When it comes to dieting I’m no stranger - I’ve competed in every single body building
federation in all categories from bikini to fitness to figure. Each requiring a lower and lower
body fat %. Every time I stepped on stage I produced a leaner, stronger and more
conditioned physique. Levelling up every time.
Now that my competing days are over my only physique goals are to live lean & strong year-
round whilst enjoying a healthy lifestyle. Peaking body composition several times per year
for special events or photoshoots.
As I am no stranger to fat loss or diets, I thought I would take this opportunity to teach you
the best tips and tricks to help your transformation journey – whether you are stepping on
stage or simply into your summer bathing suit.
Let’s address the elephant in the room first up: In order to drop significant amounts of body
fat or change our body composition we do need to create a CALORIC DEFCIT (ground-
breaking I know). How we do so however is individualised.
Pain may be inevitable but suffering is optional. I’m here to give you a few tips and tricks to
assist the process of fat loss to ensure it is as pain-free as possible. In saying that if you’re
expecting to create weight/fat loss without being hungry at some point – you’re dreaming.
Tip 1) Backload your calories to allow for social events either weekly or daily. Half of the
mental deprivation we feel when dieting is due to the constraint we are exposed to when n
a social setting. Whilst you may need to select lighter options when out with friends or
potentially take your food scales – this doesn’t mean you mean to avoid socialising
altogether. Catching up with family & friends should allow us to satiate on conversation &
togetherness not copious calories. Provided you keep a steady drip-feed on protein every 3-
4hours for adequate muscle protein synthesis, how you choose to structure or time your
remaining carbs and fats for the day is up to you.
Tip 2) Keep your Neat/Steps up. Go for a walk to alleviate discomfort or to distract you. The
longer we diet and the harder we diet the more likely we are to experience metabolic
adaptation. As Neat makes up a large percentage of our TDEE it’s important that we ensure
we stay accountable to our step target and other daily NEAT normalities (ie: rate of speech,
standing and not leaning on objects when we talk etc). See chart below:
TDEEBMRbasal-metabolic-rate_fig1_260397860pubmed study leptin signalling
Tip 3) Create a Happiness list. What brings you joy that doesn’t involve food? Can you listen
to your favourite song/playlist, call a friend for a chat, go for a dip in the sea or go for a
coastal walk? What will boost your serotonin?
Tip 4) Learn to delay gratification. Wait until you are hungry to eat. Don’t waste calories on
a half ass munchies mood. Eat in a seated and relaxed state when you are physically hungry.
Tip 5) Incorporate Volume based foods (if your gut allows). Can you try bulking up your oats
with zucchini or cauliflower. It’s not as bad as it sounds and the fibre will also help you feel
fuller. Perhaps add more low carb veg to your stirfry’s.
Tip 6) Go for massages. This will consume time, distract you and make you feel relaxed.
Tip 7) Preoccupy your thoughts of hunger or food by doing things with your hands. Our
hands feed us – keep those bad boys busy. Hang the washing out, clean your room, take up
knitting – whatever floats your boat.
8) Follow the following Hangry Snack ideas when you are desperate & really want to chew
your arm off
(Listed in order of priority from 0 to less that 40 cals to prevent you from derailing your diet
A) Herbal Tea
B) Mineral or Sparkling Water
C) Celery or Watery Veg such as Cucumber
D) Frozen Berries
9) Do more of the things you enjoy that make you lose track of time. What do you value
most? What activity do you do that consumes you and brings you great joy and consumes
your mind in a way that nothing else matters?
10) Go to bed early & obtain 8 hours of sleep. When we are over-tired we tend to crave
quick or calorically dense energy sources such as sweet foods. Consuming these can see us
chew through our calories well before the end of the day. Our hunger hormone also
increases with a decrease in sleep. Study:
11) Eat before you go shopping & place shopping bags in the backseat to avoid mindless
snacking on the drive home. Aisle 3 isn’t worth sabotaging your goals Karen.
12) Change or adjust your food habits. Always eating in front of the TV? Stop that – chew
slowly and mindfully so you are more aware of your satiety signals. Always getting a cheeky
snack on your drive home from the shops? Can you pick a sparkling water or similar to
consume on your drive back? Snack on popcorn whilst watching a movie? Can you instead
create a low-calorie vegie stick platter instead or have herbal tea?
I hope this assist your fat loss journey remembering that dieting in all forms should be
cyclical. Get in and get out back to baseline once you have achieved you goal. It is not where
we want to live long term!