Sunday, March 3, 2019

Six essentials for mens fat loss

On paper losing weight is easy, consume less energy (calories) and expend more energy (activity and exercise). That’s it, job’s done, nothing new there. Anyone spouting ‘that’s it’, is naive. You’ve only got to the look at the statistics of overweight and obese across the world - hell just keep your eyes peeled next time you’re in a supermarket.

There’s so many factors effecting fat loss. In my opinion, it starts with timing. If you’re overweight or you have any goal you want to achieve, you’re waiting for the right time to take action. You see, you already know you need to eat less and exercise more, right? But what you’re waiting for, is a reason to take action. Common reasons I hear are;
  • Taking a different perspective after a close friend or family member, has passed away, due to lifestyle related factors. 
  • Someone to cause you so much offence, it makes you so pissed off and upset, you want to change. 
  • An old photo you’ve seen of yourself in a much better shape. 
  • The reality of the shape you’re in now, after seeing a recent photo of yourself. 
  • A holiday coming up, you don’t want to feel embarrassed about wearing your trunks in public, beer belly out. 
  • Wanting to be a role model and super hero for your kids.
It goes on and on, but there will always be that ‘time’, when something just ‘clicks’ or you ‘snap’ and say “enough’s-enough”
Take action, start using these essential six to start seeing some fat loss results:

1: Get rid of cereal for breakfast

Start the day right, make sure you get some protein with your breakfast/first meal of the day, (it doesn’t have to be an early morning meal - it’s whenever works best for you). You’re after around 20g to 40g of protein. This doesn’t mean cut out other food groups either! The calorie counting advocates, will say “it doesn’t matter when you eat your protein, as long as you don’t go over you’re calories”. Yes ok there is truth behind that, but lets introduce some protein with the first meal of the day, which’ll help stimulate your metabolism, keep you satisfied for the morning and will give you more energy too.



2: The Six Ps

Prior - Preparation - Prevents - Piss - Poor - Performance. Plan your meals around the day/week ahead. Check your schedule and know your movements. I personally aim to know the forthcoming, breakfast lunch and dinner at least 36 hours before. It keeps me focused and cuts out the stress of any decision making, if I’m out and about, you know the ‘standing in the aisle, desperately unsure want to pick off the shelf, for the healthiest’ scenario.


3: Cut out the ‘white devils’

I don’t care if some of the white/beige carbohydrates have less calories. The fact is, they’re less nutritious and can have a massive detrimental impact on our long term health. That’s not to say never eat any, again that would be naive. But instead consider the healthier alternatives, the brown stuff; wholemeal-wholegrain, more fibrous and nutritious sources. For example, whole meal pasta over white pasta. Wholegrain rice over white rice etc.

Reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. Again certain foods, may have less calories, but still may be full of sugar. There’s no denial, that an increased sugar consumption, can lead on to a whole host of metabolic disturbances, bone erosion (including teeth), and mineral depletion (essential for homeostasis i.e healthy bodily function), inflammation and destruction on the gut lining (opening you up to another load of aliments and immune system disturbances) and deterioration of mental health. Oh and ever hear about diabetes…?


4: Eat three meals per day

This is a general recommendation. The reason for this recommendation, is to reduce feeling hungry and feeling deprived, potentially leading to binging and overconsumption. This doesn’t have to be a big meal, by any means, but enough to suppress hunger and temptation.

5: Keep hydrated

The average adult is made up 70% water depending on age and gender. Water is essential for existence and performs many crucial roles in the body including transporting nutrients and waste products to major organs. It helps regulate body temperature, lubricate our joints and gives blood its fluidity.

The amount of water required will vary from person to person, but you’re looking for between 2-3 litres of water per day (6-8 half pints glasses). Contrary to popular belief, teas and coffees are okay and do help to keep you from dehydration. Although they should not be the prime source of hydration.  2-3 cups per day is enough (unless caffeine has a negative effect on you, then maybe choose decaf or herbal teas instead).

Signs of dehydration are:

• Constipation
• Dark yellow or brown urine
• Dry, sticky mouth
• Headache
• Increased thirst and even hunger • Muscle tiredness
• Tiredness

Recent studies have shown that prolonged exercise can lead to a 2% loss of lean mass, reduced cognitive (mental performance) and around 20% decrease in performance. That can go up to 40% in higher temperatures. So yeah, staying hydrated whilst exercising is a big deal and if you don’t like cramp, drink up!


6: Always eat better

Always make the better choice where possible. Whether it’s eating a wholemeal cheese and pickle sandwich, over a cheese and pickle panini, or fat free yogurt over a muller fruit corner, always make a conscious decision, to pick the lesser of the two evils. Failing that, if you’re really caught short and you can’t refuse or avoid, just consume less than you normally would. Remember, be realistic about when you want to achieve your goal. If you’re in a hurry to, then you need to be ‘more on the ball’. If you’re in no particular rush, chill out a little bit and enjoy yourself; but you can’t blame anyone else, if you don’t get the results you want at your next weigh in.

Phil Snowden
The Fat Loss & Performance Coach

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