If you want to lose body fat, it needs to be done in a safe and sustainable manner. You don’t want to go on diets and let your weight crash before jumping off the diet only to see your weight and body fat percentage balloon up again. That sort of thing will only wreak havoc on your hormones and your health. Here are some tips on how to lose body fat, keep it off and stay at a healthy body fat percentage.
How To Lose Body Fat Safely And Sustainably
#1 – Eat More Healthy Fats And Protein
Protein has been shown to be the most satiating macronutrient followed by fat. These two macronutrients together help to increase signalling of the hormone leptin which tells us when we’re full so we stop eating. Consuming a greater amount of protein and healthy fats will help to regulate your appetite.
By healthy fats, I’m talking about those found in natural foods such as meat, nuts and fish – not those from hydrogenated vegetable oils.
#2 – Don’t Eat Too Much Fat
Even for those following a ketogenic diet, the focus is more on low carb rather than high fat. Whilst in some cases I think calorie counting is stupid, the fact remains that fat contains the most calories per gram compared to protein and carbohydrates. You should aim to consume enough fat for your body’s needs (fat is used in all your cell membranes), but don’t go overboard with fat.
#3 – Limit Processed Foods
Ultra-processed foods are hyper-palatable and engineered so that you keep eating them. They just taste so good. If you can limit or eliminate the presence of these foods within your household, then you’ll be eating much less of them. It’s hard to properly regulate your appetite when eating these foods which is why limiting them can help to lose body fat since it will help prevent you from eating excessive amounts of calories. These foods are less satiating to the body than other whole foods you might eat such as meat, beans, legumes and other vegetables.
#4 – Add Some Exercise
When it comes to fat loss your two options are diet and exercise. The main component in fat loss is diet, but exercise can help to accelerate the process, by creating a larger energy deficit. If you add in exercise, make sure you eat enough food to sustain your energy levels during exercise otherwise you’re likely to feel tired and get even hungrier which is likely to lead to binge eating.
#5 – Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a great way to regulate your appetite. It works by limiting the hours you eat in the day to typically 8 hours, for some people who choose to, even less. Some squeeze all their food into a 1 or 2 hour eating window. By eating less frequently, you stimulate your appetite less often which for most people leads to a reduction in food eaten and calories ingested (without even trying) and effortless weight loss and body fat reduction.
#6 – Don’t Forget To Drink
If you don’t drink enough throughout the day, it’s possible that your body mistakes thirst for hunger causing you to eat more food than you’d normally eat or more food than your body requires. For that reason, it’s important to make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Sometimes drinking a glass of water before a meal can help you to feel full sooner since it takes up space in your stomach.
#7 – Gradual Calorie Reduction
When losing body fat you want gradual calorie reduction. If you restrict calories too severely, you’ll only get ravenously hungry and end up eating more food than you intended. You’ll also end up increasing cortisol (the stress hormone) for elevated periods of time which will only lead to chronic stress. That won’t make you feel good and will only mess around with your other hormones.
Play the long term game and aim to reduce the number of calories you consume gradually. You might feel slightly hungry, but that’s normal. If you have the willpower to resist the temptation to eat so you can maintain a slight caloric deficit, you’ll be well on your way to losing body fat.
#8 – Eat More Vegetables
Vegetables are rich in lots of nutrients, high in volume and low in calories. This means they take up a lot of space in your stomach causing the stretch receptors within your stomach to be activated sooner triggering signals of satiety so you stop eating. Consider eating more vegetables and adding them to your meals where possible.
#9 – Listen To Your Hunger
As much as it can feel like your body doesn’t want you to lose weight, it’s important you listen to your hunger. The body is not a machine. It’s a very delicate system which must remain in balance. You can’t simply eat fewer calories and hope your body agrees. If your body doesn’t agree and you get hungry, make sure you listen to your hunger, but make sure it’s true hunger.
If you’re truly hungry you’d eat food that you wouldn’t normally eat. If you’re craving a type of food such as chocolate, it’s a cognitive issue. Think of it this way – if you’re hungry enough to eat an apple, then you should probably consider eating. No one eats an apple if they’re not hungry (unless they really like apples).
True hunger is a sign that you need to eat more food to help regulate your body’s hormones and maintain homeostasis (balance) within the body. Sometimes you can wait twenty minutes and your hunger will disappear, but in most cases, it will surely return.
If you feel like you have eaten plenty and you’re still hungry, I’d consider checking with a doctor to see where your various hormone levels are at and trying out the tips above to help increase satiety with the food your eating.
Thanks for reading, if you found this post useful I’d appreciate it if you could share it on social media!