To successfully reach and maintain your fat loss goals, it is important to have a sound, science-backed approach. Here are 12 fat loss tips pulled from research papers and tested in real gyms by our Virginia personal trainers:

1. Eat More Protein

Protein is famous for its muscle- building abilities, but it is also a key fat loss food. Protein helps you feel fuller longer. Eating more protein has been shown to cause people to eat less calories without trying.

2. Have a Salad First

Research from the Ingestive Behavior Lab at Penn State University shows that having a salad before you eat your main meal can decrease your calorie intake at that meal by 10-12%.

3. Snack on nuts

For the longest time, nuts were shunned on fat loss diets because of their high fat content. However, the fat, fiber, and protein in nuts make them a great fat loss snack. Portion control is key, and ~1/4 cup is a perfect snack size.

4. Weigh Yourself Often

People often shun the scale, but research from the National Weight Control Registry shows that 75% of people who have maintained a +30lb weight loss for over a year weigh themselves regularly.

5. Find a Diet You Enjoy

There are so many different sensible ways to lose weight. Over the long term, they all yield similar results as the key is really compliance. Find a diet that you enjoy, one that you can stick with. That is the most powerful factor in long term weight loss.

6. Turn the Lights Out

Recent research has revealed the hormonal importance of getting adequate sleep. Insufficient sleep negatively impacts hormones like leptin, which regulates appetite, metabolic rate, and fat burning. Get 7- 9 hours each night.

7. Take Care of Your Belly

Did you know that there are 10 times more bacterial cells in your digestive tract than cells in your entire body? These bacteria interact with receptors in your body and impact brain signals and hormones that control calorie burning and fat loss. Eat fermented foods like yogurt and kefir, or take a probiotic supplement to ensure you have the best bacteria working for you, not against you.

8. Enjoy Avocados

Avocados contain high levels of monounsaturated fat (so does olive oil and beef). Switching out saturated fat and replacing it with monounsaturated fat has been shown to cause a redistribution of body fat, causing a reduction in the dangerous fat that sits behind your six pack and around your organs.

9. Skip SugarSweetened Beverages

The calories that you take in from sugar-sweetened beverages are some of the worst because they are easy to consume and your body doesn’t sense them with respect to impacting your level of fullness. Skip the calorie-containing drinks and opt for water, sparkling water, or green tea. The latter not only is zero calorie, but it can also ramp up fat burning!

10. Eat Breakfast

The National Weight Control Registry tracks the behaviors of people who have successfully lost and kept off 30lbs or more. Their data shows that 97% of these people eat breakfast. It is a great habit that sets the tone for your day.

11. Eat Protein at Breakfast

In addition to eating breakfast, it is important to eat protein at breakfast. Protein eaten at breakfast has the greatest impact on satiety compared to protein eaten at other times of the day.

12. More Meals Are Not Necessarily Better

The commonly touted “Eat 6 Small Meals a Day” can be a recipe for dieting disaster. Research shows that the size of your meals, not how often you eat them, is the biggest factor when it comes to controlling appetite. Usually, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack is the right frequency for fat loss success.

Want to learn more? Contact the personal trainers at Compel Fitness.

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