9 nutritional tips to shed body fat and achieve the body you want
Nutrition is a complicated topic. The human body is such a complex organism, with so many individual factors to consider there is never a single approach that suits everybody when it comes to fat loss. Although nutrition is such an individual thing, there are some guidelines and simple tips that most people can benefit from. Just one small thing can jump start the fat loss process, or one paradigm shift can give you the knowledge and motivation to improve your nutrition for a lifetime.
These 9 tips have been tried and tested with many clients and have always produced results.
You might be reading this as you’re not happy with your body right now. You know you can improve your nutrition and achieve the body you want. Or you might have hit a plateau. You’ve been consistent with your training and nutrition for a long time and just aren’t seeing any results. You have that last bit of belly fat that you just can’t shift which is frustrating and getting you down. You want to achieve results, you’ve tried a lot of things and want some trustworthy information to help you.
This blog is aimed at just that. To help you bust through that plateau, to give you the extra knowledge, tools and tricks so you can shed that extra body fat and achieve the body you want.
Lets get to it!!!
This is the first thing my clients address when it comes to fixing their diet. It’s simple, if we don’t know what you're consuming then how do we know what to adjust? You may not realise you're drastically under eating, or eating way too much for your daily energy expenditure which leads to weight gain? Tracking gives you the data, and a starting point to make intelligent decisions and devise a plan to your fat loss goals.
Keep a food diary for one to two weeks. I always advise using My Fitness Pal as it's free and has the widest database of foods. You can set goals in the app which gives you a calorie and macro breakdown. Log what you eat and stick within your calories while still being able to eat foods you enjoy.
If you’re not ready for that then write it down. This simple act provides self awareness and can help you make the right food choices. Once you are familiar with your intake following a handful guide is a simple way to portion and track each meal.
2. Eat earth grown nutrients
This makes sense, is so simple and often overlooked. Earth grown nutrients are foods provided by the earth that our ancestors have eaten throughout time. These foods are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients that our bodies have evolved to handle. If these foods are here for us to eat then it makes sense for us to eat them. Many packaged foods contain chemicals, preservatives, trans fat and sugar which have contributed to health issues world wide.
Eat the majority of your food from the earth. Dug out of the ground, picked off a tree, caught in water or an animal in a wild habitat. Try to source your food as local as possible and for it to be as fresh as possible as these foods are more nutrients dense. When buying from a packet, read the ingredients list. Aim to food in it’s natural state as possible.
Aim for a 80/20 to 90/10 ratio of real food to procsssed food. I guarantee you would see a dramatic change in the shape of your body by eating earth grown nutrients 80-90% of the time.
3. Add one thing at a time
Our brains can only handle so much at one time and having a complete diet overhaul isn’t sustainable. You might be able to keep up the new regime for a few weeks, but the extra effort becomes too much and people fall back into their old habits.
Going cold turkey and subtracting all the 'bad' foods from your diet never works long term. You will always feel deprived and want the foods you can't have, which creates more stress and negative associations with food. Instead of taking things out completely, add one simple thing in at a time.
This might be eating eggs for breakfast, a handful of veggies at dinner or an extra glass of water each morning. These small additions are more easily formed as positive habits, and when you create small wins you build momentum and this becomes part of your lifestyle.
4. Be flexible
I believe there should be some flexibility in your diet. Feeling like you are on a strict ‘diet’ plan leads to 99.9% of people falling off the wagon after 30-45 days. I am a huge fan on flexible dieting, and use the 80/20 or 90/10 rule. This gives you the freedom to enjoy foods you like. If you eat whole foods 80 to 90% of the time and leave the room for flexibility then you are more likely to come out on top.
Be consistent 80-90% of the time, and leave 10-20% room for foods you enjoy. This approach becomes more of a lifestyle and you are less likely to yo yo diet.
5. Don’t blow it all
This leads me perfectly into tip number 5. If you don't allow flexibility then you are more than likely to have a complete blow out when you do eat something naughty. This is the all of nothing approach, and that one biscuit can send you over the edge. You say screw it, I’ve messed up so I’m going all out! This one day of bingeing throws off the whole week and your back to square one. Rather than eating one or two biscuits and getting back on track, eating less another day which will balance the calories by the end of the week.
With flexible dieting in place you can change your mindset. When you leave room for foods you enjoy. Eat that 10% enjoy it, and know you haven’t gone off track!
6. Understand your triggers
Everyone has their own cues or triggers for particular habits. Maybe it’s TV and snacking on Pringles, or cracking open a cold beer after work? These actions become routine and this becomes you practising your habit. The habit becomes the reward of pleasure, and the pleasure reinforces the behaviour.
Once you notice your triggers, write them down and come up with ways to adapt your routines so they don't trigger bad habits, but good ones. This might be replacing the Pringles with a healthier alternative, or drinking a lower calorie alcoholic drink.
7. De stress
If you are stressed out at work, sleeping 5 hours a night and have other issues going on in your life then how do you expect to lose body fat? Studies show that high stress levels leads to weight gain. This is because cortisol is high and active throughout the day which down regulates other benefical hormones, and the body is just struggling to find it’s natural balance.
8. Make an adjustment
Every diet does works if you stick to it, but you will eventually hit a plateau. You might have experienced this. You eat healthier and increase exercise, or you change something in your diet. You look and feel great then progress starts to stall or comes to a complete halt. This is where a good coach comes in, as the smallest adjustment can go a long way.
It might be reducing weekly calories by 5% or manipulating your training schedule. This is where tracking is important as you’ll have the data, and a more accurate understanding of how much to pull or add. If you don’t track then start, or hire a coach who can help you.
If you want to dramatically increase your chances of success then it’s paramount you have some sort of accountability. Accountability can come in many forms from posting on social media, having a betting pool with colleagues or hiring a coach. If you invest in yourself, then you will see better results. It’s the reason I hire a coach to help me, and the reason so many of my clients are getting results. A great coach has structures and systems in place, and provides expert guidance and non stop accountability.
What tip resonates with you? I’m sure there is something here that you can use and implement straight away. If you are still feeling stuck or would like a nutritional plan tailored specifically to you then Click here for training and nutritional coaching or a chance to learn more.