Eating for FAT LOSS is simple. But its definitely NOT easy!
I will always remember a quote from one of the best S & C Coaches in the world, Dan John - when he talks about Fat Loss, he tells you its got to be 'an all out war'. You have to be extremely committed, patient and consistent. Most people who decide to lose weight/try to get lean, start off all guns blazing but a combination of going too extreme by cutting calories too low and increasing cardio and expecting results overnight, unfortunately give up before they see any long term change.
So, providing you have a good plan (I recommend following an experienced and qualified Coach) and understand the BEST and most effective methods to support your fat loss goals (read all the previous BLOG POSTS for this!) there are also some useful ways to help you achieve the body you want.
In the first few weeks of any change programme you should expect to experience some level of discomfort. When it comes to ditching old habits of over eating, or eating too many of the wrong things, or cutting down on alcohol, the longer you've been used to that lifestyle, the harder it will be to create the break them and embrace your new, healthier habits. Thats one reason why I coach my members and fat loss clients that Fat Loss isn't a short term, fast fix (unless you are specifically working to a time sensitive goal). In most cases, changing peoples mindset with regard to this is the first and most important step towards a leaner and healthier life. The idea that you can diet for 6 weeks to lose 2 stone, look great and go back to your old ways is BS. Some of the biggest diet industry giants make millions every year because people think they can jump in and out of a low calories diet. Instead, creating small and significant changes to the way you THINK, EAT and CONNECT with food will release you from the shackles of yo yo dieting, for ever.
While you should expect to experience some hunger when you start at Fat Loss journey (feeling hungry is NOT an emergency), this can be difficult for lifetime over eaters to control. And often, this is the reason they end up knee deep in the cookie jar or family packs of crisps. Here are some helpful tips to help you to keep the hunger at bay and also control the cravings and the urge to binge, which will also leave you feeling distressed and disappointed with yourself.
1. WHY EATING LITTLE AND OFTEN MIGHT NOT BE WORKING FOR YOU.
If you've heard that eating 5-6 small meals over the day helps to speed up your metabolism and lose weight quicker then you have been fooled. I used to believe that too. Eating more frequently is NOT necessarily more effective for Fat Loss. If you enjoy eating little and often, and it works for you, then providing you can keep within your daily calorie deficit, then crack on! But small meals are often not ideal for big eaters, they can make you feel hungrier more often and can lead to you constantly thinking about food, which is not what you want! After 3 weeks of consistent feeding, your body gets used to your food schedule, so it makes sense that if you're eating 5-6 times a day, you'll feel hungry 5-6 times a day. Also your body and your gut has to work harder to keep digesting the intake of food. Try sticking to 2 or 3 larger more filling meals, over the day, allowing at least 5 hours in between.
2. PROTEIN IS THE MOST FILLING MACRONUTRIENT
Protein fills you up more than carbs. Fact. but often because of insulin resistance and hunger pangs when we are hungry its too east to grab high GI carbs that you think will instantly satisfy you. Instant gratification, is another issue with many over eaters. You should try to keep your feelings of hunger in perspective and not reach for the easiest thing to eat. Protein will keep you fuller for longer and control blood sugar levels. Thats why its KING when it comes to fat loss. Aim to eat 30g at EVERY MEAL, it will make a big difference to your experience of hunger. Grabbing cooked chicken, humous, a protein shake, eggs or greek yoghurt will be better for you long term than bread, toast bagel, bars & biscuits!
3. HIGH VOLUME, NUTRIENT DENSE FOODS GIVE YOU MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK.
Eating more eggs, oats, veggies and low sugar fruits will allow you to east more volume in exchange for lower overall calories. Thats the key to help you feel satisfied. Plus they take up more room in you stomach helping you feel full. Fill up on extra veggies with every meal and use these foods for on the go snacks to keep you away from junk.
4. HUNGER IS NOT A 999.
Historic over eaters are foodies. Fact. Lets face it, you didn't get fat eating salads. Experiencing hunger and not auto responding with high valorous, high fat sugary junk is another change you need to wrap your head around. Resist the urger. Drink water or low cal teas - maybe you're thirsty. Drinking more fluid can also be a clever way of keeping hunger at bay!
5. ENJOY THE OCCASIONAL TREAT
Being lean and healthy does NOT need to equal deprivation. Save some room in your daily calories to enjoy a square or two of dark chocolate, or some cheese, or some cream in your coffee. Small indulgences can keep you on track, help you feel happy and also manage the cravings so you aren't thinking or drooling about food all the time. I love my daily flat white & biscotti!
6. IF YOU FEEL A HUNGER ATTACH GET ACTIVE
If you know there are certain times of the day when you are more likely to struggle, don't risk being near the kitchen. Get out for a walk in the fresh air, go to yoga, or get to the gym. Distraction is a great way of forgetting you're hungry, and getting active rather than sitting on your ass in front of the TV you'll be mazed the hunger just goes away!