Can you really slim down without restricting calories or giving up foods you love? Yes, because caloric restriction is just one proven way to minimize fat. Bear in mind that everyone is born with a certain amount of fat cells and distribution. Unless you consider surgical options like liposuction, you can only grow or shrink fat cells.
Techniques to Slim Down
There’s no such thing as spot reduction without surgery, so learning to embrace your natural shape is part of the process. However, you can increase muscle size via hypertrophic training and can help shape your body this way.
Want to slim down and get a more svelte body without sacrificing good food? Here are five ways to do it:
1. Re-visit Atkins and the Ketogenic iet.
The Atkins diet got a bad reputation because many people didn’t actually read the approach touted by Dr. Atkins. He actually tweaked a diet created for diabetics in the 1940s to suit a modern, wide-reaching audience. It’s been proven time and again that giving up bad carbs such as starches, white bread, and pasta will immediately help you slim down. It’s a good idea to read his approach or a book on the ketogenic diet (your body enters ketosis when it’s lacking simple carbs). However, the overall strategy is to consume less than 20 net carbs per day for a quick weight loss and increase that to 50 grams for maintenance.
2. Try Carb-cycling.
Carb cycling is the idea that you keep the body guessing by shaking up the number of net carbs every other day. For example, one day you might consume just 20 net carbs and the next day you increase that number to 70. However, bear in mind that carbs alone aren’t going to make for a healthy body. Technically, you might lose weight for awhile if you’re consuming nothing but naked hot dogs, but is that really a good idea? You can still reduce overall net carbs by making healthy swaps (such as eating low-carb lentils like mung beans instead of white rice).
3. Check out Intermittent Fasting (IF).
Intermittent fasting is a technique that’s long been used by body-builders. It works by eliminating snacking and ensuring the body gets a condensed amount of nutrients per day. Intermittent fasting can have a number of windows, but one of the most common for newcomers is an eight-hour feeding window. In other words, you have eight hours per day in which you can eat and you fast the remaining hours. There is another version with a four-hour window. However, it’s a good idea to only practice IF three days per week when you’re just starting out.
4. Eat After you Workout.
Fasted workouts have a strong following. The theory is that if you workout fasted (whether it’s cardio or strength), your body is forced to tap its fat reserves instead of using recently consumed calories. If you strength train, make sure you consume at least 20 grams of protein immediately afterward. Your muscles need to be fed in order to repair themselves and grow. Otherwise, you’re getting in your own way and might not enjoy increased muscle strength or size.
5. Focus on Holistic Health.
Slimming down is largely focused on the physical body, but don’t forget to stimulate the mind. People eat for a variety of reasons, and it’s rarely because they’re hungry. Food is a comfort, we eat when we’re bored, and we eat when we’re restless. A stimulated mind doesn’t depend on passive screen time. If you want to eat, ask yourself if you’re really hungry. Go for a walk, read an intriguing article, or drink eight ounces of water first—the body often confuses thirst for hunger. For the brain, the cues are very similar.
Getting slimmer isn’t just about calories in and calories out. That’s actually a very basic concept, and if it was so simple we wouldn’t be in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Obesity has recently been considered a disease, and it comes with deadly side effects. If you’re struggling to lose weight, there are many approaches to try. A little trial and error is in order, and understand that what works for someone else might not work for you.
Getting to the root of issues is more important than simply losing fat. People aren’t overweight or obese for no reason. However, it’s often more complicated than loving food. There’s such a thing as food addiction, and overeating can be tied to depression, anxiety, and past traumas. This phenomenon is so widespread and dangerous that there are specific treatment centers set up to handle this type of addiction. Getting fit and slimming down is only partially about the food you eat; more often than not, it’s more closely related to your entire lifestyle and mentality. Fix that outlook on life, and you might easily be able to get that body of your dreams!