With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to get things on track if your goal is to be in your best shape ever by the end of the year.
While much diet information focuses on quick weight loss, more moderate losses of 0.5 -1 kg a week can be relatively easy to achieve and means that it is easier to keep the weight you lose, off for good.
Here are the simple steps to help you drop up to 5kg before Christmas.
1) Get strict for 5-7 days
It takes a couple of days for the body to work through its stores of glycogen (glucose) in the muscles so stored body fat is mobilised and burnt as energy. This means that any weight lost in the first couple of days of eating a low calorie diet will quickly be regained if the lower calorie diet is not followed for at least 3-5 days.
For this reason, if you are able to commit to a strict eating regime for at least 5-7 days you will kick start your weight loss with a 1-2kg loss relatively quickly.
This in turn will be incredibly motivating and help keep you on track to achieve your longer term weight loss goals.
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2) Go light at night
Diets are rarely successful long term as they inevitably focus on restricting calories at the wrong time of day, resulting in overeating throughout the afternoon and evening.
Instead, if you focus on a substantial, protein rich breakfast in the morning, and a warm, filling meal at lunchtime, you will find that you are less likely to need a large meal come dinner time. Here you can stick to a light 300 calorie meal of soup or grilled fish or chicken and salad which will support your weight loss goals.
3) Factor in a meal off
Weight loss does not require diet perfection, rather consistency. This means that if you stick to your calorie controlled plan 95 per cent of the time, there is room each week for a treat or meal off. This will allow you to factor in a social meal with friends, a few glasses of wine or a weekly indulgence of something you love without derailing your weight loss goals.
The trick is to isolate these extras to one eating occasion or meal, not small treats every day.
4) Add in something extra
If nothing changes in your exercise regime, nothing will change with your body and your weight. For this reason, if you already exercise regularly but are not seeing any shift on the scales, it is time to mix things up. This means either changing the time or intensity of your training, or add in something extra.
A simple 30-40 minute walk before breakfast or after dinner can work wonders, as can an extra couple of high intensity sessions each week that really get your heart rate up, especially if you are already walking regularly and reaching a daily target of 10,000 steps.
5) Get your calories right
Many of us default to 1,200 calories when our goal is weight loss, but the reality is if you are exercising, this intake is likely to be too low, leaving you hungry and making it difficult to stick to your diet.
If you give yourself a few more calories and instead stick to a plan of 1,400-1,500 calories each day, you will find that it is easier to stick to your plan and have enough energy to exercise, whilst still losing 0.5 – 1kg a week.
The best way to keep an eye of your calorie intake is to manually log it on a program such as ‘myfitnesspal’.