There are many different ideas on how to lose weight so it’s hard to know where to start. Typically, most tend to suggest excessive cardio or starving yourself. But this is old school mentality and truth is, it doesn’t really work.

Calories in, calories out has long been the rule for fat loss but now the focus is more on the quality of the calories rather than the quantity of calories. In recent years, there has been a massive shift away from the traditional ‘diet’ and the expectation of being constantly hungry and instead we’ve seen a much more positive focus on feeding the body nourishing whole foods that complement your training, make you feel good and help you achieve your goals.

Setting realistic goals for your own body is ultimately how you will achieve success. Everyone’s weight loss journey is different, and genetics play a big part in your body shape, how quickly you lose weight and how you gain muscle. Age, height, starting weight plus what your desired outcome is, all need to be factored in as well.

These points aside, if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you can still make incredible progress with a little planning and focus on these three areas: nutrition, working out and motivation.

NB: If you’re training for a Figure/Bodybuilding comp, this is a bit of a different ball game – a lot goes into this which we won’t go into here, but some of the same principles apply, with a bit more short-term discipline. See a 1-day sample eating plan for fat loss here.

 

Nutrition.

Dieting for weight loss has traditionally been pretty miserable. Eating food that tastes like cardboard and constantly feeling hungry is nobody’s idea of fun. If you want long-term results, we believe in a far more healthy approach that involves eating smaller meals more often from mostly whole food sources.

Protein is generally associated with muscle gain but it is also really important for weight loss. Including some protein at every meal significantly reduces the hunger hormone ghrelin and boosts the satiety hormone, leptin. Protein also has a much higher thermic effect than carbs meaning that your body burns more energy when digesting it. Protein is also harder to convert into fat, so rather, it boosts your metabolism.

Managing calories is necessary, but cutting too much out can slow your metabolism right down and you’ll struggle to keep the weight off. Stay motivated by focusing on what you can eat – not what you can’t. There are so many colourful whole food recipes around that you’ll never find healthy food boring again. These whole foods are rich in nutrients and will fill you up without weighing you down.

Carbohydrates that are low GI and high in fibre are usually lower in calories, so they can be a good option. Low GI carbs also help manage blood sugar levels, which will in turn help with cravings, and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Don’t be afraid of fat!  Fat will not make you fat, just be sure to incorporate the right fats into your diet. Sources of good fats include nuts, seeds, plant oils, and cold water fish.  Add some good fats to your meals. The essential fatty acids will keep you full and burn more energy. Omega-3 and various other good fats have been shown to help the breakdown of body fat and encourage the body to use fat as a primary energy source.

Try to eat every 3 hours and make sure you are getting enough macronutrients. This is where a good quality protein shake comes in handy. It’s convenient, easily absorbed and low in cost when compared to other types of protein plus many are boosted with vitamins and minerals to ensure your micronutrient levels are good.

Horleys Elite Ripped and Sculpt for women are formulated with high protein plus additional ingredients to assist with fat metabolism and maximise your results. Other handy options are Horleys Carb Less protein bars and Protein Hit Low Carb Drink.

Dehydration will slow your metabolism rate so stay hydrated and limit your alcohol consumption.

When you’re tired you eat more, so monitoring your sleep is good idea. Aim for at least 7 but preferably 8 hours quality sleep a night and take note of your energy levels throughout the day. You might find that going to bed an hour earlier makes a world of difference to how you feel the next day.

 

Workout.

If you’re new to exercise, try walking, running or a sport that you enjoy. Anything that keeps your heart rate up for 60 minutes, 3-4 times a week is an achievable goal to work towards. Once you’ve mastered that, add some resistance and high intensity interval training into your programme.

Resistance training is far more effective for fat loss than cardio. Muscle burns more energy than non-muscle tissue, and adds tone and definition to your body.  Aim for high reps with a medium weight and shorten your rest time in between sets. This will keep your heart rate in the fat burning zone.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is also great for weight loss and it can be done anywhere with little or no equipment. HIIT works best if you can do it for about 20 minutes with a warm up and stretching afterwards. If you’ve got your nutrition down pat, try doing 3 sessions of HIIT per week. If HIIT seems a bit daunting, just remind yourself, it’s intense, but it’s over fast, so you spend less time exercising.

To help you a long the way, you can try supplements like Ripped Black capsules or Bioburn fat loss powder for a pre workout boost, and snacks like Carb Less protein bars or Protein Hit Low Carb drinks which provide a quick pick-me-up that won’t derail your weight loss progress.

 

Motivation.

Get yourself into a good routine and stay focused by planning each week out including your meals and snack preparation so you’re never stuck without a healthy option or tempted to go for takeaways. Stay active at a level that suits you – whether it’s a 20-minute walk every second day or 3-4 sessions at the gym each week, do what you can.

Keep a ready-made back up meal or protein snack for when you don’t have time to prepare something. Remind yourself why you are doing this and stay focused on your goals. Take note of your progress and pay attention to how your clothes fit, not what the scales say.

 

Key points to remember.

Your weight loss journey can be an enjoyable experience so long as you focus on the positive and celebrate your achievements along the way. Look at it as a complete lifestyle change rather than something you’re denying yourself. Keep on top of these key points and you’ll achieve your goals:

  • Manage your calories but focus on the quality rather than the quantity
  • Follow a whole food nutritional plan
  • Eat frequent small meals – a low carb protein powder, Horleys Carb Less Protein bars and Protein Hit Low Carb Drink are all convenient options
  • Build up to exercise for 45-60 minutes, 3-4 times a week (include resistance training)
  • Get a minimum 7 hours sleep per night

 

You’ll no doubt encounter the odd ‘bad day’ but just move on and try not to worry about it too much. The best change you’ll notice when you start losing weight is your new happy and vibrant mindset. Maintaining a positive outlook will get you the results you want.

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