If you want to lose fat, you need to move more and eat less to create an energy deficit. That means exercise and dieting. Your body will then use stored fat to make up that energy shortfall and, over time, you will lose fat and weight.
However, who really wants to lose fat slowly? Very few people have the patience just to let fat loss happen gradually. We want to lose fat, and we want to lose it now.
Here are seven rules that will help you lose fat faster and easier than ever before. Each one is backed by science and guaranteed to multiply your rate of success.
No matter which diet or exercise plan you are following, you should have no problem implementing and sticking to these rules.
If you are serious about faster fat loss, make sure you start following these seven rules today.
1. Pump up the protein
Eating more protein-rich food, such as chicken, eggs, lean beef, fish, and plant-based proteins like soy, can have a significant impact on your rate of fat loss. In fact, these foods are such powerful fat-burning allies that you should include them in every meal.
Why? It all boils down to something called the thermal effect of food, or TEF for short.
TEF describes the amount of energy required to ingest, digest, transport and then eliminate the nutrients in the food you eat. Yes, that’s right – eating food not only provides energy but uses energy too.
Of the three food groups – protein, carbohydrate and fat – protein has the highest thermal effect which means that protein requires far more energy to metabolize compared to fat and carbs. This helps explain why high protein, low carbohydrate diets are so effective for fat loss.
According to the Institute of Physiology at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, the thermic effect of the three food groups are:
- Fat: 2-3%.
- Carbs: 6-8%.
- Protein: 25-30%.
Just increasing your protein intake and lowering your carb intake by the same amount will increase your daily energy expenditure and lead to a faster rate of fat loss.
2. Downsize that plate
Losing fat means eating less, and for many of us, that means cutting down on portion size. After all, if you eat smaller portions, you consume fewer calories, and your body will burn more fat to make up the energy shortfall.
However, seeing your smaller meal on a big plate is a stark reminder that you are eating less, and that can trigger increased hunger.
Avoid this problem by eating from smaller plates to make your meals look larger and more filling. Research by Professors Brian Wansink and Koert van Ittersum at Cornell University revealed that using 10-inch diameter plates instead of the traditional 12-inch decreased the amount of food people ate by as much as 22% without affecting their perceived level of fullness.
In short, eating from a smaller plate makes your meals look larger and more filling which helps prevent overeating without triggering increased hunger. All of which is beneficial for faster fat loss.
3. Fill up on fiber
Fiber is a part of the carbohydrate group and is present in most plant foods. But, because we humans lack the multiple stomachs and digestive enzymes necessary to convert fiber to energy, fiber is virtually free from calories.
High fiber foods are naturally lower in calories, but the benefit of fiber doesn’t stop there – it’s also very filling.
Fiber is bulky and stays in your stomach for a long time. This means that fiber fills you up quickly and helps you stay that way for several hours which prevents hunger pangs. It’s also great for your digestive health.
Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are all high in fiber, and you can also use natural high-fiber supplements such as psyllium husks and guar gum.
Aim to consume 25-35 grams of fiber a day by including fibrous foods in every meal. If your diet is currently low in fiber, don’t double your intake overnight as this could lead to digestive discomfort. Instead increase your fiber intake gradually over several weeks, making sure you are also drinking plenty of water as fiber soaks up water like a sponge.
4. Track your food intake
You know you need to eat less to lose fat but what does that really mean? How can you adjust your food intake for faster fat loss if you don’t know how much you are eating in the first place?
Many people fail to lose fat just because they continue to eat more than they should despite believing their diet is good. In contrast, successful dieters are acutely aware of how much and what foods they are eating and research shows that people who record their food intake lose more fat than those who don’t.
Tracking your food intake makes you more mindful of everything you eat, and that is often enough to prevent overeating or avoid making self-sabotaging food choices. There are lots of online food trackers you can use, and there are also various smartphone and tablet apps that make recording your food intake a breeze – many of which are free.
5. Make a bet
As much as you want to lose weight, you want to avoid losing money more! This is human nature. Make the most of this phenomenon by putting your hard-earned money on the line and using it to motivate you to stick to your healthy eating and exercise plan. Research by the world-famous Mayo Clinic concluded that financial incentives were an effective way to bolster fat loss. Here are some ways to do this.
- Give a friend $200 to hold on your behalf. Commit to exercising five times a week for the next four weeks. For every successful workout you complete, you get $20 back. For every workout you miss, they keep $20.
- Commit to completing a food tracker and recording every meal you eat for the next month. Agree to show your completed food diary to a friend at the end of each day. As before, give them $200 to hold for you. For every weight loss meal you eat, you get $5 back. But, for every missed entry or unhealthy meal, they keep $5.
6. Sleep it off
Amazingly, doing absolutely nothing other than pushing out the zzz can help you lose fat faster! Of course, you still need to exercise regularly and eat less to force your body to burn fat, but you also need to take rest and recuperation seriously too.
While you can get by on relatively little sleep, being sleep deprived is strongly linked to weight gain. Too little sleep can adversely affect fat loss in several ways:
- Increased reliance on fast-acting, unhealthy foods such as sweets for energy
- Reduced energy and enthusiasm for exercise
- Increased cortisol (stress hormone) production which increases fat storage
- Reduced insulin sensitivity leading to easier conversion of carbs to body fat
- Increased consumption of high-calorie convenience foods due to lack of energy for healthy cooking
Modern life is increasingly hectic, and many of us have a lot of daily commitments to fulfill. However, by just watching a little less TV, unplugging from the internet earlier, and practicing good time management, you should still be able to clock up 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
Here are some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep:
- Remove all distracting electronic devices from your bedroom
- Ensure your bed is comfortable
- Use blackout blinds to shut out extraneous light
- Avoid caffeine 3-4 hours before bed
- Take the time to relax by reading or having a warm bath before you hit the hay
Yes, you CAN get by on less sleep, but that doesn’t mean you should – especially if a faster fat loss is your goal.
7. Stop drinking your calories
Most people who want to lose fat are acutely aware of how important their food choices are; a high fiber apple is a good, filling choice, whereas a high sugar, high calorie, and not very filling candy bar is not. But, those same people are often less aware of how beverages can affect weight loss.
Sodas, smoothies, blended coffee drinks, and alcoholic beverages all contain a lot of hidden calories but are not very filling and can even trigger cravings which lead you to consume even more calories.
If you are serious about losing fat fast, stop drinking your calories. At the very least, this will mean you can eat more real, filling food to stave off hunger and, at best, could eliminate those extra calories that are sabotaging your fat loss progress.
Good calorie-free beverages include unsweetened tea, coffee, and herbal and fruit infusions, but your primary beverage of choice should be pure water as that is what your body needs. Shoot for around 60-70 fluid ounces of calorie-free fluids per day to stay hydrated – adequate hydration being essential for efficient fat burning.
It’s also good to know that calorie-free beverages cause stomach distension, which helps you feel full and can prevent hunger when consumed between meals. In addition, drinking a large glass or two of water before a meal can reduce the urge to overeat.
Have any of these rules worked for you? What other advice would you add? Let us know in the comments below.