5 Tips for Long Term Results
Everyone who has tried to lose weight during their lives will tell you that the process of long term weight loss can take a lot out of you; physically, emotionally and mentally. You all know that feeling you get once you have reached you goal weight or lost the first ten kilos. You feel like those calories will never return.
But the sad truth is, we easily pack on the weight soon after because we fall back into the same negative eating habits as before we started dieting. You see, it is not the diet that didn’t work but it is n fact our fun filled lifestyle and eating habits that have done the damage.
Follow the 5 tips below for long term fat loss success.
Do not focus on a particular diet plan
Instead of following a particular diet plan, why not change your entire outlook on food? Food shouldn’t be a substitute for anything. Food should be eaten for nourishment and sustainability. It should taste good and look good as well. It should appeal to all your senses without being loaded with processed ingredients and of excess sugar and fats. Make it a habit to eat foods rich in fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat, and fish.
These give you the sense that you’re full for longer, and they contain few calories. Use vegetables like onions and garlic, as well as spices and herbs to make your food look, smell and taste delicious. Another great trick to boost your metabolism and keep those calories burning all day is to eat small amounts several times throughout the day. But remember, stay away from cakes, biscuits and soft drinks. Think a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit and a cup of green tea. Use small plates and enjoy a dish every 3 to 4 hours. This helps maintain blood sugar levels, so you don’t feel that sluggish in the afternoon while keeping your energy levels up and calories at a minimum.
Also, try to really focus on what you’re eating. Most of the time, we’re too busy or tired to notice how our food even tastes. This is one of the worst habits you can have because it forces you to eat more than you should and leaves you feeling bloated and heavy. Instead, take a few seconds to appreciate your food.
Taking in the whole experience of eating allows you to enjoy your food more without having the need to overindulge and eat more than you should. Also, never underestimate the power of water. Drinking lots of water daily, especially before meals, keeps your body hydrated, increases metabolism and helps you burn off more calories.
Add Strength Training into your weekly routine
From around age thirty onwards we start to lose muscle mass – this is called sarcopenia and it is the reason why it’s crucial to start strengthening your muscles to prevent fatigue, loss of balance and weak bones. Strength training also helps keep the weight off for good. Aerobic exercise such as walking, running, and cycling is well-known as a way to help increase the number of calories you burn in a day and thereby shed extra pounds. But strength training helps, too (even if you’re not burning a huge number of calories during the workout).
Exercise science researchers suspect strength training is helpful for weight loss because it helps increase your resting metabolism (meaning the rate at which your body burns calories when you’re just going about your day, not exercising).
Learn to accept setbacks
There will be days when you’re faced with difficult decisions, like a party at work or going out with friends. If you can plan ahead, then you’re one step ahead of the game. You can fill up on healthy snacks before the event, or even have something in your bag you can munch on like protein bars or nuts. There will also be cravings that gnaw at you until you can’t take it anymore. More often than not, cravings are never really about the food. They can be a signal that your body lacks a certain mineral. For example, when you crave chocolate, what your body is really saying is it’s lacking in magnesium. Cravings could also be a reaction to a stressful day at work, or an emotional problem you’re going through. All cravings last about 20 minutes so find something to distract yourself and not have to deal with these setbacks.
Surround yourself with supportive friends and family
People who believe in the same things as you make it easier to enjoy a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle. They support you and believe in what you’re doing, and sometimes even take the time to be your workout partner or prepare meals with you. And, in turn, they become your accountability partner so that if, and when, you slip up, you have someone that provides understanding and support.
The importance of exercise
After all these years of coaching clients one of the main reasons people do not lose weight or body fat is simply because they are not active. Going to the gym 3 times per week is not being active. Other than that 1 hr in the gym what else are you doing during that day? The suggested minimum for maintaining weight loss is 250 minutes per week. This comes down to about 45 – 50 minutes of moderate activity for 5 days. While these numbers may seem disheartening, it’s actually simpler than you may think. Pick an activity you enjoy, as walking, swimming, hiking and start at your own pace. This is additional exercise on top of the strength training. I also make my clients to count their daily steps of 8000-10,000 per day. After a while, exercising will become a natural part of your daily routine, and you’ll even start to look forward to it.
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