So You Want To Lose Weight?
There’s a maze of diets out there, I understand. The question is what one do you follow?
The answer is simple my friend, the one that is easiest for you to stick to.
‘What dieting is easy??’
Nope. We just need to make it as easy as possible. You see all diets work by putting you in a calorie deficit, which is where you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re using on a daily basis. Therefore your body has no choice but to use those unwanted fat cells for energy, meaning you shred fat and lose weight.
So how do I do that?
Simply eat less and move more. You’ll need to pick a diet that makes you eat fewer calories, here are a few of the many options (and the best options):
Paleo: Pretty much if a cave man or woman ate it, you can eat it. Think fruit, vegetables, nuts, grass fed meat and fresh fish, refined sugars, vegetable oils, potatoes, pasta, pizza or anything processed. Nice and easy to follow as you can eat as much as you want of these foods, however if you’re not in a calorie deficit you won’t lose weight. The idea is that cutting out processed c**p does this, but there’s no guarantee you’ll be consuming few enough calories for weight loss. You can always pair this with calorie counting.
Ketogenic: Low in carbs, moderate in protein and high in good fats, the idea is that the fat fills you up. Eat lots of fish, egg yolks, olives, nuts and nut butters whilst avoiding higher carb food items such as bread, pasta, rice and biscuits. It’s good because the fats help keep you full for longer as they take longer to digest, however like the paleo diet there is no way of knowing whether you are in the required calorie deficit, unless you pair the ketogenic diet with calorie counting.
*Best For Fat Loss* Calorie counting: Simply enter each food/drink item you consume into an app like myfitnesspal and ensure you don’t go over your calorie ‘allowance’ for the day. This works best if you look at your diet and swap the higher calorie options for lower calorie things as it gives you more calories to play with. For example, swap a can of coke for a can of coke zero (saves 130 calories), cook with frylight instead of oil (saves around 100 calories), and skipping the cheese on a burger or jacket potato (around 100 calories depending on serving size). Advantages are as long as you’ve worked out your calories correctly, and don’t have any underlying medical conditions you’ll lose weight, but it can be a little time consuming (not a very good argument in my opinion- takes 5 minutes, tops).
Don’t want to track calories?
That’s (probably) ok.
Here are 5 things you can do tomorrow that (should) put you in a calorie deficit, without the need to track what you’re eating:
1 Consume less cereal, and have tea or water instead of juice at breakfast.
2 Replace pasta/rice/bread with vegetables.
3 Stop snacking - or have carrot/cucumber sticks.
4 Swap high calorie drinks for zero or low calorie options.
5 Walk 2000 steps more than you did today (trackable on my fitness pal).
Try these for a couple of weeks, and if no weight comes off, we can look at counting calories
All too often, we forget about the role breathing plays in exercise, from simple yoga poses to the most high-intensity workouts. To some extent, it’s natural to assume your body will adjust as needed, such that your breathing will catch up (or slow down) to whatever it ought to be. This, after all, is more or less what happens when we run or walk. However, it’s not always that simple. To get the most out of your workouts, and to go about them in the healthiest way possible, it’s also necessary to learn some specific breathing techniques.
Exhale On Lifts, Inhale On Returns
Regular weightlifters who have had some experience with training will be familiar with this technique, but it’s something that should be the foundation for everyone’s resistance training routines. So, if you’ve ever wondered how to breathe while lifting, or if you’re susceptible to getting a little bit inconsistent with your breaths, remember that you should exhale while exerting, and inhale when easing up. As a broader guide to workout breathing described it, contracting the respiratory muscles (by exhaling) will help brace the load and maintain lumbar stability. The “easy part,” letting a weight back down, allows you to slowly relax your body as you take in more oxygen.
For Abs, Squeeze On Exhalation
This is a trick a lot of people don’t know until they’ve been told to try it, and in fact it’s popular in some workout programs that you can subscribe to or buy tapes of. The idea is that as you exhale, you should squeeze from below the navel, basically contracting your abdominal muscles so as to get a little bit more out of a workout. It actually makes very clear sense: inhaling and exhaling with any degree of force actually uses your so-called stomach muscles, which makes this a way to effectively double down on an ab workout.
Breathe Deeply To Centre Yourself
I mentioned yoga poses previously, and it’s actually these kinds of exercises that teach us how to stay relaxed, centered, and ready for more vigorous activity through deep breathing. A blog post about breathing techniques for certain kinds of activities pointed out that deep breathing exercises can make your respiratory process more efficient, which is a lasting benefit rather than a momentary one. This basically means that by practicing these techniques – things like alternate nostril breathing, Sama Vritti, etc. – you can essentially prime your system for optimal breathing when going about other activities. So if you want to get the very most out of your workouts, both in cardio and resistance training, it’s best to devote some time to practiced, deep breathing. <br />
Laura Ciotte is a personal trainer and tutor/assessor for trainee personal trainers. She is based in Worthing, West Sussex and likes travelling, motorbikes and good food.
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