The key to reducing body fat through your diet is to eat a wide variety of fresh food and create a long-term plan that’s sustainable and enjoyable.
The truth is that You can burn fat with food a fad diet, but if you make a few simple adjustments to the way you eat, you’ll see your waistline shrink–without giving up all the foods you love!
Burn fat with food
Here’s the reality: it doesn’t matter how hard you train in the gym if you don’t put the same time, effort, and focus into what you do in the kitchen.
The old saying that “you can’t out-train a bad diet” is something of a cliché, but like most clichés, it’s rooted in truth. And if you want to make big changes to how you look – and as quickly as possible – then you need to start thinking more about mealtimes.
The problem is what to eat and when can seem a complicated business. But don’t worry: eating for a better body
really isn’t as confusing as some people make out.
Everything you need to know is explained in this chapter, so you’ll have all the information you need to put in place some better eating strategies to strip away body fat at a steady and sustainable rate.
This chapter begins with seven nutritional principles that you need to eat for a lean body. But before that, we will know some myths of fat loss which is very prevalent.
7 fat loss myths you can ignore
1- Don’t Eat Breakfast
Skipping breakfast is a big mistake. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for good reason: your body has been deprived of energy and nutrients for the past eight hours while you’ve been asleep.
Starting your day with good food is crucial, not just for getting into better shape but also for better energy, health, performance, and mood.
And don’t think missing breakfast helps you lose fat – research shows people who do skip it end up consuming more calories over the course of the day.
2- YOU NEED TO POUND PAVEMENTS’
The first thing many people do when trying to lose fat is gone for long jogs.
But while some exercise is better than none, running at a consistent and comfortable speed for an hour or more isn’t a very effective way to body fat burn fat with food because it doesn’t push your body hard enough to use a significant number of calories.
And post-session pasta means more calories are consumed than have been burned, which will lead to weight gain, not a loss. Turn to read about the best ways to run.
3- WEIGHTS MAKE YOU BULKY
Weight training is actually one of the very best ways to burn body fat with food. Why?
Lifting weights, especially in high-intensity workouts, get your heart rate high so you burn calories both during and after your workout, and it also causes the release of hormones that tell your body to release fat for energy and your muscles to get bigger and more defined.
Find out more about how weights can help build your new, lean physique – including detailed workouts.
4- YOU HAVE TO COUNT CALORIES’
What you eat is important, but the problem with calorie counting is that not all calories are created equal. Without considering where those calories come from– whether carbs, fat or protein-calorie counting is a flawed approach.
Still, need convincing? What’s the better option if you want to lose fat: 250 calories from two boiled eggs and half an avocado (containing quality protein and fat) or 250 calories from a doughnut (almost entirely carbs in the form of sugar)?
5- YOU MUST AVOID EATING FAT’
Dietary fat was vilified for decades for causing obesity, heart disease, and other terminal problems.
But the science behind these claims has been discredited and the importance of fats to a healthy and balanced diet is now widely recognized.
The one exception is trans fats, which are found in fast food and heavily processed snacks.
These are artificially manufactured and not found in nature which means your body doesn’t know how to process them and they can cause all kinds of short- and long-term health problem,
6- CUT OUT ALL THE CARBS
With fats back on the menu it was obvious that we’d need a new dietary villain.
While cutting down on carbohydrates – especially sugar and heavily processed white bread, rice, and pasta – will help you lose fat, cutting out an entire food group permanently is a recipe for disaster.
Remember, the best diet is the one you find sustainable and enjoyable. Carbs contain essential vitamins and nutrients, as well as fiber, and can help you perform better in the weights room and on the treadmill.
7- YOU NEED FAT LOSS PILLS
There’s a huge market for products that claim to burn fat with food fat without you having to do anything other than pop some pills or drink a special type of tea. If only.
Supplements, as their name makes clear, are meant to supplement your diet by filling in any nutritional gaps.
When you want to get lean, it’s exercise and diet – as well as managing stress and getting more sleep – that is by far the most influential factors.
But if you’re doing everything else right, there are some supplements that can help.
After that, we’ve put together a guide to some easy, healthy daily habits you can adopt so that eating well at each and every meal becomes second nature.
The 7 Diet rules for weight loss
Follow these seven fat-burning food strategies to transform your body.
1- NEVER SKIP BREAKFAST
As we saw in the fat loss myths on, there’s a reason breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day. It might seem to make sense to skip it when trying to lose fat – hey, that’s a big wodge of calories you’re not getting,
right? – but both scientists and people who’ve tried that know it doesn’t work: research shows that people who don’t eat brekkie consume more calories over the course of the entire day than those who do.
Breakfast kick-starts your body’s processes, including fat-burning metabolism, after all those hours spent asleep, helping your body burn fat with food throughout the day.
It will also keep blood sugar levels steady so you aren’t tempted to eat high-sugar and high-fat foods.
Eating a good breakfast also improves your focus, motivation, and willpower, and you need all three to ensure you stick to your exercise and healthy eating plans.
2- KEEP IT NATURAL
All the food you buy from now on should be in its natural form, or as close to it as possible. That means stocking your fridge with lean red and white meat, fish, eggs, and as many varieties and colors of veg as you can get your hands on.
You’ll know from experience that going to the supermarket when hungry always results in your trolley getting loaded with foods and snacks that are high in sugar and calories but low in the essential nutrients your body needs to get and stay lean.
So only ever shop when you’ve recently eaten, or do a big online shop once a week so you only buy the healthier foods you know you need.
Eating a diet based entirely around natural whole foods, and avoiding all high-carb, high-fat convenience foods, will ensure your body gets the maximum amount of nutrients but not the excess calories so you can start to shift those excess kilos.
3- DON’T FOCUS ON CALORIES
For years the concept that to fat loss you should count calories prevailed. But once you realize that not all calories are created equal, you see the flaw in this system.
A liter tub of ice cream has about 2,000 calories, but if you get your daily calorie intake by splitting that over three meals, that’s not as good for fat loss – or your overall health! – as getting the same amount of calories from lean meat and fish, fresh vegetables, and wholegrain carbs.
That’s an extreme example, of course, but the fact remains that your body needs lots of high-quality protein and fats (which are calorie-dense) to support your exercise efforts and aid recovery so you can keep moving towards your goal.
If you’re unsure how this works in practice, just follow the next four rules – you won’t go far wrong.
4- EAT MORE PROTEIN
Remember, the best and fastest way to change your body shape is to exercise several times a week and support your efforts with a healthy balanced diet, and protein is a big part of that.
If you don’t eat enough good quality protein – think red and white meat, fish, and eggs – then you’re unlikely to make the progress you want as quickly as you’d like.
Aim for a fist-sized serving of protein for every meal, and spend a little more money if you can to buy organic and grass-fed produce because it contains more vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 fatty acids, which will also help you burn fat with food.
And don’t worry – although protein does help build muscle, eating more of it won’t make you bulky.
In fact, it’s likely to have the opposite effect, because when you eat protein you feel fuller for longer, which will help you manage the quantity of food that you consume.
5- EAT MORE VEG
No messing around here: veg is fantastic. If you struggle to get your five-a-day then up your game, because you need to have veg – and a wide variety of it – with every meal you eat.
It’s packed with the vitamins and minerals your body demands after training, as well as fiber to keep you feeling fuller for longer and stabilize your blood sugar levels so you won’t be tempted by sweet snacks.
If you dislike vegetables there are simple ways to make them more palatable.
Try adding butter on the plate to improve flavor and help vitamin absorption, or cook them with garlic, chili, or any herbs and spices to add some flavor.
6- FAT IS YOUR FRIEND
The idea that eating fat made you fat took hold in the 1970s and has proved hard to shift.
But as we explained in the fat loss myths on, we now know now that it isn’t true (and we’ve been left with a legacy of “low-fat” foods that won’t help you lose weight).
Fats are an important part of a healthy diet – especially with regards to better hormone function, which enables you to burn fat with food more efficiently.
You can get them from a variety of sources, including dairy, meat, natural oils, and avocado – but you do still need to avoid man-made trans fats (the kind used in heavily processed food such as biscuits).
These fats won’t help fuel your workouts or fat loss and are associated with higher risks of health problems like heart disease, strokes, and diabetes.
7- STOP DRINKING SUGAR
One easy way to boost your chances of getting lean is to stop drinking so many calories, especially those found in fizzy drinks and processed fruit juices.
These drinks have little to no nutritional value and should be completely avoided if you care about being lean – and about your overall health for that matter.
Ideally, you should drink only three things: water (aim for at least two liters per day, and even more on days you work out); coffee (black is best); and tea (green is great, four sugars are bad).
Build healthy habits
Implement these new lifestyle routines to stack your odds in favor of sculpting a lean and toned physique
1- WAKE UP WITH WATER
As soon as you get up – even before you go to the loo – down a pint of cold water.
You wake in a dehydrated state and it’s crucial to replace the water you’ve lost overnight (through sweating and simply breathing) as quickly as you can.
Dehydration is a leading cause of poor mental and physical performance, both of which you want to avoid to stay focused and motivated for your fat loss journey.
Always carry a big bottle of water around with you and sip from it constantly throughout the day to keep hydrated at all times.
2- EAT AT THE SAME TIMES
You don’t need to time your meals like clockwork but try to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at roughly the same time each day.
This will soon establish a regular routine where you think nothing of taking the time to sit down and eat properly.
Doing this can go a long way towards maximizing the nutritional impact of the wholesome food you’re consuming, whereas eating in a rushed or stressed state won’t.
Eating at set times also removes the risk that you’ll skip meals or go for long periods without eating anything, which more often than not results in cravings for high-sugar and high-fat snacks and convenience foods.
3- KEEP A FOOD DIARY
If you are really struggling to stay on top of your diet, start writing a food diary. You don’t need to write down every single calorie you consume, or even the number of grams of protein you’ve eaten.
A simple ballpark figure of what you ate and how much of it, as well as notes on how you feel – especially your energy and motivation levels – will give you a good steer on where you are going right or what you might be doing wrong,
allowing you to make small and sensible changes to your nutritional approach and keep moving closer to finding the best dietary strategy for you.
4- DOUBLE DOWN AT DINNER
When making dinner, double the ingredients and make two portions so that you will have leftovers ready for tomorrow’s lunch.
This will not only save you time and money, but it will also make it much easier for you to eat healthily and keep you on the path to significant fat loss.
An even better strategy, if you have time, is to batch-cook two or three different meals at the weekend and keep them in the fridge or freezer, then simply reheat them throughout the week.
5- BE CLEVER WITH CARBS
We’re certainly not going to tell you to eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet for the rest of your life. That would be mean – carbs are delicious, after all – and, as we said earlier (fat loss myths,) it isn’t even necessary.
Remember, a fat loss diet is only effective if you stick to it, and limiting yourself to only ever eating salmon and broccoli will see the wheels come off within 48 hours, at most. That said, you do need to be smart when selecting the carbs you eat.
It’s best to avoid most types of sugar, and limit consumption of fast-release carbs, like processed white bread, pasta, and rice, all of which have been stripped of many of their nutrients and much of their fiber content.
This means the energy from these carbs enters your bloodstream quicker and causes a blood sugar spike. To lose fat faster you want blood sugar levels that are as stable as possible.
So your carbs should come from slow-release sources, like sweet potatoes and brown rice, as well as plenty of fiber-rich, nutrient-dense veg.
Basically, you can’t eat too many vegetables when following this plan. The more the better.
6- EATING OUT MADE EASY
It’s almost inevitable that while you’re following a lean-body plan like this one, you’ll be invited out for a dinner that you can’t (and don’t want to) turn down.
But this needn’t be a cause of stress or fear that you’ll be jeopardizing your fat loss efforts. Most restaurants will serve you whatever you want, so long as it’s on the menu somewhere (and you ask nicely).
So never be afraid to ask to swap a side of fries for a mixed salad, a creamy sauce for a spicy one, or even for an extra big serving of grilled veg to go with your chicken or fish.
Ordering the healthiest option possible will keep you progressing without you feeling any concern or guilt about undoing your hard work in the gym.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy your meal even more because you haven’t had to cook it (and don’t have to do the washing-up).
7- GO EASY ON BOOZE
The chances are you will also be invited out by a friend for drinks at some point – a birthday, a promotion, it’s Friday – but it’s vital to ensure all your hard work isn’t wasted by a night on the town.
To reach your goals fast it’s best not to drink alcohol at all, at least not until you’re getting close to having the body you want.
However, if the occasion or situation warrants you raising a glass, then stick to a clear spirit and a low-calorie mixer.
Vodka and soda or gin and tonic are your best bet – always ask for a big wedge of lime, because it will slightly blunt the sugar spike from the booze – or a small glass of red wine. Beer, cider, and sugary cocktails are best avoided.
Many people find it almost impossible to have just a single drink and stop, and the more you drink the more calories you pour down your neck that will ultimately end up on your bottom and thighs.
More than that, you’re more likely to make poor food choices under the influence as your blood sugar levels crash and hunger strikes.
Are you really going to make the gym tomorrow with a raging hangover? Have one drink, if you must, then switch to water or go home to avoid further temptation. For more about booze and its effects turn to below.
Burn fat with water diet
If you want to lose fat faster then you need to avoid dehydration–here’s why and how, When you’re trying hard to slim down, you need as many factors to be in your favor as possible.
And for your body to efficiently and effectively tap into fat stores to use of fuel it needs to be performing at its best, which means it needs to be hydrated.
Indeed, being dehydrated can seriously damage your fat loss efforts because your body will be desperately trying to fix this problem, so burning fat drops down its priority list.
What’s more, dehydration affects both physical and mental performance, so you’ll struggle with motivation and focus to train and eat well. And that’s bad news for your body! Here’s what you need to know.
1- WHY DOES MY BODY NEED WATER?
The human body is approximately 60%water, so you’re more water than anything else. While you can go weeks without food, you won’t survive more than a few days without water.
The reasons include its role in protecting and cushioning the brain, spinal column, and other tissues, regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, and removing toxins and waste products through perspiration and excretion, among many others.
Most water leaves your body through perspiration and excretion (sweat and urine), but significant quantities are also lost through breathing as water vapor.
Adequate water intake is required daily to prevent dehydration, which can lead to a rapid decline in mental and physical performance.
It’s very easy to lose a lot of body water when training at high intensity, especially in hot conditions.
2- HOW MUCH WATER DO I NEED EACH DAY?
The National Health Service in Britain recommends drinking eight medium-sized glasses of water a day, but this is obviously only a generic guide and how much you need exactly will depend on body size, activity level, temperature, humidity, diet, and myriad other factors.
Most of your daily fluid intake doesn’t actually come from drinking plain water but instead from the food you eat and other beverages. For example, a medium banana contains 90ml of water, as does 100g of tomatoes.
The United States National Research Council’s recommended total daily water intake – which is 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women – includes water from food and all other sources.
And drinking more water can help you lose weight: numerous studies have shown that drinking 500ml of water at mealtimes is conducive to fat loss, possibly because it makes you feel full sooner so you don’t overeat.
3- WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I GET DEHYDRATED?
The less water in your body, the thicker your blood. This forces your heart to pump harder to deliver oxygen to your brain, organs, muscles, and every cell in your body.
If you’re dehydrated your body will be going haywire trying to fix the problem and as dehydration gets worse you’ll feel thirsty, dizzy, and irritable and have a headache.
Without water, at this point, your condition will worsen into fatigue and exhaustion, with poor motor function so you’ll be clumsy and uncoordinated.
None of this will help you exercise, cook healthy meals, or do anything else!
4- HOW DOES DEHYDRATION AFFECT HOW I PERFORM?
Even a 1% decline in fluids as a percentage of total body weight can negatively impair the performance,
according to research from the California University of Pennsylvania, while a decline of 3% or higher significantly increases the risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Dehydration of 2% impairs mental performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor and immediate memory skills, according to a study published in the American Journal Of The College of nutrition, which is no surprise because your brain is predominantly water.
The more activity you do and the higher the temperature, the more your daily fluid intake must increase to avoid dehydration.
Research in the journal Nutrition advises drinking 200ml to 285ml of water for every ten to 20 minutes of moderate exercise. If it’s hot and you’re working out at a high intensity then you will need more, and you may need electrolytes too (see below).
5- HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM DEHYDRATED?
The first and most obvious sign is that you feel thirsty. At the onset of thirst, you should drink water, whether you’re at work, the gym, or outdoors.
During intense exercise, or when training in hot and humid conditions, it can be very difficult to consume as much water as you are losing through sweating and breathing.
This is why it’s so important to start any activity in a fully hydrated state and prioritize replacing lost fluids as soon as you’re finished.
The color of your urine is also a good indicator of hydration levels: a light yellow color means you’re adequately hydrated, and the darker the color the more water you need.
If it’s any other color, by the way, you should call your doctor.
6- WHY MIGHT I NEED ELECTROLYTES?
When we sweat we lose important minerals such as sodium and potassium, which are found in your blood and – among other things – regulate body water levels.
If you’re training for less than an hour in average temperature and humidity you’ll be fine to rehydrate with water,
but when training is longer, more intense, or in hotter conditions, taking on around 1.7g to 2.9g of electrolytes per liter of water helps your body absorb fluids more quickly, according to research in the journal Sports Medicine.
Another study, published in the Journal of the International Society Of Sports Nutrition, found that pure coconut water and coconut drinks made from concentrate were as effective as sugar-based sports drinks at aiding rehydration.
Booze and your body
If you’re serious about sculpting fitter, healthier and leaner body, science says you should think twice about that glass of wine–especially after exercise
After a long, hard day and a tough workout, nothing quite quenches your thirst like a well-made cocktail.
You know that water, an electrolyte drink, or a protein shake would be better for you, but sometimes only a “real” drink can hit the spot.
Indeed, there is a direct correlation between people who work out more and alcohol consumption, says research published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.
But how detrimental to your training, and your fitness goals, is a postexercise social drink? We’re afraid we have some bad news.
1- INCREASED FAT STORAGE
Drinking too much too often will end your ambitions of getting lean because it will make you fatter.
A gram of alcohol contains seven calories, just two less than a gram of fat, but unlike fats – which contain vitamins and other compounds essential to good health – alcohol calories contain nothing else of nutritional value, just lots of energy you don’t need.
With around 180 calories per 250ml glass of wine and 200 calories in a pint of beer, these excess calories cause weight gain and obesity, according to the journal Clinical Laboratory Sciences.
2- DELAYED RECOVERY
Anyone who has ever had a few too many will know that even simple tasks the morning after, like getting out of bed, require superhuman efforts.
So drinking after a tough workout will derail the next day’s exercise efforts – but the effects can last well into the day after that too.
The negative impact is even more pronounced if you are training in an endurance discipline, according to research published in the journal Sports Medicine, because alcohol slows the speed at which your body recovers.
This affects muscle recovery but also further compromises your immune system, which is already weakened by your endurance efforts, making it harder for you to fight off illness.
3- BAD FOOD CRAVINGS
After training, your blood sugar levels are low because a lot of your readily available energy stores are emptied.
A night of drinking lowers them further, so you wake the next morning in a state of hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar levels), according to the journal Diabetes Care. This is one reason we crave sugary and fatty foods when hungover.
Indulging that urge will spike and then crash blood sugar levels, so you’ll struggle to motivate yourself to exercise – and even if you do, lower energy levels will produce poor performance.
Have a high-protein breakfast of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon with wholemeal toast instead.
4- POOR-QUALITY SLEEP
Sleep is essential for better exercise performance and recovery, and while drinking before bed might send you to sleep faster, it has a severe impact on sleep quality.
In a study, subjects who drank alcohol just before bed did have more slow-wave sleep patterns (called delta activity), which is the period of deep sleep associated with restoration.
but they also had heightened alpha-wave patterns, which your brain displays when you’re awake, according to the Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research journal.
This competition between alpha and delta waves disrupts sleep, which is why you often wake up still feeling tired after drinking.
And the performance impact of sleep deprivation is more pronounced in athletes, according to the journal Sports Medicine. The lesson? Avoid booze before bed.