Basic Weight Loss Strategy
The best trait to possess when trying to lose weight is PATIENCE – you need to remember that it WILL happen. Losing weight should be done steadily, without making yourself feel like crap in the process. So, the big, magical question: how do you lose body fat and get the slim, sexy physique that everyone wants?
There’s no straight forward answer, but it’s going to take hard work, dedication, willpower, so-called “sacrifices” to your current lifestyle, and I’ll emphasis once again – PATIENCE.
Okay, first things first – you need to work out what time you have to dedicate to exercise. Can you get up one hour earlier and do it before work? Can you do it on your lunch hour? Or do you have more time after work? Obviously everyone is different, so you need to work this one out on your own. I’m lucky enough that my office is next door to a gym, and I get an hour for lunch. This means I don’t have to get up too early in the morning, and I can relax in the evening. Bliss, right? Right. I’m sure that will change of course once I have kids, but in the meantime I’ll enjoy the flexibility!
Second – diet. As I’ve said before, it’s not dieting; it’s healthy eating. Clear out your cupboards of all the junk and go do some shopping. After all, if the junk food isn’t available, you can’t eat it, right? Look closely at the food labels before you buy and follow these basic principles:
- Avoid foods high in saturated fats and sugar: sausages, pies, biscuits, chocolate, cheese and carbonated soft drinks are just a few common examples of things to avoid.
- Buy wholegrain – pasta, bread, rice etc.: These slow releasing carbs will ensure that you have energy and keep you fuller for longer.
- Get plenty of fruit and vegetables: fruits such as bananas, apples and oranges serve brilliantly as snacks in between meals whilst suppressing your cravings and providing instant energy. Try adding a portion of veg to your lunches and dinners – these naturally sourced vitamins will help you feel good on the inside, and give you a healthy glow on the outside.
- Protein is integral to muscle growth and with that fat loss (the higher your muscle mass, the more calories your body will burn).
- Fats – believe it or not, consuming fats is essential to helping you lose weight. Nuts and fish (particularly salmon) work best.
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Meal Planning – it is absolutely essential that you plan your meals for the week ahead. This will help you stay organised and save time, whilst combating the need to snack. Bulk cook your meals and stick them in the freezer – simple. Stock up on fresh fruits and nuts for snacking in between meals. Small portions spread throughout the day (aim to eat every 3 hours) will boost your metabolism; in combination with 30-45 minutes of cardio per day
Tracking Progress – count your calories daily and review your measurements monthly. DO NOT hop on the scales every day or two, this gives a false impression of weight loss / gain. There are some great mobile apps available to help you – I use My Fitness Pal for tracking my meals and counting calories, and JEFIT for keeping track of my measurements and getting new exercise programmes specific to my goals. Be sure to check them out.
Treat yourself – reward yourself with your favourite meal every 10 days. This will make all of the hard work worth it and acts as an incentive to motivate you to keep going. My favourite treat is pizza followed by ice cream and washed down by a few beers! Avoid binge drinking however, this will slow down your progress.
Recommended basic programme?
If your goal is purely weight loss and some form of toning, yet you don’t have much time on your hands, invest in a cross trainer. Plonk it in front of the TV and watch your favourite TV programmes – the distraction of the TV will make it feel easier and pass the time quicker. With the right diet, the pounds will fall off!
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