Post by Mirella Clark
I am often questioned on the best methods to reduce body fat, more commonly from areas such as the tummy, bottom and legs, and more so during this time of year when women want that ‘bikini body’ ready to hit the beach.
There is still the misconception that to reduce body fat, you need to diet, reducing calorie intake and opt for ‘low fat’ foods. I can tell you now that this is not the way! I don’t do ‘diets’, and if anyone wants to follow the right plan to better body composition, they wouldn’t have to either.
Fat loss is not achieved through restricting your food intake and smashing yourself up in the gym with hours of endless cardio. Nutrition is key and a clean healthy balanced diet is crucial. Focus on plenty of good quality lean protein, essential fats, and reduced carb intake (particularly refined carbs such as bread, pasta and cereals)
As far as training goes, most women I come across are too scared to lift weights, and if they do they focus on using no more than 3kg because they are too scared of building muscle and bulking up. This is not what will happen ladies! (but more on the training side of things in a later article)
Ladies you need this too!
A neglected factor that many people aren’t even aware of is hormones. Sugar, sleep, stress all play a part and should be addressed if you want to feel better, look better and live better. Fuel, respect and take care of your body, and it will function and respond more efficiently.
So here are 10 tips for a better body that will move you swiftly in the right direction:
- Eat protein at every meal (ideally 2g per 1kg of body weight), helping you feel fuller for longer, reducing any cravings and providing essential amino acids for lean muscle tissue.
- Eat healthy fats…try to incorporate some form of healthy fat in every meal, for example a good drizzle of olive oil on your salad, oily fish, a handful of plain almonds, half a small avocado as a snack.
- Aim to eat 5-6 small meals a day. If you currently eat less than this, start to build it up slowly but the key is not to go too long between meals, ideally no longer than 3-4 hours, in order to keep fueling your body and keep metabolism raised.
- Drink more water…ideally 2.5 litres a day, increasing by 1 litre on training days (this will vary depending on body weight)
- Sleep 7-8 hours a night…some people need more, some need less but remember, sleep plays a crucial role in fat loss
- Manage daily stress…the stress hormone cortisol is a catabolic hormone that will cause your body to break down muscle tissue and ultimately lead to more fat storage
- Train with weights 3-4 times a week…ditch those marathon cardio sessions!
- Write a food diary…keeping track of what you eat and why will help you manage your progress (and stop you from convincing yourself you didn’t eat that chocolate muffin!)
- Avoid wheat, gluten, dairy and processed foods…many people have food sensitivities that they are not even aware of… cut these out slowly to see if you notice any changes in the way you feel.
- Set yourself a realistic and measurable goal…and don’t stop until you get there. Aim for consistency, not perfection!