STEP 1: DRINK MORE WATER
Water makes up around 70% of your body and as it gets hotter you lose more, hence the need to STAY HYDRATED! Water also improves almost all bodily functions, making your metabolism, muscles, organs and blood work properly. Drink one glass or 300 – 400 ml first thing in the morning as soon as you wake up, and at regular intervals in the day, this will help flush out toxins and keep your kidneys happy!
STEP 2: EAT LESS JUNK
Fast food and processed food have added chemicals and a lot of the goodness processed out of them, try and eat organic, if not fresh fruit, vegetables and meat as often as possible, the benefits are huge. Eat wholegrains whenever possible, ditch the white bread and make brown your new friend, wholemeal pasta is another great alternative to white and tastes the same too! Brown rice is another very nutritious alternative to white rice, providing a good amount of fibre, which is commonly neglected in most western diets.
STEP 3: RE-ADDRESS THE BALANCE
All too often, diets will be high in sugar or fat, or both! By becoming more aware of what is in our food and eating less sugary carbs and fatty foods you can easily overcome this and boost your weight loss hugely. Eating starchy carbs in smaller amounts than you are used to will not just supply you with energy and the sugar (or glucose) your body needs it will also keep you feeling fuller for longer due to its slow releasing nature. Things like wholemeal pasta, brown rice, sweet potatos and wholegrain breads are all forms of starchy carbs. Increase your protein intake, yes meat! But make sure it is lean meat, with little or no fat, good sources of lean protein are chicken breast, Turkey breast, Tuna, Salmon, Mackerel and lean beef. If you are vegetarian or vegan, pulses, mixed with quinoa, tofu, soya products are all great sources of vegetable protein with very low fat profiles. Also don’t forget the fruit and veg, as if I’d let you! The fruit will give you a naturally sweet shot of the essential vitamins and minerals needed for metabolism of carbs, fats and proteins. The same goes for vegetables.
STEP 4: MOVE MORE TO LOSE MORE
While exercise will burn many calories, you can’t rely on exercise alone to make you lose weight. It is a two prongued approach you need: Diet and exercise, while a reduction in carbs will encourage your body to burn stored body fat as a fuel source, you still need carbs to fuel your workout, the simple solution eat less carbs overall if you are or have been a big eater, but still have some before you exercise (usually a good 2 -3 hours before if having a meal, but if eating fruit you can train within 30 minutes to an hour of consumption) You don’t have to leave your house to exercise, there are thousands of youtube videos showing you home workouts for all levels of competence, but possibly the easiest way of moving more is walking, this is perfect for burning fat as it is low intensity and you don’t need any special equipment or clothing to partake. Walking for an hour a day will burn a huge amount of calories and utilise the fat stores in your body to provide those calories. As you become more used to it you will need to up the ante and walk further or quicker or add some weight (in a back pack, wrist or ankle weights, not your belly)
STEP 5: BE REALISTIC
It is a great idea to set yourself goals, but all too often these goals are far too ambitious. You should aim to lose between 1 -3 pounds per week, this is a healthy amount, and this is made up of fat, if you lose more than this in a week, it is most likely water or lean tissue (muscle) that you are losing. You will always hear about someone that has lost 6 lbs in a day or some such thing, that’s great but how did they lose it? And how soon will they put it back on? A lot of diets will encourage you to reduce or completely eliminate carbs from your diet, but as mentioned before, your body needs carbs to function properly, especially if you are exercising more. That is why so many dieters are yoyo dieters: lose then gain, then lose and gain, it makes more sense to stick to a healthy diet that is sustainable and still tasty, it’s surprisingly easy when you start to prepare your own food, you can make it just the way you like it!
STEP 6: DON’T GIVE UP WHEN IT GETS TOUGH
That’s the easy way out, and you will be stuck in that rut. Find the courage and motivation to get you through, you will feel empowered, liberated and invigourated. Picture yourself looking and feeling the way you want to, and when times get tough use that image.