Are you stuck on how to lose body fat?
Are you spinning your wheels and getting nowhere?
Do you know if you’re doing the right thing?
The world of fat loss isn’t as complicated as some make it out to be. Ultimate Performance has expertise helping hundreds of clients get super-lean and in the best shape of their lives – so we know exactly what works for optimum fat loss.
Here are 77 simple tips that really work and will help you start melting the body fat off to build your leanest physique ever.
Let’s start with diet…
1. Start your day the right way by ditching the cereal and toast and opting for a high protein and fat breakfast. Red meat, oily fish or eggs are great options here.
2. Eat more vegetables. Aim for 100-150g per meal at least.
3. Eat more thin-skinned fruits like berries.
4. Consume sufficient protein. Setting your protein goal at 1g per pound bodyweight is a good place to start.
5. Vary and rotate your protein sources as much as possible to avoid any build-up of intolerances. There’s more to life than chicken, turkey and eggs. Try something new such as seafood, buffalo and lamb.
6. Consume the ‘right’ fats – fats are NOT the enemy! Vary your fat intake, keeping a good ratio between saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated sources. Good choices include extra virgin olive oil, avocados, mixed nuts, egg yolks, omega 3s and animal fats.
7. Eliminate trans fats from your diet. They serve zero benefit and have been linked to many health issues. Cook in butter or coconut oil, not vegetable oil.
8. Fat intake needs to be monitored. Some people cut the carbs out and assume there’s nothing else to worry about. Fat contains nine calories per gram, and if you’re eating more than you burn you’re never going to get lean.
9. Calories do matter. Whichever diet you follow, you still need to keep a handle on the total calories you consume.
10. A calorie is not a calorie. So, 500 calories from grass-fed fillet steak are NOT the same as 500 calories from a Mars bar. Make sure you eat quality calories.
11. Eliminate the consumption of refined foods. This includes bread, pasta, cereals and generally most packaged products. Remember, ‘eating from the land’ is a good rule to follow.
12. Lower your carbohydrate intake. This tip isn’t to necessarily demonise carbs, but the majority of the population will do well to go through periods of lower carb eating.
13. The leaner you are, the more carbs you can eat.
14. Nutrient timing does work. Having a protein and fat breakfast will keep blood sugar levels in check, and keep you burning fat for fuel through the day.
15. The best time to consume your carbohydrates is in the post workout window and before bed.
16. You can eat carbs after 6 pm! In many cases, this works very well for increasing serotonin production and helping with sleep quality.
17. Cycle your carbs. This can be as simple as having more carbs on training days and staying low carb on your rest days.
18. On higher carb days, think lower fat, and vice versa. High carb and high fat is a recipe for fat gain.
19. Only use refeeds or cheat meals if you really need them.
20. Use a wide variety of herbs and spices in your food like turmeric and ginger.
21. Drink lots of water and stay well hydrated. A target of approximately 1 litre per 25kg bodyweight is a good number.
22. Eliminate sugar-laden fizzy drinks, juices and sports drinks. Stick to water, tea, and coffee.
23. Drinking Diet Coke a few times per week can help kill appetite and cravings. It’s not the healthiest ‘trick’, but if you’re living a clean lifestyle, having the odd diet coke isn’t going to harm you. The combination of caffeine and the ‘fizz’ works well to keep hunger pangs at bay until the next meal.
24. Swap sugar in your tea and coffee for stevia.
25. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum, or even eliminated for the best fat loss results. Alcohol abuse is a great recipe for creating a low testosterone, sluggish and fat storing environment in your body.
26. If alcohol can’t be completely eliminated, stick to clean spirits like gin and vodka, and avoid sugary mixers.
Time to talk training…
27. Train using the most ‘bang for your buck’ compound lifts. Whatever your goal, doing squats instead of leg extensions, and chin-ups over curls will get you there faster. You will incorporate more muscle mass and burn more calories.
28. Keep lifting heavy and hard. When the goal is fat loss, you should still train like you’re trying to build muscle and gain strength. Most people should still be striving for new PBs!
29. Never underestimate the power of moving your body through space for body composition. Try adding elements of bodyweight training to your fat loss programme.
30. Control your rest periods. Keeping a handle on rest periods will lead to greater work capacity, more volume and improved conditioning. Never compromise performance.
31. Train the muscle, not the ego.
32. Keeping as much tension as possible on the target muscle will ensure maximum adaptation occurs.
33. Strive to increase workout volume without compromising on quality of work. This will help burn more calories, build more muscle, and improve the body’s hormonal environment.
34. If you can only train three times a week, full body workouts where you alternate between upper and lower body exercises are your best bet to start with.
35. Add some high-intensity finishers for 5-10 minutes at the end of your workouts. This can be using sleds, punching bags, ‘deadmill’ sprints or battle ropes.
36. Do modified strongman training! Using strongman implements such as tyres, farmer walks, ropes and kegs, is a great way to build ‘real world’ strength while also getting in shape.
37. Bodyweight circuits are great for those short on time.
38. Do high-intensity interval training one to three times a week.
39. Go for a power walk. Anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes, anywhere between from three and seven times a week is a great way to boost energy expenditure.
40. Keep a training journal to track your progress.
41. Take a probiotic supplement and keep some fermented products such as kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut in your diet. Gut health is important where body composition is concerned.
42. If you live in the UK, or any country deprived of sunlight, supplement with Vitamin D3.
43. Top up your magnesium stores for its positive effect on stress, sleep and insulin sensitivity.
44. Take curcumin supplements and add turmeric to your cooking. This ‘super-nutrient’ will help reduce inflammation, boost fat loss and improve brain and heart health.
45. Take fish oil. Unless you eat an abundance of oily fish, wild meat and grass-fed meats, you will most likely be lacking in vital omega 3s.
46. If using protein shakes outside of the post-workout window, make sure you add fibre and fats to it. Whey protein and nuts can be a great ‘convenient’ meal when you are busy.
47. Adding a fibre supplement like psyllium husk can be great when on a lower carbohydrate diet.
48. Watch out for most protein bars. They are nothing more than high protein candy bars in many cases.
49. Don’t underestimate the power of sleep. Get at least seven to nine hours of deep quality sleep and take naps when you can.
50. Control and lower your stress levels.
51. Don’t follow ‘trendy’ or fad diets.
52. Do not endlessly diet and under-eat – periodise your nutrition as you would your training.
53. Learn how to cook! For long-term success, this may be one of the most important tips.
54. If you’re busy, try batch-cooking your food on two days of the week.
55. Keep your blood sugar in balance throughout the day. This will stop any cravings and curb the risk of going off track.
56. Learn to read food labels. Educate yourself on what contains protein, carbohydrates and fats.
57. Watch out for ‘low fat’ products. They are often very high in sugar.
58. Always plan your meals for the day and never skip a meal.
59. Create a weekly meal plan and only buy what’s on the list.
60. To avoid snacking on junk at home, don’t keep it in the house.
61. Prepare healthy snacks. Beef jerky, boiled eggs, raw vegetable sticks, small handfuls of nuts are great options.
62. If eating at a restaurant, you can always opt for meat/fish with a side of greens. Skip the bread basket.
63. Eat for function, not indulgence. Although if you learn to cook, you can have the best of both worlds!
64. If you are an emotional eater, find alternative ways to cope with these feelings. Try going for a walk, phoning a friend, reading a book. Find what works for you!
65. For an easy way to judge portion sizes, try this: a palm-sized portion for protein, a thumb-sized portion of fat, a cupped hand of carbs and a fist size of vegetables. Set a baseline, see how you react and adjust accordingly.
66. Move more. Take the stairs, cycle and walk more often. Aim for an absolute minimum of 10,000 steps a day.
67. Play a sport and have fun.
68. Do something active every day.
69. Take pictures and measurements, and start monitoring your progress.
70. Set a goal and make yourself accountable to it.
71. Don’t live on the scales. Remember, it’s possible to completely change your physique with very little change to the needle on the scales.
72. Keep a food diary and send it to someone.
73. Expect some setbacks. If you have something off plan, move on and make sure your next meal is correct.
74. Have a support network, whether it’s your family, friends or partners. Get them involved!
75. Be realistic about your goals. Don’t be that person who wants to drop 20% body fat in six weeks.
76. Be consistent. Dieting at 90% every day is better than going 100% for a few days then falling completely off the wagon.
77. Find what works for YOU.