How to Lose Body Fat Fast With 10 Simple Steps
How to Lose Body Fat Fast With 10 Simple Steps, by Coach Matt Hartsky, CSCS, PES, CPT
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If you’re looking to lose some weight to improve your overall health or wanting to cut body fat fast to look better for summer, the process can seem complicated, and for many, they just aren’t sure where to even begin.
While there are numerous diet and exercise styles out there and a spectrum of other factors that can shape your weight loss journey, there are also many simple steps you can incorporate into your fat cutting strategy to help you feel better, gain more energy, sleep better, and torch fat faster.
Let’s look at ten proven steps that can help you lose body fat fast by promoting healthy weight loss:
- Begin a Planned Strength Training Program
If you have not been exercising at all or if your workout focus has been on doing strictly cardio-based activities, beginning a planned strength training program can be a game-changer for your weight loss goals.
Strength training will promote a higher extended metabolism after your workout by increasing the body’s need to repair and recover. In addition, the lean mass you will build with well-planned strength training will increase your body’s calorie-burning expenditure while you are resting. Not to mention that added muscle tone will look even better as you reduce body fat.
Sound too good to be true? Numerous studies have shown strength training to have many direct fat-burning benefits including the reduction of visceral fat (the fat stored around your organs), the reduction of belly fat, and the preservation of muscle mass while dieting.
You can get started with strength training with simple bodyweight movements as basic as standing up and setting back down in a chair. As a personal trainer for more than twenty-five years, I am a little biased when it comes to strength training and would highly recommend getting some guidance from a professional if you are interested in staying safe and getting the most out of your strength training. This is especially true when it comes to advancing beyond bodyweight movement to using strength training tools like dumbbells, bands, and machines. At the very least, I would recommend hiring a trainer to provide you with an affordable planned strength training program.
- Start to Focus on Eating More Protein
Protein is the only macronutrient not stored as energy in the body. Essentially, we must eat to provide this important piece of our body’s fueling system.
One of the best parts about incorporating more protein into your diet (while reducing carbohydrates, more on that later) is you will reach a level of satisfaction with your hunger more easily. Having a higher level of protein on board will also allow your body to spend more time using body fat as a direct energy source while using protein to help you recover from the strength training you started in step number one.
Furthermore, many studies have demonstrated that a diet focused on increasing levels of high-quality protein has a direct association with reducing belly fat, reduced overall calorie consumption, and preserved muscle mass while losing body fat.
This is exactly how I help clients learn how to lose body fat with Nutrition Coaching at Transforming Strength
- Adjust Your Routine to Get More Sleep
The correlation between sleep, recovery, and weight loss has been studied for decades, resulting in strong evidence that getting more sleep can help boost your efforts to lose body fat.
One particular study demonstrated that over sixteen years, women who slept more than seven hours each night were less likely to have negative weight gain than those who slept for five hours or less.
Another study showed that more sleep directly equated to more balanced hormones, including those associated with hunger and appetite control.
An additional study over six months found women were far more likely to successfully lose body fat if they got at least seven hours of sleep every night.
While sleep requirements can vary between individuals according to their base metabolic needs and activity levels, many studies have found a correlation to improved health benefits when the seven hours of sleep goal is consistently reached.
- Introduce More Healthy Fats Daily
Healthy fats like those we take in by consuming nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, and fish oil, can have a direct impact on how we feel, recover, and lose body fat.
The stand-out benefit of replacing unhealthy fats like trans fats with healthy options is the direct reduction in overall body fat, as well as waist circumference and more specifically, belly fat.
Numerous studies have shown the clear benefits of a diet balanced with healthy fats to include slower digestion times, resulting in better-controlled appetite and hunger, a lower risk of bad weight gain, and a higher rate of belly fat loss when dieting.
Of course, be mindful that even healthy fat is high in calories, so they should be eaten as part of a well-planned nutrition program, swapping out unhealthy fats whenever possible and keeping their consumption balanced and in moderation.
- Replace Processed Beverages With Water
Sweetened and highly processed drinks are one of the sneaky pitfalls for many of my clients trying to learn how to lose body fat.
Let’s make this one as clear and as simple as possible. The best beverage you can consume and pay attention to getting enough of is WATER.
A focus on hydration with water can make a tremendous difference in the way you lose weight, recover from exercise, perform, sleep, and feel!
Some studies estimate that well over 80% of Americans walk around in a state of chronic dehydration. For many years, the most common water consumption recommendation has been to drink 8 glasses of water every day. While it’s true most people struggle to even reach this minimum suggestion, it is a low goal for all but the most sedentary people. If you have moderate activity levels or higher, you simply need more.
Not only does proper hydration affect your ability to lose weight, but it also plays a crucial role in balanced organ function, healthy weight loss, improved appetite control, smooth digestion, clear mental focus, boosted immune system, and perceived energy levels.
If those benefits of drinking more water aren’t enough to sway you, swapping out sweetened drinks for healthier options has several other positives for those looking to lose some weight.
For example, sweetened beverages like pop, almond, and coconut milk, and many juices are packed with calories that can add up over a day, week, or month, and unfortunately, offer very little nutritional value.
Alcohol is usually a hot topic when I discuss nutrition with my clients. It is usually fairly high in overall calories and has been shown to contribute to over-eating when consumed with meals.
Ditching the sweetened (yes, artificial too) and highly processed drinks in exchange for pouring down a couple of extra glasses of water per day can have an eye-opening result in your weight loss progress.
- Increase Your Fat-Fighting Fiber
How would you like to dramatically increase your control over feelings of hunger while boosting your micronutrient intake? Increasing your intake of dense, fibrous vegetables, nuts and seeds are a few examples of high-fiber foods that can not only do just that but boost your fat burning and weight loss efforts along the way.
Aged studies have shown soluble fiber like that found in broccoli, asparagus, and Brussel sprouts, moves slowly through the digestive tract, helping us to stay full longer, which fights off over-eating, negative weight gain, and fat storage from excess unused calories.
Some studies have shown just a slight increase in fiber intake was responsible for decreased calorie intake resulting in reduced belly fat and an undeniable resource for helping to lose overall body fat.
Avoid these common fat loss mistakes: https://transformingstrength.com/personal-training-tips/6-common-fat-loss-mistakes/
- Cut Down Processed Carbohydrates
While I am a firm believer the human body MUST HAVE carbohydrates on board to function OPTIMALLY, cutting down and then eliminating refined and processed carbohydrates will have a major impact on your long-term health, recovery, performance, and yes, weight loss.
Not only do processed carbohydrates challenge our body’s ability to balance blood sugar, but they are often extremely low in fiber and nutrient value.
Some excellent studies have shown diets balanced by a whole food, natural and clean carbohydrates like quinoa, sweet potatoes, oats, rice, and buckwheat to provide nutrient-dense fuel that balances blood sugar, feelings of hunger, recovery, and healthy weight loss. Examples of dirty, highly processed carbs to avoid include pasta, pastries, bread, chips, and cereals.
- Increase Your Daily Exercise on Purpose
It is very common for me to ask my clients about the exercise they did on their own since their last training session with me. In the beginning, I often get responses like, “I did a bunch of shopping so I walked a lot,” or, “I had a ton of laundry to do, so I tackled that for my workout,” or, I spent a lot of time in the garden this weekend.” While those are all ACTIVITIES that did burn some calories, they are not EXERCISING on purpose to promote the physical changes we call fitness. Unfortunately, they are also pretty low on the scale of activities that are going to help us burn the extra calories needed to lose body fat.
The thought of exercising can be overwhelming for many people trying to get their health in order. Because of this common challenge, I often recommend keeping this exercise as simple as possible. As long as you are purposefully going out to exercise, ONE IS GREATER THAN ZERO. try not to overwhelm yourself with getting a great hour-long session in. It could be as simple as 20 minutes of brisk walking. Start where you are and build from there as your fitness, habits, progress, and confidence grow.
Many studies have shown the more exercise we get, the more belly fat we lose when dieting so get out there and do something on purpose to improve your fitness. The weight loss will follow.
Check out these tips to get fit safely: https://transformingstrength.com/personal-training-tips/how-to-get-fit-safely/
- Mix in More Exercise That Includes High-Intensity Intervals
You’ve likely heard of HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training. It sounds, well, intense, right? Let’s take a step back and look at how the average person can mix in more exercise with higher intensity without feeling overwhelmed by the notion of training as a top-level athlete.
When I ask clients to mix in more high-intensity intervals, I’m just asking for them to perform their normal cardio-based exercise at an easy to moderate pace, and include short durations or bursts of activity before resuming their normal pace.
Studies have shown this increased intensity boosting form of training to improve fitness levels, ramp up calorie burning, and promote faster fat loss.
Other studies have shown just twenty minutes of this interval training to boost significant weight loss without any other exercise or dietary changes and this type of workout burns around thirty percent more calories than steady forms of cardio over the same duration.
In one of its simplest forms, mixing in high-intensity intervals could be walking for a minute, followed by thirty seconds of walking as fast as your legs can carry you, and repeat for anywhere from several minutes to an hour.
- Eat On Purpose
The most profound piece of advice I can give to help you on your health and fitness journey is to make the time investment in yourself by learning to Eat on Purpose. This is the only way you will learn how to lose body fat AND KEEP IT OFF as a permanent lifestyle change. Learn how to shift your perspectives on food from eating meals and snacks to fusing food to fuel your body for health, recovery, and performance. Get educated on how to eat for your body and lifestyle needs and goals. Learn how to plan and prepare so you are consistently successful at healthy eating.
Stop guessing about how to lose weight! This is the Eating on Purpose Plan: https://transformingstrength.com/personal-training-tips/learn-how-to-eat-on-purpose-for-weight-loss-health-performance/
While these are just a few simple steps you can take to lose weight and feel better, there are dozens of other tips, strategies, and options available to help you successfully lose some weight and improve your health. Try to build some of these healthy habits into your daily routine to see how these minor adjustments to your lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise can have powerful effects on your fat loss journey.
As always, shout with any questions. ~ Coach Matt Hartsky