How to Reduce Body Fat Naturally
Here’s how to reduce body fat naturally. Learn what foods to eat to lose body fat and weight, when to eat them, and how to exercise for optimal fat burning.
It sounds so easy! Yet, we all know it isn’t as straight forward as every magazine at the checkout line would have you believe.
Modern research on our body fat is really quite different than what popular opinions say. Here are some truths about your body fat.
- Eating fat doesn’t make you fat
- You can be overweight and exercise and be healthy
- You can be thin and be unhealthy
- You can’t predictively control your fat with diets
Foods That Burn Fat While You Sleep
We’ve all seen the titles like that and we all crave the easy and simple formula that will help us finally lose weight.
I’ve been fascinated with the subject of fat for YEARS.
AT first I focused on dietary fat because I had discovered about 20 years ago, that instead of being bad for you—healthy dietary fat was actually good for you!
I also learned that sugar and foods that act like sugar cause inflammation and that is the root cause of most disease and weight gain.
Being Thin Doesn’t Mean You are Healthy
However, one of the most misunderstood aspects of losing weight, is that weighing less, doesn’t necessarily make you healthier.
Doctors often prescribe losing weight as if that will magically solve a person’s problems. While there are often benefits to losing weight; being thin does not equal being healthy.
Being healthy is a combination of many things: your genetics, the food you eat, how much you exercise, your environment, and the amount of unhealthy stress you carry, among other things.
Nutrition and Health
I consider my nutrition to be the thing I have the most control over, followed by exercise and stress. And that’s why I spend so much time reading and writing about what foods to eat and when.
Not just for weight’s sake but because your diet does make a difference to your health.
I don’t argue about food with anyone. I’ve maintained my eating integrity for over six years now. As I get close to 60, my health and weight speak for themselves.
Yet, sometimes people will feel the need to say, that life just wouldn’t be worth living if they couldn’t have (Pick your own poison) cookies, cake, pastas, sugar, etc.
I understand that it doesn’t seem fair that those foods need to be mostly off-limits. I wouldn’t say 100% but at least 90%.
Yet, one thing that has been proved time and time again is that diets don’t work in the long run.
So, that leaves all of us with a problem.
If diets don’t work, what is the best way to lose body fat?
If diets don’t work and a diet is the only way we know to lose weight, what the heck are we supposed to do? How do you reduce body fat naturally and for good?
You have to approach your weight and your health with a different mind-set than the one that made you overweight.
Here is what I can tell you.
- Diets are ineffective at long-term weight control.
- Most doctors do not understand weight management.
- Most popular magazines still give poor diet advice.
- Your weight is way more complicated than lack of willpower.
- There are types of foods that cause cravings, insulin problems, and weight gain.
- You will not want to give up those foods.
- Exercise is essential for health.
- You can be healthier and at a weight you like, but it requires an unrelenting commitment.
In the past, I’ve written that it is simple or easy. I shouldn’t have said it quite that way.
While some of the ideas are very simple to understand and easy to explain, the process of losing weight is not a straight linear process.
And it really isn’t easy to maintain.
However, it’s not as crazy-hard as we often try to make it. Just because we don’t like what we have to do, doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
We are all different. Our bodies are all different combinations of genetics, dieting history, beliefs about food, and cumulative food choices.
I share what has worked for me. I’ve been reading and exploring eating real food for over six years. I rarely have cravings and my body weight stays stable and has for years.
At 57, I am in love with my body!
I can walk for miles. I can lift up my grandbaby. I can pretty much do anything that I come up with for myself to do.
That’s an amazing body folks!
And I love it.
It’s also been a commitment.
- I exercise almost daily. Here’s what I do.
- I eat simply: mostly just proteins, fats, vegetables, fruits.
- I fast for at least 12 hours a day.
Is Weight Harder to Lose When You are Older?
My oldest daughter is almost 35 and we were talking it about it the other day. She has finally, after 15 months, lost all her extra weight from being pregnant.
It took 15 months!
Of course, she wasn’t dieting because she’s also breastfeeding, but she had to quit eating desserts and up her workouts a bit to get back to where she wanted to be.
The thing is, losing weight and more importantly maintaining a loss is very difficult. It is a lifetime commitment that does not have an ending point.
You never get to coast, once your body becomes a fat-keeper. That can happen at any age. If you are one of the lucky ones who don’t get overweight in the first place, it is much easier.
Yet, with good food choices, you really can almost eliminate cravings for junk food. I’s not willpower.
I never feel deprived because I don’t eat cake or cookies. I feel wonderful because I look and feel so good.
How to Reduce Body Fat Naturally
Once you’ve put extra fat on—it wants to stay! And it requires a big commitment to change your fat stores.
You have to literally convince your body that it is safe to let fat go. You have to turn your body from a fat-keeper to a fat-burner.
That’s a little depressing folks. It is also liberating.
If you are one of my readers that wants to be thin but also wants to eat a lot of cookies, pasta, rice, and bread round the clock, this post will hopefully begin to open your mind to a different mindset.
I can’t eat everything I want, anytime, and maintain my weight. The people I know that have maintained a weight loss can’t do that either.
If you are willing, but think it’s impossible to lose weight, well that I can understand.
Keep in mind that you may be a person that this won’t work for. There are some people that have genetic issues or other factors.
However, in general these are research-backed ideas that are safe for healthy adults.
Proven Ways to Lose Body Fat
Eliminate processed foods
This means eliminate sugar, flour-based products, and other grain-based foods. You don’t need pasta, bread, crackers, rice, or snack foods for health.
They are filler foods. They fill you up, without providing nourishment, but paradoxically create a situation where you will be hungrier later and your cravings will lead you to want more of these foods.
Sugar and foods that act like sugar are also very addictive!
Even if you didn’t lose a pound, eliminating these types of foods is good for your health.
These foods cause the inflammation that is the basis for most weight gain and disease.
When you aren’t eating these, you tend to eat actual food that provides nourishment and fuel for your body.
Eat fat to lose fat
Healthy dietary fats are an important part of a nutritious diet. Even saturated fat is good for you. Yes, you need things like butter (grass fed), olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and nuts.
Over the past few years, I have shared the way I eat in hopes it would encourage other people to give REAL food a try.
I’ve been reading and exploring the science behind the most effective ways to eat to maintain health, heal your gut, lose weight, and improve your immune system.
And certain kinds of dietary fat are really good for you!
They aren’t what is making you fat.
Eliminate artificial sweeteners
These just keep your sweet tooth going strong and confuse your body. Many women are addicted to the artificial sweetener of their choice. I used to be one of them! Yet, I learned that they are not good for me and they kept my cravings for sweets alive.
Many women still drink diet sodas. This isn’t optional. You have to give that stuff up.
Remember, being a healthy weight means taking care of the health of your body. Diet sodas are poison in my opinion.
Exercising is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It’s good for your body and good for you mind.
To affect your weight, you need to be consistent and workout on an almost daily basis.
I aim for 5-6 times a week.
Exercising can be a pleasant part of your life. Walking, yoga, stretching, and strength can all be done in a gentle way that builds muscle without hurting your body.
I believe that the stress-reduction that exercise can provide is important to maintaining a healthy weight too. Stress can raise the hormone cortisol, and that in turn can cause weight gain.
One of the reasons I love to walk outside or do At Home walking is that it is so calming. And it works!
Don’t eat around the clock
Constant snacking never gives your body a chance to access fat stores and do its natural repair work. Once you begin eating real food at meals and enough fat, you will not need to snack.
Once your body adjusts, you don’t eat huge meals either. I typically just have coffee and bone broth in the mornings, then a small lunch and dinner.
Eating around the clock is not good for most of us. Our bodies need a rest between meals. That means, no snacks and no eating after dinner until breakfast or lunch.
When you eat enough food, real food and fats, at your meals, you won’t need to snack.
I was a huge snacker. I would eat breakfast and then a snack at work, then lunch, then an afternoon snack.
I was always hungry back then.
Then about six years ago, I did a Whole30 and I learned to eat meals, real meals. And I didn’t get hungry between them.
This was amazing. It’s really wonderful to not be at the mercy of hunger or cravings.
You go about your day without worrying about food.
Use intermittent fasting
Increasing the time that I don’t eat during the day, has really helped me shape up. Time restricted eating has been a game changer.
It is a great way to lose body fat naturally!
Intermittent fasting also has a lot of other health benefits: improves blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation, and can reduce autoimmune symptoms.
As I said, I don’t eat a breakfast. I start my day with a cup of black coffee. Then I have a couple of cups of bone broth to hold me until lunch.
This allows me to fast until I have lunch around 1.
About once a week, I do a 24-hour fast with just coffee, water, and bone broth. I go from dinner to dinner.
It sounds extreme but I have grown to love those days. I believe the longer fast really helps my skin and body repair.
If I get hungry, then I just shorten the fast a couple of hours but usually I am just fine.
Eat real food
Meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats. Some people also add some grains and beans to this. I feel better without them on a daily basis. However, at times, I will have a little rice or other grain-based food.
In general, though, I really try to stick to the basics.
When you read that little sentence of what you can eat, it sounds so restrictive. I’ve actually found that I eat more variety these days. I search out interesting vegetables and meats to cook.
Most people eat kind of boring anyway. What’s so exciting about mac and cheese or chicken tenders?
A while back, I gathered up a bunch of recipes to demonstrate the incredible variety you can have with real food.
Real food is best for your body. Nobody reading this can argue otherwise. Just because you don’t like to read it, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
Mindsets to Help You Lose Weight
Give it time
Sometimes it can take several weeks to get your body into a fat-burning mode instead of a fat-storing mode. You can’t change your eating or exercise for a few days and expect your body to change that quickly.
Your body was designed to keep you alive and in the past, keeping fat on your body was one of the best ways to do that.
Research shows that being overweight is a protective factor that correlates with longevity and with recovery, even from heart attacks.
The goal is not to lose all your body fat, by the way. The goal is to be at a weight that allows you to move and live in the best way possible for YOU.
Losing body fat requires consistency. Again, you can’t make a plan and do it for two days and expect results. You have to pretty much do your plan, day in and day out. Forever.
Being consistent with your eating, doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat something like pizza or a bowl of tortilla chips. It means that 90% of the time—you don’t eat those kinds of things.
Love the body you are in
Loving your body means that you treat it with kindness, kind words, and the right kind of fuel.
If you accidentally put diesel fuel in your gas-powered car, you kill your engine.
Thank goodness, our bodies are more forgiving than that. However, after years of fueling your body with crap food, it does store fat in ugly ways and disease becomes the norm.
It’s not your body’s fault. It’s your brain’s. Your brain is the thing telling you that you need cookies or chips every day. Your body is working hard to do what it can with that kind of fuel.
Love it enough to just give it real food. Real fuel.
Keep the long-term goal in mind
Body fat is not ugly. When we have way more than we need, it does get ugly. In general, women carry about 30% body fat.
That’s not ugly.
Our curves are beautiful.
The long-term goal is to keep your body healthy for as long as possible.
Remember, I already told you it takes time and consistency. Start now. It will never be easier than it is now.
Never give up to reduce body fat naturally
This is the most important thing. Just don’t give up. It can take weeks or months to see visible changes in your body.
Instead of being frustrated and giving up, just keep that in mind.
Even if you aren’t seeing the visible changes, changes are taking place. Every bite of real food is nourishment. Every day you exercise is building heart health and muscle.
If you don’t give up, ever, you will eventually see changes in your body.
Most people give up because they don’t become thin in a certain amount of time.
You may never become thin. I am not thin.
It really is. It’s so much better to decide to eat real food, exercise your body, and take care of yourself.
Don’t give up my friends!
Books on How to Reduce Body Fat Naturally
This site uses affiliate links. Ready my full disclosure here.
The Big Fat Surprise
This should be required reading for anyone going on a diet. All the information we thought was true about fat and dieting were actually lies based on poor research interpretation.
The Obesity Code
This book lays the groundwork to prove the effectiveness of fasting based on the author’s work with obese patients and what he has discovered can help.
The Secret Life of Fat
This book is so interesting! Want to understand your body fat better? Then this is the book for you. It turns out that fat is actually an organ and it has an intelligence all of its own.
My Top Posts on Weight and Nutrition
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Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! My Think Big Life began shortly after I turned 50. Big changes can happen with a small start, an adjustment of thought, or a simple process. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.