3 Simple Yet Effective Ideas Anyone Can Follow to Lose Body Fat and Stay Fit
Simple life hacks for getting and keeping your six-pack effortlessly
Although it seems there is endless content placed in every corner of the internet about how to lose fat, how to eat right, build muscles, get stronger and live a longer life, obesity and diabetes are still a big problem in the western world.
Paradoxically, we have more knowledge than ever about health but at the same time, most don’t use it.
Losing body fat is not all about physical appearance. It’s about having and maintaining a healthy system.
I guess the population is slowly waking up and realizing that an unhealthy lifestyle with convenience food might be comfortable short-term and fill your stomach to suppress hunger, but leads to serious health issues in the long run.
Until we have a situation where everybody finds back to their natural sense for healthy food and knowing what’s good for their bodies, some time will pass.
More and more people realize: None of the advantages of convenience food like saving time or its delicious taste can justify the long-term downturn of having a higher risk of dying relatively young, heart diseases and not being able to play with your grandchildren and watching them grow up in a wheelchair.
You can avoid this by making tiny changes
Because it’s such a widespread topic, it’s difficult to say where a person should start and what they should begin with to avoid ruining their health.
This, in turn, means there is no right or wrong at how to approach this and that’s the advantage we have that makes it easy.
No matter what you start doing to get fitter: You can start with anything, whether it’s increasing how much you move or implementing more vegetables into your diet, and it will add up to a superior situation.
When I started transforming my lifestyle, I started by focusing on one healthy meal a day, and slowly but steadily without even investing energy, I ate two nutritious meals a day, and so on.
I lost interest in eating fast food and gained interest in how I could make the most of my diet and out of my body all by itself. The big changes that happened in my life, like losing respectable amounts of body fat in only a few weeks, were based on one little change I made years ago and repeating it daily.
Eventually, I installed additional habits over time which added up to a big long-term transformation of which the result was having a healthy BMI today and feeling better than ever before.
After years of living a healthy lifestyle, I created a list of things I practiced to keep me going without much effort and not fall back.
If put into practice these tiny habits can also help you get the same results.
Become obsessed with walking
If there was one single thing I would recommend to anybody who wants to instantly upgrade their fitness level, is increasing their NEAT, because it’s the simplest and cheapest way.
If you’re not already familiar with the term: “NEAT” stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis.
So it’s basically every kind of movement or activity you do beyond sports.
The best method of that is in my opinion making 10.000 steps every day.
Most people — sporty or not — are not used to move that much. They are either sitting in an office all day or at home.
The commitment to making at least 10.000 steps a day will lead to an additional calorie burn of around 300 to 500 calories.
The benefit is that 10.000 steps add up to 70.000 a week and 300.000 a month. This means a huge amount of calories you burn additionally — just from walking — and that would otherwise end up as fat pads.
I understand that it’s not always easy to have the will power to pursue this goal after a long day of work and when you’re already sitting on your couch with a bag of chips in your hand. But when you make this tiny investment each day the long-term health benefits will pay off extremely.
How to reach 10K steps or implement more NEAT-activity conveniently:
If you have the budget available, get an activity tracker or a smartwatch. Virtually every digital watch you can buy today has that. If you don’t have the budget, get an app on your phone that tracks your steps and your activity level. There are tons of them and they’re pretty accurate.
Here are some ideas on what you can do:
- Take a large walk with your dog if you possess one.
- Take a walk each morning before you start your day.
- If you live in a bigger city, get out of the metro one or two stations ahead of your usual stop and walk the remaining track home.
- Buy a bike and use it to go to work.
- Go around in your apartment or house while having a phone conversation or while brushing your teeth.
- If you’re used to working in an office or from home, set a timer every 30 minutes. When it rings, take a break for 10 minutes if you can afford to, stand up, drink a glass of water and make a short walk through the house.
Some of those ideas might sound too simple and like nobody does them, but if you want better fitness results you need to do things that others are not willing to do.
Fill up your stomach
When facing a stressful time, most people tend to eat much faster than they’re normally used to. This leads to a lot more unnecessary calories the body locks as fat cells.
It happens due to increased hunger when we’re stressed and a lack of attentiveness for how much we eat. When rapidly shoveling the food on our plates into our mouth, all while having our next appointment already in mind, the body's natural saturation will kick in much later.
The human body established an intelligent way of signalizing saturation to the brain and that enough food was taken in. Its logic works like a vacuum bag: when it’s full, it’s full and there is no additional space available.
At least that’s the signal our brain gets when we fill our bellies with food. The hunger disappears as our brain reduces the hunger hormone ghrelin and distributes the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin.
How to make use of that:
We can take advantage of this saturation effect and diminish our hunger before we even eat. Here are some simple tips on how this worked for me in the past that I have used for years to not overeat myself and end up becoming fat:
- Eat the vegetables and proteins on your plate first. It quickly fills you up and you make sure to get the most important vitamins that your body needs.
- Have a “pre-meal” that is high in volume but low in calories: an apple, a protein shake, a light yogurt, etc.
- Drink 0,5 liters at least 15 minutes before your meal. It will reduce your hunger and enables you to eat controlled.
- When you’re feeling hungry out of stress or are prone to binge-eating, drink a cup of coffee with milk.
Caffeine is known for suppressing hunger excellently.
- Stop eating when you’ve had enough. Eat the rest later. There is no duty to eat up your whole meal every time.
- Before you start to eat, calm down. Take a deep breath and show gratefulness for having a delicious meal. Remind yourself to eat slowly and mindfully. Try to chew every bite at least 30 times.
- When surrounded by people: aim to finish your meal last. Maintain control and steer your distractions.
- Lay down your fork and knife several times while you’re chewing.
Ask for special treatment
Eating outside is part of most people’s daily or weekly routine.
There is nothing wrong with it if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Although I rather prefer to prepare my meals at home and take them with me, I love to eat at a good restaurant once in a while and spend money on that luxury.
I also love ordering delicious food and having it delivered to my home, for example when I’m having a pizza night and watching a movie together with my girlfriend.
As far as the COVID-situation allows it in your country, you might eat out with colleagues or your friends regularly or have food delivered to your home more often.
It’s important to know in my opinion that the meals you eat outside of your home have been added with too much oil, sugar, or salt. They also put unreasonable amounts of dressing or other fat and carb sources, like bread crumbs, in salad.
How to avoid that:
- Rule of thumb: overestimate the calories of your meal and eat a little less that day.
- Always custom order. Tell your waiter to put the dressing aside for example.
- Replace the fries with actual potatoes.
- Replace the rice. Replace the bread. If possible order low-carb.
- Any delivery app has the possibility to tell the restaurant what to add and what to leave out of your order. Use that.
- Order double protein if possible — for example when eating burgers: a second patty. Protein is a big saturation factor.
- Add vegetables, fruits, or lean sources of protein to your order.
- If you want a dessert, share it with someone. Crazy amounts of calories are hiding in ice cream and pie. But it’s delicious though and you shouldn’t restrict yourself too much. Sharing is a way to enjoy a cake but saving half of its calories. It’s not about eating it up but enjoying it once in a while.
Small efforts like this will add up over time.
It doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to find your way to a genuinely healthy lifestyle and get to an attractive body fat percentage. All it takes is repeating a few key habits and living an active lifestyle.
The most important thing, as I mentioned in the introduction is that you start somewhere. Tiny changes will sum up to big leaps.
If you want to lose surplus body fat, it’s all about burning more calories than you take in. Remember that your NEAT-activity can make an enormous difference in the long run. Walking 10.000 steps can literally provide your way to losing fat. Practice the principles I listed in the first rule I mentioned.
Filling up your stomach is an effective method for hunger attacks and stressful times. Make sure to drink a big glass of water before eating and stay mindful while having your meal.
When eating in a restaurant make sure to have control over the ingredients in your meal as far as necessary.
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