Seven Strategies To Accelerate Weight Loss
We have all been there before, that nervous anticipation before we step on the scales to see if we are one step closer to our body composition goal. I do not know why, it is not like our self worth should be wrapped up in this small insignificant number. But for many of use this number is a representation of your hard work, dedication and will power.
Before jumping on the scales, it is important not to expect a miracle if you believe that your week has been a little haywire.
Having said this using bathroom scales to track progress can be a frustrating experience. Firstly, basic scales only have the capacity to show your mass weight on the day, providing little information on changes to actually body composition.
Every tissue in your body (including muscle, bodyfat, your heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, bones, water, minerals etc.) weighs a given amount. Your total bodyweight is comprised of the weight of every one of those tissues. But only some portion of your total weight is fat.
This is one reason why I love smart scales. They are able to give you a basic bioelectrical impedance reading on body fat and a range of other measures. Best of all, the data is able to be synced to an app which tracks your data over a longer duration.
Know The Numbers
Every time you step on the scales remember that the scales are not only reading you fat mass. From day to day, your body weight can fluctuate 1-3kg depending on a range of factors:
- hydration levels
- food contents in stomach and bowel
- sodium intake from the day before
- your mensal cycle
- inflammation from training or a poor nights sleep… the list could go on…
So what if you are stepping on the scales week after week and not seeing any change? While it is possible that you are gaining muscle, if you are gunning for fat loss and not seeing change in measurements this is an indication that you need to readdress the process. I took some time to contemplate the first action steps I take to ensure I am on the right path for fat loss to occur.
Seven strategies to accelerate fat loss
- Eat at regular times. Have fixed meal times and try to stick to it. Establishing an eating pattern will help stabilise blood sugar levels, regulates appetite and stop you from over eating when it is time to eat. I start each week by mapping out my meal times and frequency. Aim to stick to this so that you can reflect back over the week and see if the executed plan is one that is working for you. And do not skip meals! Your body likes to know its safe to lose the excess weight.
- Drink plenty of water. Start the day with a big glass of water, and stay hydrated throughout the day. Water is not just way
to flush out toxin but if you have more water in your body you will generally feel more alert and energised. This it self will discourage any tendency to gorge. I recommend a minimum of 2-3 litres per day.
- Recognise hunger is part of weight loss. This might sound strange but many people just do not like being hungry, so give in to temptation. Being on an energy deficit is not fun! Remind yourself that is is a temporary feeling and that you should schedule non dieting period in your year. Do not live 365 days of the year in diet mode. If you have a lot of weight to loose. Aim to knock off 2-4 kg at a time before aiming to stabilise at this new weight for a month or so. Eat only when you are hungry. Some of us have the tendency to eat whenever we see food. We use parties as an excuse to stuff our selves. Understand that the effect of a whole week of dieting can be wasted by just one day’s party food.
- Count the calories as you eat. You do not have to do this everyday, but maybe do this once every now and then. This teaches you how many calories are in certain foods and give you an understanding that it all adds up. Many people grossly underestimate how much they eat in a day or under eat on some days to only massively spill over on other days.
- Watch your fat intake. Many people subscribe to a low carb diet only to massively exceed their fat intake through high protein diets or by experimenting with keto. Each fat gram contains 9 calories so it is very easy to spill over on total calories. I recommend sticking to a 40% carb, 30% protein and 30% fat ratio for most of my clients. I also like to use a non stick frying pan or baking paper for your cooking so that I do not have to add oil. This is not to say I do not add some oil to my diet, I just prefer to get my fats from a variety of sources, fish, cheeses, eggs, nuts, avocado and coconut oil. Unfortunately, there is not the room in my diet to have all of these in a day, so they are on rotation.
- Move more and do more work. I recommend strength training 3-4 times per week if you are trying to change you body composition. This will make sure that what you are actually losing is body fat and maintaining or building precious muscle. I am also hyper aware of training performance, if my weight has stalled, I re-focus back on the quality of my training and aim to add overload into each set. This could be by doing an each few reps, an extra set, lifting more weights or taking less rest between exercises. If you have a sedentary job, you will need to prioritise moving more than this. Walking at lunchtime, standing instead of sitting or breaking up long times spent sitting will all help.
- Sleep more and better. Sleep has the potential to disrupt the regulation of our hunger hormones and cortisol. Without quality sleep, you will also find that your training will become metal harder and you will be temped to fuel up with carb dense foods. Aim to hit 7-8 hours of unbroken sleep per night. Ensure that you start powering down early in the evening and avoiding caffeine after 10am and alcohol before bed time.
If you would like to swap you old bathroom scales for a sexy set of Yunmai Scales from Casi Australia, 23W is hosting a scale swap day on Saturday 23rd March. Simple complete the form here, make payment and pop into the studio to collect.
Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.
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