So you want to lower your body fat percentage? Here’s your guide, broken down into 3 categories: Diet, Exercise, and Sleep.
It is commonly accepted that about 70% of your weight/fat loss results are determined by your diet, if not more. Too many people think that because they work out, they can eat whatever they want. For almost every adult, that is not the case. Here’s some of the best strategies you can adopt to clean up your diet and really see that body fat fall off. The more of these you adopt, the more body fat you will ultimately lose:
- Cut out all added sugars. Ditch the soda, stop the pop! Look for products that tout “No Added Sugar”. Read food ingredient labels and avoid any foods with “sugar”, “syrup”, “agave”, and any word that ends in “ose” (like “sucrose”).
- Go Grain-Free. Cut all grains and flours from the diet, and most people will tend to lose weight AND feel better. Again, you will need to carefully read your labels.
- Lower Your Carbs. Try to keep your daily carb total under 100-150 grams. If you’re very active you will need more, but generally this is a good range for most people. You can use an app like MyFitnessPal to track your intake to help you.
- Eat Whole, Real Foods. If it comes in a package, or if the list of ingredients has more than one ingredient, odds are that it’s not a whole real food, and you would do better without it.
- Go Paleo. If you’ve come this far, go the rest of the way! Also known as the hunter-gatherer diet, paleo (as in paleolithic era) means eating only lean meats and seafood, eggs, nuts and berries, some fruit, and a ton of greens and veggies. No sugar, grains, dairy, or legumes (sorry peanuts). Here’s a great site to help you get started on your paleo journey.
- Meal Replacement. Some of the above choices involve major changes to your diet. If you’re not quite ready for that, but still want an effective fat-fighting tool and want to get healthier, try a meal replacement system. Our favorite is Shakeology.
- Join a support group. Sharing ideas, recipes, and getting feedback from others is a great way to stay on track. You’re always welcome to join our healthy eating Facebook Group.
- Intermittent Fasting (IF). A preferred choice here at GroupFit, IF entails going long periods without eating. More and more research is revealing that when we eat, can be as important as what we eat. Here’s a great guide to get you started. The easiest method is to simply eat all your day’s food in a 6-7 hour window that starts around noon or 1pm.
Exercise has too many benefits to list, including helping to strengthen your heart, improving bone density, increasing your mood, and more. Here’s some strategies for being active:
- Get vigorous activity 3-4 times a week for at least 30 minutes. If you’re a regularly attending boot camp member you’ve already nailed this one.
- Try some home workouts. Great for your off-days. We send them out free daily. Get them here.
- Walk more. Walking is an almost forgotten past-time with many health benefits, including to your mental health, so grab Fido and hit the road. Try to walk 30 minutes a day. You just might find it’s the best part of your day.
- Sleep 7-8 hours. Too little or too much sleep can impact your health in many different ways, including your cognition and mood.
- Stick to a schedule. Having a set sleep and wake time helps your body get into a routine.
- Create the mood. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet around bed time. Consider heavy curtains, shades, blinders, and even “white noise” machines.
- Get your exercise. Those who exercise regularly sleep better. See section 2 above.
- Avoid naps. Tempting though they are, napping can take you out of your sleep schedule.
- Invest in your bed. You spend 1/3 of your life in bed…it’s worth the investment.
Have some strategies of your own you’d like to share? Comment below…