5 Hacks for Easier Fat Loss

A calorie deficit, for most of us, means being outside of our comfort zone. Assuming that you are starting from a fairly healthy place and looking to tighten up a little for aesthetic or competitive reasons (for example to reach a lower weight class), your body probably isn’t going to make it an easy ride. However, there is no reason for you to be suffering and giving 100% in the early stages of a diet. If you introduce excessive cardio and severe calorie restriction right away, your body will adapt very quickly and you leave yourself little room to realistically push things further without burning out. Here are 5 things to implement that add up to big changes.

  • Increase NEAT

NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis, is the calories that we burn in day to day activities outside of structured exercise. NEAT includes manual labour, housework, walking and fidgeting. Simply using a pedometer to set yourself a step goal or cycling to work can significantly increase your daily energy expenditure without being incredibly physically demanding or having the mental effect that cardio machines can.

The percentage of our total TDEE from the thermic effect of exercise (TEE) can be as little as 10-15% in sedentary adults, up to 50% dependent on activity. Much of this is determined by lifestyle factors such as job.

  • High volume, low calorie foods

This is a great way to trick yourself into feeling like you have more food than you actually do. Instead of chicken and rice alone, make the meal into a huge burrito bowl with salad and salsa. Other high volume foods include:

  • Sugar free jelly
  • Berries
  • Egg whites

High volume foods take longer to consume and, psychologically, we feel that we have consumed a (calorically) larger meal.

 

  • Caffeine supplementation

Assuming that your caffeine intake is low enough for it to have an effect, caffeine in a morning or before exercise stimulates the central nervous system resulting in performance enhancing effects, a higher resting metabolic rate (3-11%) and increased NEAT through fidgeting.

Pre-workout, fat burners, black coffee and green tea are all great diet-friendly sources of caffeine.

  • Add volume to your training sessions

While maintaining and, if possible, increasing strength through progressive overload should still be your priority, adding in high volume work to finish is a great way to increase heart rate and burn more calories through weight training. This might include:

  • Supersets and circuits
  • Very high reps
  • Plyometrics

 

  • Stay busy

It is very easy to become food focussed when you are sat at home bored! Try to keep yourself busy. Go for a walk or arrange a coffee date (sugar free syrups and Americanos are your friend here) to stay away from the fridge.

About the Author

Savannah Westerby BSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition.
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