Well Christmas is all over now and for most people today is the first day back to work *Cries uncontrollably*, first day on their new diet and the day they start thinking about signing up to the gym (I brace myself for how busy the gym will be tonight). Everyone will all have very different goals and targets and reasons for them, but the main ones for most people having a bit of a health kick is to lose weight and be healthier.
Signing up to a new gym and saying that you’re going to be good with your food is the easy bit, but actually doing those things and losing those pesky pounds is the difficult bit. So how can we go about losing weight and being healthy in 2018? Well never fear as I, your friendly neighbourhood PT, am here to point you in the right direction!
Let’s get down the business
First of all, let’s look at losing weight. When people say they want to lose weight what they actually mean is they want to lose body fat as it is possible for the weight to drop on the scales, but the weight loss to come from loss of water weight so let’s look at how we can lose body fat.
While there are many different ways that you can go about changing your diet and exercise habits, one thing remains to be the single most important thing when it comes to doing weight:
Being in a calorie deficit
What I mean by that is eating less calories than your body is using on a consistent basis. When we do this our bodies need to use something to make up for the energy it’s not being fed, hence burning fat!
Juice Diets, Fad Diets blah blah blah
You’ll have no doubt have seen a plethora of different diets being advertised and thrown around all promising magnificent weight loss, unparalleled results and the body you have already dreamed of. You might have seen insane high intensity cardio workouts that claim to make you literally shed body fat like there’s no tomorrow. And quite popular at the moment are products like Herbalife, Juice Plus, Bootea etc which are all supposed to make you drop body fat quickly.
All of these things will actually make you lose weight, but completely not in the most ideal way. Either you will lose weight too fast and will rebound to put it all back on again as you will be eating too little and/or you’ll feel like absolute poo and tired all the time. These things make you lose weight due to the simple fact they put you in a calorie deficit, but most of the time they are far too severe and are not sustainable at all as you have to cut out foods that you actually enjoy.
So what is the actual solution to losing weight without feeling like death and putting it all back on again?
Control your calories and consistently be in a calorie deficit
The best way to do this is to work out how many calories your body needs via an online calculator such as http://www.iifym.com (Takes into account your height, weights, age, activity, exercise etc), then reduce those by around 500 calories and you have your daily target. Then, track your food on a food tracking app such a MyFitnessPal and stay consistent!
Now, obviously actual doing that for several weeks and months is easier said than done, but the more consistently you can stay in a calorie deficit the easier you will find it to lose weight.
Before you even think about what foods to eat, when to eat them etc, getting yourself in a calorie deficit is the number one priority.
But what about exercise
Ahhh I’m glad you asked. Exercise can be used for a multitude of areas such as build muscle and strength, improved fitness, improved flexibility and of course weight loss, but how can we use exercise for weight loss?
Again, it all comes down to being in a calorie deficit and exercise is a great way to help us achieve this! For example, say that your body needs 2000 calories per day and that is what you are currently eating so your weight stays the same. We can get ourselves by either cutting our food down so we are eating less calories, increasing our exercise so we are using more calories or a combination of the two.
If you are eating 2000 calories per day and reduce that to 1500 then you have gotten yourself into that important calorie deficit. If you are using 2000 calories and increase your exercise levels so you are using 2500 calories per day then you have also managed to get yourself in a calorie deficit. Make sense? Good, let’s continue!
Health is Wealth
So now that we’ve looked at how we can lose weight effectively this year, but is there anything else we can do to make ourselves healthier? (Note that controlling calories and not overeating is actually one of the best ways to be healthy)
Well yes there are several things we can do to improve our health aside from controlling calories and exercising regularly. They are:
- Drinking at least 2 litres of water per day, plus an extra 0.5-1 litre for each hour of exercise you do that day
- Get 7-11 portions of fruit and vegetables per day (Yes, 5 a day isn’t actually the ideal – Use a nutribullet or have soup if you’re struggling to get these in)
- Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep a night
- Set aside at least 30 minutes each day for some time completely to yourself whether that be reading or listening to a book, using a meditation app etc – something that is going to help you clear your head
So there you have it, a few quick keys to losing weight and being healthy in 2018! If you have any questions on anything mentioned above or have any other fitness related questions then please feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a message on my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.