I’m not sure what bothers me the most. The fact that there is so much false information out there about fat loss or the fact that some folks criticize others who set fat loss as a goal. I freaking love that we’re in a space where we want to celebrate bodies and normalize all shapes and sizes. But it’s also okay to set a goal like fat loss – sometimes we need to shed a little fat for a healthier bod. It’s not always about vanity.
I, personally, am currently in a trimming phase. I took a mini-break over the past two months. I wasn’t working out as often and I was eating lots of yummy, indulgent foods. As a result of that mini hiatus, I started to feel more sluggish and just a little “off”. So, I’m hitting the gym hard again and eating a more balanced diet instead of pasta for every single meal.
My goal is fat loss but my goal is to also get stronger and feel healthier. And that’s okay.
So I’ll start with this. It’s okay if you want to lose fat. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your body. And if you’re not at a point where you’re totally loving you – you can still fall back in love with yourself while taking on a new fitness program that’s going to get you healthier from the inside out. taking control of your health is a huge part of showering your body with the love it needs.
Healthy Tips for Fat Loss
If one of your goals is to trim some fat, I’ve got you covered. Over the past year, I’ve trimmed up quite a bit. It wasn’t an overnight fix and it’s something that has legit taken me months of trial and error and lots of learning (so much so that I decided to take my education to the next level to get my certification in personal training).
Based on my own experiences and what I learned through my training, here are a few ways to lose fat safely & effectively…and maintain your fat loss for a healthy bod on the inside out.
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No. 1 Eat in a calorie deficit
Fun fact. You don’t have to detox or crash diet to lose fat. As a matter of fact, you shoudln’t be doing those things at all. Yes you will drop weight in a week but it is impossible to maintain. I promise.
To lose fat safely and effectively, your body needs to be in a calorie deficit. This means your body has to be burning more calories than it’s consuming. For most people, the guideline is to be roughly 200-500 calories below your calorie maintenance level (note: if your body fat level is in the obese range, you can be in a slightly steeper deficit).
For example: my calorie maintenance level for my current height/weight and activity level is 2200 calories. That means that that if I continued eating 2200 calories/day and didn’t change my workouts, I would maintain my weight. To drop a little fat, I am currently eating 500 calories below my CML for a total of 1700 calories/day.
No. 2 A little cardio is cool, but you should hit the weights, too
It’s a common misconception that the only way to shred fat is to up the cardio. Yes, a little cardio is good. It’s great for endurance building and optimal for heart health. However, doing 6 days of cardio only workouts isn’t going to get you the lasting results you want.
When I first started my journey, I was doing about 10-15 minutes of cardio after a 45 minute weight training workout and I lost 30 pounds of fat. Minimal cardio and lots of resistance training. I built strong muscle. I trimmed fat. I wasn’t spending hours on the elliptical.
My current training program has a bit more cardio because I’m trying to increase my stamina/endurance but I never do more than 30 minutes and I only do cardio 3-4 days/week. I weight training 5-6 days/week for 45 minutes.
Lift heavy (safely) and don’t be afraid of bulking up. To change your body composition, you’ve got to be building strong and lean muscle mass which helps to rev up your metabolism and burn fat. Which brings me to my next tip…
No. 3 Don’t forget the protein
I gotta tell you, I struggle with getting in enough protein. Not only does your body need protein to sustain your lean muscle mass as you enter a fat loss phase but it’s one of the important macros your body needs for lots of other important functions.
You should be aiming for 25-30% of your daily calories to come from a healthy protein source. I’m not talking protein shakes and protein bars all day long. Those are great for a quick fix or post workout but you need other sources like lean meats, nuts and nut butters, etc.
No. 4 Be patient
Ladies, if you go about fat loss in a safe manner, progress will take time. Weeks, maybe months, until you see significant progress. And that’s okay – and it’s definitely more sustainable. Don’t be alarmed if you’re not dropping a dress size in week 3.
Track your progress with measurements and photos. The scale isn’t truly accurate in terms of fat loss since you might be gaining muscle or holding on to water. I use the scale solely to understand what my body feels like at different weights vs what progress I’m making.
No. 5 Remind yourself of your reason
It’s so easy to get sucked in to numbers or self doubt. When you set a goal like fat loss, make sure you’re doing it for reasons that are true to you and your health. Losing fat to look a certain way can be dangerous because there’s a good chance no amount of fat loss will be good enough. Set goals that are achievable and positive vs I want to be skinny or I want a high gap. Instead, set goals around being able to lift a certain weight in the gym or trim a percentage of body fat that’s healthy for your range.
The newly launched Lauren Elyce Fit is all for this idea of marrying your fitness goals with self-love. The two should work hand in hand rather than against each other. You can push yourself in the gym while celebrating your cellulite.
A friendly reminder: shifting your diet and workout routine is not for everyone nor does anyone have to lose fat. You also shouldn’t be ashamed for wanting to. Put your health first. We’re all different and have different goals but putting YOUR health first is the most amazing thing you can do for Y O U.