Whether you’ve been stuck at home due to a global pandemic, or you are waiting for the aliens to add a plot twist to our ever-changing 2020 genre…
One thing we are all in alignment with is figuring out how to drop body fat and to do it quickly.
As much as I would love to tell you that there is a magical cocktail of pills or steps to take to losing fat quickly while also prioritizing your health, unfortunately, that is not the case. As an online fitness coach, with over eight years of experience, I can tell you first hand that it is not realistic to expect a quick fix.
However, there are ways to see visible changes in a short period of time. So let’s begin with some of the easiest things you can do, with minimal work that will help you see results. Here are the top five ways to see changes relatively quickly.
Staying hydrated is important. Not only does it help you mind your own business, but studies have shown that even mild dehydration can impair your performance, mood, memory, digestion, and overall energy levels. On the bright side, being well-hydrated is simple, and has many benefits. It has been shown to aid in weight loss due to its satiating nature, ability to increase metabolic rate, as well as its ability to improve athletic performance and keep digestion running smoothly.
How simple is that? Drink WATER, which in most countries is free! How is that for an easy and inexpensive way to drop some weight...
Ok great, so now you must be wondering, how much water should you be drinking per day? According to the Mayo Clinic, the average male should drink about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of water per day, and the average female should drink about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of water per day. If that sounds too complex, a good rule of thumb is to aim for about one gallon of water per day.
Drinking water can also help with DIGESTION and the dreaded topic of constipation. Especially when you drink mineral water, the magnesium helps keep things regular. Digestion is a major key to progress seeing weight loss as it is important your body is able to expel waste.
Greens are important because they help regulate your digestion and POOPING! This for some reason is such a taboo topic, yet so important to overall health and… you guessed it, FAT LOSS!
There are many ways to get your greens in, from eating leafy greens, green filled salads, to green powder drinks (we Okoners love our Opti-Greens)! However, you can fit them in, it is important to prioritize them. Greens are an important staple to your health and of course, more importantly pertaining to this article, aiding in fat loss. Greens contain a wide variety of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that your body needs to thrive. Getting plants of leafy greens will supply your body with the micronutrients needed to combat inflammation, and feel energized throughout the day.
Most greens are also very rich in fiber, digestive which is crucial to fat loss. Fiber plays a key role in satiation and/or preventing or relieving constipation. Because fiber is not digested or absorbed by your body, it prevents constipation by increasing the weight and size of your stool, while also softening it. Another benefit of eating high-fiber foods is that they tend to be more satiating than low-fiber foods, making you less likely to over-eat and more likely to stay full for longer after said meal.
When comparing similar volumes, high-fiber foods are typically lower calorie than their low-calorie counterparts. A great example is a ½ cup of black beans, which is 95 calories and has about 8 grams of fiber. Compare that to a ½ cup of white rice, which has 125 calories, and 0.5 grams of fiber. Not only are the black beans 30 fewer calories than the rice, but the fiber from the black beans will keep you feeling full for longer, while also aiding digestion.
In addition to fiber, it is important to also be sure that your greens are providing an adequate amount of digestive enzymes and probiotics for improved gut health.
Digestive enzymes help break down the foods you eat. They do this by speeding up the chemical reaction needed in order to convert food into substances that your digestive tract can absorb. If your body does not get a proper amount of digestive enzymes, it can’t digest food well. This typically leads to stomach irritation, gas, or bloating. Our bodies produce digestive enzymes in moderate amounts, but they also can be found in various fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods. There are three main types of digestive enzymes:
If your body is not digesting food well, there is a chance that you need to add in a digestive enzyme supplement. The Opti-Greens 50 is full of digestive enzymes, as well as probiotics. You can also get a stand-alone digestive enzyme supplement at most vitamin shops.
Probiotics are microorganisms (live bacteria) that can be found in yogurt, fermented foods, or dietary supplements.
Probiotics have been shown to help with diarrhea, IBS, bladder infections, and even eczema in children. Similar to digestive enzymes, probiotics can be found in the foods you eat, but more often than not, it is a good idea to add a probiotic supplement to your daily routine.
Grab brunch with friends, a lunch date with bae, dinner with the fam, happy hour with coworkers, BBQ with the community, our world revolves around FOOD. We love it. We are obsessed with it. We idolize it. But we don't live to eat, we eat live. So as hard as it may be to change your eating habits, this truly is the FASTEST way to see fat/weight loss: CLEANING UP YOUR DIET.
You're likely thinking I am going to suggest a rather drastic change that after a few days will be impossible to follow, you're wrong. Depending on how quickly you really want to see changes and how closely you follow these guidelines will determine the amount of success and how fast they results show.
Here is what you need to do, it's simple. If you do JUST this out of the five tips, you will see immense changes in a short timeline.
Remove Simple Carbs
I do not believe in an elimination diet where you remove important macros from your daily intake. However, if you're in pursuit of seeing results, removing simple carbs (candy, cakes, really any delicious sweets) from your diet is non-negotiable. Carbs that have a simple chemical structure of one or two sugars linked together are referred to as simple carbs.
Due to the simplicity of their structure, simple carbs are quickly and easily broken down and utilized for energy. This causes a quick spike in blood sugar and insulin secretion. It is easy to understand why simple carbs are used for diabetics whose blood sugar drops too low because of how quickly it can bring those levels back to a normal place. Unless you are in a time of need, it is better to stick to complex carbs that have 3 or more sugars linked together.
Complex carbs are slower digesting (keeping you full longer) and generally have a much better nutrition profile compared to simple carbs. By replacing simple carbs with complex carbs, you will be fueling your body with sources that can sustain blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as keep you satiated for a longer period of time.
Avoid Ultra-Processed Foods
Processed foods got to go simply because we have no control over the amount of sugar, salt, and fat that is put into processed foods, which typically makes these foods more calorically dense. Generally speaking, the more steps that went into making a product, the more calorie-dense and nutrient-deficient it will be.
You can, however, read labels to find out just how much is in the desired food, but it may be easier to just avoid them for now while we focus on losing fat, quickly. Say goodbye to Little Debbies, breakfast cereal, and essentially, the middle of the grocery store. Okay, maybe not the whole middle of the store, but you get the point. The more foods you can eat that come from the ground instead of a package, the easier it will be to keep your calorie consumption in a healthy range and avoid unwanted chemicals and preservatives.
We've all been there, binge-watching our favorite series, scrolling through TikTok, or laughing at hilarious memes on Instagram… there are so many late-night distractions that can keep us up well past our bedtime. Some of us also struggle with a sleep schedule due to work or insomnia, whatever it may be that is preventing you from getting those VITAL hours of sleep can be hindering your fat/weight loss.
Sleep is another fundamental part of your overall health and wellbeing but in regards to fat loss, it can literally be stopping you from seeing progress. The Free Dictionary defines sleep as a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which the eyes usually close and consciousness is completely or partially lost so that there is a decrease in bodily movement and responsiveness to external stimuli.
Being awake is catabolic (breaks you down) and being asleep is anabolic (builds you up). Sleep is known to be an elevated anabolic state, heightening the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, skeletal, and muscular systems. Basically, sleep rebuilds you and keeps you youthful.
Dr. Sara Gottfried, a sleep study specialist states this: "When your sleep suffers, you suffer major consequences beyond the dark circles under your eyes. You're probably grouchy and not fun to be around. Key relationships and parenting suffer. Work productivity declines. Your level of cortisol, a key stress hormone, is higher--and that makes you eat more and store belly fat. Your thyroid slows down. Insulin doesn't work as well, and your blood sugar gets out of whack. You can't clear the gunk out of your brain or soul. Your risk of cancer is quadrupled depending on the duration and volume of your sleep debt. You increase your risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease."
If you get high-quality sleep, then you are fortifying your immune system, balancing your hormones, boosting your metabolism, and increasing your physical energy. It even improves the function of your brain.
Unless you get the right amount of sleep, you will never have the body and life you want to have.
So be sure you are turning off the TV, leaving your phone, trying natural sleep aids (melatonin, sleepy tea), and enforcing a sleep schedule, much like we had as children!
Last but absolutely not least, and most certainly not least important - EXERCISE! Many jobs keep us sedentary which keeps us from getting the exercise our bodies need.
This is really simple. Just move more.
You don't need to start hardcore training six days a week cold turkey. Start small. Go for a walk during your lunch break, bike instead of drive (if you have the option), take the stairs instead of the elevator, it's all about moving and working the body. We aren't meant to be sedentary, especially for the amount of food we are consuming.
If you are looking to speed things up, I strongly suggest incorporating a 15-20 minute HIIT (high-intensity interval training) session into your day, even just a couple times a week can make all the difference. For those who enjoy group workouts, join a cycle class, group fitness class, or weekend boot camps!
There are two forms of cardio that I highly recommend, that you can follow to help get the body of your dreams.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the best ways to burn fat far after you finish your workout. I implement this after I complete my lift, and never do HIIT or any form of cardio before I lift weights. Below are two examples of performing HIIT cardio.
Stairmaster - 1-minute high intensity, 2 minutes low intensity (5X for a total of 15 minutes)
HIIT Circuit - using a Tabata timer or app, you can set a 15-20 minute high intensity/low-intensity interval. You can set high intensity for 20-30 seconds, and low intensity for 30-40 seconds. The key to this is to make sure you are moving throughout but to have active rest between circuits.
Exercises examples to put in your HIIT workout:
You can mix and match these, but the best way to go is to choose four of these for your circuit, and each circuit will take 3-4 minutes.
Option 2: Steady State Cardio
Steady-state cardio is one of the best ways to melt fat off your body, like butter in a sauna… or something like that. Steady-state cardio sounds like what it is, a medium pace of cardio that gets your heart rate going enough. Your body will use stored fat for energy, which will help you lower your body fat and help you lose weight faster.
You can do 30 minutes of steady-state cardio on a treadmill, Stairmaster, or stationary bike. Whatever you prefer. An example of steady-state cardio would be 3-4 mph on the treadmill while adding a 30-40% gradient slope. You want to make sure your body is in fat-burning mode, not in a more intense mode.
Whatever it is that you enjoy to get moving and stay active, that is what you should be prioritizing. If you have a goal of fast changes, realistically, you will have to do more than you are comfortable doing in order to speed up the progress. Ultimately, moving more will help aid in fat/weight loss!
Hopefully, you have retained the important aspects needed to see change. As we mentioned at the beginning, you're not going to completely transform your entire look FAST, but these five tips will guide you towards feeling more energized and confident in your skin in the fastest way possible! Remember that, ultimately, fast weight LOSS usually means fast weight GAIN. Be mindful of this when making decisions based on a short term goal!
If you are ready to step into your full potential and need guidance and are willing to invest the time needed to really transform, join our tribe today! We will provide all the tools and knowledge to help you lose body fat and keep it off long term your way.
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