Did you know that the body has about 50 billion fat cells? That’s Billion with a B. At the same time, fat cells die at a rate of about 150 cells per second!
Fat is one of the most talked-about subjects these days. Every day I get a few messages from people asking me about fat loss. Getting those abs, looking good in a swimsuit, wanting to boost your confidence. There are so many reasons for wanting to lose fat.
I am all for it. I know what happened to me when I lost my 15 kilos. I started looking younger, I started feeling lighter and more energetic. Clothes started looking better on me. Earlier on I had to buy expensive clothes with the best slim-cut fit to make me look slimmer than I was.
After losing my fat I no longer had to worry about it!
However, there was a time when fat was celebrated. The fatter you were the better mate you would be. Having excess fat was a sign of prosperity and signified that you would survive a famine.
Fat, after all, is a survival tool. It is our body’s store of energy. Today the trend is to be thin, skinny, athletic. Who knows 10 years down the line, fat might be back in fashion just like my parent’s bell-bottom jeans were.
For most of us, fat loss has become an unfortunate obsession. We obsess about the way we look and check our weight every morning. The more you worry about the fat, the more it’s going to stick around. The harder it will be to get rid off because you are stressing over it and stress causes the body to put on fat.
Weight loss is not the same thing as fat loss please listen to the podcast called “loose the weighing scale”. Fat loss is way more important than your weight.
The second most important thing to realise about fat loss is that the body doesn’t want to lose the fat. It is in a state of homeostasis. So you have to do something dramatic and different in order to start the process off. This could be starting intermittent fasting or starting an exercise program or not eating junk food or quitting sugar.
What you should not do is worry about calories in vs. calories out. Which was the old way of looking at weight loss and not fat loss? Because when you lower your calories you will lose muscle along with the fat.
Always the first step on your fat loss journey is to get rid of all the junk food that you have lying around. Junk food damages the gut bacteria and causes inflammation. It also has no nutritional value. So for a month decide you will not be eating any junk food.
If junk food is already out of your diet. Then move to exercise. In particular, exercise focused on hypertrophy. That means muscle building. Focus first on the leg muscles as these are some of the biggest muscles in the body and hence are the most metabolically active. Squats are more important than bicep curls.
Notice I did not write do cardio. Cardio will not get you the same result as putting on muscle will.
The next step is to make sure you are sleeping enough. If your sleep is all over the place or if you are sleeping just 4 hours a night. There is no way that you will be healthy or lose fat. So getting your sleep in check will be the next priority.
The last thing to focus on is your stress. If you have a stressful job or a stressful family life. Learn techniques designed to make you stress less! Learn techniques for destressing. There are so many podcasts on IVM that speak about learning to de-stress.
As your habit coach, I want you to understand that fat loss is a process of many many steps. There is no magic pill that will make it happen. Yes, there are pills that will accelerate the process like L-Carnitine and Green tea extract etc. But that is only if you have the basics in place.
Every month you have to improve your approach to fat loss, you have to keep getting better and adapting. Above all else be patient. It took you so many years to put on all this fat. It will take some time to get rid of it.
In that sense think of fat loss as a habit. Not as an obsession. Everyday you do something small.
For example for the next 2 weeks do not have any soft drinks or junk food.
Then join a gym and only focus on lifting weights. It doesn’t matter if you are a boy or a girl. Weights are your friends. If you do not know what to do in a gym speak to a trainer. There are some amazing online courses as well. You can also start doing the Tabata Tuesdays found on the Kinetic Living Podcast.
Once you have these keystone habits in place focus on your sleep. Have a set bedtime…We have done a podcast on finding the ideal going to bedtime as this is very individual. Get a good 7 hours of sleep.
Finally, start reducing your stress. Live happy and light!
Now once all these have become a habit. Your basics of fat loss are in place. Then we move to the more fancy things like intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating.
There is no simple habit for this one. You just have to follow these four steps and eventually make it a habit to keep the fat away from your body.
There is no magic pill or shortcut you have just be consistent and hence developing these fat loss habits are essential. Every day slowly slowly chip away at it. If you fall off, dust yourself and start again. I know you can do this because if I can, anyone can.
These four simple steps have helped many of my clients get their basics in place for the next step of their fat loss journey.