If you have the goal of losing fat in 2021, here are things you must have in place before hitting the gym and eating salads all day everyday. You have to set a foundation in place, knowing exactly what you want to do and how you’re going to do it. I break this down into 3 factors of fat:
How to Start Your Fat Loss Journey
Fat loss and any goal in life starts with your mind, through knowledge and application, but starting with your why.
What are your reasons for losing fat in 2021, are you just looking to make it part of your New Year Resolutions or you’re trying to live a fitness lifestyle.
Whatever your reasons are, make sure that they are sustainable and you will still be happy with yourself 1 to 10 years from now with this decision.
Know what you must do, apply what you’ve learned through patience, hard work, consistency and developing habits (discipline) that ensure you achieve your goals.
Calories are the units of energy in all that you consume and they provide your body with that energy. You must eat less calories than you burn to lose fat, which is known as a calorie deficit.
You can do this through only what you consume or through exercise and consuming less calories which is usually best for fat loss.
How Does Fat Loss Work
When you’re in a calorie deficit and doing regular exercise, your body looks to getting energy from your energy storage. This comes in the form of glycogen (stored carbs) and fat.
Your body will first look to using the glycogen in your body because it is easier for it to access. Once it has reduced the stored carbs to a point where they can’t be used, it will look to get energy from your fat cells.
Your fat cells will release the stored energy into your bloodstream for your body to use.
When a fat cell’s stored energy is depleted, it will fill up with water that you consume to maintain its shape and then release the water through breathing, urinating and sweating, leaving the fat cell empty and useless in the body.
The more of these fat cells get used for energy the more fat you lose and the leaner you will look.
How to Eat for Fat Loss
I have addressed the mind through knowledge and application, now let’s look at the nutrition side of making the most of losing fat in 2021.
As it was stated before, you must eat in a calorie deficit, but what does that actually mean and how can you make it easier for yourself. You must look to food and drinks that can ensure at least one of the following:
1. Suppressing of Your Appetite
Food that suppress your appetite ensures that you will feel fuller for longer, so that you can eat less calories throughout the day. This will include food that is high in fiber, which slows digestion and food that has appetite suppressing qualities as result of it’s texture, it’s affecting of your senses or its chemical composition (what it is made up of).
Here’s a list foods you could add to your diet with these qualities:
- Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Dark Chocolate
- Cayenne Pepper
2. Low in Calories, Can Be Eaten in High Volumes
Food that is low in calories, but can be eaten high volumes ensures that you can eat a lot of it without it negatively affecting your calorie intake.
The higher volume will ensure that you can keep full with a lower calorie intake. These are usually fruits and vegetables and you have a lot of options in this.
Most fruit is generally low in calories for every normal serving that you have. Vegetables can be starch (potatoes, carrots, peas, corn etc.) and non-starch (green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms etc.).
You don’t need to worry too much about that difference in vegetables, but it may be important if you want to get your carbs mostly from vegetables than grains like rice and pasta etc.
This will also let you worry less about tracking your calories.
3. Low to No Processing
Highly processed food usually has little nutritional value and sometimes high in calories, never mind any additives that may have long-term effects on your health.
This food includes fast food, sweets, alcohol and soft drinks. The amount of processing that is done to get them to taste good is a result of high sugar, high fat or unknown content that is added to making them.
It is all about balance and portions, because majority of your food you must get from things that are high in nutritional value with carbs, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.
This doesn’t mean that you mustn’t indulge every now and then for cravings or just pleasure and enjoying life.
4. High in Protein
High protein items, that are moderate to low in carbs and low in fat are beneficial to you losing fat in 2021.
Protein helps repair and recover muscles, which will help prevent the loss of muscle when you’re in a calorie deficit and trying to lose fat.
Fat is also high in calories, therefore keeping the fat content low can minimize the amount of calories that you consum.
Here is a list of foods that you can include in your diet. These are options for all types of diets, whether you eat meat or not:
- Chicken Breast
- Lean Beef
- Nuts (Peanuts, Almonds, Cashews)
- Greek Yoghurt
Training for Fat Loss
Training for fat loss requires you to ensure that you’re training to burn calories and build muscle, this is because as you burn calories, you increase your chances of being in calorie deficit, not only through nutrition, which is more difficult.
When you train to build muscle, you will in turn maintain or improve your body’s metabolism, which is the rate at which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy.
The faster your metabolism, the more calories you will burn to help you lose fat.
This is why it is important to have different methods of training that will ensure these two things.
Maintenance of the Fat Lost
This is something that I have never considered, but believe that it is probably one of the most important.
Since I have had less time to train with studying, working and not playing sport as much as before, I have had to adjust accordingly, because things change in life.
What do you do when you’ve reached a point in your journey where your mind doesn’t have second thoughts of your weekly training schedule and daily nutrition?
You must track your progress as best as possible. When life changes for you and the weight of the world is greater than you were prepared for, you look at yourself as often as possible.
Your weight will always change, so don’t rely on a scale.
Look at yourself in the mirror, take pictures, try different clothing or have an accountability partner that will ensure that you don’t lose track and you keep the body fat low for life, which should be the goal.
Losing track is part of the journey and you must be ok with it, but don’t stay off track because then it becomes a bigger problem that has more to do with your mind and where you are at that point. In this case, you will have to start again with your why.
Through everything that has been mentioned here, you can achieve it. The most important thing is to always do what works for you.
No matter what I provide or any Personal Trainer or Coach can provide, it’s always what works for you that will get you sustainable results.
Follow a plan that you know you will work hard at, be consistent in following it every week and be patient with the results of it.
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