I’m always thinking about fat loss. ALWAYS!
Maintaining a good body composition where:
- I feel good
- I function well
- My clothes fit
- I like what I see in the mirror
Some of that is also my mindset, because I could stand in the mirror right now and find a long list of things that aren’t perfect, but I still like it because I like myself.
If I’m going to do fat loss long term, I think about it as tightening up my plan or loosening up my plan.
It’s not all or nothing like on a diet, off a diet. I don’t restrict everything, then overeat.
Tightening up your plan just means being more intentional.
- Having more awareness
- Being more mindful
- Getting back to the standards I hold
- The protocol I follow
Loosening up my plan might be:
- I’m going on vacation
- It’s the holidays
- It’s the weekend
- I’m just taking a little break
It doesn’t mean I’m throwing everything away and I’m eating my face off.
It just means tonight I’m going out with friends and I’m not worried about it. My pocketbook doesn’t have chicken in it. I’m not really too worried about finding something on the menu because I always order exactly what I want.
Imagine tightening or loosening your fat loss over time is like a dial.
We’re just adjusting it according to our schedule.
In my 10 Fat Loss Tips I am going to talk about:
- How to have a fat loss lifestyle.
- How you can live, still eat, and have a good time without being all or nothing.
Some of the things that I have on my list today, you might already do. Maybe they just don’t work for you. Over the next few weeks, I’m gonna go a little bit deeper with some higher-level types of tips as well.
1) Real or whole foods vs processed foods.
One of the ways people get off course is thinking that if it’s real or whole foods, then I can eat as much as I want. That is not true.
That’s where I think some of the plans like Paleo, Whole 30, and low carb go wrong. Even though you are just eating meat and vegetables, you still could overeat. Real or whole foods do make us feel more full.
Processed foods are very easy to digest. There’s nothing for your body to break down. Plus they are made to be highly palatable. All of these things can lead to over indulging.
If you want to live a fat loss lifestyle and be in a body that has less body fat, we’re always going to be looking at food quality.
If 75 to 80% of our meals are focused more on real whole foods, we’re going to do okay. It doesn’t have to be 100% in order to be something that works for you and gives you the body composition you’re looking for.
2) The goal is to eat as much as you can and lose body fat, not eat as little as you can.
I know a lot of us want fast results. We want instant results. We want results yesterday. Dieting is all about restricting your calories and eating less.
Somewhere along the way we have picked up this idea that the perfect amount of calories for a woman is 1200 calories, when that is simply not true.
It does take a little bit of time to figure out where your sweet spot is. If you’re always going into highly restrictive diets and fad diets, your body might be set a little bit lower. It takes a little bit of time for your body to acclimate to “Oh, she is feeding us, we’re not starving, we’re going to get quality food.”
If we can live in this way where we eat up to our threshold then we can eat just to the point where we’re still losing body fat, but we’re not under-eating. That’s gold!
If you are a person that would like to lose body fat, that’s going to be key for you. Don’t fall into the habit of over restricting. Don’t try to lose weight by over restricting unless that is something you’re going to be able to do long term.
PS. you can’t, that’s why diets fail.
3) Fat loss vs weight loss.
As women, we are so used to thinking about weight loss. Ultimately, fat loss is the goal whether you think it is or not. Fat loss doesn’t always show up on your scale, even the scales that try to tell you what your body composition is. Those aren’t necessarily accurate.
You’ve seen these pictures where they’ll show 10 women. They say all 10 of these women weigh 150 pounds and they all look vastly different. I want to offer you that if you are someone who really wants to unf*ck their weight loss, think about fat loss versus weight loss. Try to reimagine your relationship with a number on the scale.
I’m not telling you to not use the scale. If you want to use the scale for data, if you can have that reasonable relationship with the scale, then use it.
The scale doesn’t tell you your value or your worth.
Many people struggle here. I see women all the time, just quit. Literally, they quit on their goals, they quit on themselves, they ghost, just because the scale went up. We can neutralize the thoughts you have about the scale and really focus on fat loss.
What does fat loss look like?
- You start to see more defined muscles
- Your clothes fit looser
- You can see it in the mirror
- You can feel it
That’s a long-term plan.
4) Anchor your meals with protein.
I firmly believe whether you eat three meals a day, or four meals a day, or 62 meals a day, you want to anchor every meal with protein. Always. Even if it’s just a snack.
Here’s the thing, if you grab a handful of crackers or you grab an apple it probably works out great calorie wise. Not a problem. We could debate which is better, which is worse, whatever. They both kind of fall into the same category. I call this an untethered carbohydrate. Meaning my blood sugar starts to go up. Which is what I wanted it to do with the food, right?
When I get really hungry and my blood sugar is making me want to eat that apple or eat those crackers, without the anchor of the protein I am going to set myself up for a cycle of up and down blood sugar.
Why is that a problem?
Well, because it’s up and down insulin and then up and down cortisol and then up and down to stop. It sets off a whole cascade of hormones that ultimately have me not feeling great and also storing body fat. So if you’re going to have a snack, think protein first.
What part of the snack or the meal has protein? Then go from there.
When I build a meal, this is also how I build it. You don’t have to agree with me but this is what works for me and my clients. I anchor with protein, then I like to have vegetables as often as I can.
I know sometimes on the run on the go in your car or whatever that might not be the meal with the big ass salad. That’s okay. Let’s pretend this is the meal with the big ass salad or the biggest plate that has a ton of vegetables. So protein, vegetables, those are like the base of the meal.
Then, for me, if I’m going to add starchy carbs, that’s next. Whether that’s rice, a baked potato, a sweet potato, couscous, or quinoa. If you’re having bread, this is where that fits in.
Next we get into fats. If you’re going to have butter, oil, or even bacon. I know, bacon, you’re thinking that’s a protein. Yes, as much as fat.
That’s how I build a plate. That works for me.
The reason I put fats last is that your protein probably has fat. If you’re eating a turkey burger or salmon that has fat. Unless you’re eating something super lean, like egg whites, or shrimp, or tuna. There are things you could eat that don’t have added fat. But ultimately because fat has nine calories per gram, it is very easy to over consume calories when we are drizzling oil all over our salad or our roasted vegetables. It adds up. It’s not free food.
I know in the last couple years it’s been very popular, this whole, “fat is good for you” and keto and healthy fats and all that stuff, but you can definitely overdo it.
If you’re going to add fat, then I would just probably measure it. You might also prefer fat. I personally don’t love the mouthfeel of a ton of fat. I like to chew my food. I like to have something to actually fill my body with volume. You could argue that extra fat is satiating, but it is not for me. I would rather spend my calories on vegetables, proteins and starchy carbs.
When you think about building a plate, think about it like your plate is getting dressed. Protein is pants. You don’t go anywhere without your pants, unless you want to be arrested. Vegetables are your shirt. Your starchy carbs are like your pocketbook or your belt. It’s not as big as the pants or the shirt. Then fats are things like earrings and your watch.
5) Wear your jeans.
I know I’ve probably mentioned this. During the pandemic there was like a full year that I don’t think I wore anything other than workout pants. I didn’t go anywhere. I didn’t leave the house, really. There weren’t any social engagements. So I wasn’t wearing jeans.
That’s something I think that could be really helpful, especially if you have a weight loss goal. Maybe you have a pair of jeans you want to get into, put them on every now and then decide to put them on once a week. Especially if you’re not going to use the scale.
Maybe every Monday morning you put on the jeans or you keep those jeans out so that you see those jeans that you want to get into. If you have jeans that fit now, make a practice of wearing them.
Being in the fitness industry, I feel like I live in workout clothes. You know, so that in the middle of the day I can go for a walk, I could lift some weights, I could use my rebounder.
Could I do those in jeans? I could. But I really do think wearing clothes that are form fitting is very helpful. It really helps you be more in touch with your body when we have stretchy clothes and elastic waistbands.
We lose track of, am I full? Can I feel my body?
I was thinking I wanted to have a challenge. Maybe, if you guys are up for it, we’ll call it Jeanuary. In Jeanuary, we are going to wear jeans. We are going to put on jeans every single day.
6) Prioritize muscle.
If you want to have a fat loss lifestyle, you always want to think about prioritizing muscle.
How do we prioritize muscle?
One of the ways we do it is definitely prioritize protein in every meal. I would also prioritize strength training.
Strength training is not all or nothing. It doesn’t mean:
- Every day I have to strength train
- I have to strength train for an hour
- It has to be hard
- It has to hurt
- I’ve got to do 300 sets of 1000 reps
- I have to sweat
- My watch has to say XYZ
NONE OF THAT!
In fact, for most females over 40, I’m going to caution you against overtraining. I will definitely get more into that next week. I would really look at 2,3,4 days of strength training and not make it super complicated.
Keep it really basic. Don’t feel like you have to change the workout all the time.
My clients inside Self Made have access to all different kinds of programs. Same with Self Made Society. If you’re already inside Self Made, you know you’ve got library upon library of workouts. If you’re in Self Made Society, which is my newer membership program, we have workouts in there as well.
I know sometimes our brains make us feel like we need the right workout. I need a different workout. I need a special workout. I need someone to write my workout. Somebody who’s been strength training for 30 years.
I love writing workouts, but I’m going to tell you don’t overthink the workouts!
Really think about it. If you’re not strength training, start with two very short workouts a week. By short, I mean 10 or 12 minutes of strength training.
That could be very simple bodyweight squats. That could be some overhead presses with two or three pound dumbbells. Or you could use cans of food or a water bottle, whatever you have. We have to start somewhere.
I think what keeps us from taking action is that we’re afraid it will be too hard. You just have to take baby steps because you want to preserve muscle. Muscle is very inherent to body composition. We don’t want to be always dieting and losing our muscle mass.
7) Keep a food journal.
I want to encourage you to keep a food journal. If I’m tightening up on my fat loss, you know what I do? I write down everything ahead of time. Or if I’m resistant to that, then I’m definitely going to keep a food journal.
I want that level of accountability. I want that level of mindfulness.
This is a perfect month to start it. Today. We don’t have to start everything on a Monday or the first of the month. You can start right now, and be intentional with your eating.
I’m telling you that this one tool alone is going to help you with your fat loss.
Sometimes I think we resist doing it because it is like we are judging ourselves. We’re like, that’s a bad food and I don’t want to write it down. What if we just did it out of mindfulness, and not in a way that we’re policing ourselves and judging everything?
We’re just writing it down. We’re going to be curious, If I did eat off my kid’s plate, what did I eat? I’m just gonna write it.
I’m going to figure out what was going on.
- Was I hungry?
- Had I not sat down and eaten myself?
- Did I just have a momentary “I don’t want to waste food.”
If you were hungry, then why not sit down and have enough to eat before clearing the kids plates off the table?
Planning in advance does help us decide ahead and get over this “decision fatigue” that hits us all. I don’t care who you are, if you’re a human, by four o’clock in the afternoon you don’t give two f*cks. By six o’clock, less than that. Eight o’clock? it’s game on!
By planning ahead, I’ve already decided what’s for dinner. It doesn’t have to be super specific. It can just be you’re having protein, vegetables, and a side of rice. Or if you’re having pizza, you just plan it in writing ahead of time so that at the end of the day, when you are tired, there is no eating off the kids plate. There is no eating the cupcakes the kids brought home. It’s just whatever’s on my plan, I committed.
If those cupcakes look so good, then I’ll plan cupcakes tomorrow. Just abiding by the plan makes it so much easier.
8) Assess and evaluate.
If you want to live a fat loss lifestyle, then you want to be able to assess and evaluate without drama and judgment. If you keep a food journal, that’s a great place to assess.
How do I tighten up the plan? How do I loosen up the plan intentionality, unless I’m willing to assess it and evaluate it? It could be really simple. At the end of the week, you take a look and say:
- What went well?
- What didn’t go well?
- What could I do better next week?
- How do I want to make changes for next week?
I caution you to not pick apart every single day. Maybe at the end of the week you set yourself up and evaluate without thinking about if the scale is up or down.
If we look at fat loss as a lifestyle versus a diet, this is going to be so much easier. It feels less like homework and more about being a person who prioritizes herself.
A person who is very intentional about;
- Her own health,
- Her weight loss,
- Her goals,
- Her life.
You probably put a lot of energy into planning your kids’ events, or doing something for your boss or your business. We want to have that level of intentionality with ourselves. Assessing and evaluating is part of it.
9) Commit to simplifying.
If you want to live this fat loss lifestyle, make it simple. Don’t get so wrapped up in “I don’t know what to eat.” You do know what to eat. You do know how to cook chicken, or you know where to get cooked chicken. You can really simplify.
There might be times where you do spend hours in the kitchen, prepping and cooking and all of that stuff. Most of the time, you’re just planning your meals.
You made a batch of meatballs on Sunday. Now for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, we know we have the meatballs on zoodles or a meatball sandwich or meatballs and pasta or meatballs and broccoli. Think about it that way. Just plug and play. Keep it Simple.
Basics always work. Your brain is gonna tell you that:
- The basics are not good enough.
- There’s gotta be something more.
- You’re holding something back for me.
Walking. If there’s one gift I could give to you, it’s walking. If you could walk outside every single day, that’s the way to go. It does a lot for your body. It’s a very low intensity working out. Adding a daily walk, even if it’s 10 or 15 minutes, is good for you.
Water. Drink water. It doesn’t have to be a gallon of water. If you’re drinking zero water now, what could you do tomorrow? Could you drink eight ounces? Could you stir in a sugar free drink additive? If that makes water better for you, do it!
Seltzer water, tons of seltzer water out there, it’s a whole industry. Drink that!
Even if you still like diet soda, great. Half the day drink diet soda and half the day drink water. Just because we’re adding the basics in, doesn’t mean we have to take everything else out.
Sleep. You have to sleep. If sleep is something you struggle with, maybe the priority is getting to bed earlier. Winding down. Turning off the electronics. Maybe taking melatonin or one of the many different types of magnesium.
Find ways to turn everything off at night. If you get that second wind at night, it is not good. You might be like, “I get so much done” or “I have to wait till everybody’s asleep.”
If you’re getting less than seven hours of sleep regularly, you’re probably going to find the pounds are creeping on.
- It’s affecting your levels of hunger.
- It’s affecting your blood sugar.
- It’s affecting your overall health.
Poop. How’s your poop? Are you pooping? I would prioritize having good digestion. If it’s not good, what do we need to change about that?
- Do you need more vegetables?
- Do you need less vegetables?
- Sometimes when we try to overdo fiber it makes things worse for us.
- Do you need to research a good probiotic?
- Do you already take magnesium?
I would make sure that you have good digestion. Otherwise, it is affecting your overall health and also how full or how hungry you feel.
Sometimes when my clients are telling me but I’m just not hungry, they haven’t pooped in three days. We don’t want to do that if you eat three times a day. That’s three days of not pooping. That’s nine meals. That’s a lot of food.
Figure out one thing that I listed under the basics, that you want to focus on. It went walk, water, sleep and poop. There are other things that I could throw in there but honestly, you didn’t come here to get a list of more stuff. Right?
If you have not joined the Self Made Society, what are you waiting for?
Come on already!
This is a membership, you don’t have to stay for any particular amount of time. However, the longer you stay, the more you get.
We’re constantly adding new material, new resources, and new calls that you can get on.
Self Made Society is not me personalizing something for you, you don’t necessarily need that. I think a lot of us just need to hear what I’m doing inside my podcast times 10. That’s what you’re gonna get in Self Made Society.
You can do it alongside any program. You want to be keto, you’re a vegetarian, you want to do Jenny Craig, great! I don’t care. That’s fine.
What I think all diets are actually missing is really that mindset piece, that level of sustainability and focus. I’m not on a diet and off the diet, but I’m creating a lifestyle of health and fitness and wellness and fat loss that I don’t need to quit on. I don’t need to take a two year break from it. I’m not going to lose weight and gain it back because I’m becoming a person who loses weight and keeps it off.
That is what Self Made and Self Made Society is all about. That is what I am all about. And I invite you to be all about that too.
NOTES IN ANCHOR
Have you ever lost weight…and then gained it back again? Or maybe even gained back more than you lost, to begin with? How many times have you been on a “diet’ where you teeter-tottered between over-restricting and then eating your face off because you were starving? I’ve seen it happen far too many times to count. This is why I want to offer you a new train of thought. If you want to create permanent weight loss, you have to create a FAT LOSS lifestyle. Because ultimately… If you want to lose weight… Fat loss is the goal. A fat loss lifestyle does not include an all-or-nothing thinking kind of diet. Instead, it provides an environment for you to be in control of your “plan” to allow for REAL LIFE situations…like girl’s night out, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. Here’s how I want you to envision a fat loss lifestyle… Imagine being able to tighten up your plan by being more intentional, having more awareness, being more mindful, and getting back to the protocol you follow. And then also imagine being able to loosen up the plan because you are going on vacation, it’s the holidays, or going out with your friends. If you want to create permanent weight loss, your “plan” has to fit into your real life! So to start the New Year off, I am doing a series on how to create a fat loss lifestyle. In this series, I will be sharing my 10 Tips for Fat Loss that you can incorporate into your life and make a part of who you are. Let’s get to it in Episode 30 of Unf*ck Your Weight Loss now!
ABOUT THE HOST
Bonnie Lefrak is a Life & Body Transformation Expert and Founder of Self Made, a program designed to help you tackle the physical aspects of health and weight loss as well as the beliefs and thoughts that drive our habits and behaviors. It is her goal to help women create certainty in their own lives, their own results, and their own abilities.
Weight loss is not about the one “right” diet – it is about MUCH more than that. Weight loss is not about the one “right” workout. Weight loss is not about being positive and putting a big smile on. Weight loss is about FEELINGS. All of them. Not trying to bury them or hide from them but knowing and allowing the full human experience.
Weight loss is not about grinding hustling and will powering your way to some end line. Transformation (when done well) is done from the inside out.
By addressing both the physical and mental aspects of dieting and weight loss, she has coached thousands of women ages 30-55+ from all over and helped them ditch the mindsets that are holding them back, achieve permanent weight loss, and get the bangin’ body of their dreams.
Bonnie is an expert at Demystifying weight loss. She helps you unf*ck your diet brain.
She is on a mission to help women love themselves, to find PEACE in the process of losing weight, taking care of themselves, and leveraging the power they do have to become who and want they want right now.
Connect with Bonnie-
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