Stop eating junk food!
Seriously, what did you expect me to say? If you cut down on the junk you will lose weight.
I’m sick of people asking me how I lost weight and watching the disappointment in their faces when I tell them it was all down to eating right and exercising. Here are five ‘crazy tricks’ that probably will help you to lose weight.
First things first, exercise is good for you. So good for you, for so many different reasons. However, if you’re only exercising to burn calories so you can eat more then you’re doing it wrong. Exercise burns fewer calories than you might think so that 45 minute run probably doesn’t cover the Big Mac and fries you’re having for lunch. That’s roughly 900 calories, you’d have to run for over about 90 minutes to burn that – maybe more depending on how hard you work.
This takes us to our next point, not all calories are created equal. While creating a caloric deficit is a good and will help you to lose weight, you can’t do it by eating all of the wrong things. Eating 1500 calories a day should mean you lose weight but if those calories come from ice cream and crisps then you’re probably doing yourself more harm than good. If you do lose weight, it won’t be fat you’re losing. It’ll be muscle and that’s not good.
The best way to maintain muscle while cutting calories and exercising is to eat protein. Hopefully you’ll be doing a bit of resistance training as part of your weight loss efforts, doing so can help you to burn fat but it’s important to look after those muscles. Try to eat 1g of protein for every 1lb of lean mass you have. You can work out your lean mass here. For me, it’s around 100g protein a day.
Just add a can of tuna into your day, or an extra chicken breast at dinner. You should try to have protein with every meal and snack. If you’re not keen on meat, you can get heaps of protein from nuts, seeds, natural yoghurt and cottage cheese.
The trick is not to be deprived and to be sensible. A takeaway every night is not moderation. Once a month, however, is. No food is off limits, you just have to balance it out with eating well the rest of the time. This balance will be different for everyone. Try something and if you don’t lose weight that month, scale it back a little bit more.
Portion control is also a huge part of this. A small slice of cake instead of that usual slab. Two slices of pizza instead of a whole one. Share a curry with a friend and have a roti instead of naan. One scoop of ice cream instead of two. It’s these little tricks that stop you being deprived without leading to over eating. Also, stop when you’re full!
We all know there are plenty of calories in alcohol. I love real ale but when I’m having five pints in an evening those calories soon rack up (five pints of ale is about 1000 calories, the higher the alcohol content, the more calories it contains). You should also be wary of sports drinks like Lucozade as they contain plenty of calories not to mention all that sugar. Sports drinks aren’t really necessary unless you intend to run a marathon or work out for hours on end.
There are also a surprising amount of calories in flavoured water, milky coffees and those weird iced drinks you get at Starbucks. Again, everything in moderation.
Weight loss, a healthy lifestyle and getting fit is about so much more than tricks and quick fixes. It’s about creating good habits that will last you a lifetime.