1. Eat More Frequently
Some people think that when you drastically reduce your food intake, you will lose the weight. From the outside this might seem like an obvious solution, but it is not. The best strategy is to eat small meals frequently, at least every 2 or 3 hours. This will keep your blood sugar levels level, which in turn encourages weight loss. When your blood sugar levels are stable you also feel fuller and satisfied for longer. Eating smaller meals also boosts the metabolism, and the process of digesting these meals also burns calories.
2. Drink Loads of Water
You need to aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day. One can often mistake thirst for hunger, and staying hydrated can prevent over eating and reaching for the wrong types of food.
3. Protein Up
Proteins break up slowly in the body, so when you include (lean) protein in every meal, it helps you to also maintain the correct glucose levels in your system. Lean protein also makes you feel fuller for longer. Go for proteins like; chicken, fish, eggs, beans, legumes and dairy.
4. Veggies for President
If you want to lose weight you need to include vegetables. This is very important. Key components of veggies are; fibre, phytochemicals and water. All of these help the body with its own natural detoxifying process. They are also super low in calories so you feel fuller without the calories. Sweet potato for example can also replace starch at night as it is low GI. Do note that all root vegetables are higher in carbohydrates and should be limited to about 45 g a day.
5. Don’t Go From One Extreme To The Next
Get away from the mindset that if you take extreme action, your weight loss will be more effective. Putting in extreme amounts of hours into exercising, puts your body under extra stress. When your body goes into this kind of stress and you restrict you calorie intake, it becomes a recipe for a disaster. Your body might actually start storing more calories as fat due to going into survival mode. Long exercise sessions can also interfere with you sleeping patterns and will effect your overall energy levels. All fad diets that offer over night results are not sustainable. Any diet that is sustainable, is really what you are after. Healthy weight loss is about 0.5 to 1kg a week.
6. Exercise Cleverly
Add cardio into your training program and ensure you do cardio after free-weights. Your body needs 20 minutes of exercise before it kicks over into the fat burning zone. Try different kinds of cardio, don’t let your body get used to one type of exercise. Try HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) again, this produces rapid weight loss but too much of it could cause a burn out. Adding resistance training is equally important for your training. Muscle causes you to burn more calories during every day activities. Try to stick to compound exercises as apposed to isolation exercises as this trains more muscle groups per exercise. Weight training exercises also stimulate more muscle fibre and increases the production of anabolic and fat burning hormones.
7. Set Achievable Goals
Be realistic when setting goals. The goals that you set for yourself needs to be achievable. If they are not, you will quickly lose vigour and you will set yourself up for failure. Set smaller goals that you can achieve quickly and track your progress. This will motivate you and inspire you to keep training. This is all about changing your behaviour and this can only be achieved by taking one step at a time.
8. Failing To Plan is Planning To Fail
Planning must fall into every day to avoid making excuses not to train or eat well. If your meals are planned and packed it is non-negotiable. You can pack your gym bag the night before, keep a small packet of biltong or nuts in your car as a snack. Its the small things. I spend a few hours on a Sunday, make meals for the week and freeze them. If you really want to succeed you will make the time.
9. Late Nights = Weight Gain
If you stay up late and get too few hours of sleep per night, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol slows down the metabolism and is prone to cause fat storage by the body. Research has also shown that a lack of sleep produces ghrelin, (a hormone that produces appetite) as well as a decrease in the hormone leptin (which controls appetite), so basically a recipe for a disaster.
10. Controll Sugar Intake
This is last, and fairly obvious, but not the least, and less obvious than you think. Too much sugar is the main factor which encourages fat storage. Its high calorie content is sometimes just too much for the body to use and burn for energy. We all know we need to steer clear of empty calories like sweets, chocolates and crisps, but we also need to be wary of hidden calories in drinks. This includes cocktails, juices, smoothies, perceived healthy foods like muffins and health biscuits. Too much fruit is another thing to look out for.
In balance we find the answer to most of our weight loss woes, I always have believed that. If you practice above you will find your goal weight quickly and sustainably.