To lose weight you must be using a combination of effective training with effective nutrition.
Key points for weight loss:
1. Healthy eating
The main principles you should follow are:
- eat fresh produce as much as possible, not pre-prepared meals, to avoid hidden salt, fat and sugar
- eat lots of fresh vegetables every day for a range of vitamins and nutrients
- drinks lots of water and herbal teas to help flush out toxins and aid fat loss
- eat a good source of protein at every meal to promote lean muscle tissue
Those are the dos, and the don’ts are:
- avoid added sugar and be watchful of eating more than one piece of fruit a day
- eat fruit within 30 minutes after a workout
- steam, grill and bake your food where possible as opposed to frying
- if you can’t resist eating bad things, don’t keep them in the house!
- if you are a parent, the kids’ leftovers don’t have to be eaten by you.
… Sound familiar?
2. Weight training.
Weight training makes your muscles ‘calorie hungry’ so the muscles burn up calories, even after your training session. Long slow distance on the cardio machines is not going to help you in the same way. You are better off doing a circuit of exercises, working big muscles groups, alternating lower body then upper body with little rest in between. This will involve strength training, cardiovascular work and endurance also.
3. Intervals/HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
This method is not only vastly more time efficient but produces greater results in fat loss and maintaining muscle, as opposed to working at a moderate pace for longer. Start off by stepping out of your comfort zone a little then build the intensity over time. Don’t suddenly sprint if you’ve not done any before! Intervals involve short bursts of fast, hard work e.g. rowing or running and then slowing down to recover for a short time then sprinting again and so on. It can be tough work but extremely rewarding for your visual results, your heart health and for boosting your basal metabolic rate!
If you honestly think you’re doing all these and are puzzled, perhaps you have reached a plateau. It’s important to remember that if you’re training regularly (2-3 times a week) you need to change your exercise programme every 6-8 weeks in order for your body to adapt and respond. If the body gets used to the same exercise for 8 weeks plus, you’ll begin to notice very little change as opposed to when you started. Keep it fresh!