Posted on 09 February 2017
You want to know how to lose weight and keep it off for good? Get these 5 basics nailed and not only will you feel better but you will look great too.
#1 Keep a food diary
Yep, the first tip isn’t a magic bullet supplement or pill. Nor is it the most exciting thing you can think to do, but writing down or taking pictures of what you eat either when or before you eat it has been shown to help people lose weight. Why not team up with a friend who wants to get in shape and commit to sharing your food diaries to help keep yourself on track?
#2 Drink water
Water helps you to manage your appetite because it takes up stomach space. And believe it or not sometimes when you feel hungry it can simply mean you are thirsty and need to drink more. Aim for 2-3 litres of water each day, this will help you perform better in the gym, and at work too. You can judge your hydration by checking out your urine and if it’s clear you are doing a great job. If its darker then aim to drink more.
#3 Move more
We are a desk bound bunch for much of our time these days but just by getting up and having a walk at lunch you could increase your calorie expenditure for the day, the month and year. Through something called NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), basically activity outside of structured exercise. The neat thing about NEAT is that it doesn’t tend to give you a spike in hunger like some exercise can. The more walking and low impact exercise you can do in a day the greater your energy expenditure will be. People who walk 10000 steps per day have been shown to be lighter and have a lower risk of developing some diseases.
#4 Be calorie smart
Knowing that calories are the fundamental of losing weight will help you be successful. Checking out the calories of your meals by using tracking apps like MyFitnessPal can help you to get aware of the calories you are consuming on a day to day basis which can massively help with portion control or food choices. Foods that are perceived as healthy like nuts and seeds are high in calories so should be eaten in controlled portions. Getting aware of calories doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom though, if you know how many calories you eat and monitor your weight on the scales you will be able to see if you should adjust the number of calories up or down.
#5 Strength training
Building muscle and getting stronger is often something the women I coach are scared of. Rest assured that you aren’t going to wake up and look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in heels and a dress just because you picked up some weights in the gym. Gaining some muscle mass will in fact help you lose body fat by increasing your base metabolic rate slightly. And strength training will help you preserve your muscle even when you are in a calorie deficit. And besides, it’s quite a liberating feeling being strong!
#6 Prioritise Protein
Eating more protein will help you feel fuller for longer and help you maintain the muscle you’ve built doing strength training. Protein can be found in meat, fish, dairy and some beans and legumes and in vegetarian products like Quorn and Soya. Try and aim for a serving of protein at each meal as a starting point.