilogram, a 150-pound person would need about 54 grams per day.
While this may be enough to prevent outright protein deficiency, many experts believe this is too low for optimal health, including maintaining muscle mass .
In fact, studies have shown that older adults, in particular, require more protein than the DRI, concluding that 0.6 grams of protein per pound, or 1.3 grams per kilogram, may help prevent age-related muscle loss .
Furthermore, diets providing up to double the DRI at 0.75 grams of protein per pound, or 1.6 grams per kilogram, have been found to boost weight and fat loss, improve body composition and protect muscle during weight loss .
However, increasing your protein intake beyond this amount doesnt seem to provide additional benefits.
One study showed men who consumed 0.75 grams of protein per pound, or 1.6 grams per kilogram, lost slightly more fat and had similar gains in muscle, compared to the group that consumed 1.1 grams per pound, or 2.4 grams per kilogram .
A high-protein diet for weight loss and overall health should provide about 0.60.75 grams of protein per pound of body weight, or 1.21.6 grams per kilogram, and 2030% of your calories per day.
For the 150-pound person, this provides a broad range of about 82110 grams of protein daily, depending on calorie intake.
Slow Down Your Rate Of Fat Loss As You Get Leaner
The final step is to slow down your rate of fat loss as you get leaner. This is the first part in something called diet periodization, which is an extremely powerful strategy for getting lean.
Lets say that in this example you weigh 80 kg when you start, this means that youll go from lets say 18% body fat down to 15% body fat in 4 weeks by losing 0.6 kg per week.
This means that after 4 weeks youll be entering a new body fat % bracket, and should slow down your rate of weight loss.
Now there are many ways to reduce your caloric deficit, but Ive found a certain method to work extremely well.
And that is by implementing refeeds!
Using refeeds to make your calorie deficit smaller as you get leaner comes with a few psychological and physiological advantages.
Why You Should Reduce Your Calorie Deficit for Fat Loss Using Refeeds
Youve probably heard about refeed days before, right?
To refresh your mind these are days where you eat at calorie balance or slightly above in order to get a break from cutting. I recommend maintenance calories on refeed days to still keep some structure.
When it comes to refeed days, research has shown that one day at maintenance per week is not enough to provide much positive effects on a physiological level, but it has been shown to be enough time on a psychological level.
This was found when one group of researchers sent out a computer based survey to a group of subjects with the following question:
So, how do we do this?
|Body Fat %|
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Choose Whole Grains Instead Of Refined Carbs
Decreasing your intake of refined carbs may help you lose extra body fat.
During processing, refined grains are stripped of their bran and germ, resulting in a final product thats low in fiber and nutrients.
Refined carbs also tend to have a high glycemic index , which may cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels that lead to increased hunger. Still, youre likelier to see these effects if you eat refined carbs on their own rather than as part of a balanced meal (
Conversely, diets high in whole grains are tied to a lower body mass index and body weight, plus a smaller waist circumference .
Just keep in mind that traditional weight metrics like BMI dont capture the full portrait of health.
Aim to replace refined carbs from pastries, processed foods, pastas, white breads, and breakfast cereals with whole grains like whole wheat, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, and oats.
Refined carbs are low in fiber and nutrients, so its best to choose nutrient-dense whole grains for long-term, sustainable fat loss.
The Best Diet: Quality Counts
- Dietary guidelines have changed over the years as research becomes more accurate in determining what we should eat to attain optimal health and weight. The strongest evidence to date shows that calories matter, but focusing on food quality is an equally important part of preventing weight gain and promoting weight loss.
- Focus on eating high-quality foods in appropriately sized portions.
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Let Working Against Gravity Help You
The truth of the matter is, regardless of what you’re doing, you should only expect to lose about 0.5-1% of your body fat, at most, each week. That’s why consistency and patience are key.
We know that youre eager to reach your goals, but long-term results require long-term commitments, and thats why were here.
A WAG coach can help guide you through the process of reducing body fat in a way that works for you. You get accountability, unlimited support and access to a like-minded community that will encourage you to work toward your body composition goals.
Weight Loss Vs Fat Loss
We’ve talked before about the difference between general weight loss and fat loss, but here’s a quick refresher.
When you start eating better and exercising, you generally start to lose weight. While a calorie deficit and aerobic, or cardio, exercise can help you shed some pounds, this weight may or may not be body fat. It could be muscle, water and even bone mass or a combination of all of the above.
The key to improving your body composition is to burn more fat while building muscle at the same time. And there are some targeted ways you can do that.
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Is Getting Lean The Right Goal For You
Almost every fitness fan wants to lose body fat at least once in their life. Whether its for a shoot, a show, or a special occasion, getting lean is a cool goal. But is it right for you right now?
The fundamentals of fat loss are pretty simple. On paper, it comes down to maths. But of course simple doesnt always mean easy. Dont forget that youre a human, not a computer, and humans have emotions and stress to contend with.
Before you embark on a fat loss phase, run a quick life audit. Do you have a supportive circle around you? Are your daily routines in check? Is life stress relatively low? Can you separate your self-worth from your body composition?
The most successful fat loss journey comes when you can enjoy the process, not just the end goal.
Gradually Cut Back On All Bad Fats While Strategically Cutting Back On Carbohydrates
It has been shown that fat intake of the wrong kind will result in increased fat gains. This stands to reason, as the body will typically burn carbohydrates for fuel and use protein for repair. Therefore, it makes sense to cut back on bad fat while increasing the good type.
Good fats such as the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids will actually have a fat-burning effect, as they enhance metabolic function . Their useâas opposed to the saturated bad type found in meats and hard at room temperatureâshould be encouraged.
Strategically cutting back on carbohydrates means eating specific carbs at certain times to achieve a fat-burning effect. Complex carbohydrates will generally maximize the fat-burning effect because they stimulate the metabolism without causing the outpouring of insulin, which causes greater fat storage.
Complex carbs include brown rice, beans, oats, and potatoes, and their use is to be encouraged. However, the short-burst simple-sugar carbohydrates are to be avoided during a fat loss phase, as they can cause a large insulin spike and resultant fat gains. They are also concentrated, and generally higher in calories.
A third type of carbohydrate, fiber, which can be found in high-wheat foods and certain fruits and vegetables, is an important one for fat loss because it increases feelings of fullness and pushes fat through the system to be eliminated.
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Consume Catechins To Boost Fat Burning
Catechins natural compounds that are largely responsible for the numerous health benefits of green tea have also received a tremendous amount of attention in recent years for their ability to promote weight loss. In one clinical trial, 132 overweight or obese adult participants were given either a beverage containing approximately 625 milligrams catechins and 39 milligrams caffeine or a beverage containing the same amount of caffeine but no catechins. All participants were asked to exercise at least 3 hours per week and to follow a similar diet in terms of caloric intake. During the 12 week trial period, both groups lost weight however, weight loss was more pronounced in those who were given the catechin-rich drink than in those who drank the control beverage. The beneficial effects of green tea catechins are thought to result from these substances’ ability boost energy expenditure and fat oxidation.