If your goal is fat loss, there are habits that you need to establish as a part of your healthy lifestyle.
True fat loss takes time, especially if you have a large amount of fat to lose. One major factor of fat reduction and maintenance of a healthy body fat percentage is consistent practice of the following habits:
Fruit and Vegetable Intake
Nutrition is the key and the MAIN factor related to fat loss.
Vegetables should be included at every meal! Not only do fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals, many are also low in calories and fat. By including them in your diet, you can reduce many health risks and have a larger volume of food to eat. Strive to eat more real food and less processed food.
Consuming Enough Protein
The body uses protein as a building block. Protein is important for muscle repair and regeneration. Protein amount varies by person and activity level. A general range is your 10% – 35% of your total daily calories.
Proper Caloric Intake
If you have been previously restricting your calories at too low of an amount, you will need to slowly add calories to your daily intake and allow your body to reset before attempting a calorie deficit. A range of caloric intake for fat loss is Body Weight x 10 and Body Weight x 12. If you are obese, you may need to set your calories in the range of Body Weight x 8 and Body Weight x 9.
Fat loss occurs when you challenge the body and get it moving. I suggest working out 4 to 6 days of the week. Workouts should mainly consist of Weight Lifting with some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) mixed in.
Sleeping allows for our bodies to rest and recover. There are guidelines here as to how many hours you should sleep according to your age. Not sleeping enough can cause cravings and a change in hormones which can interfere with fat loss.
Drinking enough water to stay hydrated is important for you body to function appropriately.
Water is a necessity. A good habit to create is drinking a full glass of water in the beginning of your morning. Also be sure to consume water before, during and after exercise.
Food tracking allows you to see that you are eating within your calorie range and also check your macronutrients (ex: protein, carbohydrates and fat.) There are many great apps out there that help with food tracking. I use the My Fitness Pal app to track my food, Calorieking.com when I need to check nutrition and the Restaurants app for when I am dining out.
If you want to be successful at losing fat, I suggest you begin with these basic guidelines. Start small and implement one habit at the time. Remember that true and lasting fat loss occurs when there is a change in habits and lifestyle. Be consistent, be positive and stay focused!