We all dread the looming summer and the pressures of the beach body that we’re just not ready for! But don't despair, as sticking to this body blitz, addressing the typical mistakes we make when trying to lose weight, you will get the body you’ve hoped for and rid yourself of those pesky fat pockets.
Get the diet right
Fad diets and quick fix solutions offer an easy alternative to changing your diet and keeping to healthy eating. But these diets are usually unsustainable and eventually put you right back to square one. Instead follow these four simple tips which can help avoid the yoyo effect found when following fat loss crazes.
Stay away from sugar: Carbs are any person’s weight loss enemy and it is advised when trying to cut your fat, it is best to stay away from carbs. The body uses carbohydrates for energy, as they are most easily broken down, and when exhausted the body will turn to its fast stores. Although not ideal to completely cut carbs, as when you start eating them again you may pile the pounds back on, limiting your carb intake is ideal to cut the fat back. Reserve your carb sources to oats, rice, and fruit and veg, as these are generally considered as the healthier carbs. High sugary and starchy carbs like cakes, potatoes, sweets and so on should definitely be avoid when trying to lose fat.
Eat fibre: Fibre is not only useful for the efficient process of the digestive system, but can be very useful in cutting fats. Viscous fibres will bind water in the gut, causing the more efficient absorption of nutrients, keeping you fuller for longer. Eating an extra 14g of fibre per day can result in a 10 per cent calorie decrease in appetite and weight loss. Try filling up your diet with vegetables, fruits and legumes, packed with helpful fibre, helping strip that fat.
Don't cut out the fat: Most people think to lose fat you have to stop eating fat, which is partly true, if you keep eating saturated fats your waistline probably won't change. But keeping up mono and polyunsaturated fats can actually help reduce fats. Not only do these fats help clear your system of bad cholesterol and help prevent cardiovascular disease, fats can help control hunger and keep you satisfied for longer. Stick to nuts, seeds and fish to help control the munchies whilst providing a rich source of beneficial nutrients. Increase protein: Possibly the best change to your diet for fat loss; protein. Not only providing muscle and tissue recovery and growth, protein is a great food to keep you satisfied and fuller for longer. Eggs, fish, meat and dairy are all essential characters to any fat loss diet, giving you the much needed nutrient top-up and satiety. Protein is also very effective to increase your metabolic rate; increasing muscle growth and burning more fat. Don't think you have to go all Rocky and start drinking raw eggs, but adding some meat and fish can be very beneficial.
Perfect your exercise
Include some cardio: One benefit to visceral fat it is easily affected by cardio exercise. Try to include frequent cardio workouts, whatever takes your fancy in the gym or outside, and the pounds will melt away. Aerobic exercise is very effective for fat reduction and health improvement, and should be part of anyone’s regime when trying to lose fat. Workouts such as running and dancing in particular are also very effective at engaging the core and a variety of other muscles which help keep you toned and will decrease the appearance of fat.
Hit the weights: The ideal fitness regime includes both cardio and weight training. Many people, women in particular, think that if they pick up the weights they will just bulk out, nothing could be further from the truth. Estrogen prevents women from ‘bulking’ muscles in the same way as men, instead women’s muscles tone which will significantly aid weight loss for a number of reasons. Weight training burns a high yield of calories, whilst, unlike aerobic exercise, keeps the body in this burning state for hours following a workout. Plus the more muscle the more fat burnt each day, simple!
HIIT your workout: A new form of exercise, high intensity interval training, can have many rewards to your fat loss, consisting of brief periods of intense exercise followed by recovery has been found to be great for weight loss. Ideal if you're short for time or hate boring monotonous cardio, interval sessions are a great way to ignite the metabolism and burn a high yield of calories for a relatively short period of exercise.
Sleep has endless benefits, and lets face it no one likes getting up early in the morning, so make sure you've got enough z’s and you will soon see the results on your fat loss. University of Chicago found that those who had 4 hours of sleep were less able to process carbs because of increased insulin and stress hormone cortisol. This metabolic malfunctioning is then accompanied by a decreased level of will-power to make good choices and avoid the unhealthy snack.
Instead aim for around 8 hours per night to keep your metabolism ticking and ensure your mind is clear and stress free to avoid those tasty snacks and opt for some fruit instead.
Drink plenty: Often our bodies confuse dehydration for hunger, foods do provide for form of fluid for hydration, but you should be aiming for 80 per cent of your water intake to be from drinks. Particularly when exercising, it is important to make sure all fluid lost through sweat is replaced to keep you body functioning properly. Staying hydrated will help your body process food into energy more efficiently and curb hunger, keeping you away from the cupboards.
Stick to water and tea: Drinks such a energy drinks, coffee, alcohol and sodas may taste good, but are generally considered a waste of calories. Also normally filled with added sugars or sweeteners, when trying to strip fat, it is best to steer clear of these drinks as you can easily consume a couple hundred calories without even receiving the nutritional benefits that a food equivalent would provide. Water instead provides you with suitable hydration without the added calories. If too bland, try herbal teas which accompany a number of health benefits, or adding sugar free cordial or fruit slices to add that extra bit of sweetness.
Avoid alcohol: As alcohol is a depressant it suppresses the central nervous system which in turn slows down the metabolism. Studies have found that consuming alcohol caused food to be processed much more slowly and more fat was stored, than those abstaining from alcohol. Not to mention how calorie rich alcohol is, and how after a couple of drinks we all fancy a munch on some of our favourite fast foods. Instead try keeping clear of alcohol for some time and your waistline will be very greatful.
Control your eating
Keep a food diary: Logging your food can be a helpful way to control and maintain an ideal calorie intake for fat loss. When trying to lose weight you should be consuming less calories than you're burning, and so writing what you eat is the ideal way to keep score of how much you are eating. Logging your calories can also be a great way to see how many carbs, fats and proteins you're eating, helping you eat the ideal balance for fat loss.
Eat more frequently: We tend to eat three larger meals in a day with the occasional snack in between, but instead what we should actually be aiming for is five or six smaller meals, spreading out your calories throughout the day keeping hunger at bay. This technique will not only help control our urges for more food between meals, but will also keep the metabolism burning between our meals. This more constant running of the metabolism will increase burn rate of energy and help shed those pounds faster.
Breakfast is important: A large breakfast is ideal for fat loss, as you can guarantee it will be burnt off through the day, stocking up on a hearty breakfast will kick start your metabolism and start your body burning fat from first thing in the morning. Having a filling breakfast will also fill you up through the morning, helping you stay away from mid-morning snacks or indulging at lunch.