Eat less. Move more. That’s pretty much the general gist of what it takes to get in shape, however if you’ve ever embarked on a weight loss regime, you are probably aware that it rarely is that simple. So here are a few little secrets to help rev up your routine. And I can assure you that you’ll be very glad to hear some of them!
1. Slow and steady does not win the race
The tortoise and hare story does no justice in training, especially when there’s study to prove otherwise.
In a 2010 University of Florida study, 262 middle-aged women, who were struggling with obesity, showed that shedding weight fast leaded to larger overall weight loss and long-term success in keeping it off. If you’re doing things as per the book, not crash-dieting and still losing weight super fast, then there’s nothing to be worried about. In fact, for a lot of people, getting an injection of motivation after seeing fast results helps them stay on track.
2. Forget steady cardio, do HIIT training
Instead of running on the treadmill for 50 minutes straight, shock your body with some interval training. Step out of your comfort zone and do some HIIT-style training – try this routine, for instance.
HIIT is high intensity interval training that lets your body burn up more calories in a shorter span of time. Intervals can be something like 20 second run and 10 second easy or 2 minutes hard and 2 minutes easy. Even while watching TV, get down on the floor during commercial breaks and do as many push-ups and crunches as you can.
3. Alcohol, fat and dairy can be good for you
Avoiding alcohol, dairy and fats is the worst thing you can do for weight loss. Yes, you read that right. Unless you are lactose intolerant, don’t just stop drinking milk and having yogurt. Dairy products make you full for longer, and research shows that those who have deficiencies in calcium hold a greater fat mass and experience less control of their appetite.
What’s more is that studies have found that dairy sources of calcium — like yogurt, low- or nonfat cheese, and milk — are markedly more effective in accelerating fat loss. How’s that for a reason to drink milk?
As for alcohol, moderate drinking is perfectly alright. In one large study of more than 19,000 middle-aged women of normal weight, it found that those who were light to moderate drinkers had less weight gain and less risk of becoming overweight than those who drank no alcohol. But if you can’t drink moderately, you probably shouldn’t jump in that well at all.
Also, small amount of good fats is great for you. Mono and poly unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, nuts, oily fish and avocado are nutritious sources of fat. But remember to keep them to a minimum and keep your portion size in check.
4. Don’t cut out all the treats
Have you fallen in love with me yet? If not, then what I’m about to say will leave you smitten: If you want to have a treat at 3pm, do it I say.
When you force yourself to not eat something, your body goes into rebellion mode and craves it even more. So find out what time of the day you crave something the most, and give yourself a small treat, ‘small’ being the key word here (150 cals or less). A square of dark chocolate or a handful of chocolate covered nuts will not only curb your cravings, but will also act like a mini-meal in the middle of the day. For me, post-dinner dark or raw chocolate is an absolute must.
5. Sleep more
Sleep deprivation interferes with the hunger hormones and leads you into believing that you need to eat more.
According to a recent study conducted by Columbia University, women who slept for four hours ate an extra 329 calories daily, proving that when you’re fatigued, you just want to eat more. So sleeping for 8 hours on a nightly basis should be on your mind. Whether a cup of camomile tea gets you in the sleepy state or some lavender scented candles, make sure you dose off.
My hot tip: go to bed at 9.30pm and wake up early to exercise!
For more, watch my Mornings9 segment on the same topic above… David has a good moral to the story in the end.
Do any of these weight loss secrets surprise you? Which one are you most excited about?