Top Tips for Losing Weight and Feeling Leaner
Over the Christmas period, there is absolutely nothing wrong with tacking on extra weight and being over indulgent; it is one of the few times of the year where diet plans, calorie tracking and generally socially acceptable quantities of food simply do not matter.
It is easy to slip into a mindset of thinking there is a mountain to climb once the new year comes around, but the festive period comes and goes in a flash and in the grand scheme of things, does very little to tarnish any previous progress towards losing weight or gaining muscle.
However, if you are looking to set a goal of shedding a few pounds in the new year, we are continuing our training tips series by compiling a helpful list of things that will help to maximise this process.
Focus on Healthy Habits
First and foremost, the initial goal should not necessarily be to lower the number on the scale. By first making an overhaul to your daily habits with small, incremental healthy changes, it will soon become second nature and not necessarily a “weight loss journey”, but instead just part of your daily routine.
Try tracking lifestyle changes, food, exercise and weight in a journal. At the end of each week, check off which new habits feel manageable and which need more work. Do not expect to see instant changes – becoming healthier and losing weight is a lifelong undertaking.
No Foods Are 100% Off-Limits
There is a common misconception about weight loss journeys – they do not have to be boring, restrictive and draining.
Fundamentally, the key to losing any weight is by eating in a calorie deficit; that is, burning more calories than you consume. To calculate how many calories you should be consuming, this article is helpful in determining which factors, such as age, height and lifestyle can affect the optimal deficit.
Indeed, eating more nutrient rich foods, i.e. fruit and vegetables, wholegrain carbohydrates and high protein meats and legumes should be your priority on a day-to-day basis, but the odd cheat meal should not feel like a disaster – just simply get back on track the next day.
There’s More to Losing Weight Than Cardio
While cardiovascular exercises will burn more calories than weight training, a blended programme will yield better overall results in physiological health and appearance.
By supplementing cardio with weight exercises, you not only burn more calories, but your metabolism stays elevated for longer after the latter helping to accelerate the process. Not only this, but weights help to turn fat into muscle, making you look leaner and feel much stronger – the body recomposition that weights promotes will make you feel infinitely more confident in your own body.
However, bear in mind that a basic rule of thumb for weight loss is 80% of the focus should be on diet, and then the rest on your workout programme.
Be Mindful of How You Spend Calories
If your usual diet consists mainly of sugar, saturated fats salt, it can be easy to develop consistent cravings for unhealthy, calorie-dense foods.
This can be an easy rabbit hole to fall into and can be difficult to rectify, so make sure to be consistent with your diet.
Eat foods that are high in lean protein and healthy fats and fibre – these will make you feel full for longer and satisfy any craving that you may have throughout the day. This will help you maintain a lower calorie level.