First and foremost, let’s expose the myth that you can lose body fat super fast. All these intense detoxes and crash diets are in no way sustainable.
Yes, you’ll lose a lot of weight quickly, but there’s a lot of water weight and muscle disappearing too. Who wants to lose their feminine curves and risk their health for a few pounds? Not us.
Plus, we’re assuming you’re here to lose weight and keep it off? It’s rarely the case women want to drop the pounds for one day and then plan on regaining it all.
Instead of these extreme methods you should think about losing body fat fast, but effectively and sustainably. That’s around 1% of body fat per week to stay safe and keep your body both happy and healthy.
You should still feel energized enough to have fun and won’t be bothered by constant food cravings. After all, fat loss is a journey, so why make it harder than it needs to be?
Hey, don’t worry if 1% a week doesn’t seem like a lot, it’s actually the perfect amount. Healthy levels of body fat are between 20-30% for women, which isn’t as low as some of us think we should be aiming for.
Going too far toward 15% and under can be really bad for your hormones and can even affect your monthly cycle. Let’s not forget that fat is a natural part of your body and it’s there to keep your joints safe and hormones protected.
At the end of the day, women need body fat to stay alive – sorry to get serious for a moment.
While visceral belly fat can be dangerous, achieving an overall 20-30% should create an environment for a happier, healthier you. Don’t stress if you’re not quite there yet, you’re taking all the right steps and that’s what matters.
Okay, now we know what we’re working towards, here are a few tips to help your journey along. Take them, make them your own, and feel the results firsthand.
Tip 1 – Learn how to count your macros
Sorry, we haven’t got a magic trick like drinking more vinegar on a Wednesday or only doing HIIT workouts at 3am. It’s actually simple science – learning how to count your macros.
Counting your macros is the simplest way to achieving fat loss. Rather than just eating less, you’re making sure you’re getting enough of the right nutrients too.
Ideally, you should find out how many calories you need to eat to meet your daily needs. If you’re a sucker for fitness, you’re going to need more than an ‘office in the day and Netflix at night’ kind of person.
We’re all unique, therefore, have different requirements. But fat loss works the same for everybody, even women who say they’ve tried everything. For fat loss to happen, the calories you eat must be lower than the ones you use – that’s the truth (1).
We recommend getting a macro counting app like MyFitness Pal or MyPlate. You can put in all your details and they’ll tell you how many kcals you need for safe fat loss. Most likely this is between 10-20% less than your usual number.
What’s great is that they’ll track your food and tell you how much you need of certain things. Proteins, carbs, and fats become a lot easier to manage at the tap of a touchscreen. Let the app do the hard work - you don’t need that stress.
Tip 2 – Go to the gym 3-4 times per week
You already know that exercise is one of the MVPs of fat loss. Getting a sweat on in spin class or with your friends at MetCon is a great way to boost calorie burn.
When you exercise, your body needs to source energy from somewhere. It finds it in the form of food calories or body fat, which it breaks down for fuel. As a result of regularly moving around more, the number of calories you need and use goes up.
If you’re tracking macros and in a calorie deficit, your fat loss should get a boost. But that isn’t all going to the gym is good for.
The most effective and flattering way to lose body fat is to build muscle by lifting weights. As a woman, you’re less likely to become bulky too, meaning this new muscle usually helps to accentuate your curves and hourglass shape.
Plus, the more muscle you have on your body, the more calories use even when you’re resting. That’s because body fat isn’t very metabolically demanding, meaning it doesn’t need anywhere near the amount of energy muscle does.
So, why go to the gym 3-4 times per week? Well, first, you can take a much-needed break between sessions, where you’ll have been working extra hard. Recovery is just as important as the session itself to keep you fresh and energized.
Finally, scientists say you get a small spike of protein synthesis every time you train a muscle group. Put simply, working out your whole body more than once a week is great for sculpting your body, and 3-4 times appears to be the magic number.
Tip 3 – Combine cardio with weight training
It’s easy enough for us to tell you to go to the gym more. But what do you actually do when you get there? If you’re like we were, you probably see yourself as a cardio bunny or a lady who lifts.
It’s actually really rare to find anybody who doesn’t prefer one over the other. Yes, there’ are exceptions, but it’s like we’re stuck in two tribes.
Fat loss experts say that the best way to go in the gym is finding a balance. Apparently, mixing it up with both treadmills and dumbbells is the most effective method for effective fat loss (2). Hey, that actually sounds like more fun to us.
Scientists say cardio seems to trump weight training for calories burned per session. If you were to push the pace in a HIIT workout, that number climbs even higher too (3).
But didn’t we just say you should do both? Yep – and here’s why. Lifting weights will allow you to maintain and even build muscle while you’re losing body fat. See it like simultaneously sculpting your curves, to craft a flattering figure you love.
Plus, research suggests that lifting weights leaves you burning more calories after the workout. That means the amount you use in a day could go up, including those from fat (4).
Apparently, this effect could last for up to 36-hours after your session ends (5). So, even when you’ve dropped your barbell and taken out your ear buds, your body is still working on burning calories. Not bad for a quick 45-minutes out of your day.
Tip 4 – Eat more protein and fiber
Protein and fiber are two parts of your diet destined to help with fat loss.
Fiber has lots of benefits for keeping you healthy, including reducing the risk of heart disease and helping with digestion. You might have also heard fiber called ‘roughage’, as it’s the part of plants our body can’t naturally digest.
In the case of soluble fiber, it can even aid weight loss! Scientists say that because it absorbs water and swells, fiber can influence both early and prolonged signals of satiation – aka how satisfied you feel after eating (6).
As you’d expect, this can make sticking to a diet much easier. Add that to fiber’s ability to restrict fat absorption, and it becomes an indispensable part of any weight-loss plate. Make sure to tuck into a wide range of fibrous fruits and vegetables every day.
Protein, on the other hand, is definitely digestible. In fact, it’s probably the most important macronutrient on your fat loss journey.
For many women, we want to trim down, tone up and embrace our curves. That means we need to look after the muscle we already have and work on developing more.
Protein is essential the building block of muscle. It’s what our body uses to make it, and what it needs to repair after exercise. Eating enough protein is really important during a weight loss journey too, and here’s why.
When calories are lower than baseline, your body turns to itself for fuel. And if you’re not careful, it won’t just take energy from fat cells, but it’ll break down muscle too. A lack of protein in your diet puts you at an even higher risk too – scary.
Plus, much like fiber, protein is perfect for helping you feel full. A high-protein meal should be much more satisfying that a high-carb or high-fat alternative, say scientists (7). Apparently, this is protein’s biggest contribution to your weight loss success.
Did we mention protein often takes more energy (calories) to break down and digest compared to many other foods? This is the thermic effect of food in full swing, which could enhance your fat loss.
So, what should you do? Look to eat 0.5g of protein for every pound of bodyweight you have. If you’re exercising in the gym, you could even go up to 0.75g or higher depending how you feel.
Your body always prefers natural, nourishing wholefoods. These are the best sources of protein, making a lean chicken breast or serving of salmon better than a protein shake.
You might only need to use a protein supplement if you can’t get enough from wholefoods alone. Let your macro-guiding app be your best friend here.
Tip 5 – Drink plenty of water
Really? Drinking more water could be the key to faster fat loss? Yep, that’s right! Who’d have thought it?
Now, when we say drink plenty of water, we mean just that – water. Forget fruit juices and designer coffees because they don’t count. Save the wine spritzers for a treat too. Sorry!
Fruit juice, while possibly full of vitamins, often contains lots of sugar and the fruits original healthy fibers are lost in the juicing process. As a result, you’re left with a high-calorie drink that isn’t always very nutritious.
Designer coffees, on the other hand, are usually topped up with thick creams and sugary syrups. They’re fine for a planned meet-up with friends, but not every day.
Okay, back to why we’re here, drinking plenty of water and then some more.
When it comes to weight loss, hydration is pretty much everything. If you’re dehydrated, you’ll find it harder to push yourself in your workouts, which means they won’t be effective. You’ll also find it harder to recover too – say hello to extra muscle soreness.
Yet, there’s another reason you should drink more. It turns out your body can actually confuse thirst with hunger, and vice versa.
So, if you feel the hunger pangs creep in, grab a glass or two of water first. Maybe keep a bottle with you so you can drink it before heading into the snack drawer.
Women are advised to drink 2.2 liters of water each day. Now, that might sound like a lot, but it’s only around nine normal glasses. You could easily fit that into your routine if you spread them out over a day, especially if you’re going to the gym.
Bottom line – stay hydrated for faster fat loss.
We know that safe and effective fat lost doesn’t happen over a matter of days. But the weeks and months it takes to get to your goal can go faster with these five tips. Follow our advice and experience your weight loss journey in the safest, most effective, and less restrictive way. Getting to your target body fat percentage quicker doesn’t have to be complicated, not if you stick to these simple techniques.
Eat well, keep track of your calories, and have fun in the gym. Push your body and nourish it afterward with good, wholesome foods to reap the rewards. Remember to keep hydrated too, if not just for your fat loss efforts, but to keep your skin healthy and vibrant too.
Best of luck on your journey wherever you’re starting from.