First, let me start off by dispelling one giant MYTH in the fitness world, and that is that BODY FAT IS BAD!
BODY FAT IS NOT BAD!!
Body fat in and of itself is not a bad thing! Not only is BODY FAT not bad, but it IS ESSENTIAL FOR OUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING! It is within us for a reason and it plays many vital roles within our bodies! Fat is used in metabolic processes, it’s used for cell signaling, it’s needed to produce hormones, it’s used in vitamin absorption, it keeps us warm, it helps cushion vital organs, and much more!
Since society has demonized fat and perpetuated this myth that body fat is bad, many of us have very skewed views of what “healthy” body fat looks like. In fact, in regards to health, we really shouldn’t even be worried as much about looks, as we should about how we feel and how we are performing in our daily lives. (Note: Once health is taken care of, aesthetics would be a whole other topic, which we will leave for a discussion at a later time.)
Both men and women need a minimal amount of body fat just to survive, but take note that surviving is NOT thriving. This minimal amount of body fat needed for maintenance of basic survival is termed essential body fat. For men, essential body fat is 2-5% and for women essential body fat is 10-13% (ACE). Women need a bit more for childbearing purposes. Now, that is just essential fat …
In order to actually THRIVE in your daily life, a healthy body fat percentage is likely a bit higher that you might think! A HEALTHY amount of BODY FAT for MOST MEN is between 14-24%, while the healthy range for MOST WOMEN is between 21-31% (ACE). Now, I say “most,” because everybody is different, and as an individual, it is possible that you can lie outside of those statistical averages and still be perfectly healthy. This again, is where I’d like to reiterate that body fat in and of itself is not a bad thing! What this means, is that even if you lie outside of the statistical healthy range, as long as you do not have a family history of diseases, whose likelihood increase with increased body fat, and you are currently healthy by all other typical indicators (i.e. blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, CRP, joint functionality, mobility, etc.), then there’s no real reason to worry about being a specific body fat percentage.
Now, you should be a bit concerned if you are outside of the statistical healthy range of body fat, and do have other health issues that are exacerbated by having high amounts of body fat.
These other issues could include, but aren’t limited to:
• Heart Disease
• Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
• Diabetes (High Blood Glucose)
• Musculoskeletal, Joint, and Mobility Issues
• Breathing Problems
• Emotional / Self-Esteem Issues
• Sexual Dysfunction
FAT LOSS IS HARD though, right?!
So, what can you do if your HEALTH, and your ability to THRIVE, are contingent on you losing body fat?
Well, it’s your lucky day! I am going to give you FIVE SIMPLE TIPS to help KICK START your FAT LOSS!
Annndd … I’m going to give you a SECRET BONUS TIP as well! So, let’s get to it!
• Aim for 7-9 hours every single night!
• Check out our handy water infographic for more details. 😊
• Physical Hunger Cue Examples: Growling stomach, empty stomach feeling, headache, lack of focus, low energy, shakiness, etc. <-- EAT BECAUSE OF THESE!
• Emotional/Environmental Hunger Cue Examples: Stress eating, boredom eating, food smells good, walked by fried chicken joint, saw the ice cream in the freezer, it’s 5pm and you just got home from work and walked through the kitchen, etc. <-- DON’T EAT BECAUSE OF THESE!
• Physical Hunger/Fullness Scale: 1 – absolutely, painfully starving; 2 – very hungry; 3 – moderately hungry 4 – a little hungry; 5 – neither hungry nor full; 6 – just barely satisfied; 7 – satisfied; 8 – moderately full; 9 – very full; 10 – absolutely, painfully stuffed
• EAT when your physical hunger cues get to a 2 or 3 on the Hunger/Fullness Scale.
• STOP EATING when you get to a 6 or 7. I like to describe this “just satisfied point” as the point where you are no longer receiving physical hunger cues and could go exercise, if asked to, within 10-20 minutes of finishing your meal.
• Consider every time you eat, a “meal,” so yes this does include what many people term “snacks” as well.
• Every time you eat, eat 1-2 servings of lean protein and non-starchy veggies. You can eat whatever else you want so long as 1) you are still physically hungry, and 2) you’ve eaten all of your lean protein and non-starchy veggies.
• Check our protein infographic for more details on female/male specific serving sizes and examples of lean proteins.
• For non-starchy veggies, a serving is the size of your fist. Females should aim for one fist with every meal, and males should aim for two. Examples of non-starchy veggies include things like, leafy greens, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, asparagus, green beans, etc.
• Our bodies were not designed to be sedentary. They were designed to move, and move often! Check out our movement infographic to learn about FIVE SIMPLE WAYS TO MOVE MORE THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY!
• Also, aim to dedicate at least 30-minutes a day to brisk walking. This does not have to be all at once. It can be broken up into bouts as small as 5-minutes.
• Additionally, aim to get in at least 80 body weight squats and 80 elevated pushups in each day. Again, these do not have to be done all at once, and actually, preferably not all once. You can fit them in however you’d like! I like to recommend doing 10 of each, every 1-2 hours.
These five tips should help you kick start your fat loss, but I’m going to leave you with one BIG SECRET to not only achieving your fat loss goals, but also to sustaining them long-term, by leaving you with a BONUS TIP!
That’s right! The SECRET to achieving and sustaining fat loss, long-term, is ACCOUNTABILITY!
Everybody needs someone to help hold them accountable to their goals and actions, because let’s face it, ALL OF US are really good at B.S.-ing ourselves, especially when life gets busy, but most of us do not like letting others down!
So, here’s the biggest thing you can do for yourself right now to ensure that you will achieve and sustain your fat loss goals - GO FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY!
Let your accountability buddy know what goals you are trying to achieve and what actions you will be taking daily to help get you there, so that they can hold you accountable to those actions, support you, and provide you with motivation!
Now, if you feel like you might need some more expert advice and coaching to help you along on your fat loss journey, you might want to think about hiring us to coach you!
FIVE TIMES A YEAR we take on new clients in our year-long LIFESTYLE TRANSFORMATION PROGRAM. However, in order to give each client the individual attention that they need, we keep our cohorts small – only 10 people in each! So, you might want to act fast if you’d like to reserve one of those coveted spots! To learn more about our LIFESTYLE TRANSFORMATION PROGRAM and to sign up for our next cohort, CLICK HERE!
Does a year sound like too long of a commitment right now? No problem! We've still got you covered!
We offer rolling enrollment for our 12-week Online Kick Start to Fat Loss Program. In this program, we provide you with workouts, nutrition coaching, daily accountability, and expert advice via our Vitality Central App to help you with your initial fat loss goals!
If out Kick Start to Fat Loss Program sounds like a better fit right now, then CLICK HERE to learn more and sign up!
Lastly, I just wanted to say good luck on your fat loss journey and don’t hesitate to REACH OUT if we can help in anyway, or if you have any questions!