Nearly 50% of people attempt to lose weight each and every year.
The amount that are successful is even lower than that … and there are even less people that KEEP the weight off long-term.
When it comes to losing fat, there are a few factors that make it difficult for people. Over the last 8 years of helping people with this exact thing, I have found some constants that successful individuals do.
I am going to give you 14 things that you can implement right away to help you lose body fat, and can also be a part of your lifestyle for LONG-TERM success.
Now, I get it ... 14 different things may seem like a lot at first glance, but you'll realize that these are very basic concepts that, when done consistently, compound together and help you earn the results you want.
14 Simple Ways To Lose Body Fat
1. Drink more water
People like to overcomplicate things and look past the basics.
Water is essential and our body needs adequate amounts of it to survive.
Taking that a step further, getting optimal amounts of water can help us thrive.
Not only is water important when it comes to your ability to lose fat, water also plays a massive role with your organs, cells, muscles, and brain ... which all need water to function properly.
Plus, it can have a massive effect on things such as energy, appetite, performance, and even the number of calories you burn throughout the day.
A good general recommendation would be to start consuming 100-120 ounces of water each day.
I personally kept track by using a water bottle that was 24oz. I knew if I drank 5 a day, I was in a great spot.
Or you can always get a gallon jug (128 ounces) and drink 1 per day at a minimum.
2. Focus on your calorie intake
Calories are going to be the biggest factor in you losing weight or not.
Creating the right balance of calories you consume vs calories you burn each day is a major key.
Calories are the way we measure energy, and is the unit at which we do this. Each food you eat has a caloric value attached to it based off of the energy inside the food.
The amount of energy you burn each day is also measured in calories. Burn more than you consume ... and you will be setting yourself up to lose weight!
Side note ... there is a balance behind this, because going super low calorie or just cutting all your food out typically does not lead to the results you want.
I know when I first started, I did the “run my ass off, starve my ass off” approach, which DID NOT yield the look and long-term results I wanted.
3. How do we burn calories?
I mentioned above that you must create the proper balance of calories in vs calories out to lose weight.
The total sum of all the calories you burn each day is sometimes referred to your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure).
I am going to keep this simple for now, and break it into 3 categories:
• RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) – This is the sum of all the processes that happen when you are at rest, and is what you would think of as your “metabolism”.
It’s the energy your body uses for organ function, breathing, hormone production, and anything that is autonomic, or in the background.
This will make up approximately 60-70% of your total calories burned each day!
• Activity – this includes the exercise you are doing, along with the other movement you do throughout the day ... whether it be walking down the aisle at the store, or going on a walk with your dog or kids.
Your daily activity and movement can account for 20-30% of your total calories burned each day.
• TEF (Thermic Effect of Food) – which refers to the energy, a.k.a. calories, it takes to digest and break down the food you consume.
This is roughly 5-10% of the calories you burn each day.
4. Consume more protein
I want to talk more about what you are putting into your body.
I understand that if you are new to your health and fitness journey, you may correlate protein with being muscular and bulky.
I can tell you as someone who has been working in the health and fitness realm for 9 years, this is not the case.
Protein does promote the building of lean muscle tissue, and helps with the building/repair of all tissue inside the body.
This includes hair, skin, nails, intestinal tract, and much more. But just drinking protein or eating protein does not make you big or bulky. There are many other factors that come into play for that to happen.
Plus, protein has the highest Thermic Effect, referring to the number of calories it takes your body to break down.
Along with all of that, it is very satiating ... meaning it helps with reducing the feeling of hunger.
One thing that I want to highlight ... is that protein helps build/repair muscle.
Building muscle is one of the ways you can increase your overall metabolism or RMR.
5. Eat nutrient-dense foods
To go right along with what you eat, let’s talk about nutrient-dense foods.
What I mean is MICROnutrients, or nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, that your body needs in “micro” or small amounts.
Many of these vitamins and minerals are essential to the body because your body cannot make them on its own ... which means they must be consumed through food or supplementation.
Having gaps in your plan can affect the way you feel & perform, your hunger & energy, and even your ability to lose fat.
That is why consuming nutrient dense-foods like fruits, veggies, and quality protein sources is such a major key.
In addition to that, an easy way to help fill any gaps is by supplementing with something like Micro Factor.
Micro Factor is a daily essential nutrient pack that can help fill the gaps in your nutrition from a micronutrient level.
That way, you can help support your body with the essential micronutrients it needs to function at its best.
6. Track your food
Keeping track of your daily food intake can be SUPER helpful. Remember, we are trying to create a situation that allows us to lose weight.
The biggest factor is burning more calories than we consume. That said, if you can measure that intake, it makes it much easier.
I know that tracking food is something that's new to many people...
However, once you get in the groove ... it not only becomes easier, but also teaches you “what” is in the foods you eat.
This can help you earn long-term results, rather than just following a “diet” that doesn’t necessarily teach you what to eat in relation to your goals.
We have a saying here at 1st Phorm, “What gets measured gets managed” and that is exactly what tracking your food does.
It isn’t about cutting everything "bad" out or being super restrictive, but rather learning how to incorporate the things you like, sometimes in moderation, as long as they are in alignment with your goals.
Along with that, using a tool like the 1st Phorm App will help you dial in your plan when it comes to individual macros, such as protein intake.
As I mentioned earlier, doing so can definitely benefit your weight loss goal.
7. Improve Sleep Quality
Sleep is the time when our body is recovering and getting ready for the next day the most. When it comes to sleep, it's important to think about sleep quantity AND quality.
Not only will a good night’s sleep allow you to be more energized the next day, it can have an effect on fat loss in a few different ways!
The first may be obvious, but the more energy you have, the more likely it is that you will exercise and be active.
Second, your body uses that time at rest for optimizing hormones.
That simply means producing certain hormones and regulating the production of others.
Without proper rest, our body can get “out of whack”, and this can lead to negative effects on our metabolism and ability to lose fat.
Third, leading straight from hormones, even one bad night of sleep can cause your hunger hormones to fall off-balance ... which can lead to hunger and cravings the next day.
The stronger your cravings, the more likely you will succumb to those and overeat.
8. Increase Daily Movement
Remember earlier when I mentioned one of the ways we burn calories is movement?
That can include workouts inside the gym, but movement isn’t limited to just that.
One simple thing that has helped myself and many of my clients is walking more.
I know, I know … that seems so simple and basic. Well, that's because it is!
But, once you understand that an additional 30-45 minutes of purposefully walking can lead to more fat loss ... walking becomes more intriguing.
See, when we go on a walk, our body is burning more calories than sitting around.
In addition, most of those calories are coming from fat, because of it being a low intensity activity.
In just 30-45 minutes, you can burn an additional 100-200 calories or so.
On top of that, since walking isn’t super intense, it will not have a huge effect on your appetite ... meaning you will not have a need for a bunch of fuel, ultimately making it easier to stay on top of your nutrition plan.
9. Add resistance training to your routine
Now, if you are new to living a healthy lifestyle, or just plain intimidated by the gym, this one can seem daunting...
But there are a few great reasons to add resistance training to your plan AT LEAST 3-4 days per week.
When it comes to losing fat, resistance training is superior to just cardio.
The more muscle you have on your body, the higher your overall metabolism will be, and the more calories you burn each day.
Also, not only do you burn calories during the workout, when you resistance train, you are creating micro-trauma inside the muscle you work.
This is a scenario where your body will need to use “energy” AKA “calories” to repair the damage.
So, unlike stepping off the treadmill after a light cardio session, you will burn more calories for longer after a workout that involves resistance training of some sort.
Wait, I am not done yet! One thing I want to highlight is ... I have seen too many people just run the weight off and not have a proper nutrition plan.
They get down to their goal weight, and the look they were going for just isn't there.
Lifting weights can help with this, because with the proper nutrition and recovery plan, you can help to build and maintain muscle while losing body fat.
This will help to give you that toned, lean, and athletic look that most of us are trying to achieve.
Now, one argument I get is that you don’t want to get “bulky." That's an argument that typically comes from women more than men.
I get it, and totally understand you do not want to look “manly.”
However, due to hormonal differences, as well as most likely not fueling enough for substantial growth (since this blog is about fat loss) getting "bulky like a man" from weight lifting is not going to happen.
Instead, many women find they get that fit, toned, or athletic look most females are after!
10. Limit processed foods
I feel like I am on a roll, so I am going to stick with this theme of nutrition.
Foods that are highly processed can have a negative effect on the way you feel, along with your ability to lose weight.
First, they're usually not very filling, and don’t satisfy hunger the same way as other foods ... especially since they normally lack the same micronutrient density of less processed foods.
Second, they are typically “pro-inflammatory” and can lead to higher levels of inflammation in the body.
11. Planning ahead - prep food
Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.
This was a quote that stuck with me when I first started my own journey, and to this day, it is true for myself and so many others.
When you do not take the time to prepare, you leave it up to good choices and hoping the situation is right for making those proper decisions.
This can be as simple as scheduling in your workout, as if it were a doctor's appointment.
That way, it's already in your brain that you have no other choice but to go workout.
A big one is meal prep...
That means investing a couple of hours once or twice a week to ensure you always have the necessary food available to stick with your nutrition plan.
With that, tracking your food is very important.
This is about priorities as well. If you add up the time it takes to track 3 meals and 2-3 snacks per day, it is about 5-10 minutes total when you first start.
That 5-10 minutes gets quicker as you go, but still ... it's time well spent to show you exactly what you are eating ... so you can manage it.
12. Mindset - Lifestyle vs Diet
This one is something that took me a long time to personally figure out, so I want to give you some perspective that I think will help you be more successful LONG TERM.
I have found that someone following a “diet” can be very successful for a short period of time.
Instead, I would strive to look at this as a lifestyle and you CHOOSING to live a healthier lifestyle.
When you can switch your mindset to that, it makes the process go smoother and also makes it more sustainable.
You stop looking at it as “I have to go to the gym” or “I cannot eat that food” to “I get to go workout” and “I am choosing to eat something that aligns with my goals”.
That does not mean you won’t ever have pizza or drink alcohol again.
Instead, it means that those will not be your regular choices, and will only be a part of your life in moderation ... so you can still work toward your goals.
13. Surround yourself with a supportive community
It would be great if every one of us were self-motivated every single day ... but, that just isn’t the case all the time.
Sometimes we need a push or positive reinforcement from someone else.
Finding a community or accountability buddy can be a huge advantage for staying on track with your weight loss goal.
Whether that means joining a group fitness class, or simply finding a person at your gym to work out with.
I would also look for someone close to you, a family member, friend, co-worker ... or really anyone who will hold you to the things you say you are going to do, and could also benefit from it themselves.
You can also do this by joining a fitness group online.
That is why we created the 1st Phorm App Community Facebook Group for everyone who has the 1st Phorm App.
The more you can surround yourself with positive, like-minded individuals, the more successful you can be.
I want to start by saying this may be one of the hardest tasks on this list.
So many of us have tried and failed, or have been successful for a short time, only to gain all of our weight back.
Shoot, some of us haven’t really even started yet. That is okay though, because we call all change that.
My first point about belief is that the work comes first.
What I mean by that is ... we don’t always wake up and truly believe we are going to be successful.
In fact, most of the time, you have to take action first.
You have to start working toward a goal and consistently do things even though you are not 100% positive they are going to pay off.
But there is a cool thing that happens as you continue to execute and put forth the effort.
You start to BELIEVE in yourself.
That negative self-talk starts to lessen, and you start creating positive momentum.
One day of following your nutrition plan turns into one week. Then you make it through a weekend without slipping up.
After that, with every single day that you follow through with the commitment you made to yourself, you earn that belief more and more.
Ultimately, you will create the belief by taking action consistently, and keeping the promises/commitments you made to the most important person in your journey … YOU!
1st Phorm Is Here To Help
These 14 ways to help you lose weight are only as good as the intent and effort you put toward them.
Remember, it is solely up to you, and you are in control of the results and the outcome.
Fortunately, here at 1st Phorm, we are here to help you along every step of the way. Whether it is downloading the 1st Phorm App and working with an advisor 1-on-1, or reaching out to our NASM Certified Customer Service team ... no matter what you need, we are here to help!