Okay, this is definitely one of the most common questions I get, and it tends to be not just “How To Lose Weight” but more “How To Lose Weight Fast”. Let me start off by saying firstly we don’t actually want to be losing body weight, which is what happens with crash diets, as the body will hang on to body fat and instead you'll lose active muscle tissue. So you might jump on the weighing scales and shout yay, I have lost masses of lbs – but what you have actually done isn't changing the dimensions of your body shape; you will still be the same size, just weighing less. Worse still, this means you are now more likely afterwards to gain weight quicker than ever before.
So let’s get smart here about weight loss. What you actually want to be doing is reducing excess body fat and keeping your muscle tissue. This is the healthy way, and you can look at losing between 1 – 3lbs per week. If you aim for this, then you will be adjusting your body so that this then becomes permanent fat loss, making it the best way to lose belly fat.
So instead of simply thinking about fast weight loss, let's instead focus on getting fit and healthy quickly, as the side effect of that is WEIGHT LOSS.
1. Be a breakfast champion. Never skip it, as this is one of the fastest ways to actually gain weight. The reason being that breakfast broken down is BREAK FAST. Because you have been asleep for the last 7 hours (lucky you, I only normally get 4!) (But anyway that’s another blog) whilst your body was resting, it will have started to conserve energy. So your calorie burn will have slowed down, plus you have not eaten anything while you have been sleeping, so it will hang onto body fat as it will think you are going into starvation mode. But having those scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast, or whatever your healthy breakfast is, will reassure your body that all is okay, so then it will kick-start your calorie burn back up. So never skip breakfast.
2. Be regular with your meals. This continues from my point above about breakfast. Eating at regular times through the day helps to keep your body burning calories faster.
3. No surprise here but eating fruit and vegetables, as provided for us by nature, is a great way to help with healthy weight loss (with the added bonus you are getting all your vitamins and minerals).
4. Move it to lose it, so exercise is key when it comes to weight loss, and even if you are a complete beginner you can still be active. Just a walk around the block for 10 minutes every day will soon help to zap away body fat, and better still keep those muscle tissues active. (Oh yes, and look after your health.)
5. Drink the clear stuff. Never underestimate the wonders of water. Not drinking enough of this stuff is something that our body often confuses with hunger, so you can then end up eating when instead all you really needed was that fresh ice-cold glass of nature’s nectar known as water.
6. Sleep to lose it. Don’t burn the candles at both ends, because this plays havoc with your hormones and sends them all over the place. The one that controls your appetite is known as Leptin, but when you are overtired this one gets overtaken by Ghrelin, whose main purpose is to increase your appetite. This is why after a poor night’s sleep you often find that the next day you just want to keep eating. So be smart, and lights out by 10.30pm.
7. Eat clean. As often as you can, make food yourself, because often shop-bought meals can be high in sugar, fat, and sodium. So go back to basics and cook from scratch. You may think that this takes a little more time, but then just remember that all the benefits completely outweigh those extra few minutes spent in preparing that lovely home-made dish.
8. Go small. A smart way to start to reduce body fat is to eat smaller portions. When everything is bigger it is so tempting, so clear out any big plates and bowls at home, or at least only use those for dinner parties, and instead invest in a small plate and bowl for yourself, to eat your daily intake from.
9. Use your bodyweight to keep your body burning fat. By this I mean 3 or 4 times a week do some toning (also known as resistance, or strength work), as this is what keeps your active muscle tissue fired up. And not only will this be keeping your body toned and sculpted, but it turns your body into a fat-burning machine, so it is time to start loving those lunges.
10. Balance – don’t ban those naughty treats altogether, instead just find a balance, as let’s be honest, if we say we can’t have something, then that’s what we crave.
11. Take time out before you throw stuff in your trolley when you are shopping, and start reading those labels. Check to see what the calorie and fat intake is and think whether you really need that, and whether there might be a healthy alternative.
12. Apply all the above, and make this a lifestyle, and this is the way to stay fit and keep to that healthy weight.