We live in a world where we can access the entirety of the human civilization's knowledge on something we can fit in our pockets. A portion of this knowledge contains information regarding fat loss.
With so much information out there on weight loss, it can be hard to filter the good information from the bad.
How many times have you come across a post, ad, or link that reads "Miracle Weight Loss Pill", "Lose 10 Pounds In 10 Days", or "Lose Fat With This 1 Easy Trick?" The list goes on...
It begs the question - what information can you really trust?
What I have done is sourced through dozens of articles, posts, and publications to see what information is out there on losing fat (there's a lot), and have compiled the 10 most prominent strategies, advice, and tips into one master list!
All of the the following information is backed by scientific research and real life experiences from everyday individuals.
I call this list the "10 Commandments of Effective Fat Loss". The following "Commandments" are listed in order of how frequent they were across my research.
10. The Right Mindset
An entire argument could be made for having this Commandment as number 1, but that's a post for another day...
First things first - weight loss is just as much a mental thing as it is physical.
Weight loss itself is very simple, but there is a way to make it HARD, and then there is a way to make it EASY...
Before you ever step foot on the scale, take a bite of food, or step foot in the gym, you have to willingly accept that your results, and eventual success, come down to the effort you put in. Put in your best effort, and your results WILL show for it.
What else falls under the category of The Right Mindset? Things like persistence, discipline, habits, and the power to say "no."
Losing weight takes time, and things that take time require patience. Persistence comes easier to some than others, but understanding that weight loss does not occur overnight, and being complacent with that, will make the journey more sustainable and enjoyable.
Strive to be consistently persistent, while thinking with the end in mind, and you will undoubtedly be successful with your fat loss efforts.
Discipline is closely related to persistence, but differs in that discipline involves consistently choosing to make the right choice. Discipline involves ensuring that you are doing the things you need to do in order to effectively lose fat.
You see, having the right mindset transcends to all aspects of life. If you want to do something new, reach a goal, or whatever, you have to be disciplined enough to take the necessary actions to accomplish it.
You have to be accountable for your actions!
You have probably heard that it takes approximately 21 days to form a new habit. But is that really the case? A 2009 study suggested that a more realistic length of time to form a new habit is 66 days.
So what does this mean for fat loss?
Think about your life for a moment... Your daily habits are, in a sense, what make up your lifestyle. Obesity, and being overweight in general, is not a disease. Being overweight is a symptom of poor habits.
With this in mind, by changing your habits, and thus forming new ones, you place yourself right on track to losing fat by rewiring your brain.
Power Of Saying "NO"
You might be wondering how saying "no" is going to help you lose weight...
Have you ever been in a situation where you were offered to try something like a piece of cake or scoop of ice cream, and you felt obligated to say "yes"? We all have.
But what about being asked for a second, or even third, serving of something. Or "would you like a large with that?", or "would you like extra?"
Too often we feel obligated to say "yes" to these questions, but you have the power to say "no!" Saying "no" is perfectly alright, and if you want to lose fat, this will help out in more ways than you might realize.
Mind first, body second.
9. smaller portions & Plates
Most people know that using smaller portions is a great way to prevent over eating. But what about the psychology of using smaller plates too?
Have you ever heard of the Delboeuf Illusion?
The Delboeuf Illusion is simply an optical illusion of relative size perception. Take a look at the picture below:
These two circles are exactly the same size; however, the circle on the left may seem larger than the one on the right. Now, imagine these circles as plates of food...
A study with the nickname "The Smaller Plate Study" conducted by Dr. Brian Wansink and Dr. Koert van Ittersum found that using a plate with a smaller diameter of 10 inches compared to a 12 inch plate decreased the amount of food people ate without having an effect on their perceived fulness or satisfaction.
In fact, people consumed over 20% less calories when using a plate with a smaller diameter.
With this in mind, it essentially means that you can trick your brain into thinking you are consuming more food than you actually are. Over time, this will directly correlate to consuming less calories; thus, effective fat loss.
To summarize, by using smaller plates and bowls, people will avoid over-serving their food when compared to using larger plates. The brain is surely funny sometimes!
8. Allow indulgence
This one might come as a surprise to you... "You're saying that I can eat sweets and junk and still lose weight!?"
Well, to answer that simply... Yes, you can.
Not everyone is disciplined enough to avoid sugary, processed treats or desserts. Some people are able to, which is great! But for some, it's not so easy, and that's alright.
I personally do not believe, however, in cheat meals/days. If careless, you could completely undo a week's worth of effort by completely over-indulging. Is it really that worth it? In my opinion, it's not. Cheat meals/days are just a temporary fix.
Remember, sugar mimics the effects of drugs in the brain, and is highly addicting (more info in Commandment #5)! So what can you do?
By strategically planning a dessert or treat of any kind into your daily food intake, you can enjoy yourself without having to worry about "getting fat", or feeling guilty.
Better yet, consider preparing your own dessert item at home. This way, you have complete control over the ingredients, serving size, and macronutrients.
At the end of the day, simply put, if you are burning more energy than you are taking in via food per day, you WILL lose weight - Calories in vs. Calories out.
7. Improve Macronutrients
Calories are NOT the only thing that matter...
Your macronutrients - proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, are what your body requires in large quantities to fuel the body.
This is something you probably already know, however.
The real truth of the matter lies in this - are you consuming enough of each macronutrient?