My top tips for weight loss

Top tips for weight loss

Nutrition

Whilst exercise is important for weight loss, if you’re eating badly then you won’t get results. I heard the quote ‘you can’t out exercise a bad diet’ and this is so true. Eat whole foods and avoid. processed foods and anything with ingredients you don’t understand. Check labels, the fewer the ingredients the better.

Don’t cut out any food group, they key is balance. The best rule to follow is carbohydrates after exercise as this is when your energy stores are depleted so thy glycogen will be stored in the muscles and liver rather than being converted to fat.

Fill up on vegetables, not only do these provide vital fibre, they will also help you to feel full. Greens are the best as they are the lowest in sugar but all vegetables are a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals.

Be careful of restricting your calories, your body will adapt to this by slowing down your metabolism so you will ultimately end up gaining weight and not being able to eat as much as you could previously. You could try the 5:2 diet where for 2 days a week you limit your calories to 500 then eat normally the rest of the time.

Move!

Exercise is so important to weight loss and general health. Not only does it burn calories but you also build muscle which increasing your resting metabolic rate so you burn more calories per day. Resistance training is often passed up in favour of cardio but it really is the key for fat loss.

I love HIIT training as not only do we burn more calories than steady state exercise, it also creates an oxygen debt which means our bodies continue to burn calories once our workout is over. I personally also find it more fun!

Keep mixing your workouts up, our bodies are very adaptable so once we get used to a certain exercise, we won’t get the same benefits. As soon as it feels easy, do something to make it harder and keep your body guessing.

Water

Your body is made up of approximately 70-75% water. All the processes in our bodies are a result of biochemical reactions, all of which need water to function. Being dehydrated isn’t just when we feel thirsty or our urine is a nasty straw colour. Many people are chronically dehydrated without realising it.

How does this link to weight loss? Well, a lot of the time when we think we are hungry we are in fact thirsty, by keeping hydrated we can avoid eating when our body doesn’t really need it.

Drinking water also helps increase your metabolism. In one study of healthy men and women, published in The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, drinking about 16 ounces of water temporarily boosted participants' metabolic rate by 30 percent. The researchers concluded that increasing water intake by 1.5 litres per day would increase daily caloric burn by about 200 calories.

Aim to drink at least 2 litres of water a day, I drink closer to 4 litres. You may also find you feel more energised so you can do more exercise too.

Sleep

Not only does getting a good night’s sleep make to feel better and have more energy, it also stops you snacking on sugary treats the next day. The University of Chicago found that people who are sleep deprived (less than 5 hours sleep), ate significantly more junk food than those that good a full 8 hours. A poor night’s sleep also elevates our cortisol levels which makes us put on weight.

Sleep is also important for muscle growth and repair. Although the brain releases several hormones during sleep, growth hormone is probably the most vital to those who exercise due to its importance in muscle building. Responsible for stimulating cell growth, reproduction and regeneration, growth hormone is also linked with increased metabolism.

Be consistent

To get long lasting results, you need to make changes that you can maintain. Fad diets and quick fixes do not work and can actually be detrimental to your weight loss long term. View the changes you are making as a way of life rather than placing yourself on a diet for X amount of time. As soon as you place yourself on a diet, you start craving more things as they are ‘not allowed’. By eating a healthy, balanced diet, doing regular exercise, getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water, you will get results.

Don’t try to change everything at once, start small and slowly add to it. You could start with exercising 10-20 minutes and build it from there. Change your breakfast first and then work on lunch and dinner. The small steps will add up to create long term success.

Making these changes a habit, something you do automatically, will help you to stay on track. By going to the gym at the same time each day/week you are more likely to keep it up. Record your workouts and food intake so you are more accountable and encourage you to keep going. My Fitness Pal is a free app and a great tool for tracking your progress.

I hope this helps, any comments please get in touch 😊

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