Are you struggling to make any progress? Are you frustrated at all of the effort you are putting in and getting nothing return? Fat loss can be hard and it can be demoralising at times when things aren’t going your way, but below I have compiled 10 useful tips to help get you back on track and start getting results again.
1.Don’t get obsessed by the weight on the scales.
Weight isn’t always an indicator that you are losing fat or that your shape is changing, so don’t fall into the trap of stepping on the scales every day. Your weight will fluctuate day to day, so on the days it is higher this may make you feel worse and lead to you cutting your calories when you really don’t need to.
If you are new to lifting weights your weight may also stay the same for several weeks even while fat loss is occurring due to the building of lean muscle mass (girls can build muscle too, in fact I encourage my clients to do so). Don’t worry, this won’t make you look “manly” or “bulky” but it is an important part of getting the shape that you want.
Tip – The scales shouldn’t be the only method you use to track your progress.
2. Use Visual Cues as a Tool Too.
Even if the scales haven’t budged in a week or so, do you look visibly leaner?
Are your legs, or your stomach noticeably smaller?
Then this is good, the scales don’t always have to change to validate the changes you are seeing in the mirror. If you are seeing slight improvements week to week then use this as another tool to track progress.
Progress photos can also be used if wanted, because you see yourself in the mirror every day you may not always notice changes so seeing physical “before” and “after” photos can be really helpful and I use this approach with all of my clients.
3. Drink More Water.
Staying hydrated is important to maintain proper function of the body, including the kidneys and the liver but how many of us are drinking as much as we need?
Not many, I’ll bet.
The main function of the kidneys is to filter the blood, but when their function becomes impaired from dehydration it passes some of the work on to the liver. One role of the liver is to metabolise the fat stored in the body to be used as fuel but because it is now doing some of the kidneys work for them fat metabolism becomes impaired.
So what does this mean?
Maintain optimal kidney and liver function.
Maintain optimum fat metabolism.
4. Focus Part of Your Workout on Lifting Weights and Getting Strong.
You don’t have to aim to be super strong (unless you want to), but at least one part of your workout should include progressing the loads and weights you are using in your workouts. Even as a female you should be aiming to build at least a little bit of muscle to supplement the figure you want.
Most females want bigger glutes and “toned” legs right?
Losing fat will certainly show these off, but you have to build the muscle there in the first place to show it off.
Even if this isn’t you and you just simply want to feel and look better, building muscle will greatly improve your figure, and who doesn’t want to be strong?
5. You Can’t Just Start Low Calorie.
If you start low calorie and fat loss slows down, where will you go from there?
Even less food?
This will leave you feeling rubbish and also, looking worse. Start at a reasonable calorie intake and you can work from there. Start too low and you risk hitting a sticking point way sooner than if your calories were higher to begin with, you will also lack the energy to train as hard as you need to and your overall health will suffer.
One side effect of dropping your calories too low?
Your periods will stop, seriously.
When calories are severely restricted for a long period of time, your body will start to become more efficient at performing your every day activities while using less energy. While trying to conserve energy it will shut down all non-essential bodily functions, one of them being your reproductive system.
This is can present itself in a lot of different ways but it is extremely common with people who crash diet, or with bikini and figure athletes who are restricting calories for long periods of time.
6. However, Going Lower Calorie to Get Leaner For a Short Period Time Isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing.
Providing you have come from a good starting place calorie wise, dropping calories lower for a short period of time to get leaner won’t bring about too many negative side effects.
This can be done briefly to overcome “sticking points” in the diet, but just make sure you slowly build your calories back up afterwards!
7. Don’t Be Afraid of Carbs!
Carbs are definitely not the enemy as much as most of the fitness industry will try and tell you this, even when you are trying to lose fat.
Too many calories are the enemy!
Even eating too much healthy food can make you fat so don’t think just because you are eating healthy you are immune from putting on weight.
Once you are in a calorie deficit, you will lose weight regardless of where you intake comes from, and who doesn’t like carbs?
They are also an essential part of refuelling your muscles with glycogen and helping you through your workouts so don’t be afraid to eat carbohydrates as part of your diet.
Eat the carbs, and don’t make yourself feel guilty for it.
8. To Look Good, You Also Need to Feel Good.
If your diet is awful, your sleep is poor and stress is high, how do you expect to look healthy?
I know plenty of people that physically are in good shape, but they really don’t look that healthy.
It’s called balance.
As well as exercising and implementing a healthier diet, sleep and managing stress are also just as important for body composition and fat loss. As soon as you start feeling better, sleeping better, and reducing your stress levels you should also start to look better.
9. Cardio Can and Should Be Used as a Tool for Fat Loss.
Don’t just rely on cutting your calories to lose weight, this is where cardio can be an important tool in fat loss and changing your body. You could also include some kind of interval and circuit training to your cardio regime and increase how many calories you expend during your workout.
Another benefit of using cardio is that you can eat more food!
More cardio means more room for calories, and who doesn’t like more food?
Another benefit of keeping food intake higher is it also helps combat any excess feelings of hunger.
I hate being hungry, so this is an important part of any of my dieting strategies with clients keeping the volume of food high and trying to keep hunger pangs and cravings go a minimum.
10. Be Patient!
Well, if you’ve got to point 10 you must be at least a little patient (most people get to point 2-3 before switching off).
The reality is that fat loss does take time, there isn’t any getting around that fact.
There isn’t an overnight fix to get the body you want but just rememebr that every single day you put in effort, every single day you are consistent, you are getting closer towards your end goal.
There will be good days, there will be bad days, there will be weeks where the scales may not change or you may not see a change in the mirror. This is where you just need to be patient, sometimes weight loss can stall and then all of a sudden 2–3lbs will come off the scales just like that.
The biggest key to any dieting strategy is consistency.
Would you like to know some more ways to get results?
Do you hate following a strict diet?
Then click HERE to download my free guide on how to make effective changes to your diet to get results all without having to follow a strict diet.