A problem I see a lot with clients and bootcampers who are training for fat loss is they don’t eat enough food to lose any weight! I know it sounds crazy but I see this time and time again. The fact is you can’t just exercise and not eat, it doesn’t work, and I have the clients to prove it!
Why does this happen? Well they are simply not eating enough to keep the metabolism fired up. Your metabolism can be the most important thing to focus on when attempting to reduce body fat levels, it can be influenced by the foods you eat and the exercise you do. Foods high in protein such as meats, fish, eggs, beans and lentils have what we call a high TEF (thermic effect of food) this means more energy (calories) is required just to digest and breakdown the food. The exercise bit is easy, just turn up to train with me or join the bootcamp. There is nothing better to raise the metabolism than a short hard kettlebell workout!
If you ignore your hunger because you are too busy or think that by not eating you will lose weight quicker, you are setting yourself up for failure! The body is a complex machine and cannot be tricked into losing weight that easily. When your daily calorie intake is low your body will slow down certain processes (metabolism) to save energy, after all digestion and food assimilation expends energy. You may have heard this referred to as the body going into “starvation mode”. If your metabolism slows down this means that fat loss will slow down, truly the worst case scenario. Don’t ignore your hunger, eat when you need to, satisfy your hunger and carry on about your day.
If you find that you are so busy you barely get time to eat, you need to eat foods that are nutrient dense but low in calories.
To lose weight most women should eat about 1500 calories per day and guys should aim for around 2000. Don’t get hung up on calories though, just listen to your body and if you are hungry eat. It doesn’t matter if you eat two, three or four times per day, what matters is the total amount of calories consumed over a 24 hour period. The often shouted eat small but frequent is not the best advice, food has a hormonal response that is not favorable for fat loss. I would recommend you eat 3 times per day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Keep it simple! If you are not a breakfast eater that is fine maybe just grab a piece of fruit in the morning but eat more at lunch time and dinner to make up for the missed calories at breakfast. One of my most successful bootcampers ate only twice per day, but those meals were a good 700-800 calories each.
Here are some idea’s to get calorie dense foods into your day.
Use avocado in any way you can think of, in sandwiches or make guacamole and dip raw carrots or celery into it.
Hummus is also nutritious and is a great dip
Home made three bean soup provides many nutrients and a good dose of protein too.
Buy a cooked chicken and strip off all the meat to dip into full fat mayonnaise
Yoghurt and walnuts (full fat Greek yoghurt, great source of calcium and natural fat)
Munch on nuts and seeds such as brazil, pecan, almond, walnut, hazel, cashew, macadamia, sunflower seeds, flax seeds or throw them on yoghurt as per above.
Organic peanut butter on toasted spelt or rye bread
Add a good olive oil to your salads
Salmon is both high in good fat and protein, it works really well with poached eggs
Boiled eggs either on own or in a salad, in fact add them to every salad you eat.
I hope this post helps you realise that what and how often you eat is more crucial to how much exercise you do if your goal is to lose weight. Implement the idea’s above and I guarantee you will start seeing results very quickly.