Let’s be honest here; losing weight isn’t easy. If it was we’d all look like Brad Pitt or Jennifer Aniston.
No, losing weight safely over the long term requires dedication and no small measure of self-discipline.
But as someone who has spent much of this year testing out all sorts of diets and fitness programs on myself (while keeping regular records of my body fat percentage, overall body weight and so on) I feel I’ve learned a few things.
Over the last few months I’ve found a number of techniques that seem to work reliably well. Every time I incorporate them into my weight loss routine I can be almost certain my results will be far more impressive than without.
In essence they’re my simple, proven rules for losing more weight with less effort. And today I’d like to reveal them to you.
If you’re currently trying to get in shape but find yourself getting frustrated at your lack of progress read on for a few tips that you might want to consider incorporating for best results.
Drink More Water
Drinking plain water might not be very exciting or revolutionary, but it can be highly beneficial for your weight loss results.
The primary benefit of drinking plenty of water each day is that fills up your stomach, helping you to feel less hungry. As a result you may well find that you’re able to consume smaller meals and still feel perfectly satisfied.
In addition to this when you drink truly cold water (from the fridge) your body needs to warm this up before it is used – which burns some additional calories.
Ideally aim for two to three liters of cold water per day, with at least one glass of water consumed at every meal. I have found that sitting a water bottle on my desk – and drinking nothing else – is the easiest way to ensure I hit my daily targets.
The most common form of “diet” involves restricted calories. We cut out high calorie foods like chocolate, carbonated drinks and white potatoes and instead replace them with healthier alternatives like salad and lean meat.
The reality though is that many people struggle with such a diet; going without your favorite foods for extended periods of time can be tough. And if we’re honest, salad is nowhere near as satisfying as a delicious baked potato dripping with melted cheese.
But there is an alternative known as the “keto” diet whereby you essentially eliminate carbohydrates from your diet, and instead seek to meet your daily calorie needs from protein and fat.
This means that while bread and sugary treats are off the menu, other typical guilt-producing food is most certainly acceptable. Imagine a diet in which you can eat bacon, cheese and eggs and you’ll get an idea of why the keto diet is so popular.
Not only do many people find that they are able to shed weight on the keto diet like never before but in addition it can make sticking to your diet an absolute pleasure. In such a way you’re far more likely to stick to your diet over the long haul and produce the results you seek.
Try A “Refeed”
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight over a long period of time you’re almost certain to have experienced a weight loss plateau. The first few weeks of your diet the weight seems to simply fall off; then as time progresses your rate of loss gets slower and slower.
Eventually, if you’re unlucky, your weight loss stalls altogether; weeks go by of exercise and dieting yet the scale stubbornly refuses to budge. But why?
The reality is that when you restrict your calorie intake your metabolism starts to slow down. In essence your body goes into “starvation mode” with the aim of helping you to hold on to any body fat possible.
One of the most effective ways I have found for eliminating these plateaus is to use a “refeed”. A refeed sounds far more complicated than it needs to be; quite simply you increase your food intake for a period of time. This kick-starts your metabolism again and assists in weight loss.
Here’s what I do; every Friday evening I take off my diet. I eat literally whatever I want when I get home for the weekend; sometimes a whole pizza, at other times a huge steak dinner. Ice cream. A giant juicy burger. It’s all OK. Then on Saturday I get back to my diet.
Weighing yourself the day after isn’t pleasant (don’t do it!) but within two or three days I find my weight dropping again. By the end of that week the weight will be falling off before I hit my next refeed and the whole process begins again.
Using this simple process I have lost every single week since January this year – and while enjoying a weekly blow-out which makes dieting much easier.
When most people want to lose weight their mind immediately turns to cardio – running, cycling or swimming for example. But have you ever actually tracked your calories burned while sat on a stationary bike? Half an hour of pounding away and you might burn a few hundred calories.
When you consider that a pound of fat is roughly equivalent to 3,500 calories that means that in order to make significant inroads you’re going to be spending a long time at the gym.
So what works even better? The answer is intense exercise – anaerobic rather than aerobic exercise. This works so well because it boosts the metabolic rate for hours (or even days) afterwards. That means that you’ll be burning extra calories all day long – even when you’re sat at your desk at work.
There are two primary options; either lift heavy weights two or three times a week or use High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). In this way you go through “cycles” of intensity. My favorite is running as fast as I can for one minute, then slowing it down to a brisk walk for the next minute and then back to the running. Twenty to thirty minutes will benefit you in a big way.
So those are my tips. What has worked for you? Please your top weight loss tips in the comments section below…
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Paige Hawin works with British pharmacy Prescription2Home. She is obsessed with health (and guinea pigs!) and her most recent writing focuses on how weight-loss supplement Xenical works.