This one of my most commonly asked questions: “how do you lose weight?”
There is no secret and losing weight does take hard work and dedication. But anyone can do it! And it doesn’t mean you need to go all crazy and starve yourself or go on a detox or exercise for 3 hours a day. By eating right, being active and drinking enough water, you CAN lose weight. That and having determination and belief in yourself! If you don’t think you can do it, chances are you won’t.
These are my own tips on how to lose weight.
1. Eat right
Everyone always says, “don’t eat less, just eat right.” But what IS eating right? What does that look like? I have written a clean eating guideline which can be found here. But the basics of it are to minimise the amount of junk food you are eating – that means cakes, chocolate, deep fried food, soft drink, fast food and all the usuals. And to increase the amount of good food such as lean meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts and whole grains such as brown rice, whole meal bread and oats.
You also need to make sure you’re eating the right amount. You don’t need to count calories to do this, but it can help. If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat. Don’t over eat until you feel so full you could burst. Just be intuitive and listen to your body. If you would like to know how many calories you should be consuming, have a look at my article on how to calculate your daily calorie intake here. Once you know roughly how many calories you should be eating, you could perhaps count calories for one day so you know what that amount of calories look likes and then try to eat a similar amount of food in the future.
In general, if you’re exercising regularly and eating less than 1,000 calories per day, this is far too little and you are starving yourself. Find out why starving yourself like this can have severe damage on your body here. Depending on your size, eating any more than 2,200 calories could cause you to put on weight. Usually the ideal amount for someone exercising regularly is somewhere between 1,400 to 2,000 calories but depends on a range of factors.
2. Be active
Exercise at least 4-6 times per week. If you really want improvements, I would aim for at least 5 days of exercise. Incorporate a mix of cardio, resistance training and HIIT.
Aim to do cardio 3 times per week. Cardio will burn calories and allow you to lose weight quicker. But make sure you’re doing cardio that you enjoy! If you like running, go for a run. If you love aerobics classes like boxing and cycle, do the classes! Try different things and find out what it is that you like doing. Going for a walk with a friend counts!
If you’re a newbie to exercise, getting stuck into the weights can be intimidating. When I first started, I got my boyfriend to take me around the gym and show me how to use every piece of equipment, then he helped me decide which exercises I was going to do and when. Every time I went to the gym to do weights, I took a little notebook and pen with me, recorded which exercises I did on which date and how much weight I lifted and kept trying to improve. I don’t need to do this now, but in the beginning, I took my little notebook with me every time! If you need to, get someone to help you at the start. Ask a friend or pay for one personal training session to get someone to show you what to do.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT will help you get results quicker. You can do a HIIT weights based circuit, or HIIT sprinting on the treadmill. Check out my blog post here on doing HIIT cardio such to help you lean out. I also have some HIIT circuits here and here that you might like to try!
3. Drink at least 2L of water daily
Your organs and tissues are made up of 70-90% water, and even your bones are 20% water. Your body NEEDS water to function correctly! Make sure you’re drinking at least 2L of water per day (can be in the form of other drinks such as tea). Plus this may also prevent you from drinking unnecessary calories from things like soft drink.
My own daily diet plan can be found here xx