7 Key Habits for Fat Loss


Fat loss is always a big topic, no pun intended.  It seems as though we just can't seem to find the magic bullet cure for fat loss, even though it's really rather simple.

True, it is very simple to burn fat.  It's just tough to do on a regular basis for most people, as it requires tons of time, hard work and discipline to get stuff done!

This isn't one of my favorite videos that I've done as I tend to be babbling a bit, but pay attention to the message.  The habits are very clear, concise and will help you achieve your desired end state.

Rest and Recovery

This is often the most underrated aspect of fitness that we just don't take advantage of enough.  Sleep is our most important recovery tool that often gets shunted aside at the first sight of a new Netflix series that we simply must watch.

It's easy to skip out on a few extra hours of sleep in order to do this and that, which really doesn't amount to a great deal of anything other than wasted time.  However, without adequate sleep and recovery our training suffers, our lifestyle becomes draining from lack of mental intensity and we simply just don't feel good.  Plus, when we are tired we make very poor food choices, often reaching for the quick fixes that make us feel good and give us a little energy to continue on with our long and grueling day.

Do yourself a favor and get on a good sleep program where you head to bed at a regular hour and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep.  You will feel better, perform optimally in your job, workouts and life, plus you'll be able to burn off more fat and feel as though you're in better control of your eating.


Eat Vegetables and Whole Proteins

This goes without saying that nutrition is everyones big problem when we're talking about fat loss.  You can't out train a bad diet and most people don't have the time to even try.

So focusing on what you're putting in your pie hole on a daily basis has a big impact on your waistline.

Stop making food choices so complicated with this diet and that diet.  Diets work, but they're simply a pain in the butt to follow long term.

All one needs to do is drop the carbs and stupid processed junk and eat lean proteins and tons of healthy vegetables.  You can't go wrong with this advice.  It works - 100% of the time.

Stick with whole protein sources from animals (if you're a vegan I can't really help you here) and lots of fibrous and colorful vegetables.  Heck I'm even okay with adding the occasional starchy vegetable in there if you feel like you need a bit of extra carbs (ie. think sweet potato, red potato, squash, etc).

These are great foods with tons of vitamins and minerals that will keep you going without adding a ton of extra calories that are just going to add to your expanding waistline.


Drink Water

Nature has provide you an optimal source of hydration.  Water.  We are made up of 85-90% water, so it only makes sense that you should use this natural fluid to lubricate your joints and sustain our hydration levels for healthy cellular function.

Water is integral to every human process in the body, so without it, you're dead.

A good rule of thumb is to drink enough water so that you're urine is a light yellow or clear.  Hydration levels are very individual so it's hard to give a accurate measurement without knowing certain variables like how much you sweat, what kind of climate do you live in, do you have a physical job, etc.  So just go with the urine test.  Too dark yellow; you're dehydrated, drink more.  Clear to light yellow and you have to pee at regular intervals, you're fine, keep doing what you're doing.  Dark brown urine, seek medical treatment immediately as you are going to die!


Exercise Everyday

To be truly successful in fat loss, especially a lot of fat loss, you should exercise every damn day!  Yep, everyday.  Now this goes without saying that you can't expect to crush the heavy weights and go on a marathon run everyday in and everyday out, but you should shoot for doing some form of activity whether planned or not everyday.

A body in motion will remain in motion and that's what is the key to sustaining a healthy body that burns fat, loves life and moves easily.

We humans were made for movement and work.  We just don't do enough of it anymore.  So get off the couch and go move!


Lift Weights

As this is my business, weightlifting is very important and dear to my heart.  It's helped me overcome many a great challenges in life and helped me become stronger both physically and mentally.

This is the one truth that I hold dearly is that weight lifting has the ability to make a person better by not only making them confident and strong, but also regulate those internal stressors that seek to always bring us down.  Life is better when you're strong!

With a good weight lifting program you can both burn fat, build muscle, enhance your metabolism and move with ease.  It's just so much better when you're strong enough to tackle life daily tasks with ease and the best part is that you know you can do it!

Now get in there and throw around some heavy weights!


Challenge Yourself

What is life without challenges?


Through our struggles we gain strength, self-confidence and a can do attitude.  A body that is not challenge is not a body that anyone should want.

You must challenge yourself to improve at everything in life.  Whether it's growing your business or simply learning a new skill, challenge is what makes you a better person and helps improve you overall quality of life.

Without a challenge life is stagnant and boring.  And who wants to live a boring life where you're just existing?


Reduce Stress

Stress is without a doubt one of the biggest causes of illness and disease in our human condition.  The problem is with our perception of our environment.  To be fairly honest many of us really don't have a lot of stressful situations, even though we perceive it to be stressful.

There's very few people in modern society where their lives are threatened by being shot, blown up, having to fight for food/water/shelter, or sustaining massive injuries due to poor living standards, war or conflicts.  It exists, but the stress that we face in our society are quite minuscule in the big scheme of things.

It all has to due with perception.  Your boss has a big deadline.  Your kids are acting up.  That person cut you off in traffic.  All of these are our modern day stressors.  But it's how we interpret them and react to them that cause us a stress response.

Too much of this constant stress that doesn't let up will lead to problems down the road.  Find ways to deal with your stress in a positive manner and you'll find life much more pleasant and maybe even easy.

The options for reducing stress are endless. You simply have to pick something that works for you.  Whether it's lifting, going for a long walk or run, spending time in the garden, walking the dog, getting a massage, meditation, chatting with a friend, whatever...you just need to find a method of letting go of the burdens you face and re-evaluate them on a "does this really matter" and "how does this help me" basis.


Implementing these 7 habits for successful fat loss into your life will change you forever.  You're going to feel better, accomplish more, and love your life.  The choice however is totally up to you whether you choose to adopt these principles into your lifestyle.

As mentioned before, these habits are not hard to implement.  But they are hard to sustain if you're not consistent with them.  Realize that change takes time.  But with enough time, everything is possible.


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Jess Howland

Jesse "Captain Smash" Howland is the owner of SMASH’s Strength Lab, which offers targeted personal training to reach a variety of fitness and physique goals. A natural bodybuilder, competitive powerlifter, certified personal trainer, and nutrition coach, Jesse is often the go-to resource for personal training Ottawa. He studied Exercise Science at Oregon State University and even trained at the world famous Gold's Gym. He's a former US Army Captain with the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, a former blog writer at Veterans Fitness Career College, and former Chief Executive Officer at U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). His workouts and personal training are army-inspired to help reach your weightloss, athletic, or physique goals.