If you were to Google ‘how to eat for fat loss’, you will see a million and one different diets and schemes that are available to follow. Most of these you will need to pay for before you can know their ‘secret weapon’ to accelerate your fat loss attempts…sound familiar?
The reality is, there are many ways in which you can eat for fat loss and while they all sound very different, there are a few features of every diet or program that are consistent. Below are the non-negotiables when you want to lose body fat (and it is more simple than you think!).
- Eat fewer calories than your body requires
There is no doubt that when eating for the purpose of fat loss, you need to be consuming less calories that your body requires to maintain its current weight. You could also achieve this energy deficit by increasing your energy output (more activity), or use a combination of both.
- Eat more vegetables
It doesn’t matter what style of eating you follow, vegetables are always an important component of the diet. In 2014-15, only 7% of Australians aged 18 and over met the guidelines for serves of vegetables (5-6 serves per day). Including more vegetables doesn’t only help with fat loss, but it is also important for chronic disease prevention.
- Ensure you are eating enough protein
Protein is vital in any fat loss diet, because it helps to maintain your muscle mass. There is a difference between weight loss and fat loss; we want to preserve as much muscle mass as possible while losing body fat. This will ensure that your body remains strong, your bones are supported and that your body remains efficient at burning energy.
- Drink enough water
Hydration is important regardless of your body composition goals! It has been shown to be beneficial for fat loss though, potentially by improving digestion and muscle function. Drinking water can also mildly suppress your appetite, which could make it a little easier when you are trying to eat less food.
If you are looking to reduce your body fat, start by following these four rules. Not only are they free, but they will help you to implement some small, sustainable changes, so that your fat loss is slow and steady (the best way). This also reduces the chance that you will put it all back on!
Look out for our next installment of this Fat Loss series, where we will look at common mistakes made when trying to lose body fat.