Excess body weight is an increasing problem in our society. With the abundance of overly processed foods, the staggering availability of fast foods and the convenience lifestyle that many of us gravitate towards – it’s no wonder that obesity rates are on the rise. Excess fat isn’t just an aesthetic problem either, it causes serious health concerns including things like:
- Decreased mobility
- Poor circulatory health
- Increased risk for heart disease, strokes & cancer
- Increased odds for stress fractures
- Poor body confidence & mental health issues
Being overweight can and does seriously impact every facet of life. I say this not just as a Nutrition Coach, but as someone who was obese. I can absolutely relate to virtually all of the items on the list above and I know I am not alone. Weight is the #1 health struggle our population faces as technology increases apace with being sedentary.
Beyond the health of it all, losing weight – fat specifically – improves the quality of lives and makes people look & feel better. But losing weight is tough. As a society, we don’t exactly have a great track record with respect to losing weight. The average person tends to go on a minimum of 3 fad diets a year – often without any long term success. Even modern advances in medicine like bariatric surgery have a success rate of long term weight loss/management of less than 10%.
Successfully losing weight – and keeping it off – is key. And not just losing weight, but prioritizing fat loss is vital. Any restrictive diet will help you temporarily lose weight but restrictive dieting isn’t the right tool for fat loss. Why? Because overly restrictive diets slow our systems down so that our bodies prioritize what systems run – and what do not. This includes our metabolism. When we can’t take the restrictiveness anymore, and we go back to ‘regular’ eating, our metabolisms are sluggish so our bodies aren’t running optimally and we pack on the weight once again.
To lose fat, you need to adopt a moderate calorie deficit (not extreme) and be prepared to be patient as the process should – and will – take time. By not starving your body and by feeding it lots of good nutrients, you boost your metabolism and prioritize fat loss. This also sets you on the path to create a healthy & balanced lifestyle that you can adjust based on your health and weight loss goals.
Not only is this approach significantly healthier for your body, it’s easier to maintain and you are much less likely to cheat on it or ditch it altogether.
If you are interested in proven strategies for fat loss, I recommend the following:
- Workout at least 3-4 hours per week
- Eat a diet rich in whole and unprocessed foods
- Sleep 7 – 9 hours per night
- Manage stress effectively
- Stop trying fad or extreme diets
- Be mindful of clever food marketing
- Stay active (outside of workouts) everyday
Start small. Implement one new healthy habit every 2 – 3 weeks and build a lifestyle that you love doing activities you enjoy and eating foods that are both healthy and delicious.