By Bill Waltzek – CPT
Losing weight is hard and can be frustrating. We are more sedentary than ever and can get easily lost with the many ways to lose weight. Stick with these 4 simple tips and watch the inches melt away.
Plan – Preparation is paramount. If your food is not prepared it is very easy to grab something that is not healthy for you after a long day of work. Before I go grocery shopping I figure out all my meals for the week. I make them all on Sunday and package them up for that week. That way when I grab something after a grueling day, I know that I am fueling my body with something that is going to keep me lean.
Keep your meals lean – If you have weight to lose, ditch the starchy carbohydrates and keep them post workout only. Half of your plate should be vegetables, a quarter should be a lean protein source, and the last quarter should be nothing unless you just worked out. If you just worked out, use that last quarter for some quality starchy carbohydrates like sweet potatoes or brown rice.
Drink plenty of water and don’t drink your calories, unless they are in a protein shake. Liquid calories quickly add up and can wreak havoc with your diet. Not to mention all the sugar loaded in them.
Finally, make sure you get in a cheat meal. It is hard to stay on a lean diet, especially if you are just getting into this. You don’t want to spoil all you worked so hard for. This small splurge won’t set you back and will keep you satisfied and on track.
Exercise – Move! Most people are not moving enough. Our lives are making us sedentary. We sit all day at work and jump on our smart phones, iPads and video games at night, is occupying all our time. Try carving out some time throughout the day to take the stairs, go for a walk, ride the bike or to do anything else to increase your heart rate. In addition, get in your exercise. A lot of people will work on just the nutrition and forget about the exercise. The fact is, the more muscle you have on your body, the more you will burn at rest because muscle requires more energy to sustain itself. Get in a few days of strength training and keep the energy high and the weights heavy. Mix in cardio with your strength training to get the best results. Classes like Metabolic Circuit Training or Kettlebell boot camps offer variety that keep you from being bored. They also give a huge benefit from the calorie burn, often up to 1,000 calories in an hour. If you don’t have much time, no problem, short intense workouts offer huge benefits. Check out ForwardFit’s Workout Challenge of the Month for free intense workouts in less time.
Recover- You worked hard in the gym so don’t let that all go to waste by not getting proper sleep. A recent study from the University of Chicago reported that sleeping less than 7 to 8 hours can increase your appetite (forcing you to overeat); slow your metabolism (causing you to burn fewer calories); and make the body retain more abdominal fat. Not to mention lack of sleep will make your next workout a challenge.
In addition to proper sleep, make sure you get quality nutrition as described above, drink plenty of water and stretch!
Combining these 4 simple solutions will help ignite your metabolism and help you produce some amazing results. Now go out and get it done!