The key to weight loss is consistency
Weight Loss can be a minefield. With so many gimmicks, promises and novelty diet solutions on the market we are often covered by a cloud of uncertainty. One of the most common traps people fall into is aiming for ‘quick weight loss.’
Admittedly there are commercial diets out there that can produce quick results but ask yourself if are they healthy?
These diets you may cause you to lose fluid or lean muscle mass rather than fat. Lean muscle is nearly 8 times more metabolically active than fat mass meaning if you focus on retaining this you will burn more calories when sitting, resting and sleeping. The choice is yours!
To lose weight we need to use up more energy than we take in.
One pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories.
So if you aim to lose 1 pound fat each week you will need to create a deficit of 500 calories each day. This can be done by consuming less calories, exercising more or ideally a combination of both. Here are 10 tried and tested weight loss tips that can accelerate your efforts;
1. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today
Life will inevitably present us with challenges and being in good health will help us deal with these challenges much more effectively. Make one small change today rather rather waiting for that magical moment to arrive. Whether its having one piece of burfi instead of two, going for a 15 minute walk or baking samosas instead of frying make that change today and stick to it.
2. Motivate yourself
Undoubtedly one of the most difficult elements of weight loss is maintaining motivation. To see real results we need to stick to the changes we make. If you stick to a healthy eating plan for a few weeks and throw in the towel because you are not seeing results your motivation is need of a boost.
Firstly know why you want to lose weight. Make a list of reasons and look at this list everyday. Secondly find a weight loss partner. We all know somebody who wants to lose weight so tap into the support and encouragement from one another.
3. If you don’t know where you are going how will you get there?
Write out weekly (short term) and monthly (long term) goals and review them regularly to make sure you are getting closer to achieving them.
4. Don’t starve yourself or miss meals
Without regular meals our metabolic rate can drop thereby burning less energy over the course of a day. The body will actually learn how to conserve those extra calories so make it a priority to have a healthy breakfast, lunch and evening meal.
5. Plan your meals
Have you ever come home absolutely starving only to find yourself rummaging through the fridge and settling for the first thing you can find? If you don’t plan your meals in advance this scenario is going to be a regular occurrence.
Think of all the times when you tend to snack on high fat, high sugar foods and come up with healthier alternatives. Then, make sure those alternatives are in place for when you need them. It could be keeping some fruit in your bag or some nuts in the car but make sure you don’t get caught out by hunger as that is the time you are much more likely to snack.
6. Get back on the bandwagon
If you are trying to lose weight you will have days when you are derailed. It could be a social function, night out or just a ‘bad day’ but expect these days to happen. If you expect them you can plan how to work around them.
It is critical that you don’t feel guilty if you have one of these days. Just pick yourself and get back on track the next day. You cannot change the past but you can shape the future. Don’t let one bad day turn into a bad week or month or year…..
7. Don’t give up your favourite foods!
This is a very common mistake. What happens the minute we forbid food? We cant stop thinking about it! Have your favourite foods, just limit the quantity and frequency you have them. We are aiming for a healthy, balanced diet which includes the occasional treat.
Problems only arise if these ‘treats’ start creeping into our diet a few times a week.
8. Weekends do Count
Being a saint all week and then blowing away all your good intentions at the weekend will leave you struggling in your weight loss attempts. Having a half a large pizza or eating out at an Indian restaurant could mean you ingesting more than 3000 extra calories over the weekend!
If you are trying to lose weight that nearly the same as 2 days recommended food intake! This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat out or have takeaways just limit them to twice a month and go for healthier options such as a thin based pizza with less cheese or tandoori chicken with plain chapatti or boiled rice rather than a chicken korma with naan bread.
9. Move that body!
Changing dietary habits is one part of the weight loss equation. To burn maximum calories you need to get moving. It doesn’t matter whether you are dancing around to the latest Bhangra track in your living room or you choose to have a structured programme at the gym.
Aim to get your heart rate up for 30 minutes on most days of the week. Physical activity, as well as helping you shed the pounds, can help keep you fit, strong, flexible and mentally alert. So what are you waiting for? Choose something you enjoy and go for it!
10. Watch those drinks
We all know that some foods are high in calories but many of us don’t think about our choice of drink. Alcohol, lassi, energy drinks, soft drinks, cordials, whole milk, creamy coffees and some smoothies can be loaded with calories.
For example a large shop bought creamy cappuccino can have over 400 calories! A pint of lager has over 220 calories. Roughly equivalent to the energy in a Twix! The numbers soon add up so be aware. The best choices of drink for weight loss are plain water, low fat milk, diet drinks or no added sugar cordials. Keep the rest for special occasions or have small quantities once in a while.
The key to weight loss is consistency. Changing lifelong habits can be difficult but with steely determination and a little patience you will start seeing positive results that will help motivate you to continue. Push through those hurdles and you will be sowing the seeds for good health.