How to Lose Fat: The Definitive Guide

How To Lose Fat

If there is an issue that will get people arguing more than Democrats and Republicans over health care, it is how to lose fat. Thousands of books, articles, and web pages are dedicated to answer the simple question: “how can I lose the extra body fat I have on board?”

Luckily, the answer to that question on how to lose fat is not as complicated as you might think. Most of the advice out there is just a regurgitation of the tired “eat less, exercise more” mantra. Not here. This article cuts through the fat loss fog and presents you with factors that research says has the most profound impact on quick and lasting fat loss.

How to Lose Fat  – Setting Goals

Most people’s fat loss journey is doomed before it begins. Because they set out to lose an undefined amount of fat or weight, their efforts eventually falter as old habits creep in. Goal setting is not something only for overly-excited for self-help guru groupies –the act of setting simple, actionable goals multiplies your fat loss results. Researchers at University of North Carolina recently found realistic goals helped people stick to a diet and exercise program.

Here is how to maximize the effectiveness of your weight loss goals:

Process, Not Outcome: While controversial, it appears that goals involved in what you do are more important than the actual result. For example a goal of hitting the gym three times per week is more likely to stick than losing 10 lbs.

Actionable and Specific: Vague goals do not stick. Replace “I want to lose this gut” with “I will start eating fruit for my afternoon snack instead of a vending machine snack” and you will go far.

Get Real: There is nothing wrong with a little ambition, but be careful not to set yourself up for failure. Small, achievable, “mini-milestones”, are preferable over lofty aspirations.

Some other popular goal related resources:

How to Lose Fat

Nutrition to Lose Fat: 4 Keys To Success

Nutrition is by far the #1 make or break factor for fat loss.  While exercise should be part of any fat loss regimen, nutrition’s impact on fat loss trumps working out.

The reason nutrition is head and shoulders above anything else is because it’s so darned easy to eat more calories than you need –and just as easy to cut them out.

For example, while it may take you 2 minutes to down a slice of apple pie, it will take almost 60 minutes on a treadmill to burn it off.

The diet industry makes fat loss nutrition seem confusing and complicated, but itis not. Here are the basic tenets of using the power of nutrition to shed extra fat:

Fiber: Fiber is the most powerful fat loss nutrient around. Purdue University scientists found that a diet high in fiber helped dieters lose more fat than by cutting calories alone. Be sure to avoid high-fiber processed food like the plague. Natural sources of fiber like fruits, veggies, and beans work much better.

Watch, Don’t Eliminate Carbs: Carbs have gotten a bad name as of late. While blindly following the Food Guide Pyramid and eating carbs by the bushel isn’t going to help you lose an ounce of fat, a diet rich in low glycemic carbs like produce and legumes will stimulate metabolism and ramp up your fat burning furnace.

Cure Fat-Phobia: The fat in your diet does not instantly turn into the fat on your body. In fact, studies show that eschewing fat is one of the worst approaches for weight loss. The uber-popular Mediterranean diet is backed by piles of research, which show that the fat-rich olive oil, nuts, and cheese actually keep French and Italians from getting fat in the first place. Sure enough, when this diet is adopted by American dieters in clinical research, body fat flies off.  Learn to eat high quality fats.

Ditch Diet Foods: Counter intuitive as it may seem, “lite” and “low-calorie” foods actually cause weight gain, not loss. Because we perceive them as healthy, we tend to eat more than we normally would. Instead of resorting to diet foods, focus on a diet with a foundation of unprocessed whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, low-fat dairy, beans and nuts.

Other Top Nutrition Resources:

Workouts: Cardio Is not Enough

While exercise’s impact on fat loss does not hold a candle to nutrition, it does have a significant impact on fat loss. However, not just any exercise will do. Cardio exercises are a mainstay of any fat burning program, but it is not complete unless you include a heavy dose of strength training.

Strength training is the only way to create metabolism-boosting muscle mass. If every gym session begins and ends with 45 minutes of slow peddling on the stationary bike, you are going to lose quite a bit of muscle along with that fat –and your metabolism will take a hit.

A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that women who resistance trained a few times per week had less fat and weighed less than their cardio-obsessed counterparts.

Along with regular bouts of cardio (including interval training), be sure to hit the weights just as often.  Check out the vast amount of workout routines to pick from here at builtfit.com.

Other Recommended Cardio and Workout Resources:

Rest and Sleep: You Snooze, You Lose

Scientists now point to stress and fatigue as one of the key causes of fat gain. In fact, research shows that sleeping less than 7 hours is a sure-fire recipe for overeating and fat loss failure. That is because our hormonal appetite signals are largely regulated by our sleep patterns.

If you find yourself unable to control a ravenous appetite, or continue to fall off the fat loss wagon, shoot for at least 8 hours per night. That one factor alone can make a tremendous difference.

Other Rest and Recovery Resources:

Consistency and Tracking Progress

Many people view fat loss as a light switch: something to be turned on and off. If you want results that last, it requires a commitment to stay consistent with your approaches –starting on day 1.

It is one thing to set goals and stay focused, but if you’re not recording of your progress, it is impossible to know if you are on your way to achieving them. Whether your goal was to take 4 inches off your waistline, cut out dessert, or eat 5 servings of veggies per day, a log of your successes and failures can keep you motivated and on track.

Other Recommended Resources:

Supplements That Burn Fat

You may be surprised to find that, despite hundreds of so-called fat burners on the market, most are either worthless or dangerous.

However, a handful of supplements are backed by clinical research and have a clean bill of safety to boot:

Conjugated Linoleic Acid: Research published in The International Journal of Obesity found that CLA helped people burn more fat throughout the day.

Green Tea Extract: A well-documented fat burner that doesn’t run the risk of hurting your health down the road.

Chromium Picolinate: Gilbert Kaats, PhD recently published a research review where he concluded: “The data clearly confirm that supplementation with chromium picolinate can lead to significant improvements in body composition resulting from fat loss”.

Supplements can definitely give you an edge in your battle against fat, but as cliché as it may sound, they do not work unless you have the solid nutrition and consistent exercise to match.

Other Recommend Supplement Resources

I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to lose fat from Builtfit.com.  Please sign up for the BuiltFit newsletter for more quality fitness and nutrition information.

You might alos be interested in our guide on how to build muscle.

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