By Martin Ebner
The first thing to acknowledge about losing weight is that it's no easy task. It takes time, determination and consistency. Unfortunately there are no magic tricks to transform you into Beyonce or David Beckham over night. Forget the lose 21 pounds in 21 day or the build a six-pack in a week crap! Don't buy into the hype. If you do, it'll only chomp into your motivation when you don't get the results you expect.
1 - eat real food
Microwaveable macaroni cheese does not constitute real food. Anything that's been heavily processed will have almost certainly lost most if not all of it's nutritional value. The problem with processed foods is that they often contains incomprehensibly large quantities of hidden sugar.
Instead, buy fresh food every 2-3 days. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy whole-grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Not only will eating these foods help you lose weight, they promote good health and fight against disease.
2 - cheat once a week
Allowing yourself a cheat meal once a week will do wonders for you both physically and mentally. If you try to restrict all of the foods that you love, you'll end up midnight bingeing during a moment of weakness. There's also the chance that if you are too strict for too long, when you do finally return to eating normally, you risk piling back on the weight that you fought so hard to lose.
3 - eat foods that fill you up
Remember how you felt after you last ate a big mac meal or Chinese take-away? I've no doubt it tasted great at the time, you probably even felt energized immediately afterwards. Then in the 30 minutes following the sugar high, you crashed and the hunger returned. This is what's called a blood sugar spike. Inevitably everything that goes up, must come down.
Filling your plate with fibre and water dense foods will fill you up and keep you feeling full for longer. Grains such as brown rice and oats, fruit and vegetables and Legumes all have high levels of fiber.
4 - set realistic and attainable goals
Going back to the opening paragraph. Setting the goal of losing 21 pounds in 21 days is frankly, impossible. These aggressive diets lead to extreme calorie-cutting and in turn produce extreme bingeing. You may see dramatic results short term but unfortunately these results are not sustainable. Anything worth while takes time and effort and weight loss is no different. You must be patient. There will be highs and lows, triumphs and tribulations but if you stay consistent, the weight will come off.
5 - Do HIIT (High intensity interval training)
It's be proven that just 20 minutes of High intensity interval training has the same fat burning potential as some 60 minutes of regular cardio. HIIT promotes what's known as the "afterburn effect". Not only does it sound cool, it keeps your metabolism revved up for hours, even days following your work out.
Sample HIIT beginner workout (Ratio 1:4)
- 15 seconds: High-intensity exercise
- 60 seconds: Rest or low-intensity exercise
Repeat 10 times
Total exercise time: 14 minutes
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