Five Unconventional Changes You Can Make for Fat Loss
We have spoke ad nauseum about different nutrition tactics for fat loss
, but oftentimes it can be trickier than simply adjusting macronutrients and training. I’m hitting you from a different angle today with five unconventional changes you can – and should – make to push for more fat loss.
I love wine and bourbon. Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Woodford, Larceny…
::glug glug glug::
… where was I? Oh! Right. Wine and bourbon. I love me some. Left to my own devices I would indulge in a glass
or two every single night, but I don’t. Do you know why? No, not because I’m afraid I’ll turn into an alcoholic, but because alcohol is bodyfat’s bestie!
Alcohol shuts down fat loss quicker than Harlem shakes, but listen – it’s not about the calories. My nutrition clients ask me all of the time which is the best cocktail option that they can drink when trying to lose fat. “Vodka cran.? Red wine?” they hopefully suggest to me, with their eyes gleaming and their mouths watering.
The answer is: no cocktail. Wah-waaaaah.
I repeat, it’s not about the calories.
The problem lies in the fact that alcohol essentially turns off your metabolism, tanks your blood sugar (hence the frantic 4am search for a Del Taco – been there, do that), and causes us to retain water like the Hoover Dam. Not pretty.
“Jen, I just don’t get it; I’m not losing fat. I’m eating clean and training hard… but I do have a cocktail 3-4 nights a week.”
Ding ding ding!
Now we’re on to something!
If you are serious about losing fat then you need to whittle your alcohol down to (hold on to your flask friends!) one or two cocktails a month. Once you are at a maintenance stage, and only then if luck is on your side, you might be able to get away with a glass of wine each week. Until then? Cut it.
One more thing – when you do drink, avoid consuming starchy carbs or sugar. Keep your meal to protein, veg, and dietary fat for the least amount of damage.
Detox Excess Estrogen
Nowadays we are absolutely bathed in environmental toxins. We are breathing chemicals we shouldn’t be, eating things that were never meant for human consumption, and slathering products on our skin that we’d never ingest in a million years. Things are getting kinda weird and I’m a firm believer that all of these things are negatively affecting our body composition and our fragile hormones, especially in women.
More good news: if you consume conventionally farmed meats, and most people do, this means you are also ingesting animals that have been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics throughout their entire lives. That, on top of the produce you eat being sprayed liberally with pesticides, can really challenge us from a hormonal standpoint, specifically in the form of excess estrogen.
Most women, especially those that store bodyfat in their lower body, can benefit from detoxing excess estrogen from their bodies. We obviously can’t avoid all toxins unless you are willing to build yourself a BPA-free bubble and live inside of it, but here are some things that you can do that will help:
- Make sure your meat and all animal products (including dairy) are pastured and humanely raised, without antibiotics or added hormones.
- Buy organic whenever possible, especially when it comes to coffee, apples, and these other 11 foods.
- Eliminate the usage of plastic bottles (Tip: I bought an 800mL glass Voss water bottle and just re-use that bad boy!)
- Eliminate the usage of plastic tupperware, and do NOT heat your food in/on plastic containers in the microwave!
- Dry skin brushing (Bonus: can decrease the appearance of cellulite)
- Consume more (organic) cruciferous vegetables
More High Quality Sleep
Many people that have emailed me about their hitting a frustrating fat loss plateau can attest that the first thing I ask them is, “How is your sleep quality?” and then “How are your stress levels?” Interestingly, almost all of the people that are struggling to lose bodyfat are eating clean and training smart but their sleep and stress levels absolutely blow.
Before I recommend any nutrition or exercise manipulations I prescribe them to get more high quality sleep and to lower their stress levels. Try that for the next few weeks without changing any other variables and get back to me.
POOF! Following my instructions, things almost always start to creep in the right direction once again.
The biggest problem with sleep is that people simply don’t prioritize it. We’re on the go all day long and by the time we get home, eat, and shower it’s already 9pm. We are exhausted, but it feels like a waste to just go to bed, so what do most people do? Languish on the couch and force ourselves to stay up for a few extra hours just to watch tv or play around on the internet, when really, we could have easily fallen asleep at 9pm!
This hurts us in two ways:
- We are forcing ourselves to stay awake when we should be sleeping, and
- Artificial light radiating from the screen (tv, net, or otherwise) disturbs our melatonin production.
The next day we are groggy, exhausted, and extra hungry which is usually bad news for our diet and other people that have to deal with us.
The solution: go to bed. Just go to bed.
Next time you settle in at night on the couch or in front of the computer, tune inwards and notice how tired you are. Could you really just go to bed and fall asleep? Then go do that!
Turn off electronics a couple of hours before bed so you can start to unwind. At the very least, invest in some super cool blue-blockers it you simply can’t pry yourself away from the computer screen before bed.
Make sure your room is dark and cool, or invest in a sleepy mask like I use. Lay down. Sleep. Be healthy and happy. Lose fat. Bliss!
Check Your Stress Levels
Nowadays people are constantly chatting about the ill effects of too much stress, and I think that people kinda disregard it all because we live in America, and it’s assumed that our stress levels are supposed to be off the friggin’ charts. Between our business(es), training, kids, dogs, school, and travel, it’s all we can do to keep our head on straight.
This go-go-go lifestyle leads to us exhausting ourselves both mentally and physically, which typically leads to obscene amounts of coffee and stimulants so we can continue to go-go-go. Top this all off with intense training a few days a week and you can mark yourself down for a front row seat to the Cortisol Shit-show.
Tip: take your pulse. An elevated resting heart rate is a sign that you need to slow your roll.
I don’t expect you to quit your job and chat “Ohmmm” from a mountain top for the rest of your livelong days, but I do expect you to prune your To Do List. There are always things that can be delegated, rearranged, or taken off of there altogether. Additionally, everybody – and I mean everybody – can take five to ten minutes per day to shut their eyes and listen to a guided meditation while focusing on some deep and controlled breathing.
Nearly every day I shut my office door, turn the light off, lay on the floor, and listen to my 7 minute guided meditation from the Silva Meditation app on my iPhone. Do it in your car. Do it outside. Do it in the bathroom. But do it somewhere, because it’s important for both your health and your fat loss goals.
Believe it to See it
Wayne Dyer put a little spin on the classic saying, and I absolutely adore this revamped version: “I’ll see it when I believe it.”
Have you ever been tip-toeing across an icy parking lot and thinking to yourself, “I’m going to fall. I just KNOW I’m going to fall. I’m totally going to fa–“ ARGH! Down you go! Well no wonder. You told yourself over and over again that you were going to fall. What the hell did you expect?
Losing fat is time intensive, and during that period it’s only normal to become emotionally vested in the process. There will be days that your jeans slide right on and you just feel good
… but there will also inevitably be other days that make you question yourself and the entire process. Because of this, it’s vitally important that you stay positive. Find peace in the fact that you are doing your best and have faith that it’s working. I’m not suggesting that you be unrealistic – thinking happy thoughts while eating Ding-Dongs isn’t gonna cut it – but I am absolutely telling you to buck up, stay the course, and be optimistic.
Tell yourself you are succeeding (present tense) and believe it. Stick it somewhere that you can see it so that it melds into your subconscious. Put a post-it on your mirror. Spray it into your grass in Round-Up. Do whatever you have to do, but make it stick: I am succeeding!
You will see it when you believe it!
Have you tried any of these? Do you have any unconventional fat loss tips that I missed? Hit me up below and lets chat!
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