1. Make a go-to outlet list
Many people have a hard time losing fat. However, it is not because they don’t know what foods are fattening, but because their emotions are calling the shots instead of their brains. As a result most emotions (positive and negative) are associated with food. For example:
Bored – eat
Excited – eat
Happy – eat
Sad – eat
Stressed – eat
Relaxing – eat
Enjoying time with friends – eat
The trick is to pre-plan an alternative activity to eating that you can do when you feel that emotion. For example:
Bored – read a fun book
Excited – sing
Happy – dance
Sad – watch some good comedy on YouTube
Stressed – go for a walk
Relaxing – listen to music
Enjoying time with friends – focus on the people, not the food
Conquer emotional eating makes getting lean faster and easier.
Related: Conquering Emotional eating
2. Find a way of eating you can stick with
Many people have lost weight only to discover that they quickly found it again. As I mentioned last time, the secret to permanent fat loss is a permanent diet and lifestyle change. You have to learn to eat and live differently than how you ate when you gained the fat you didn’t want to gain.
There are endless diets and strategies out there and most of the non-stupid ones are better than how the average person eats. The trick is finding what works for you. You know how you are wired. If small little treats helps you avoid big binges, this might be an effective strategy for you. Others prefer to place free days/meals between periods of really strict eating. If you like weighing foods and detailed tracking, you might find IIFYM works well to work in some guilt-less treats. If you don’t like numbers you may find focusing on natural foods (this is now known as “clean eating”) is a better fit. Some people are all-or-nothing folks while others (likely most people) do better with taking baby steps towards their goals.
To help you individualize your nutrition, check out these posts:
Cheat Days?Is "If It Fits Your Marcos" Right for You?Testing YOUR NutritionThe 1-2 Hour Test52 Weeks to Better Nutrition and a New You
3. Make sure your body is working well
Recently one of my clients was telling me that she finds she can lift more after seeing the chiropractor. I go to the same guy and have found the same thing (If you live near Langley, BC check out Dr. Jay Rennicks at Glover Road Chiropractic). Too often people who just want to get lean overlook this. However, if your body is aligned and working better, you can train longer and harder and you will be less likely you are to get hurt. If you have issues, it is worth getting them fixed!
4. Include some strength & power training
Most people just do endurance training for fat loss. The problem with this is that you become better at it and as a result you become more fuel-efficient. Strength, speed & power training is not just for athletes and those with functional training goals. These forms of training make you fuel-in-efficient. The stronger and more powerful you become the more calories you burn both during AND after your training.
Becoming Fuel In-Efficient for Fat LossThe Best Rep Range for Fat LossThe missing ingredient for your successCardio Beats Weights for Fat Loss?
5. Do loaded carries
Loaded carries are amazing for cranking up your metabolism. They help to build work capacity which allows you to train harder and longer. They make you stronger everywhere so you can use more weight on other exercises.
For the beginner, loaded carries are fast and easy to learn. This allows beginners to quickly work at an intensity level that is challenging and helpful for fat burning. However, because you can simply just add load, they can be appropriately challenging for almost any fitness level.
I can’t say enough good things about them and wouldn’t wish anyone to take the journey to leanness without carrying these along (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun).
Related: The Magic of Loaded Carries'
6. Train efficiently for leanness
I’m always amazed when I’m in a public gym how inefficient most people are with their training. If you are willing to work smarter and harder you can make fat loss much easier and faster. See the following posts for more details:
6 Program Design Tips for Faster Fat Loss and 6 More Program Design Tips for Faster Fat Loss
7. Connect your goal to the bigger picture
So you want to get lean? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself the next big question – why do you want to get lean? Go deeper and discover what is really creating in you the desire to be lean. Connect your daily habits, training and eating decisions with the real reasons. Also, reflect on how being healthy, strong and lean will help you in all areas of life. How can it have a positive impact on your family-life, work, passions, etc.? See the bigger picture and it will be easier for you to stay with it for the long haul.
Related: See this guest post I did for Rob Parkman: The Secret to Getting and Staying Motivated with Your Fitness Program
How about you? What else have you found to help you get lean? I invite you to share your comments or questions below or on my Facebook page.