Cut your ties with accepting minimal calories to eat for good
Does anyone know how much food they need, based on activity levels, hormones, genetics — and all the other complex mechanisms involved? Trying to get your head around the complexities is overwhelming and quite possibly more than likely impossible! For some, 1500 calories or less does not work. For others, it’s a great option. Experimenting with your food intake is the only way to determine if this would work best for you. First, you must decide, based on your activity, how much energy (roughly) you require. This is called our total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). There is an online calculator that will give you the numbers. You must be extremely honest about the amount of activity you do. If you are a sedentary person, you will need less caloric intake than someone active all day on a construction site.
Don’t become too fixated on numbers.
Although this is a good starting point, there isn’t a need to become too fixated on the numbers. Instead, it would help if you become aware of the quality of food you eat and the quality of the activity. Let me explain further. Our day to day activities and how our bodies function will alter immensely, and we cannot predict at any given time (nor would we want to waste our time thinking about this). Instead, focusing on your diet, and using the best possible exercise program to attain your weight loss goals, is more realistic and won’t drive you mad. Let’s break down the dietary requirements and then move on to exercise.
Top 3 dietary tips for weight loss results
One: Focus on your protein sources
Protein is key to burning body fat, keeping you full for more extended periods, and increasing muscle mass. When we build muscle, we increase the efficiency of our metabolism, allowing the consumption of more food without experiencing body fat increase. There are many forms of protein to choose from. However, I would start from simple, low-calorie sources such as chicken, eggs, fish and turkey. Cycle often with higher calorie options, like steak and lamb. You want to make sure you are getting a variety of nutrients. Attempt as much as you can to eat organic or grass-fed meats. They have a higher nutrient value. Eliminate as many chemically induced products as possible from your diet, as they alter your hormone balance and create an environment for increasing body fat stores.
Two: Don’t avoid fats
Contrary to what we’ve been told for years, fats are an essential component of our diet and aid in weight loss. Take avocados, for instance. Even though they are about 77% fat, one study has shown that people who eat avocados weigh less belly fat than those who avoid them (1).
Eating the whole egg, not just the egg whites themselves
Eggs, as a whole, are the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet! Never discard the yolks, as that’s where most of the nutrients are found. Eggs are low in calories, high in protein, nutrients and are highly portable.
Nuts are another popular snack.
They are high in fibre and magnesium. Many people are deficient in magnesium, and nuts provide a perfect mineral infusion in your diet. The best nuts to eat are almonds, walnuts and macadamias.
Three: Cruciferous veggies
These veggies are my favourite because they are filled with minerals fibre and are a fantastic source of good gut bacteria food. Having a healthy gut means more weight loss and better health. Veggies also sustain you for periods because of their high fibre content. As a result, you consume fewer calories yet are still whole (and don’t experience hideous cravings). Focus on the green veggies first, such as spinach, kale, asparagus and lettuce. But please, don’t discard all the other colourful veggies. They provide so many nutrients. If at all in doubt, eat seasonally. You will be getting a calorie-dense benefit, but you will also be improving your overall health.
Top 3 exercise tips for weight loss results
One: Weight training (no surprise here)
I am still yet to convince some people that weight training is key to losing body fat. Cardio does not have the same effects as lifting heavy weights regularly. Building muscle and monitoring your food will re-condition your whole body. This is a slow process, but all good things take time. Every time you add more weight to your bar, you train your body to become resistant to that weight. So our bodies need to be challenged constantly to change. A great tip is to train those body parts that are lagging twice a week. Tread carefully with this training regime as it can be strenuous on the body. If you have a stressful job, study and don’t get enough sleep, you should probably avoid this. We need to consider several lifestyle requirements as with any intense exercise program.
HIIT is one of the best options for really targeting stubborn body fat. Although it’s best to do this outdoors, I’m all for just getting on the treadmill or switching it up with some strongman training. Add variety in whatever way you can to increase your strength and fat-burning potential.
Three: Don’t forget the importance of incidental exercise
Even though we may train within a gym every day, it’s still important to keep moving. Walking is an excellent form of low impact exercise and can be structured during different parts of your day. Walking to and from work is one option, so is your lunch break. Why not go hiking one day on the weekend or grab some friends and take on a coastal walk. Walking is an active recovery activity that’s low impact and great for your overall mental health.
Once you start building a solid foundation of habits, it becomes easier to achieve your goals — sometimes without effort. But initially, we need to put our heads to the grindstone and do the work every day. You aren’t alone — some people are ahead of you or way behind. What matters is that you move towards creating positive and empowering changes in your life.
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