Losing weight is an obsession for most of us. We often want to fast forward the process and try fad diets and crash diets which are destined to fail. This is because most people who want to lose weight don’t know how to go about it correctly. Find out the three key components of weight loss that are the only way to achieve long-term weight loss.
With so many people ready to advice you on how to lose weight, it is natural to feel confused about which diet to try and which workout routine is best for weight loss. However, weight loss is not complicated if you have a solid plan in place. Those who do manage to lose weight have a clear understanding of what their bodies respond best to. But what works guaranteed for everyone are the three key components of permanent weight loss. These are:
* Setting a Goal
* Healthy Nutrition
* Regular Exercise
#1: Setting A Goal
First and foremost, you need to set a realistic goal for weight loss. For that, know your current weight and have a clear idea of what you want your goal weight to be. Once this is done, give yourself a realistic time frame to achieve that goal. Experts believe that losing more than 1kg per week is unhealthy and will result in the weight coming back over time. For permanent weight loss, it is important to lose weight slowly. However, though you do have a long-term goal, to be more focused you also need to set small-term goals.
Here is a SMART way to create goals.
Let your goals be:
S – Specific; because setting a vague goal will make it impossible to judge progress
M – Measurable; so that you can chart your progress and make changes accordingly
A – Adjustable; because it might not always be possible to stick to goals on an occasion an emergency requires you to put your efforts elsewhere
R – Realistic; because by setting unrealistic goals you increase your chances to failure which de-motivates and discourages dieters
T – Time-based; because without a set time frame you will take forever to achieve these goals as you don’t have a finish date in mind
#2: Healthy Nutrition
Once you have set your goals, you need to first look into your diet. Believe it or not, diet is the main component of weight loss. You might have seen many joggers who jog for half an hour a day and are still on the bulky side. That is because even after regular exercise, their calorie intake exceeds calorie burnt via exercise. So in all earnestness, a healthy diet will have an 80 percent impact on your success.
The biggest mistake people make is that they think of diet as a short term change. The key to permanent weight loss lies in lifestyle changes. These changes should become a way of life for you, incorporating six main principles.
- Adequate – Your diet must give you the much needed calories to be energetic through the day. Your diet must cater to your nutritional needs, depending on your activity levels.
- Balance – A diet that is not balanced is never a good diet. Make sure you do eat 40 percent proteins, 30 percent carbohydrates and 30 percent healthy fats every day.
- Energy control – Your diet must address your energy needs. Find out what your daily caloric requirements are and create a nutrition chart that caters to these needs.
- Quality – A healthy diet doesn’t just focus on quantity of each food type needed, but also on the quality. Simply because you should eat two servings of chicken a day doesn’t mean they should be servings of fried chicken. Choose healthy and nutrient dense varieties of food.
- Moderation – Portion control is the key to permanent weight loss. Never overeat, even if food is healthy and eat sugar and starch in moderation.
- Variety – To make sure you stick to your nutritional plan, you need to add variety to the diet.
Quick Diet Tips For Fat loss
- Find out how many calories you need to eat every day to lose weight. This is the benchmark you need to follow.
- Eat frequent meals. Aim for five to six small meals a day that stay well within your daily caloric intake.
- Do not forget to eat complex carbohydrates in all meals. While breads, pastas and rice are great for breakfast and lunch, you can eat variety of vegetables for dinner as a great source of complex carbs.
- Do not avoid fats. Healthy fats don’t make you fat, but they do play a critical role in energy metabolism and increasing levels of growth hormones.
- Restrict sugar and salt intake. Only eat sugar in moderation, though natural sugars in fruits are a better way to achieve your daily intake of sugars. Salt causes water retention and is best eaten in moderation as well.
- Eat two servings of dairy every day because research has proved that low fat dairy rich in calcium that aid in weight loss.
- Get 30 percent to 40 percent of your daily caloric intake from proteins. They digest slower, making you feel full for longer.
- Restrict your consumption of alcohol, tea and coffee. None of these are really healthy in huge quantities. The only drink you need to drink in large quantities is water because it will flush out toxins from your body and hydrate it well so that nutrients reach their destination faster.
Supplements For Weight Loss
Many health experts will tell you that fat loss supplements are a must. However, this is not true. If you only wish to reduce weight, you can do that with regular exercise and a nutritious diet. But a few supplements will help you reach your goals faster. These are:
- A multivitamin
- Omega 3 supplements
- Protein powders
#3: Regular Exercise
Though you can lose weight with just a healthy diet, regular exercise will speed up the process by accelerating your metabolism. As you build lean muscle, you naturally burn fat reserves which help in reaching your weight loss goals faster. The best exercise routine that guarantees weight loss will include cardio, strength training and stretching. Follow the principle of FITT to become fit.
F – Frequency; the number of times an exercise is repeated for greater impact
I – Intensity; the amount of exertion required for each repetition while you train
T- Time; the duration of your workouts and how they should grow every week
T – Type; the right type of exercise which targets all major muscle groups
For beginners, adding two days of resistance training per week is a good place to start. Exercises must be compound ones that use more than one muscle group and each major muscle group must be worked upon turn by turn. This method will build muscle and also boost metabolism. Good exercises, to begin with, are squats and deadlifts, because they work on several muscles at a time. Other god examples are bench presses, pull-ups, pushups, calf raises, dips and power cleans. The aim is to progress to strength training exercises five days a week, to work the entire body every week and have sufficient time for rest and recovery before the same muscle group is worked again.
It is important to do two exercises for each muscle group, with three sets in which six to 10 reps are important per set. Good form is the key to successful strength training, so beginners must begin at a gym where an instructor can correct form to prevent injury. Spend 30 to 45 minutes lifting every day, for optimum muscle development and fat burning.
Without cardio sessions every day, you will not burn sufficient calories to lose weight. Interval training is a great idea, where you alter the speed and intensity of exercise for more impact. Cardio must be restricted to 30 minutes 5 days a week, whether you choose running, walking, jogging, swimming, rowing or stair climbing.
Often ignored in workouts, stretching is the best way to loosen muscles and prevent injuries. Stretch for 10 to 15 minutes after cardio and before resistance training, so that there is less chance of injury. This will elongate muscles, tendons and ligaments so that your joints move more freely.
Remember, when it comes to exercise, more is not always best. After 60 to 80 minutes of exercise, your body will go into a catabolic state where muscles are broken down to get energy.