5 ways to increase fat loss
In order to lose weight your body must be in a caloric deficit (meaning you burn more calories than you take in). In order to lose weight a person should find out what their daily caloric expenditure is (there are many calculators out there), and aim for a goal which is beneath this (I personally aim for 500 kcal). The purpose of this article is in order to give you advice to help you hit your daily goal of calories and not surpass it.
- GET SUFFICIENT SLEEP:
Several studies have shown the importance for good quality sleep and weight loss. Studies have shown that those subject to poor quality sleep or insufficient quantity (>7 hours) have an impaired ability to lose weight and maintain a diet which promotes weight loss when compared with those that gain 7-9 hours of sleep per night. These studies have also shown little increase in calorie expenditure most likely due to reduced energy and motivation when sleep deprived. Studies have correlated sleep deprivation and a drop in leptin levels and an increase in Ghrelin levels. Leptin is a hormone released from fat cells which act within the hypothalamus to suppress appetite, whilst ghrelin is released from the stomach and acts in the hypothalamus to promote eating. Therefore the action of these two hormones alongside a drop in motivation when sleep deprived will lead to increased bingeing whilst trying to lose weight.
2) RECOGNISE YOUR FLAWS:
Each of us have different problems when it comes to tackling a diet. Some may have a sugar tooth and easily devour 1000 calories in donuts in one sitting, whilst others may be heavy drinkers and easily drink our way to 2000 calories in the space of a night. We all have our flaws, and this is okay, what is most important is being able to recognise what they are early on so that they can be tackled. Which takes us onto our next point.
3) INSTALL GOOD HABITS WHICH REPLACE THE BAD ONES:
Once we recognise our flaws we are then able to install new habits which are able to curb them, or make there effects less pronounced. For example I work in an environment which often has many foods which are high in sugar but rarely fill me such as donuts and cookies. A good tip would be to avoid this environment, however for me this is impossible because it is my work place. Therefore I have installed different habits to best try an curb this habit. I started bringing snacks to work which I could use to replace the previous ones which we more filling yet still satisfied my sugar cravings and placed them as close as possible to these sugary treats (these were nuts, and a lot of fruit). I also implemented that I would first have to track the calories before I ate the sugary treats, this gave my brain time to decide against my urges as I could see the impact that these foods would have. I also placed fizzy, low calorie caffeinated drinks (lucazade) near to the goodies, these drinks (although awful for my teeth) would satisfy my sugar cravings as well as give me a caffeine boost, which takes us onto our next point.
4) USE CAFFEINE:
As well as being able to increase energy, caffeine is an appetite suppressor. So much so that it is the primary active ingredient in several weight loss supplements. I have found that in personal use that an influx of caffeine shortly before I know my cravings to be at their peak works best in order to suppress my urge to binge on my diet. However take this advice with caution as it is able to detrimental for sleep and I do not recommend caffeine anywhere within 6 hours before bed (therefore 14 hours before you wake the following morning).
Finally we have the effects of macronutrients. The effects of macronutrients does vary marginally between people and altering diets should come down to personal preferences. However each of the macronutrients has different effects on hormones released in the gut which effect the brains feeling of hunger. Although carbohydrates do stimulate the release of some hormones which signal satiety, protein and fats are far more efficient at doing so, therefore I recommend a diet which slightly favours these two macronutrients over carbs. Furthermore when consuming carbs I recommend going for wholemeal options. Although differences in calorie content is small, the slower release of sugars leads to a longer feeling of fullness and a reduced likelihood to cheat on the said diet.
And thus concludes my list of what I believe to be the 5 most overlooked tips for weight loss.