If you’ve ever tried to make changes in your life you might have learned that introducing loads of things at once can be overwhelming. In our opinion, the best way to make lasting changes is by introducing one change at a time, focusing on that change alone, then introducing the next one while still adhering to the previous one. Depending on the person, it can take a while to consistently implement one change, so you can adjust these based on your preference. If you’d like to try to achieve these within a week, then work on mastering one change per day. So for example, day 1 you will prioritise protein at each meal. If you managed that, then day 2 you will focus on staying hydrated while ALSO prioritizing protein. Day 3 you will load up on veggies, stay hydrated, AND prioritise protein, and so on throughout the week.
If you find that you are struggling to stay on top of things at any point, then feel free to stay on that day a bit longer until you master it before moving onto the next change. Once you’ve fully implemented all 7 changes and continue to do so consistently you will be well on your way to achieving lasting fat loss results!
Day 1: Prioritise protein at each meal – When putting a meal together, your first priority should always be protein. Not only is it the most important macronutrient for changing your body composition, but it will also help you stay satiated after meals (goodbye cravings!). Today your goal is to include a protein source at each meal.
When it comes to fat loss, many people often turn to calorie counting (which certainly has it’s place), but the problem comes when it leads to deprivation. Many people will aim to eat as little as possible, but the problem with that is it can lead to intense cravings and mood swings. Usually that level of deprivation can only last for so long before the person finds themselves eating anything and everything they can get their hands on – the opposite of what you want when trying to lose weight!
This is where a high-protein diet comes in handy, as it will leave you feeling satiated after your meals. Also, eating protein will help you avoid your blood sugar levels spiking, then crashing, which can also cause cravings and moodiness.
In addition to the benefits protein has for fat loss, it’s also helpful for keeping blood sugar levels balanced, your mind clear and able to concentrate, and your energy levels up. Another benefit of including protein in your diet is the support it provides your muscles and bones, as well as helping your body to absorb vital nutrients to keep you healthy and strong!
Here is a list of excellent protein sources to choose as a base for your meal: chicken, turkey, beef, steak, pork, white fish, salmon, prawns, tuna, eggs, egg whites, bacon, lentils, black beans, bone broth, protein powder.
Day 2: Stay hydrated – When we start working with new clients, they are often shocked to learn how much water they should be drinking a day. Many people think they’re drinking adequate amounts of water (a few glasses a day), so they’re taken aback by the minimum 2-3 litres that we recommend.
Staying hydrated is useful when it comes to fat loss, because it can help to suppress your appetite and aid in metabolising stored fat. While it may initially seem like an annoyance to be dashing to the loo every 15 minutes, we can guarantee the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience! Another thing to keep in mind is that thirst is often disguised as hunger, which means sometimes when you think you’re hungry, you might just be thirsty! Next time you’re feeling hungry, try drinking a pint of water first to see if that helps. If you’re still hungry after, then of course eat, but you might find the hunger signals disappear.
Water plays a critical role in the composition and function of various things in the body like your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, and muscles to name a few. It takes as little as a 2% loss of body water to start experiencing negative side effects in the body.
You know that mid-afternoon slump people often complain about? Dehydration.
And a lack of strength and endurance during your Prime Mover sessions? Dehydration.
Or how about an inability to concentrate or think clearly? Yep, you guessed it- dehydration!
As you can see, all the points above could lead to poor nutrition and/or exercise choices. If you’re having cravings, feeling tired, or unable to think clearly, then you are less likely to stick to your healthy lifestyle changes and thus more likely to struggle with fat loss!
Other perks of hydration:
Water helps with the protection and function of your joints
Water will leave your skin looking healthier and brighter
Water helps to maintain a healthy functioning digestive system
Water assists in the building and recovery of muscles
Today your goal is to drink at least 2 litres of water, but the more the better! If you struggle to remember to drink, try downloading a hydration app which will remind you to drink at certain points in the day.
Day 3: Load up on veggies – Next up nutrition wise, you’re going to focus on increasing your vegetable intake. The more you fill up on the good ol’ green stuff, the fuller you will feel after each meal, which means you’ll be less likely to eat rubbish later on. And bonus, many vegetables (especially cruciferous vegetables) are very low calorie, which means you get more bang for your calorie buck! You can pile your plate high with veggies without having to worry about increasing the waistline.
Another reason consuming a good amount of vegetables is helpful for fat loss is down to the amount of fibre you get. Fibre can trick your stomach into making you feel fuller than you actually are, which means less food consumed overall. It’s like a sneaky way to cut calories without even trying!
Some of our favourite veggies to work with: cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, spinach, and kale. They’re all super versatile and the taste can be easily changed by adding any spices you like!
Don’t like vegetables? Try cooking them in different ways and including spices to mix the flavour up. You can bake, sauté, steam, stir fry, or roast your veggies to mix things up! Switching things up will help keep you from getting bored, but don’t forget to include that protein on the side too!
Day 4: Increase your NEAT – When people are struggling to shift body fat their first thought is often that they either have a slow metabolism or an issue with their thyroid, however that is generally not the case at all. The real issue can often stem from a lack of movement. NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis, which is all of the movement you do each day that isn’t exercise based (i.e. walking, stretching, gardening, fidgeting, etc.).
The majority of people these days spend a huge amount of their time sat on their backsides. From driving, to working at a desk, to lounging on the sofa at night, it leaves little room for activity in the day. If you hit the gym a few times a week that is great, but at the end of the day it’s just not enough. Increasing your NEAT will increase the amount of energy (calories) you burn each day, which as a result leads to fat loss. Bingo!
Here are some ideas for increasing your NEAT:
-walking whenever possible, rather than taking car/public transport
-cycling places, if possible
-setting an alarm for intervals during the work day to get up and move
-use a standing desk, if possible
-stretching each morning and night
-parking your car as far away from your location as possible
-always taking the stairs, rather than the lift
Today we want you to choose one of the NEAT options above to implement in your day, then continue on the following days using any of the above.
Day 5: Don’t get hung up on “slip ups” – One thing that lean people have in common is their ability to move on immediately after eating or drinking something that wasn’t in line with their fat loss efforts. Maybe they brought a chicken salad to work for lunch, but gave in to the office pizza instead. It’s life, it happens. The key is in how they handle it AFTER though.
The people who have this down will simply carry on with the rest of their day as normal. They don’t throw in the towel and think “screw it, I already messed up so I will continue making poor food choices the rest of the day and start again tomorrow.” Nope, instead they get on with their day, consume their healthy, balanced meal for dinner, and start again fresh in the morning.
If you’re someone who gets hung up on these slip ups and ends up binge eating as a result, then you will be tacking on hundreds (potentially thousands!) of additional calories. And you’re lucky if it stops there, for some people if this happens, then they continue eating rubbish for the rest of the WEEK, then “start again on Monday.”
The analogy we like to keep in mind is this: If you got one flat tyre, you wouldn’t slash the other three just because you lost one, right? No, you would repair the one tyre and move on with your day. So, if you slip up on ONE meal in a day, how is it beneficial to ruin the rest of your meals after? Keep that in mind the next time it happens for you.
Today we’d like you to practice being mindful with your eating and if you do eat something that you hadn’t planned to, just move on with your day and keep progressing towards your fat loss goals!
Day 6: Skip the drink calories – This is a huge problem for people when it comes to fat loss and they often don’t even realise this is what’s causing it. Today we want you to focus on replacing your high-calorie drinks with water, tea, or coffee (unsweetened).
Drinking your calories can add on hundreds of calories to your day, if not more! The majority of high-calorie drinks don’t actually provide any nutritional value (like alcohol, for example), so using your calories on them is pointless when it comes to fat loss.
You’ll remember from the protein and vegetable pages in this eBook that the key is to eat meals that leave you feeling satiated, which generally can’t be achieved via drinks.
Now we know it can be easy to get carried away when having a few boozy drinks, so when you’re working towards fat loss goals the ideal scenario would be for you to avoid them altogether. Not only will you save calories, but you don’t risk overconsuming alcohol and as a result making poor food choices, which usually go hand in hand!
Here is a list of high-calorie drinks that people often reach for without realizing just how detrimental they can be for the waistline:
-Orange juice: 110 calories/8oz glass
-Mocha coffee: 400 calories/medium cup
-White wine: 550 calories/bottle
-Mojito: 215 calories/8oz
-Long Island Iced tea: 780 calories/8oz
-Lager: 250 calories/pint
-Cider: 250 calories/pint
-Coca Cola: 150 calories/can
Day 7: Figure out an eating schedule – You may have been told before that skipping breakfast is detrimental for fat loss, however that is actually not the case. Skipping breakfast, or intermittent fasting (IF) as it’s called, can actually help with fat loss!
Many people see amazing results from IF, where they eat within a certain window each day and fast for the remainder of the day. The most common IF schedule is 16:8, which means you can eat within the 8 hour window, but you fast for the other 16 hours. This might mean eating your first meal at 12pm and your last meal at 8pm.
The benefits of IF that directly impact fat loss are balanced insulin levels, increase in growth hormone, appetite suppression, and boosts of energy (remember more movement = more calories burned!).
Of course, this isn’t permission to gorge on food during that 8 hour eating window, you do still need to be mindful of your calorie intake. However, you will likely find your appetite is more balanced and you won’t feel the need to eat as much during the day as a result.
Your eating schedule is totally down to personal preference, but it’s important to have a set schedule to ensure you’re staying on track each day. For example, many people just wing it each day, which can lead to them getting overly hungry and reaching for food options that aren’t ideal. However, if you plan your meals ahead and know what/when you’re having throughout the day, then you can ensure you’re never getting too hungry and potentially overeating as a result.
So, there you have it, our 7 day checklist for long-term fat loss! Your goal is to implement one change per day, but remember if you’re struggling you can work on a particular one for multiple days if needed. Once you can consistently adhere to these 7 tips you will notice the body fat melting away and the best part of it? This time it will actually stay off too!