When talking about fitness, one aspects seems to always be prevalent: fat loss. When figuring what to eat to achieve optimal fat loss and the best results, fat and carbs seem to be the enemy with a high focus on protein. Knowing about all macronutrients and understand which role they play upon consumption can lead to optimized fat loss and performance.
1) Meal Prep!
The first simple tip for fat loss is simply meal prepping. For those unaware, meal prepping is a practice in which large quantities of food are prepared at once and are consumed throughout the week. By preparing large quantities of healthy foods, your fridge will be stocked foods that keep you on track with your health and fitness goals. You will avoid asking yourself “what am I eating today?!” and simply already have your meals for 2-4 consecutive days mapped out. You’ll be less inclined to go out to eat and avoid potentially overindulging in chips, tacos and margaritas. Meal prepping is also cost effective and time efficient.
Get on board!
If you consume carbohydrates a rice cooker should definitely be in your kitchen! A rice cooker eliminates the guesswork with cooking rice by shutting off once it is complete. The Black and Decker Rice cooker is cost effective and gets the job done. Check it out below:
2) Fill up on vegetables
This is classic advice- but it’s true. If you’re aiming for fat loss, filling up on carbs and fat will not effectively get you where you want to be. Vegetables are high in fiber and will keep you fuller longer. Shoot for dark, leafy greens such as Brussels Sprouts, broccoli, and asparagus. They’re low in carbs and delicious when roasted!
The following vegetables can be roasted at 400F for 30 minutes:
- Bell Pepper
- Sweet Potato
- Brussels Sprouts
- White Potato
Combine any of the above vegetable combinations on a large baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil and enjoy!
3) Carb Cycle & leverage Ketogenic State!
This is a more advanced tactic, but let’s break it down.
One massive diet trend in early 2017 is known as carb cycling. Essentially, the preferred fuel for the human body is carbohydrates. As delicious as carbs may be, they have a close relationship with insulin and the metabolism. They’ll provide you a burst of energy that allows for increased performance. If this energy isn’t used, however, it will typically lead to fat storage.
The idea behind carb cycling is that you’re manipulating where your body is getting energy from. Once your body is depleted with the preferred fuel source (carbs), it’ll turn to using the stored fat cells for energy. This is known as a ketogenic state.
The human body will typically adapt to the input- whether that be low carb and high fat, or high carb and low fat. This is an amazing phenomena, however it will typically lead to plateaued fat loss and performance. By changing the amount of carbs that are being consumed, you will be able to achieve continual progress week after week.
Check out Legion’s in depth review on carb cycling for more information.
Reduce carbohydrate intake on days that you’re not exercising. Carbs are fuel. Are you driving your car today?
4) Cardio on an empty stomach optimizes fat burn
Just a disclaimer, this one is controversial. Ketosis is a proven method to leverage the body’s fat sources as fuel. The idea behind fasted cardio is that there are no carbs (primary energy source) in your body, and therefore the body will utilize the fat deposits to fuel the workout. Warning: fasted cardio is slightly more exhausting than traditional running. Keep the fat burning in the back of your mind when you’re doing this!
5) Keep the protein high!
Protein is your friend. For males, it is recommended to eat 1g of protein per pound of body weight, and females are roughly .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. On average, the typical person in the US gets .3 grams of protein per pound of body weight. That’s low. Unless you’re going out of the way to get protein, you’re not getting enough.