If there is one thing I have learnt over the past 7 weeks in trying to lose a bit of weight and feel good about putting a bikini on again ready for my holiday in 8 and a half days time (I’m not counting)!! Is that if you start eating sensibly early enough to allow yourself to lose the weight then you can do it without adopting a fad diet. I know it can work because I have done just that in the last 6 weeks and I promise you I haven’t been doing any silly diets, just healthy eating and exercise, but even without the exercise you can lose weight with a sensible approach to eating. So here are some of my tips to help you do just that. If you want to lose a few pounds remember you need to reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories per day to lose 1lb per week.
- If you have a smart phone get an app to help you count calories, you will be surprised at how many calories you are eating and it is a very effective way of keeping track of what you eat as you can really see where your calories are coming from and how much sugar and fat you are eating. I recommend ‘my fitness pal’ excellent calorie app and it has most definitely helped me stay in control. You can also add exercise and although it is not 100% accurate in calculating calorie expenditure it does go some way to giving you an idea of how many calories you might be burning during exercise.
- Try and plan meals in advance, leaving it to the last-minute usually results in bad choices.
- Weigh your food, not everything but definitely cereal because there are a lot of hidden sugars and more calories than you think. Secondly look at the serving size in relation to calories, it usually ranges between 30 – 50g and believe me even 50g is a small portion when you weigh it. Most people double this when they fill the bowl and the calories, you could easily be consuming 500 to 600 calories in breakfast and milk alone when eating cereal.
- If you have had a bad day and consumed more calories than you perhaps should have then don’t stress about it but instead make up for it the following day and reduce your calories to around 1000 or do some exercise, I find this works well if I have been invited out for a meal or something. It means you can still be naughty from time to time without worrying too much. I have still lost weight using this method.
- Find a good fitness program off the internet there are a lot of free ones. Circuit training is good or HIT (high intensity training) short bursts of intense exercise lasting about 20 to 30 minutes per session. You do need to include weight resistance in your programe…trust me it will work wonders on burning calories.
- If you find a meal you like for lunch at work for example, then keep using the recipe but alter one or two things to it so you don’t get bored and just keep tabs on your calories.
- If body fat is what you need to reduce then ensure you are paying attention to fat in the foods you are eating. Reduce your fat intake and you will start to lose fat too; your body will start to burn stored fat instead if you are reducing how much you eat…it’s simple really and if you chose to exercise as well then you will burn even more and you will see the weight start to drop.
- Take measurements for thighs, hips and waist as well as weighing yourself and body fat %, because you might not see weight drop but you could have lost inches.
- Whilst I don’t advocate low fat food options such as low fat cheese etc, they are a good way of reducing your calories initially to get you started but once you have reached your ideal weight I would recommend that you stick to normal full fat foods but again just continue to keep a watch on your calories. There is evidence to suggest that low fat foods actually make you hungry because they are not satisfying the hunger pang so you end up eating more. If you find this to be the case then stick to normal foods without low fat options, if you are watching your calorie intake then naturally the amount of fat and sugar you consume will reduce anyway as long as you are choosing healthy options of course!
- Eat goods fats not bad for example bad fat = animal (saturated fats) good fat = avocado and oily fish (omega 3&6).
- Eat whole foods; whole grains, nuts, brown bread, fruit and vegetables, potatoes (sweet potato) – foods that nourish and fill you up.
- Have three meals a day and 1 or 2 snacks in-between (healthy snacks), eating this way keeps your metabolism ticking over rather than it becoming slow and sluggish.
- I can promise you that if you start to change your diet for whole food and little or no refined and processed foods you will notice a difference in your energy, concentration and how you feel. I feel less bloated and tired, more awake and able to go to the gym after work.
- Even if you feel like you can’t do exercise after work still go because as soon as you’re there and working hard your energy will pick up and you will feel different and glad that you made the effort.
- If you choose to lose weight without exercising that is fine but, you won’t feel the benefits of exercise such as; muscle tone and definition – your whole body will look more defined through exercise and you will be stronger, you will feel more energetic and more confident. If you want to have lean legs, arms and less wobbly bits then I’m afraid exercise is the only way you will achieve this.
- And finally, losing weight and feeling great don’t come easy you have to work for it I’m afraid, but it will all be worth it.