The most important place to start is to reduce your daily kilojoule intake. Simply put, you need to eat less and burn more.
For example, if you are currently consuming approx 8,000kJ (2,000cal) each day, reduce your total daily amount by 2,000kJ (500cal). Over a 7-day period you’ll have consumed 14,000 less kilojoules (3,500cal) resulting in your body losing around half a kilo of body fat so your on track to shed two kilos in four weeks. Remember that’s just through kilojoules and doesn’t include exercise which will significantly increase this number.
Simple ways to drop kilojoules include taking away one piece of toast from your breakfast of eggs on two pieces of toast, choosing not to have that afternoon latte, or saying no to those few biscuits that circulate the office in the afternoon.
Preparing your food in advance will set you up for the best chance of success as it enables you to track what goes into your meals. Choosing foods that are low GI but also filling such as oats, sweet potato, chick peas and lentils will do wonders in preventing a spike in blood sugar levels. This will leave you less likely to have that ‘sugar crash’ later in the day where most of us reach for something sweet which is most likely high in kilojoules to pick us back up again. Try not to drop your kilojoules too low too quickly though as it’ll leave you feeling unsatisfied and may result in you hunting for snacks undoing all your hard work.
A top tip for you to follow here is to use smaller bowls, plates or lunchboxes when plating or eating food from. For the simple fact that if you’ve had a deep dish or large plate, you’ll be more inclined to fill it and then what’s on your plate you’ll feel the need to finish. Try these simple portion hacks to prevent this.
Protein - a palm size amount
Carbohydrates - handful
Fat - thumb sized
Vegetables - fist sized
Focus on weight training and cardio based workouts together and you’ll see the weight drop off in no time.
Work large muscle groups when weight training focusing on squats, deadlifts and overhead presses along with interval training and higher intensity workouts when its cardio time. Don’t forget to ignore your core as this is a key area to help build a strong body that moves well and helps you stay injury free. You’ll also benefit from some lower intensity, steady state exercise such as yoga, swimming, walking, meditation as this is your time to switch off and focus on building a healthy mindset which is crucial to ensuring you keep making positive changes.
Sleep is an obvious but often overlooked area that has a huge effect on your chance of weight loss success. Poor sleep patterns will result in you reaching for those ‘pick me up’ snacks during the day or extra cups of coffee along with low motivation levels to exercise. As obvious as it seems it really is just a case of getting to bed earlier, like any goal if it means enough to you, you’ll make then necessary changes. Try putting your phone down at least 30 minutes before shutting your eyes limiting the amount of ‘blue light’ you are exposed to from your phone screen.
We all know that so much of our body is made up of water (60 per cent!), therefore in order for it to function properly it’s important to stay properly hydrated. We also know what it feels like to feel dehydrated and how lethargic it makes us feel.
This is just a case of making a conscious effort to drink more, using this simple formula will give you an idea of how much water you should be aiming for each day: body weight in kg x 0.0333 e.g. a 60kg person should be drinking almost 2 litres of water each day.
However, if you really struggle to remember to drink water try setting an alarm on your phone that vibrates every hour reminding you to take a sip.
It’s no secret that healthy habits create success. But how do you do it? Start by adding a healthy habit before removing a bad one, then once you build more and more of these heathy habits the bad habits tend to start fading out anyway.
A few habits you could look at introducing are: moving your body every day for at least 30 minutes, staying hydrated, aiming to get 8 hours of sleep each night, control your portions and keep an eye on kilojoules. You can see now how everything has to connect together to ensure you lose weight.
Limiting the amount of alcohol you consume will have a huge effect on the speed in which you lose weight. Alcohol contains 29kJ (7cal) per gram so drinking large amounts through the week will soon see you go over your daily kilojoule allowance. Unfortunately, you are also consuming empty kilojoules meaning there is little to no nutritional value in alcohol.
Get more health and fitness tips from Richard here.