Put simply, losing weight is burning more calories than you take on. So a mixture of lowering your calorie intake through healthy diet and burning a little bit more through exercise is what we’re going to do. Here is my guide to helping you lose weight in a healthy way.
Benchmark where you are starting from
- Weigh yourself on Sunday evening before bed
- Write down everything you eat for the next week
- Weigh yourself again on Sunday evening (you might find that simply paying attention to your heating habits has caused you to lose some weight)
Do some analysis
- Find out which the biggest offending foods are: search an online database to find out the calorie cost of your current diet.
- Consider what is reasonable to change, take into consideration your weekly schedule.
Go low on carbs
- Carbs are sugars and starches
- You are probably familiar with avoiding sugary foods, crisps and the like but carbs are also found in foods like potato, flour (and hence bread and pasta), rice etc.
- Carbs are the worst offenders for slowing our weight loss
- The body will burn carbs before fats, so if you’ve got too many carbs you’ll never get to the fats
Go high on proteins
- Eat lots of fish, eat some poultry and a little red meat
- Eggs are your friend! So easy to cook, go well with veg. You can eat them at any time of day. Can you tell that I love eggs? 🙂
- Lentils are a great source of protein (and also our friendly low-GI carbs) and will help you feel full for longer than just eating vegetables. Lentil soup is great to take to work.
Eat more vegetables
- Not only are many vegetables low carb, but they also contain the nutrients your body needs to function effectively.
- You’ll need fibre from vegetables for a healthy digestive system.
- If you are going to eat extra from any of the food groups, make it vegetables
- Write down the meals you plan to eat for the next week
- Make sure your home is well stocked with the necessary ingredients
- We often eat the worst foods when in a hurry, or haven’t prepared properly
Don’t skip meals
- Your body likes to know what’s going on, what to expect – don’t mess it around 🙂
- Eat regular meals at the same time each day.
- If possible, eat four smaller meals instead of three larger ones.
Drink water instead of snacking
- The body needs to be hydrated to work properly, but we knew that already 😉
- When you think you are hungry, you are often only thirsty. Eliminate some urges to snack by staying hydrated.
- Make extra effort to drink water after breakfast
Okay take a breath, that’s diet. Now exercise:
Get out of breath
- Getting the heart rate up is the best sign that you’re doing the right type of exercise
- Exercise hard for a short amount of time, in bursts. This is called interval training
- Using the 12 setting (on a running machine that goes up to 20) for 15 minutes is better than using the 6 setting for 30 minutes.
- Sprint, use the higher exercise machine settings, do squat jumps
- Although better than nothing, your body won’t thank you for a 10k run every two weeks
- Exercise at least three times a week, even if each time is only for 15 minutes.
Mix it up
- Although you will get the most out of higher intensity interval training, make sure not to get bored and include build a well rounded regime.
- Group sports are fun and distract you from how tired you might feel on your own.
- Swimming is great for toning and strengthening your joints.
Make simple lifestyle adjustments
- Walk or cycle instead of driving, or at lunchtime
- Get more sleep and go to bed earlier
- Drink less alcohol (it will help with the point above)
- Walk up stairs instead of taking the lift
How does that all sound?
Time to give it a go! And please let us know how you get on.