1. Cardio Vascular exercise
Keeping up a level of exercise that speeds up your heart beat taking your breathing a bit swifter and warming up your body – working out of your ‘comfort zone’ is where you want to be. This will help you burn calories and aid weight loss. This also helps to maintain the weight loss and thirdly will provide you with health benefits.
It is important to exercise frequently and to increase the intensity and duration of your work outs. This can be altered every few weeks as your fitness improves. Initially if you have a low level of fitness you might find you hit a wall after 10 minutes and can go on no longer. After 2-3 weeks of training 3-4 times a week you will find it comfortable to up your sessions. For example to increase to 15 minutes and maybe with a little more pace. In time you should work on using a 60 minute session to keep you at a good level of CV work out and maybe throw in an extra session, raising it to 4-5, 60 minute work outs.
2. Strength training is also required
When we think about weight loss, many people think about pounding the streets with hours of running. There is another aspect to exercise that is integral in weight loss management. Strength training. Using weights and resistance to put the body under repetitive strain. Strength training should become part of your 60 minute workout. Break your session up with a selection of Strength and CV. Try a 15 minute swift run, followed by 5 minutes work with resistance bands before running at a good pace again for 15 minutes and then working on upper body and core areas with press ups, planks, triceps, bicep dips for 5 minutes. Finally finish with another run for 15 minutes and then enjoy some stretches as a good warm down. Strength training exercises can help you tone and where required, build more muscles, can boost your metabolism and can help you achieve your weight loss goals faster.
3. Food diary
Most people when asked what they eat over the period of 7 days will fail to admit the ‘naughtiest’.
By being accountable and responsible for what you eat, you and only you can manage your intake.
It is not acceptable to say ‘My partner enjoys a big meal so I have one too’ or ‘I didn’t want it to go to waste so I ate it’.
If you are truly keen on losing weight you will look into your relationship with food and decide where you are making mistakes. How many of us reward ourselves with a chocolate bar at the petrol station when we fill up the tank? Had we of not needed petrol it’s quite likely we would have missed that out.
What we eat plays a significant part in our weight loss campaign and can be the difference between losing weight fast and maintaining the loss or struggling to lose an amount each week and keeping it off.
Keep a diary and be honest with yourself.
Also, consider portion control. If you use a smaller plate for your meals or make a point of having a smaller portion on your plate you will of course be decreasing your dietary intake. For example if you have a dinner of chicken stir fry with a selection of vegetables on a bed of rice and take away 20% of your normal portion you will of course be eating 20% less calories, fat etc. If you do this to all your meals your intake will be carved dramatically. If you work in a fairly sedentary work place, instead of having a whole sandwich try having one slice of bread with your filling and if you normally have a bag of crisps, have half a bag of crisps. (I share my sandwich and crisps with my son and pop his in his school lunch box).
Check out some of our delicious healthy recipes.
4. Re–set your weight loss goals
Change this to ‘Lifestyle Change’. Make good healthy food and exercise part of your lifestyle. Find classes that you enjoy doing and attend them with friends weekly as part of your exercise regime. I love Zumba and go with girlfriends. We walk the 20 minutes to class giving us time to catch up and natter and then after class it’s great to have a giggle about some of the moves we may have adapted to suit our lack of rhythm. All the while it has become a weekly ritual which we all look forward to and is maintainable.
Set one morning a week to train with a friend if this helps you. Maybe to meet at the beach and have an hour long work out incorporating steps, zig-zags, strength training. Take it in turns to introduce a new strength exercise. Support each other in your campaign for weight loss and fitness gain.
Find a local Personal Trainer that you get on with and will not be a bind to spend an hour of your week with. If they’re good, you’ll enjoy your session and not dread it whilst burning calories and educating yourself with exercise and diet advice.
5. Separate eating from your other emotions
Be aware of the trigger that occurs when your reach for unhealthy food. For example, for many of us that monthly treat us women have when we cannot help but put chocolate into our mouths is one that we can control but we are programmed to give ourselves that pass as by way of reward of getting through the abdominal discomfort etc. However, if you were to discipline yourself to have a smaller treat for example a finger of fudge or a freddo 10p chocolate bar this will half your intake.
When we’ve had a bad day it’s so relaxing to reach for the wine and nibbles. If you can’t escape for a run which will release the feel good endorphins we need to make us happy then educate yourself on the best drink to have with the lowest calorie intake. I suggest Gin & Tonic and if you’re asking, mines a large thank you. Enjoy your drink and sip it, it is a treat and of course all treats have down sides. This will affect your liver and the process of excreting toxins through your liver thus making any work out within 72 hours pretty redundant. (I don’t discriminate the odd drink though to aid sanity (Mother of two!!))
6. Reach out for support
Speak to friends and family and ask them for support. Whether they time you on a run round the block or if they join you on a cycle ride or at an exercise class. Also, ask them to join you in relaxing activities. Rather than a trip to the pub on a Saturday night, a good friend will join you on an evening walk beside the sea or a trip a dance class or the cinema or something that doesn’t involve 6 hours of drinking liquid calories.
7. Start slow, plan big
The weight loss tips above are all essential for improving fitness and obliterating fatty inches. It is necessary to make changes that are maintainable. It is not realistic to commit to a training program 7 days a week when you have work and family commitments. Make a point of finding ‘you time’ when you can take yourself off to do some unchallenged exercise. Pop some of your favourite tunes in your ears and go for a swift walk. It will brighten your mood. A simple way to lose weight is to increase your exercise effort by 10% and decrease your food intake portions by 10%. It’s elementary a weight loss will occur. Make your changes gradual and don’t deny or create anxiety when invited out for the evening. Make the right decisions.
Look out for my Blog on Eating out and Take away meals, the right choices.