With names like “Low Carb” “Paleo” “South Beach” “Ketogenic” “Gluten Free” “Low Fat” “Pritikin” “Atkins” it’s no surprise that most people are completely confused about what to do to lose fat. Most diet books just add to the confusion and make the process of losing fat even more difficult. It’s no wonder that fat loss is such a frustrating struggle for most people!
But the good news is that losing fat is nowhere as difficult as it seems. In fact, many of the diets that DO work have much more in common than you think. I’ve been helping people lose fat for over 14 years as a personal trainer and I can tell you this:
It really comes down to basic principles and how well you follow them!
More Similarities Than Differences
As I mentioned before, most diet plans that do work have more in common than you think. I would even argue that these principles are the most important part of any plan whether it’s Paleo, Low Fat or even the Twinkie Diet. (Yes, there is actually a nutrition professor who lost weight and improved his blood chemistry just by eating Twinkies but that’s for another post.)
So let’s get to it:
1. Eat Less Food
There’s no two ways about it. If you want to lose weight – especially fat – then you have to eat less than what you’re currently eating. There’s no need to get too technical here (i.e. calorie counting). Just start slowly cutting back on the amount of food that you eat until you start to see the scale move in the right direction. If the scale ain’t moving then you’re diet ain’t working!
2. Eat Enough Protein
Protein does a lot of great things in your body like keeping you full and maintaining your muscle. You also burn more calories eating protein (yep, you actually burn calories when you eat calories…pretty cool, I know) than any other type of food.
What is protein? Examples of protein include chicken, beef, fish, eggs, and beans.
How much should you eat? Men should have around 6-8 oz per meal and women should have 3-4 oz per meal. No need to get too crazy with measuring your food. Just make sure you get the right portions when you buy meat at the supermarket. Or if you’re eating out, make sure to ask your waiter the approximate size of the protein portion of the meal.
A rough estimate is that a man-sized serving of protein is about the size of two palms. A woman-sized serving of protein is about the size of one palm. Who’s palm, why your palm of course!
3. Eat Less Starch, Sugar and Processed Food
This is one of those principles I’m sure you already know. Eat less bread, cake, muffins, bagels, cookies, cereals, sugary drinks, ice cream, non-diet sodas, etc
And when you DO eat this stuff, try to make sure it’s on a day where you’re going to workout hard. That will ensure those carby calories are being used as fuel instead of making you look more like a fruit.
4. Eat Enough Vegetables
Most people just simply don’t eat enough vegetables. Veges have important vitamins, minerals and fiber that help your body run optimally.
Men should have about 1 cup of veges and women should have a bout 1/2 cup at each meal. Vegetables can be raw (like in a salad), sauteed, steamed, or even in something like kale chips.
5. Eat Healthy Fats
A lot of people think that fat is bad, that it clogs your arteries and makes you fat. Well that’s total bullshit. Although processed fats (usually found in processed foods) can destroy your health, good fats (naturally occurring) will help you lose fat and keep your hormone levels optimal. Have some healthy fats at each meal.
Here are some examples of good fats that you should be eating:
-Grass fed butter
-Raw nuts (not roasted)
So there you have it! A simple eating plan with no diet needed! If you need more help than what I’ve given you here, feel free to contact me about my Online Nutrition Coaching Service HERE.