Losing weight and keeping it off can be a lifetime of struggle. If you’re heading toward man boob surgery or a tummy tuck, read below for some health and fitness tips to help change your lifestyle in the long term and stop diet and fitness fads.
Perhaps one of the toughest challenges when it comes to weight loss is changing your diet. Home cooking takes some experience and effort, and often the time poor will resort to convenience or fast food when they’re stuck for inspiration or have run out of time for meal prep. All of these things can be overcome with a little organisation. Many people schedule in a weekly time where they dice, package and prepare their meals for the week ahead. Others cook larger portions each night and freeze them ready to be reheated when needed. Start with three or four key dishes that you can mix and match for meal combinations and develop a shopping list to ensure you have ingredients on hand when you cook.
Frequent binging establishes unhealthy withdrawal and craving patterns, whether it be for carbs, sugar, alcohol or fats. While going cold turkey might be an option, a more successful strategy is to have smaller amounts of the things you crave at times you are not exceptionally hungry. Taste wise you still get a hit of the flavours you enjoy, but you’re slowly recalibrating the body to rely on less of it.
Remember, to develop your palette you may need to try ‘new’ foods up to 10 times before they become more appealing. In other words, don’t give up on those brussel sprouts just because you hated them in childhood. Today’s foodie culture will have many an option to help dress up those healthy foods you may not yet have a taste for.
Many of us overinvest in cardio when we want to drop excess kilos. Although cardio is a great way to lose weight, working smarter will enable you to spend less time doing structured exercise. Long workouts can be difficult to maintain over various stages of life – people with children or long working weeks are typically unable to spend hours in the gym on a daily basis. To charge up your cardio, add some intervals to your normal jog, run or walk. Even for beginners, four or five 30 second intervals of sprints or fast jogging will mean more calories will be burnt in less time. Increase these as your fitness improves. Resistance wise, add some weights for calorie burning effects even after the workout is complete. You can work your way up to weighted squats with simple body weight exercises such as walking lunges, planks and the good old burpee. Mixing up your workout on a frequent basis will yield the best results and challenge your body – otherwise it will quickly calibrate and allocate the amount of energy you need for a regular workout, and your weight loss is likely to plateau.