Lots of people invest too much time stressing about weight loss and then end up focusing a little too much on exercise. Don’t get us wrong. As personal trainers we know that the right kind of workout is vitally important if you want to lose weight and tone up. But there are plenty of simple weight loss tips that you can put into practice that can help. As a starting point we thought we’d put together a list for you, so here are our 10 top tips for losing weight:
- Be active. Take a 20 minute walk to the shops or walk the distance to the next tube or bus stop. Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator. The simplest little adjustments will add up at the end of the day. So many people put in hours of hard work in a fitness gym trying to burn up a few hundred calories but forget about the extra hundreds of calories they could be burning up every day with a few simple adjustments to their daily routine. Stop lying to yourself! You DO have the time!
- Stress the muscles. Studies have shown that a kilogram of ‘active’ muscle will burn approximately 90 Calories per day. Just two or three strength training sessions per week can have dramatic effects on your overall metabolic rate. Your muscles are the furnaces, keep them fired up and they’ll keep burning energy – it takes a lot of energy to recover from a good resistance training session too.
- Eat less. Let’s be clear about this – far too many people eat too little already. The key to nutrition and effective weight management is ‘portion control’. Eat little but often. The thermic effects of feeding regularly can add an extra 25% to your daily caloric expenditure. Not eating regularly can build up your hunger which you will need to satisfy with a larger meal – this will have a negative effect on what your body does with the energy you consume. If your current routine is 3 meals per day, try eating half as much with each meal but six meals each day (meal is just another word for a feed – not a sit-down three course event.
- Stay hydrated. Too many people overlook the importance of good hydration and the role it can play in effective weight loss. Your body’s ability to digest, transport and absorb nutrients from food is dependent upon staying hydrated through proper fluid intake.
- Distraction. During idle time (when you are relaxing at home or taking a break) it’s incredibly easy to grab an unnecessary snack – usually a high-carbohydrate or sweet snack that will work against you achieving your physical goals. Try a crossword, read a book or anything else that will occupy your hands and mind.
- Find a workout buddy. Achieving the body shape you desire, for most people, is a difficult task as it is. Try letting others know about what you’re trying to do so that they may think twice about trying to convince you to take a piece of cake. A buddy system – having someone in the same boat as you where you can keep each other accountable – will more than double your chances of realising you goal.
- Train hard but short. How much is enough? I’ve met people who exercise in the fitness gym for 2 to 4 hours at a time. You don’t need that! Running your body to the ground with over training is one of the worst things you can do. It can lower your metabolic rate as well as immune system functions and lead to injury which may stop you exercising all together.
- Carb control. Carbohydrates are easy to move around the body – take on too little and your body will try to store as much as possible but take on too much and you won’t burn your stored energy. Simple calculation; Body Weight in Kg X 1.5 to 2.0 will give you a good idea of how many grams of carbohydrate to include in your daily diet. You don’t need carbohydrates before bed unless you go for a run in your sleep. Also, avoid refined carbs – quick release carbohydrates such as the sugar in you tea or in the can of pop release the energy into the blood stream far too quickly and end up being stored if you’re not physically active/exercising.
- Sleep. Sleep deprivation has been proven many times to seriously reduce your ability to manage your weight or physical condition. The University of Chicago found that “the metabolic and endocrine changes resulting from a significant sleep debt mimic many of the hallmarks of aging”. Significantly being metabolic and hormonal/endocrine system functions, you won’t just look older…
- Drink. According to conventional wisdom, the infamous “beer belly” is caused by alcohol consumption. Well, we know that 1gram of alcohol will generate 7.1Calories so a pint (568grams) of the usual brew at 6%Vol. will provide you with 239Calories. So multiply that by the number of pints you had last time you met with some friends at the local. The average individual running at 6miles per hour will burn 10 to 14 Calories per minute – How many minutes will you need to clock up to account for the night out? 1pint = 20minutes…
Here are some other useful resources that are well worth a read:
Stay in touch and let us know how you’re getting on with your own weight loss goals.