When you’re trying to lose weight it can be so tempting to try out the latest fad diet or workout programme that promises quick results.
The problem is that neither of these options will actually be effective in the long run. You might lose a few pounds to start with, but most people will end up putting more weight back on when they realize that these kinds of plans aren’t sustainable.
To lose weight safely and effectively you need to keep things simple and think long-term. It’s all about making changes to your lifestyle, not following a crazy plan for a couple of weeks.
Here are our top 5 tips on how to lose weight that doesn’t involve following a restrictive diet or requiring you to live in the gym.
Move Your Body
Start by simply moving around more throughout the day. We all know that in order to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume, and a great way to boost the number of calories you burn is by improving your NEAT.
You might be wondering what that is.
Well, NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and it refers to the energy that you burn through everyday activities. So look for ways that you can add more movement to your day.
You could walk to the shops instead of taking the car, take the stairs instead of the lift, and make a point of getting up from your desk regularly when you’re at work to move around a bit.
As well as making an effort to move around more in general, you will want to do some kind of exercise to boost your weight loss efforts. Cardio is great for overall fitness and for burning calories, so fit in a few runs or head to the pool for a swim a few times a week.
On top of cardio, doing strength workouts like lifting weights a couple of times a week will make a big difference because you’ll start to gain more muscle mass, and when you have more muscle on your body the food you eat is more likely to be used as fuel instead of being stored as fat.
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Hire A Coach
If you’ve tried to lose weight before and given up because you’ve lost all your motivation, then try hiring a coach to support you next time.
A professional fitness coach can work with you to create a programme that suits your goals and show you how to do all the moves in good form so you don’t get hurt.
More than anything, a coach will help motivate you and hold you accountable so you stick with it and are more likely to meet your weight loss target.
Calculate Your Macros
Getting moving and burning calories is only part of the equation when you want to lose weight.
You also need to look at what you’re consuming and make sure you get the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Our free macro calculator will help you work out the total amount of protein, carbs, and fat that you need to meet your goals.
The calculator breaks things down so you know how much you should be including in each meal and snack, as well as across the day and week as a whole.
One of the main things that help with weight loss is to include protein in your meals. Protein is great at helping you feel fuller for longer because it’s digested slowly and it also suppresses hunger hormones. So making sure you have a high-protein breakfast each morning can really set you up for the day.
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Improve Your Sleep
When you’re trying to lose weight it’s super important to make sure you get enough quality sleep each night. Not getting enough sleep causes an increase in ghrelin, the hunger hormone, so you’ll wake up wanting to eat more than normal. It also causes a decrease in leptin, the satisfaction hormone, which reduces our ability to tell when we’re full so, again, we end up eating more.
And on top of that, being sleep-deprived makes us crave more salty and sweet foods and reduces our ability to fight those cravings.
Making sure you get a good night’s sleep will also help you have the energy and motivation you need for a good workout the next day. When you’re tired it can affect your reaction times, fine motor skills, muscular power, and endurance levels which will all have a negative impact on your workout.
Lack of sleep can also increase your risk of injury and slow down your recovery time, so getting enough sleep each night is key to hitting your weight loss goals.
Our final tip for losing weight is to make sure you drink plenty of water. Studies have found that people who drank two glasses of water before a meal lost more weight than those who didn’t drink any water before they ate. And they kept the weight off too.
The reason why is pretty simple – drinking water before a meal helps you feel fuller, so you eat less at the meal.
Choosing to drink water instead of higher calorie drinks like juice and coke will also help your weight loss goals. The impact over a week of swapping most of your drinks to plain water can be significant if you normally have a couple of different drinks a day.
Drinking water can also help you lose weight by helping to increase the effectiveness of any exercise you do. When muscle cells are dehydrated, building muscle is slowed down, making your workouts less effective.
So make sure you stay well hydrated to get the best results from your workouts.
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