Successful weight loss comes with a three pronged attack, getting regular exercise, eating the right foods and thirdly, lifestyle management. Lets look at each one more closely.
Studies have shown 5 hours of exercise per week gives best results with at least 50% of this being made up with resistance based movements. That means strength training using dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, bodyweight, sandbags, weight vest’s or some other form of loading your muscles. I recommend my clients do 3 kettlebell + bodyweight sessions per week and on two of the other days do some form of “cardio” such as jogging, cycling, swimming or playing sport. Each session does not have to last for one hour, its perfectly fine to break up your sessions into 30 or 45 mins but of course you will be training more regularly. As long as at the end of the week you are totaling 5 or close to 5 hours its all good. Further to that, the intensity you train at should change from session to session. This allows adaptions to occur, keeps you consistent by not missing sessions because you are dreading another “go hard or go home” type effort, but also ensure’s you aren’t stressing the body to much which will only stimulate a negative hormone response and sabotage fat loss. I recommend the light/medium/heavy approach whereby you have an easy day, a medium day and a hard day. Going out of your comfort zone is necessary but just not every session.
Lets keep this simple, you need to take in less calories than you burn on a daily basis or else no weight loss will occur. Booze, biscuits, chocolate and other non food items will push the daily calories over and above what’s required to lose weight so ditch all of this junk straight away. I don’t know why people find this concept so difficult to understand? Maybe its the lack of willpower required to actually resist the sugary junk that is causing the weight gain in the first place? In my experience, if you are that unhappy with your weight you will do what’s necessary in return for decent results. If you find that you just can’t resist high calorie junk, then maybe you don’t have a big enough desire to make any changes and are actually quite happy with how your body looks? If that’s the case you should probably stop reading this right now. If not read on. You’ve heard how your diet should be balanced and that is correct, however most people still get this wrong, they don’t get enough protein and eat way too many carbohydrates. Further to that the type of carbohydrate is usually wrong and leads to excessively high levels of insulin which drives fat gain.
Here is an idea of a good diet, note I said good, not perfect. Striving to be perfect will only lead to frustration. To see results all that you need to do is make improvements to your current situation. Small improvements will lead to big differences over the long haul.
Breakfast – 2/3 Poached eggs on 1 slice of toasted wholegrain bread, cup of tea or coffee with minimal or no sugar
Mid morning – Pint of water
Lunch – Chicken/avocado salad with new potatoes – salad includes, beetroot, tomato, cucumber, shredded lettuce, sliced peppers, and home made coleslaw.
Mid afternoon – Pint of water
Evening meal (preferably after exercise) – Salmon, roasted carrot, sweet potato, pepper, and spinach.
Don’t skimp on the servings of protein or vegetables, eat to fill yourself up, obviously don’t go crazy on the potato though as it is a starchy carb.
Drink up to 5 pints of water a day, also take fish oil and vitamin D3 every day.
The breakfast option allows toast as most people find this the most difficult meal to get right. Its true some folk don’t do well on breads and you are better off without it, however one or two slices here and there aren’t a deal breaker as long as other area’s of your diet are good. This is what we refer to as balanced. A better breakfast would be an omelet loaded with veggies but its up to you, if you think you can eat well at other meals don’t stress about it. Please note that having a glass of wine every evening along with a sweet dessert is not allowed. Do you want to lose weight or not?
The third area we need to look at for successful weight loss is lifestyle management. What does this mean? Ask yourself these questions.
Do I get 7-9 hrs of quality sleep every night?
Do I have happy life and look forward to each day?
Is my work life balanced with a good social life, hobbies or taking part in sport?
Am I in a happy relationship?
Do I take regular days off work and holidays?
Do I get on with my work colleagues, staff and bosses?
Is my workload hectic, busy or unmanageable?
If you can’t say yes to most of these questions then whether you are aware of it or not you are leading quite a stressful life and stress will wreak havoc with your hormones making the task of losing weight much more difficult.
The above area’s of work, relationships and recreation need to be addressed in order to minimize stress. The biggest factor here would be sleep as this when your body has a chance to recover from daily stresses. Sleep plays a huge role in stress management and all over hormone optimisation, without adequate rest you will burn out quick and probably gain weight rather than lose it.
If you were to just work on getting more sleep, other stresses like relationships, work related tasks and your day to day organisation would also improve as you would have more time and energy to focus on each one. Its time to put in a little me time and get the rest your body deserves. Relaxing baths, reading and lavender drops on the pillow will all help after a hard day at work, and get you off to sleep.
On the flip side if you don’t address these issues, you will be in a constant state of stress and elevated cortisol which means fat burning hormones will be suppressed and not be able to play their all important role of helping you lose weight and slim down.
So in summary :-
- Train 5 hours per week, choose resistance based exercise at least 50% of the time and go out of your comfort zone once a week.
- Make small changes to your existing diet, adding in protein rich foods and vegetables where ever possible.
- Address stressful issues in your life, remove and dissociate yourself from negative people, get more rest and relaxation.
Make no mistake about it, if you want a dramatic body transformation you will need to look at each of these three area’s.
The above picture is of Julie who trained with me for about 8 months. She lost just over 4 stone in this time frame, no pills, no crazy 2 hour training sessions and no starvation!! Julie is a single mum and a full time school teacher, she trained 3/4 times per week using kettlebells. What is her secret? Consistency of a sensible exercise program, eating the right foods and adhering to the other points I made in this post.
I hope you have taken something away from this that you can apply to your situation. Losing weight is not difficult when you have these three area’s under control. If you are struggling drop me a line.