Diet and exercise tips to control weight loss
Written by Carlos D’Souza
You can lose fat fast. This is without waking up at 5am to run on an empty stomach; without exercising every day of the week; without feeling hungry all the time or completely eliminating your favorite foods and without expensive supplements. Three key things you must commit to doing are regular resistance training in order to build strength and maintain lean muscle tissue, a consistently good healthy eating plan and short and intense or longer and moderate cardiovascular exercise.
Carlos D’Souza, Personal Trainer and Sports and Remedial Massage Therapist at Results Personal Training Studio in London gives his top tips on how to how to shed those pounds fast and painlessly. Follow these key principles for fast, efficient and reliable losses in body fat.
1) Increase muscle tissue with strength training
Muscle is metabolically active within your body and uses up calories to sustain its functions. This means slightly more muscle will lead to a higher resting metabolism. Regular strength training when done properly will strengthen joints, bones, ligaments, tendons, build muscle and improve flexibility. Strength training builds muscle and prevents muscle loss, so that you don't get skinny and fat. Runners and endurance enthusiasts that do not weight train often have this physique. You will get the best results in the least possible time by doing a free weight routine of compound exercises, consisting of exercises like the squat, dead-lift and bench press. Perfect form must be used to prevent injury. Seek a well qualified personal trainer to teach you the lifts properly.
2) Eat whole, unprocessed foods 90 percent of the time
Whole foods are as close as possible to their natural state, without any added sugars, fats or sauces, all of which can affect your metabolism and digestive processes. The important thing here is to stock up on all your health foods for the week in one big shop and to avoid buying any junk food altogether. Once unhealthy food has been purchased and it is in the home, temptation is there and is often hard to resist. The best way to get around this is to simply not buy it in the first place.
3) Carbs are important
Carbohydrates must be chosen based on their glycaemic index (GI). Low GI foods are to be eaten 90 percent of the time. This will result in slower digestion and no insulin spike due to a smaller rise in blood sugar levels and therefore will result in less fat storage.
4) Eat protein with each meal
Aim to eat 1g of protein per kg of body weight. Protein also satiates and has the highest thermic effect. Proteins are graded on their biological value (BV, how well your body can assimilate the nutrients from there). Excellent sources are: beef, poultry, fish, dairy and whey. Remember to rotate what you are eating. Variety and moderation should be exercised.
5) Vegetables and fruits
Eat lots of vegetables all day but consume a variety of fruits in the morning only, as the body is better able to digest and use the fruit sugars in the morning. Vegetables and fruits are relatively low in calories and you can consume a greater quantity of food without an excess of calories. They are also high in fiber, water, vitamins & minerals.
6) Eat healthy fats
Healthy fats help aid fat loss by satiating and slowing down digestion. Eat healthy fats, like fish oil, olive oil and mixed nuts with each meal.
7) Keep your body hydrated
Thirst can make you think you’re hungry. Avoid carbonated drinks, alcohol and fruit juice. Try and drink 2 liters of water a day. Reduce caffeine intake to 1-2 cups of coffee or tea a day.
8)Eat more than three meals a day
Frequent meals prevent hunger by keeping your blood sugar stable. Frequent smaller meals also decrease your stomach size over time, which means you’ll feel full sooner. Eat every 3 hours and build a pattern and consistency in what you are doing. Eat at fixed times every day and your body will get hungry at those fixed times. Example: 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 6pm, 7pm and 10pm.
9) Add cardiovascular exercise but don’t overdo it
The right amount and type of cardio training, done at the right time and with the correct nutritional strategies will accelerate fat loss, maintain muscle and leave you feeling fitter, more energetic and vitalised. Excess cardio training will leave you exhausted, may increase your body's stress hormones and leave you storing more fat and losing muscle. There is no need to spend more than 30-40 minutes doing cardiovascular exercise, unless you are training for something specifically.
The cross trainer is a very useful machine, as it is non-weight bearing and much easier to burn more calories per minute and per hour than most other machines. Running is also very good, but most people do not run with good form and this may lead to injury. If your running gait is not ideal, improve on it and then run one to three times a week. Boxing, circuit training, swimming and cycling are all great ways to burn calories.
Key techniques to use are high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T), tabata Intervals, and tempo (threshold) training to maintain heart rates of 70-85 percent for prolonged periods of time. Always listen to your body, sometimes you simply will not have the vigour to want to perform intensive exercise. On those days simply perform moderate cardiovascular training sessions but for a longer period of time, there is nothing wrong with doing this sometimes.
Don’t waste your time counting calories: you won’t get fat eating unprocessed foods. Just eat your stomach full and prepare your own food so you have total control over the ingredients. How you look is largely influenced by what you eat. Lack of muscle mass, high body fat, lack of energy at work or at the gym, bad skin and digestive problems can all be caused by unhealthy nutrition.