Changing what you eat is one of the most effective ways to lose body fat.
They say that great bodies are made in the kitchen and while that’s true, stepping up your exercise regime at the same time, will help speed up results and have you looking and feeling fabulous.
Here CashLady looks at how to lose body fat by changing what you eat.
Lose body fat by changing what you eat
Too much body fat can make you feel out of shape and, crucially, it can also be extremely dangerous.
Accumulation of body fats may lead to obesity, which can lead to other worrying health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancers of the breast, colon and prostate.
Fat around your waist and tummy is an indication that it’s time to change what you eat and lose some fat.
According to the NHS, having a large amount of tummy fat (compared to fat around your bottom or thighs) makes you more likely to develop diabetes and heart problems.
A healthy waist circumference for men is less than 94cm (37 inches). For women, it’s less than 80cm (32 inches).
Measuring your body fat
Losing fat isn’t the same as losing weight.
When you undertake an exercise regime, for example, you may put on weight as you gain muscle but you’ll lose fat.
While waist size is a helpful indicator of body fat, you should also measure your body fat percentage.
You can do this yourself, or you can ask your doctor or your local gym if they can help.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to measure your body fat is using callipers, which can buy on Amazon for around £5.
Using at least three spots on your body – chest, abs and thigh are good places to start – pinch the skin and measure the fold with the callipers.
Use these numbers to pop into a formula or, more conveniently, an online calculator, which will give you your body fat percentage.
Lose body fat through diet
Looking at what you eat and drink
Your diet plays a significant part in shifting body fat and so start by taking an honest look at what you regularly eat and drink.
A food diary can be helpful for tracking unhealthy eating patterns, such as picking up fatty fast food when you’re on the go, resorting to fat-laden take-out curry’s after a busy week at work, or drinking a little too much at the weekend.
Cutting out the bad stuff
Aim to cut out too much sugar, bad fats and alcohol and then plan your menus in advance so that you always have a healthy option to hand.
Cutting down on fats and carbohydrates are both effective ways to lose fat but the key is choosing a sustainable meal plan that you will stick to.
It is also helpful to monitor your calorie intake and the macronutrients (how much fat, carbohydrate, protein etc.) that you are eating every day.
Apps such as MyFitnessPal are free and easy to download on your phone, to help you keep track.
What to eat for losing body fat
The NHS recommends making healthier choices instead of adopting an extreme diet, such as carb free or high protein.
Reducing your fat intake
A good start is cutting off visible fat from meat, such as bacon and steak and opting for lean meats, such as turkey and chicken breast.
Drink skimmed or semi-skimmed milk instead of full fat, choose a reduced- or low-fat spread, and replace cream with low-fat yoghurt.
Eat healthier carbohydrates
Eat wholegrain foods, such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and pasta. They’re digested more slowly than the white varieties, so will help you feel full for longer.
Eat the rainbow
Aim to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day.
Most fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre – three essential ingredients for successful fat loss.
Staying hydrated is a secret weapon for losing fat as often we reach for a snack when in fact we’re thirsty.
Swap drinks high in calories for lower calorie alternatives, so replace sugary fizzy drink with sparkling water and a slice of lemon.
Alcohol is also high in calories, so cutting down on alcohol will help you lose fat and feel better.