Weight loss is very individual and everyone will go about it a different way. In general though, if you follow these rules, you are likely to have better success.
- Make A Plan
It is near impossible to lose weight without a good diet. You need to make a plan of attack and pick a diet that suits you. Generally though, try to follow these rules:
- Eat breakfast EVERY day
- Eat dinner at least 3 hours before bed
- Stick to 6 small meals rather than 3 big meals
- Plan snacks in advance. Snacks should be high protein (boiled eggs, yoghurt, protein shake, raw nuts, etc)
- Take lunch with you to work every day
- Drink 2-3L water daily
- Cut Your Calorie Intake
To really reap that benefits, you need to reduce your calorie intake. Generally, you must eat less than what you burn in a day. If you’re exercising and eating well but aren’t seeing weight / fat loss loss, chances are you’re probably eating a little bit too much. Cut it back and see what happens. Many people underestimate how much food they’ve actually eaten. Remember that drinks (excluding water) count too!
- Eat High Protein
High protein foods help keep you feeling full for longer and also help boost your metabolism. Protein has the highest thermic effect of food. This means that when you eat protein, 20-35% of this will be used up during digestion, compared to 5-15% for fats and carbs. So your body burns more calories eating protein. If you haven’t got a protein powder, I highly suggest you get one! I used whey protein, but there are many plant-based proteins available for vegans and those of you with lactose intolerance.
- Eat High Fiber
Fiber also has a high thermic of effect of food at 15-25%, meaning you’ll burn lots of calories eating high fiber. Fiber also adds bulk to your food and is itself indigestible. The great things about fiber is that they help to keep you full and also helps to move food through your digestive tract and keep you regular :) The best high fiber foods are fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
- Don’t Eat Deep-Fried And Refined Carbs
Foods to avoid include anything deep-fried (a shame I know) and refined carbs such as sweetened beverages (soft drink!), white breads, cakes, etc. They cause huge spikes in your blood sugar leaving you feeling lethargic and hungry. Excess calories will be stored as fat and you’ll be on your way to having Type 2 Diabetes. It can be hard at first, but the less you eat it, the less you want it.
Hello Rachael! I am quite a beginner with all these weight loss exercises, but I would really like to achieve skinnier legs. I have a lean body, however, my legs are bulky and muscular, and I have tried doing some squats and HIIT, but all they have done is make my thighs even bulkier! My sister said that I have a naturally athletic body, but I don’t do much sports! Does that mean that I am a mesomorph? My diet is fairly clean, but I do occasionally snack. Could you please recommend some exercises that I should do to achieve skinnier legs? Thank you very much!!
Hi Christine, from what you describe it does sound like you have a mesomorph body type. If you feel like you already have too much muscle and bulk in your legs, then I would avoid weights for now. I would focus on jogging and power walking, and perhaps some lower intensity strengthening exercises such as yoga and pilates xx
Hi Rachael – excellent post as always! Would you do a ‘what I eat in a week’ post like the one on your workouts? It would be sooo helpful.
Thank you xx
Hi Di, yes I will be posting this tomorrow! :) xx
Hi :) Very interesting article!
By the way, sometimes, at the end of my daily squats and lunges, my knee is hurting. Is it because I’m not doing them well?
Hi Claire, it could be a range of things – but yes you probably need to work on technique, otherwise it could be overuse (this has happened to me before). Make sure when you set up your squat position that your feet are underneath your hips, toes turned out slightly and knees out. If you are not sure, just ask a trainer at your gym – I’m sure they would be happy to help! :) xx