By Hunter Bennett
With summer around the corner, you might be considering getting rid of that winter fluff — and honestly, why not?
However, the thing to remember when it comes to losing fat is that diet is key.
Don’t get me wrong, training is important.
If you want to drop some fat, you need to burn energy. Importantly, you also want to tell your body to keep as much muscle as possible while you lose weight — which means making sure you crush some heavy weights each week.
But once you have ticked that box, diet is the most important factor.
What is the Best Fat Loss Diet?
If you type this question into google, you will get heaps of different answers.
Some people will happily tell you keto is the way to go. Others swear by the paleo diet, while some promise the Mediterranean diet is the best approach. Oh, and let’s not forget about going carnivore, because you know, veggies kill you now…
But are any actually the best?
Well, kind of — I mean, they all are, and none of them are.
In my opinion, the best diet for fat loss is the one that you can stick to consistently.
This means that it shouldn’t stop you eating food you like eating. It shouldn’t stop you enjoying social situations with your friends and family. And most importantly, it should be something that you don’t hate.
I don’t give a shit how “effective” Karen from accounting says keto is, if you bail after 2 weeks, it is useless.
The Big Rocks of Diet
With all that said and done, no matter what diet you decide to follow, there are three key tips that will help you achieve your fat loss goals.
As a bonus, these are pretty simple to follow, and fit with pretty much any dietary strategy.
1. Eat More Protein
The fact that I am telling you to eat more of something to lose weight might seem a little counterintuitive, but hear me out.
Of the three macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats), protein is the most satiating. This means that gram for gram, it makes you feel fuller for longer.
It also has the highest thermic effect of food — which is a fancy way of saying that it is the hardest to breakdown and digest — a process that actually requires energy.
With this in mind, about 20% of the energy in the protein you eat is used to digest itself.
So, in essence, protein makes you feel full, which can reduce snacking and reduce your meal sizes. It also increases the amount of energy you burn to digest the food you eat.
This is a win-win if I have ever seen one.
A simple rule of thumb is to aim for 2.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day. So, if you weigh 80kgs, this would equate to around 175 grams of protein (80 x 2.2) each day.
I would also encourage you to break this up into 3-4 servings throughout the day, which means you would have a serve of protein with all your main meals.
2. Have Green Veggies With Most Meals
Turns out grandma was right — you should eat your veggies.
Green vegetables are full to the brim with a number of vitamins and minerals that can help maintain health and function.
But this isn’t why they help with fat loss.
Green vegetables contain very little energy per gram. As a result, you can eat heaps of them without increasing your daily energy intake.
In simple terms, eating green vegetables with most of your meals will fill you up while keeping your daily energy intake low.
This makes dieting easier.
What veggies are best? Pretty much any of the green ones, because they have the least amount of energy per gram.
3. Avoid Calorie Dense Drinks
Last but not least, if you want to shed some kilos, avoiding drinks that contain energy is a good idea.
And no — it’s not because the sugar in these highly processed drinks will kill you — it’s simply because they contain a lot of energy, but aren’t very filling.
In my mind, this makes them a waste of calories.
Some simple swaps could be a soft drink for a sugar free soft drink. Opting for a long black over a latte. Or, I dunno, choose to drink water when you’re thirsty like an adult, instead of stuff like juice and cordial.
Just a thought…
I should note that if you want to get really tight on this, you should extend this to alcohol.
Not to say you need to avoid it completely. Just opt for sugar free tonic in your G&T, or maybe choose a low carb lager rather than a thick stout. Hell, even red wine instead of white wine is probably a reasonable suggestion.
In short, just avoid energy dense drinks and you will be moving in the right direction.
Losing fat doesn’t have to be complex.
In fact, just eating more protein, increasing your vegetable intake, and avoiding energy dense drinks should be enough to make a substantial difference.
Focus on those big rocks of diet and get BUILT for summer.