Tis the year end, the festive season, which means a number of us could be enjoying the holiday ..overindulging.
But not to worry! We’ve got you covered. Here’s our 5 tips to lose weight, fast:
1. Start strength training
Fun fact – weight or strength training builds muscles & muscle burns up to three times more calories than fat.
That’s because muscle is a metabolically active tissue, meaning that calories are burned even when you aren’t lifting; your body continuously burns calories just to maintain muscle.
So the more guns you have, the more calories you torch!
And this doesn’t end after you leave the gym either. Your body continues to burn those calories for the next 24 to 48 hours as it works to repair sore muscle tissues.
2. Increase cardio
The good news about cardio is that there’s a wide variety of options to choose from. There’s walking, running, hiking, bicycling, swimming – the list goes on. There are also cardio machines such as stair climber, elliptical, rower, upright bike & even the treadmill!
However, the amount of cardio needed to lose weight depends on a number of factors such as:
- Current weight
- Daily activity level
You see to lose weight with cardio, you need to create a calorie deficit.
Meaning that the number of calories you consume needs to be less than the amount of calories you burn.
In other words, how much weight you lose with cardio entirely depends on how much you eat, along with the amount of workout you’re willing to do in the course of the week.
While cardio does burn calories & aids in weight loss, to further increase the rate at which you lose weight, we recommend combining it with at least two to three days of strength training workouts a week.
1. Stay hydrated
Drinking water is one of the easiest things you can do to lose weight. Did you know that drinking water aids you by:
- Boosting metabolism
- Acting as an appetite suppressant
- Cleansing body of waste
Drinking water can temporarily boost your metabolism.
By drinking 0.5 litres of water, your resting metabolism can increase by 10-30% for roughly an hour.
This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink ice cold water, as your body has to work even harder to heat it up to body temperature. Plus, it’s also a lot more refreshing innit?
As water is an appetite suppressant, drinking 1 glass of water before meals help make you feel fuller, therefore reducing the amount of food you’d actually consume.
In addition to that, it also helps with your digestion!
BUT, when we say ‘stay hydrated’, we do not mean sugary calorie-filled drinks like sodas or juices. Ditch those empty calories for water.
Not too big a fan of the taste (or lack thereof) of water? Then spice it up! We’re talking about natural flavours here, not artificial sweeteners or added sugars. Add in some lemon, strawberries, mint – go for it!
You can also supplement your water intake with foods that have a high water content yet still remain low-calories such as cucumbers, watermelon & zucchini.
2. Never skip breakfast
Breakfast has always been dubbed the ‘most important meal of the day’. While there are still a lot of debate on whether eating breakfast will actually help you lose weight, it’s definite that there are a lot of benefits to it.
Breakfast is literally you ‘breaking fast’. The period between your last meal of the night & till your first bite in the AM is typically the longest stretch of time your body goes without fuel. By having breakfast, it gives your body a chance to get in some of the essential minerals, vitamins & other nutrients needed for optimal health.
Breakfast also assists in kick-starting your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day.
Breakfast foods like grains, dairy & fruits are good sources of nutrients like iron, B vitamins, calcium, fibre and protein. The body needs these essential nutrients & research shows that if these are missed at breakfast, they’re less likely to be compensated for later in the day.
Breakfast is also known to:
- Improve memory & concentration
- Improve mood & lower stress levels
- Lower chances of diabetes
- Lower chances of heart disease
- Lower chances of obesity
- Reduce chances of high blood pressure
3. Pack healthy snacks
Leading in from the previous point above, did you know that there’s higher chances of you snacking on high-fat, high-sugar foods if you skip breakfast?
Admittingly, this is a case for many (including myself), especially during the second half of the day where things just seem to slow… down…
Blood sugar tends to dip three to five hours after your last meal.
These are the times where snack attacks hit, with cravings for junk food & sweets arising.
Nutrient-poor snacks like these may give you a quick jolt of energy, but it’s just as quickly followed by a crash which leaves you sleepy, cranky, hangry and unable to focus.
Avoid having such unhealthy snacks nearby, and opt for healthy foods such as nuts, low-whole grains or low-fat dairy products instead. Not only are these more satisfying, but they’re packed with fibre, protein & the nutrients your body needs. In addition to that, they also help guard against sugar highs and lows, which would make you less likely to succumb to that sweet tooth.
Sleep (get enough zzzs)
You read it right – a good night’s sleep is just as essential as exercising regularly and eating healthily.
Did you know that lack of sleep is often linked to a major increase in the risk of obesity? This result is caused by negative effects of sleep deprivation on metabolism.
However, do try to reduce long daytime or irregular naps. While short 30 minute (or less) power naps are beneficial & boost daytime brain function, longer naps unfortunately can negatively affect sleep quality and ultimately – your health.
Instead, aim for around 7-9 hours of undisrupted sleep per night, to keep your metabolism ticking!
Now that you the fastest way to lose weight, be sure to GO FOR IT!
And don’t worry, these steps are evergreen! It can be applied all year round, even if all you need is a reset to get you back on the right track.