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Have you been on a strict diet and exercise program but still haven’t been able to shed fat like you thought you would?
It may be because you're doing a few things that are inadvertently sabotaging your efforts.
I'm Tafiq Akhir, whole body health fitness specialist, personal fitness chef and the owner at Tafiq’s Physiques and in this episode of Tafiq TV I’m sharing seven major steps to help you shed fat and improve your overall health.
Step #1: Stop Drinking Liquid Calories
It's easy to forget that the things you drink have calories—some more than you'd think. In fact, some beverages have more calories than an entire plate of food.
It is estimated that around 20 percent of your daily calories come from what you drink. So, when you drink your juice with breakfast, rehydrate with a sports drink at the gym, or drink a glass of wine with dinner, think about the calories you're consuming.
To prevent yourself from consuming too many empty unhealthy calories , it's best to avoid all sweetened sodas, flavored coffee drinks, sweetened tea, and smoothies. Replace them with water (either flat or aparkling), coconut water, and unsweetened herbal tea. Even though those other drinks may taste great, they don’t generally satisfy hunger, so you just end up consuming empty calories that make it harder to shed fat and feel good.
Step #2 Don't Skip Meals
Many dieters think they'll cut their calorie intake by skipping a meal, and most people tend to skip breakfast.
From my experience, this is a big mistake.
Research has shown that people who skip breakfast actually weigh more than people who eat all three main meals a day (that’s breakfast, lunch and dinner). Skipping breakfast usually causes you to eat more calories during the day because you end up eating more later in the day because of hunger.
So be sure to eat your three main meals each day.
Step #3: Eat The Correct Portion Sizes
Just because restaurants pile food on your plate that doesn't mean you should eat that much at home for a normal meal.
Remember that your stomach, like your heart, is the size of your fist. You can’t fit much food into your fist. But unlike your fist, the stomach is elastic and will stretch when you overeat. And overtime your stomach will stretch and stay stretched which will cause you to eat more food in order to feel full.
The good thing is that because the elasticity of your stomach it can snap back to it’s natural fist size when you consistently reduce your portions to the correct size.
Two ways that can help you eat a little less, is to use smaller plates and to eat slower so you know when you're feeling full. Also, remember that portion control also applies to healthy foods, they contain calories as well. Overeating anything is not good for your weight or your health.
Step #4: Cut The Condiments
A salad is an extremely healthy, low calorie option. Full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants -super healthy. Until you add dressing, bacon, cheese, and croutons.
All of which add extra calories fast.
One tablespoon of dressing can contain anywhere from 75 to 100 calories. With that in mind, it's no wonder grilled-chicken salads at a fast-food restaurant can have more calories than a cheese burger.
Cut back on the ketchup, mayo, dressing, sauces and spreads. Once you do this you’ll soon find that you can actually savor the r”eal” flavor of the main components of your meals.
Step 5: Stop Making Excuses
Many people give up on dieting or give up hope when it comes to meeting their health and fitness goals because of their genes. People say things like "it runs is he family" or all the women in my family are big boned" .
Although you may share your father's hair color or your mother's eye color, there is a small chance you also share your parent's exact body type. More times than not you just picked up their bad eating and exercise habits and it’s became a way of life for you.
Your genes may dictate how challenging it will be for you to shed fat and improve your health, but that doesn’t mean that you can't get fit and get the results you desire.
Stick to your nutrition and fitness plan and you will definitely see results in time.
Step #6: Eat Consciously
This happens to everyone. You come home exhausted after a long day and you just want to plop on the couch, watch tv or surf the internet. Unfortunately, mindlessly eating tends to be part of this ritual as well.
When it comes to a successful nutrition plan, make rules for appropriate times to eat. If you’re going to snack, portion your snacks out instead of eating directly out of the box or bag. And don't always feel the need to eat when you’re relaxing. That’s a bad habit to start. Instead opt for sipping on water or hot tea, chewing sugar free gum, or even better eliminate the nibbling habit altogether and don't put anything in your mouth at all.
Step #7: Believe it or not..is to Have A Cheat meal
Often times we become obsessed with our nutrition plan and completely rid of all the foods we enjoy, whether its chips, sweets, snacks, or any other high calorie food.
This obsession may last a few days - but eventually you won’t be able to take it any longer and you’ll end up binging on what you feel deprived of.
A better plan is to allow yourself to have a cheat meal once a week. For me personally…I LOVE Belgian Waffles…I have a Belgian waffle once a week. It satisfies that craving without depriving me of a food that I truly enjoy.
So pick one meal each week that you will indulge on a food that you truly enjoy.
By following these 7 steps you can reach your health and fitness goals faster - and by coupling your healthier food choices with a metabolic boosting exercise program you will be well on your way to achieving your health and fitness goals.
If you’d like to learn more about the whole body health and fitness programs we have Tafiq’s Physiques click HERE to schedule a FREE consultation t learn all about how we can help you get the body you want and deserve.