The Golden Rules For Weightloss
Not everyone has identical goals; some people want to be lean, some toned, some ripped enough to enter physique competitions and then there the ones who want to be a comfortable and healthy size 12. Whatever your goal, there are two key points to getting where you want to be (and one them is unfortunatley not magic pill); diet and exercise.
Let’s start with diet!
Before you start making major changes to your diet, you need to actually realise what you eat. To effectively lose weight you need to be counting nutritional macros, this not only will help you lose weight steadily, but you also know you are getting a balanced diet. Let’s forget about fad diets. We want to lose weight and get healthy, not crash diet, yet still have high cholesterol!
Protein is essential in a diet. It can come in many forms; meat, vegan foods, cottage cheese, eggs… Eating protein will keep you fuller for longer. Red meats take longer to digest, where as white meats are fairly quickly to digest. Protein in the form of fish is excellent, not only do you get protein, but also omega 3. Steak is good for iron, but so is spinach!
When trying to lose weight and get healthy, carbs will be your enemy for the first few weeks. Cut them down, but don’t eliminate. You need good carbs in your diet, ESPECIALLY if you are exercising. Carbs are basically sugars, and the human body gets easily addicted to sugar, and you WILL crave carby/starchy foods when you first start cutting them out. This is normal, and you need to get your body out of this addiction. Swap your white products for whole grains, your normal potatoes for sweet potatoes, and swap your sweets and chocolates for berries! Get a good nutrition app on your phone, this will count the amount of carbs you are having per day. Try and aim for around 100-150g when initially dieting and you can slowly increase when you get to a happy weight.
A lot of people think you need to wipe out all fat in your diet, this isn’t true. You need fats, just like you need protein, carbs, vitamin A, magnesium etc. Cut out the nasty fats, the chocolate, the crisps and fried foods etc. Forget “low fat” and “calorie reduced” meals and products, they’re stabilised with chemicals and additives!! Go for full fat products, but have them in moderation. The daily allowance for a woman is 70g fat per day, aim for around 40-50g per day to start with, just like the carbs, you can gradually increase these once you are up to a comfortable level and want to slow the weight loss/stabilise your weight. Go for foods with low saturates; seeds and nuts, avocado, eggs (only 2 yolks per day due to the cholesterol levels!), natural/no added sugar peanut butter and Greek yogurt to name a few.
To get a balanced diet you need to be eating lots of vegetables, protein, and a portion of carbs and fats per meal. When portioning your plate, typically you want half a plate of veg, a quarter protein, and a quarter carbs. Depending on what foods are on your plates, your fats will be added in. If you’re lacking fats, pop a handful of almonds on the side!
Now let’s talking about exercise!
So there are many myths around exercising; women look like men if they work out and cardio is just running are my two biggest peeves.
GIRLS!! Weight training will not turn you into Arnie! As a woman you do not have natural testosterone which builds huge muscles. You will get cute, lean muscles which make you look sexy! You don’t have to go heavy, go light, do high reps. Basic exercises such as, bicep curl, shoulder press, squats and lunges will really help you. The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn! Don’t be ashamed if you struggle with 1 or 2kg, remember EVERYONE STARTS SOMEWHERE. And don’t be ashamed to be in the gym where the men are. Embrace the fact that you are on a journey to making yourself fit and healthy! If you don’t want to go to the gym, then buy some dumbbells for home. Supermarkets and sports store sell them at a fair price. For the squats and lunges, hold your dumbbells by your side to add extra weight if you need more of a challenge than body weighted! Have fun with your workouts; search the internet for some lightweight routines! Put your headphones in; get your heart rate up and burn off some fat!! 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise is a really good place to start.
Personally, I believe this word was invented by the devil. It was obviously used as a punishment back in the day. I don’t think, in my whole life, I have ever run more than 5km- AND THAT TOOK SOME DOING!! Cardio doesn’t have to mean running on the treadmill km after km, being bored! Mix it up. Do some interval training, do 5 minutes of 1 minute sprint, one minute walk. Get on the cross trainer, do the same. Do a spin class- take it at your own pace, but make sure your heart rate is up! 160bpm-180bpm is a good heart rate if you want to burn fat. Incorporate your weight training to keep your heart rate high. Do some super sets! So two or three exercises back to back with no break, like I said above, if you can only use 1kg then use it- EVERYONE STARTS SOMEWHERE!
Another good point to make; if you’re not sweating or out of breath, you’re not working hard enough!
SWEAT IS FAT CRYING!!
The biggest tip, above everything I’ve said is BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. You can do this. You can become a fit and healthier you! Take one day at a time. If you cut out 10g of fat and 10g of carbs, you’re already doing better than yesterday.
By Laura Huckerby on behalf of the EC Team
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