1. Have a Plan
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! It is important that from the outset you have a specific, measurable and realistic goal in mind. You should also have a timeline set out e.g. to lose 4 % body fat in 8 weeks. Then each week you set specific targets which align with your end goal. As I said before is important that you set realistic goals and you are not too strict on yourself. Take into consideration the people around you i.e. family and friends. You should still be able to go out enjoy a glass of wine and have a curry with your mates. Life is about more than your diet!
2. Make Yourself Accountable
To make yourself accountable tell your friends, family or work mates. Letting other people know your goals will give them the chance to support and encourage you. You may even decide to go on this journey with someone else.
3. Eat Your Vegetables
Replace foods like pasta, rice and bread with vegetables. Vegetables have fewer calories and carbohydrates than their processed counterparts. They also have a lot of fibre which keeps your digestive system happy. This is going to help you process the other foods you eat much better and give you the chance of having a cheat day without it affecting you too much.
4. Drink Whey Protein
Research published in the Journal of Nutrition found those who consume whey-protein shakes lost almost twice as much fat as those who didn’t have the shakes. Why? Well it’s not that protein shakes are any more effective than protein you can get from natural sources like meat, fish and nuts. It’s just that having a protein shake can be very convenient for people who are too busy to prepare themselves a healthy protein-packed meal. Have 30 grams of protein within half an hour of waking up to kick start your fat loss.
5. Drink more Water
Often you feel hungry when you are thirsty so before you go and eat something have some water. If you are still hungry eat something healthy and then drink some more water. Staying hydrated is going to help you burn up to 2 percent more calories according to recent research
6. Eat More Protein
As we said before protein helps you maintain lean muscle mass and it helps increase the thermic effect of your diet. This basically means protein requires a lot more energy for your body to process than your ordinary carbohydrates. This has a positive effect on your daily calorie burning. Having more protein in your meals makes you feel fuller for longer which reduces your caloric intake over the course of the day.
7. Eat More Fat
The Institute of Medicine recommends that your diet should be made up of around 30% fat so be sure to include high-fat foods like avocados, nuts, olives and healthy oils (olive, canola, sunflower, peanut, sesame) Make sure you avoid the trans fats.
8. Try Intermittent Fasting
I got this idea from John Berardi of Precision Nutrition. Intermittent fasting requires extended breaks from eating (approx.15 hours) with a shorter feeding period (8 -10 hours), or fasting for 24 hours once every 7-10 days. This might seem quite extreme but research indicates that this method not only is linked to healthy weight loss, but also preserves muscle mass. This works really well for people who like to eat only 2 to 3 times per day.