I frequently get asked my opinion the latest diet craze or the next magic diet pill. And while I do believe there are some great supplements out there that can help increase fat burning effects and tricks that can help to boost your metabolism, I always fall back to the most important thing; if your nutrition and lifestyle habits are not in the right place no magic pill is going to help you. My friends over at Metabolic Effect like to call these “the big rocks”.
What do the big rocks mean? Well, if you are looking to make changes in your body then you need to get these 4 things under control before you can see major changes in your body.
Nutrition: Have you ever heard the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen” or “You can’t out train a bad diet”? If you haven’t realized it yet, then you need to understand that your diet (what you eat on a day- to- day basis) is one of the biggest pieces to the puzzle when it comes to weight loss. Your diet should consist of mostly clean whole foods, (I discussed the importance of fat loss foods vs. healthy foods in the previous blog). If you are eating a diet filled with processed foods and junk, no supplement you take will help you to lose weight faster.
Exercise: If you are not doing the proper exercise for fat loss or not doing any exercise at all you will not be able to see results you are looking for. Exercise is not only important for weight loss but for numerous other health reasons. To make sure you are doing the most efficient exercises for fat loss you want to make your workouts high intensity. An efficient fat burning exercise program involves full body weight training exercises for about 30 mins. Long gone are the days of long duration cardio, you want to switch to 30 mins of high intensity interval training to get the most bang for your buck to lose fat.
Sleep: The average person hardly gets the amount of sleep they actually need daily. You should be getting a good 8-10 hours a day. Sleep is important because it is our basic hormonal reset button. When you sleep at night it is your body’s time to repair and grow. It is when human growth hormone (HGH) is mostly released which helps to burn fat and repair muscles. Sleep deprivation can also cause you to eat more foods throughout the day. Did you ever notice that when you don’t get enough sleep the night before the next day all you want to do is eat sugar and fattening foods? Well, studies have shown that sleep and ghrelin (a brain chemical that controls hunger) have a connection and when you don’t get enough sleep then you will overeat.
Stress: You can’t eat stress and it doesn’t have calories but boy does stress affect weight and overall health! Stress can raise cortisol levels in your body and cause you to hold onto weight. It can also cause you to overeat and affect your workouts. Start to build a stress management program into your daily routine, whether it be meditation, yoga, leisure walking or something else that you enjoy. We are always in a rush and live mostly on adrenaline, so we need to learn how to balance all of that energy with calming, stress reducing techniques.
If you are looking to make changes to your body and your health, remember that you need to manage these “4 big rocks of fat loss” first. Focus your time around eating more nutritiously, exercising, sleeping at least 8 hours a night and managing your stress and that formula is your secret magic diet pill!
If you would like to work with me to make lifestyle changes I have some spots open in my coaching program. Please let me know if you have any questions.