Do you feel like you’ve tried everything to budge the scale only to see the same numbers staring back at you? Losing weight can be incredibly frustrating, so wouldn’t it be cool if there was a way you could guarantee it? Well, you can! We’ve come up with a six step solution which dispels the myths around weight loss and shows you how to take control and get the results you want and deserve.
There’s no expensive supplements, no hush-hush secret strategy. It all boils down to a few key tried and tested concepts. Follow them and watch the numbers on the scale retreat in fear! It doesn’t matter if you want to lose 10lbs in a week, month or a year, these steps will show you how.
Rule one – you’ve got to understand the relationship of the foods that pass your lips and their impact on your waistline. When it comes to losing weight, calories are king. Think of them as small units of energy which govern your weight.
Take a standard fast-food meal. Doesn’t look so bad, right? Well, when you consider running burns on average 100 calories per mile, it quickly loses it’s appeal when you see how far you’ve got to go to offset that burger, fries and shake. At the end of the day it’s calories that most of us simply don’t want, or need.
To lose one pound per week: Reduce your intake by 3,500 calories over the course of seven days. That breaks down to ~500 calories per day. It can be tough to cut out that many by dieting alone, especially if you love food, so half it. Choose to either cut out one 250 calorie item, such as a serving of ice cream, or omit a few small things that add up to 250 calories a day.
#3. Ditch the weight loss pills!
People wanting guaranteed weight often reach for bogus pills in the hope of a quick fix. Garcinia cambogia, raspberry ketones, green tea extract, sound familiar? In reality, while these supplements may give your metabolism a small nudge, it does little to justify their use (or crazy prices). Unfortunately, no pill really works that well for weight loss. The good news is that all you really need to lose weight is freely available right here!
#2. Think before you drink!
Did you know that you can consume the caloric equivalent of a doughnut with just 2 glasses of wine? It’s scary, but true. Even working off a humble can of Cola can take the equivalent of a 50-minute jog!
Most people don’t have a clue when it comes to the caloric content of their favorite drinks and unwittingly guzzle down the equivalent of a meal during a night out. What’s worse is the calories you find in soda’s, fruit juice and alcohol are nutritionally bankrupt; they’re full of sugar, simple carbs and can lead to unwanted weight gain. Just check out these belly-bulging calorie comparisons:
So, what’s a gal to do? Enjoy them occasionally, not everyday. In the meantime, make water your best friend and supplement it with green tea and coffee. The cool thing about these drinks is they’re virtually calorie-free! They also fill you up, boost your metabolism and prevent cravings. Hunger is often misinterpreted as thirst, so stay well hydrated. Use sparkling water for an occasional extra fizz and things like lemon, lime, mint leaves, cucumber slices and watermelon chunks for a fruity-twist.
#2. Make fruit your friend!
It’s true, fruit does contain natural sugars, but it also contains fiber, water, antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. Blueberries are loaded with anthocyanin which alters the activity of fat cells, making it harder to put on weight.
Plus, stone fruits like nectarines, plums, peaches and cherries all contain natural substances that ward off obesity – cool, right? Other awesome low-calorie options include tomato’s, kiwi fruit, melons, grapefruit, avocados and papaya.
Add them to salads, cereals, or enjoy them on their own to satisfy your sweet-tooth, regulate your digestive system and keep your appetite in-check. Dried fruit has four times the energy of fresh fruit, so stick to fresh.
A smoothie is another awesome way to get your fruit-fix. Blend them with oats, protein powder, yogurt, milk and honey and you’ve got a tasty, waistline-friendly snack to go in less than 30 seconds.
#3. Get some pork on your fork!
If you’re trying to lose weight, consider protein your secret weapon. The moment it passes your lips, this mega macro-nutrient begins to attack the fat around your middle and helps regulate your appetite during the day.
Selection of protein sources including fish, chicken, beef and nuts
High protein power foods, like eggs, red meat, fish and low-fat dairy, force your body to work overtime to break them down. The best part is this extra ‘work’ doesn’t come cheap. It uses up stores of energy in the form of calories which means you burn fat while you chill out.What’s more, these foods have a habit of hanging around longer in your stomach which helps to control your appetite and keep hunger pangs at bay.
WHY: Protein helps you build and hang onto muscle tissue, which not only makes you leaner, but eagerly burns through calories when you’re resting. This keeps your metabolism firing on all cylinders around the clock – even while you’re watching TV – and helps burn off the occasional sweet treat!
HOW MUCH DO I NEED? As a general rule of thumb, experts advise between 0.5 and 1.0g of protein per pound (lb) of body-weight. So if you weigh 160lb’s, that’s 80 to 160g each day. If you’re active and want to slim down, aim for a happy-medium – around 120g.
WHERE DO I GET IT? Just like the ‘lite’ and ‘regular’ versions of yogurt you see at the supermarket, protein too comes in two different varieties; complete and incomplete. While nuts, whole grains, and veggie’s technically count, they don’t contain all nine of the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Those that do, known as complete proteins, are typically found in animal products. Here are our best picks. Look to make each of these a regular staple of your diet.
A selection of the best protein foods
Of course, this doesn’t mean each of your meals should be a vegetable-free zone. Pairing incomplete proteins, like grains (i.e. Cornmeal, Barley, Oats, Rice, Pasta & Buckwheat) together with legumes (i.e. Beans, lentils, dried peas, chickpeas & soy) gives you the full protein-punch and comes complete with all the benefits we’ve outlined above.
The great thing about protein is that with so many delicious and exciting combinations for you to try, getting your daily dose is a simple pleasure you – and your waistline – can look forward to everyday.
#6. Pump some iron!
Lifting weights can transform your body into a fat burning machine – literally. Don’t worry, you won’t get big and bulky, you’ll simply get a body that burns fat on autopilot. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, so the more you have, the more fat you burn – even while you rest. 1lb of muscle burns ~15-50 calories per day, compared to fat, which averages just 2 calories per day.
Grab some dumbbells (or use your own body-weight) and make strength training a part of your fitness routine. Squats, lunges,On the left you’ll find a 20-30 minute body-weight workout you can do anywhere, anytime. Perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps of each super-set (1a, 1b) with 30 seconds rest in between.