Several weeks ago I made a few deliberate alterations to my daily routine in an effort to reduce my body fat percentage while still eating for muscle gains. The body is an extremely complex thing. There are many more factors at play than just calories in and calories out when it comes to fat loss. We also store fat in response to chronic stress, hormone imbalances, exposure to environmental toxins and anything else that contributes to systemic inflammation. These are all things that we can minimise and avoid with small adjustments to the way we do things. Here are four quick and easy changes I made which worked very quickly.
1. Taking filtered water into work in glass bottles
I have a reverse osmosis water filter at home and have got into the habit of taking 2 litres into work with me each day. Taking a known volume of water in allows me to keep track of my water intake and remain hydrated, which is important in order to maintain a high metabolic rate, among other things. Additionally, tap water contains many toxins that are harmful to our health which the filter helps to eliminate. I bought two large glass bottles in order to avoid storing it in plastic, which is known to contain a number of toxic chemicals (such as BPA, which mimics oestrogen).
2. Wash all berries and vegetables prior to eating
My second change was to start washing all the fruit and vegetables I consume to remove any chemicals (toxic pesticides and herbicides etc.) still on their surface. These chemicals are also often sources of xenoestrogens. They can cause increases in fat storage through many methods, such as reducing insulin sensitivity and negatively effecting thyroid metabolism.
3. Drink water with breakfast instead of fruit juice
I have been a strong advocate of a low carbohydrate, high protein, high fat breakfast for some time (favouring meat, eggs, nuts etc. over cereal and toast). However I have only recently stopped having my glass of fruit juice. A glass of fruit juice typically contains around 20 grams of sugar, making the low carb breakfast no longer low carb! Eliminating this fruit juice will therefore promote stable blood sugar and fat oxidation throughout the morning.
4. Keep a notebook by your bed
I identified that when I cannot get to sleep, I tend to be thinking a lot. Writing down my ideas allows me to forget about them and relax, which in turn helps me fall asleep. Acute sleep deprivation decreases the body’s insulin sensitivity, leading to elevated blood sugar. This puts us in a state in which we are more likely to store fat than burn fat.