With all the different fad diets and the endless amount of information on the internet, it is sometimes hard to know what the right approach is to lose weight.
There are a lot of ways to lose fat fast, but the downside to these is that they will more than likely leave you feeling hungry and weak, which is counterproductive.
Many health professionals recommend losing weight slowly. Ideally, this means to lose 1-2 pounds a week or to cut your calories by 500-1000 a day. Please seek professional advice before you reduce any calories. There are many fitness apps that can help with counting.
Now I know most people want to see results fast, but if you do this you risk doing more harm than good, and more often than not you end up putting back on the pounds you worked so hard to drop in the first place.
The first step is to set a clear goal for yourself for how much weight you would like to lose. When setting goals, it is more effective to create small achievable goals.
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Here are some more tips to help you get on the right track to shedding those pounds:
High Protein Diet:
Protein is vital in your diet. It is an important building block for bones, muscles, blood, cartilage, and skin. Among other things, the body uses protein to make enzymes and hormones. It plays a part in keeping muscles lean and strong, decreases your appetite and helps you to burn fat. Studies have shown that eating more high-quality protein foods is associated with a lower risk of abdominal fat. Some examples of protein-rich food are eggs, meat, and dairy products.
Did you know that Protein can actually help you to burn calories? It has what is called a thermic effect in the body which means the body expends energy or burns off calories during the digestion, absorption and disposal process of protein.
Please seek the advice of a professional before starting a high protein diet.
Warm-Up before your routine:
Warming up before your workout helps to prepare your body for what is to come. A warm-up session gradually increases your heart rate, loosens your joints and increases blood flow to your muscles. All of these processes work together to prepare your body for the strain that your workout session is going to put on it.
Warming up generally involves a combination of cardiovascular exercises, stretching routines and can involve some strength drills. According to Phil Campbell, an interval training expert, and author, making the most of a warm-up session will involve focusing on large muscles like the hamstrings and quads. You could try some routines like brisk walking on the treadmill, ankle circles, knee circles, and some hip stretches. It is important to remember to keep your warm-up sessions short and sweet. Anywhere between 5-10 minutes is ideal.
Focus on Intensity:
A lot of emphasis is usually placed on how many reps and how many sets you complete during a workout session. However, the intensity of your movement is a more important part of your fitness journey than the number of moves. That’s why many fitness programs are slowly moving from long cardio sessions to High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
A 2017 study published in the British Journal of Medicine stated that high-intensity workouts are more effective for weight loss than longer less intense workouts.
(The study analyzed data from over 1000 Brazilian men and women of varying levels of fitness. While some performed high-intensity workouts, others performed long periods of low-intensity cardio workouts. While everyone recorded weight loss, those whose programs centered high-intensity routines lost about 28% more weight.)
Never Rush Your Recovery:
For people who are eager to see results, it is very common to skip this step. Your body can only take so much. If you overexert yourself without giving it enough time to recover, it may just be a disaster waiting to happen.
Although it may seem counterproductive, the amount of time you rest between routines is a very important part of how much weight you lose. Rest periods between exercises restore short-term energy sources. When performing cardio or high-intensity exercises, the body burns energy very quickly. If you do not take time to rest, eventually your body will run out of fuel, which may result in injuries. Rest periods also help to regulate your heart rate and breathing and gives your muscles a break. Your body also burns more calories trying to restart itself after a rest period.
Depending on what your goal is, determines the length of the rest period. For gaining strength it is recommended to rest between 3-5 minutes, for gaining muscle it is 1-2 minutes rest.
Taking it outdoors:
So you’ve been going to the gym for weeks now and you’ve seen results, they’re just a little below your expectations. What if I told you that maybe you just need a change of scenery? Instead of a gym session, head outdoors and continue your exercise routine. In addition to it being a low-cost option, outdoor exercises are proven to lighten your mood and it means you are getting a bit of fresh air.
Also, a good dose of early morning sunlight aids the synthesis of vitamin D. A 2013 study published in the National Library of Medicine concluded that people who battle with weight are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D.
The key to making the most of that walk or run around the block is easing into it. Give your body some time to get used to the terrain and the atmosphere. Also, when going on an outdoor run, try to start as early as possible. In the morning, the air is cleaner, your mind is sharper and your body will burn more calories coming out of that night time rest state.
Getting More Sleep:
Did you know that going to bed earlier can help to boost fat burning and prevent weight gain? That means setting the alarm clock back a bit.
One study of 68,183 women showed that those who slept five or fewer hours per night over a period of 16 years were more likely to gain weight than those who slept for longer than seven hours per night.
Other research on the topic shows that a lack of sleep may contribute to alterations in hunger hormones, increased appetite and a higher risk of obesity.
Although everyone needs a different amount of sleep, most studies show that getting at least seven hours of sleep per night is associated with the most benefits when it comes to body weight. Trying to stick to a regular sleep schedule, limiting your intake of caffeine and minimizing your use of electronic devices before bed will help support a healthy sleep cycle.
While the weight loss process is certainly not an easy one, the key to making it work is never giving up. It is okay if you miss a workout session or two. It’s not the end of the world if you give in to your cravings and snack on a doughnut. What matters is that you pick yourself back up and keep going. If you stay consistent and follow these tips, you will see results in no time.
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