Like with anything in life, weight loss and a permanent low-fat body do not happen overnight. Weight loss occurs slowly and having a permanent low-fat body requires a change in mindset and lifetime habits. If you can follow these tips, you will better increase your weight loss success and keep it that way for life.
1. Exercise Is Essential For Weight Loss
In order for exercise to beneficial in weight loss, you need to be exercising for at least 30 minutes each day, for at least five days a week. Don't panic if you are strapped for time! Recent studies show that three 10 minutes exercise sessions in a day are as good as on 30 minute session. If exercising in a shorter time frame (10-30 minutes), it is more effective if you perform the exercise at a higher intensity level. If exercising for a longer duration (30-60 minutes) you can lower the intensity of the activity in able to burn the same amount of calories.
Not only is it essential to exercise, you need to be doing the right exercise. Weight train to maintain and increase your muscle and strength; and perform cardiovascular activities to encourage fat burning and to improve your fitness levels. And yes, before you say anything...weight training is great for women!
FACT: Changing your exercises regularly forces your body to keep moving and not get complacent.
2. Never Put Your Body Into A Fat-Defensive Mode
By skipping meals or subjecting your body to unrealistic diets, it can trigger the body's instinctive reaction to protect its fat reserves. When this happens, you cannot change your body fat permanently.
You will find for example with diets that at first you will lose some weight but before long it plateaus and then comes back. One, it is because it has snapped into fat-defensive mode and Two, because the body isn't sure when it is going to be fed properly again.
The best way is to make a long term plan, not a quick fix. By changing to healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and by losing body fat gradually rather than forcing it off quickly; will enable your body to lose the fat permanently rather than temporarily.
It is recommended that you lose no more than 1-2 pounds (0.5 - 1kg) per week.
FACT: The more quickly the weight is lost, the more likely the loss is coming from water and muscle... not fat.
3. Stabilize Your Insulin
Insulin burst can be triggered by fasting (meal skipping), dieting, eating no-fat foods or snacking on junk food. You will also find your insulin levels will spike by only eating 3 meals a day. Eating 5-6 small nutritious meals per day, levels out your blood sugar levels and metabolism; and keeps your body well fueled and burning fat more effectively and safely.
4. Eat The Right Fats
Yes! Some fats are good for you. They are known as 'Essential Fatty Acids' or 'Essential Fats', which are Omega-6 (linoleic acid) and Omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid). Essential fats can be found in beans, nuts and grains.
Olive oil is a great alternative source of monounsaturated fats in place of vegetable oils. Cut all the fat in your meal plans to a minimum except for essential fats and keep your total fats to 10-15% of daily calories.
FACT: Fats put on more body fat than the same number of calories from other foods.
5. Eat Low G.I. Carbs
Carbohydrate foods are not created equally. Because they behave differently in our bodies they are ranked in terms of their capacity to raise blood sugar so it is best to stick to the ones with a low glycemic index.
FACT: Low G.I. foods are an essential key to long term health by reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and sustainable weight loss.
6. Eat More Fibre
Fiber enables the body to use food for fuel rather than for body fat storage. It absorbs the food and slows the entry of sugar into the blood, helping to stabilize insulin. An added bonus is that fiber fills you up!
7. Bracket Your Workout
Bracketing your workout means consuming the right foods/nutrients such as a shake, before and after your workout. By doing this you are preventing muscle loss and aiding insulin efficiency. Have something like some fruit or a shake at least half an hour before your workout and a protein shake within half an hour after your workout.
8. Keep A Journal
Purchase either a ready made fitness journal or create one by just using a note book. In this journal, plan out your workouts for the next four weeks. What activities you will be performing for both cardio and weight training, and when you plan to do them.
This is a great way to plan your meals for the next couple of weeks also. Monitor your weight and BMI each week and don't forget to take a photo each month also! You'll be surprised at the results.
Before even beginning your weight loss plan, you may also like to start writing down each day what you eat, what physical activities that you do; to help you become more aware of what you need to do and why.
9. Stay Focused On Becoming Healthy, Not On Becoming Skinny
By focusing on health and not physical appearance, you give yourself a running start. When you focus on health, the physical follows. When you focus on the physical, you will get disappointed and possibly frustrated, fast. This is because of the urgency and pressure that you will put on yourself physically and mentally.
By making a long term overall health plan and making it part of your everyday routine, you can gradually change your mindset and your life. Stop worrying about what foods will affect your body weight and start thinking about what foods will help your body. What also helps take the pressure off tremendously is by having a Free Day, once a week.
Choose a day where you can eat what ever you want. I can hear you say now..."Are you crazy??" Believe me, I'm not. You'll be surprised at how this works. At first it acts as a buffer, knowing that you can have that chocolate on your Free Day. Then after a while, as your eating habits change and you become more aware, Free Day rolls around and you find you either won't want those 'prohibited' foods or not as much.
10. Have A Support System
It is hard to do anything without having some support and weight loss is no exception. Whether it is your partner, family, friends or the people you meet at the gym or in your aerobics classes, make sure you have someone there for support. There are going to be times when you are going to need to vent, need a hug, share a monumental milestone or need someone to give you that motivational push. Having a good support network is a vital ingredient.