It has been a long held and assumed belief that the only way to shed pounds is to exercise and eat less – and so an industry worth millions has developed based on these two principles alone. However, there are many frustrated dieters out there who, despite months and years of trying, aren’t much fitter or thinner than they were when they started.
It’s a cause of great frustration for so many, so maybe it’s time to look at how we’re eating and moving, rather than carrying on with the same old diet tips.
Some things you may not have considered will affect your weight loss journey dramatically and make a big difference:
Get enough sleep and avoid stress
We all want at least eight hours of sleep a night, but unfortunately this isn’t always achievable. If you’re tired and slow, you’re more likely to snack on high fat, sugar and calorie foods. Maintaining a healthy weight in the long run can’t be done when you’re exhausted all the time.
And when we’re stressed, and cortisol is released into our brain and body, it makes us very, very hungry, as it’s telling our body it needs more energy to cope with the situation. Ravenous hunger, the need for a quick meal and a busy working day doesn’t help us make good food choices either.
Pay attention to portions
We’re all guilty of ordering too many sides at a restaurant, or serving a double portion of pasta because it doesn’t look like that much. But studies have been done that demonstrate even the size of a plate can affect how much we spoon onto it, so our eyes are naturally greedier than our belly.
The mantra ‘eat little and often’ is repeated a lot, but there’s a great deal of truth in it. Eating small portions that are easier to digest regularly throughout the day will stop you from binging through sheer hunger and reaching for the nearest edible thing. It’ll keep you going for longer, and help you to stay in the gym longer. FIve smaller, carefully chosen meals is much more favourable than three big meals that leave you stranded on the sofa because you’re so full.
Don’t equate calories burnt in the gym to calories eaten
It’s good to try and moderate the calories going in and out of our body, but many dieticians and personal trainers recommend seeing the bigger picture rather than looking at it on a case-by-case basis.
“Cardiovascular activity for a sustained period of time, such as a one-hour jog, can be of little benefit when it comes to body fat”, says David Fletcher, a personal trainer at Odyssey. It’s no good equating 30 minutes on a treadmill to a portion of chips, as though one cancels the other out. The more you do the same exercise, the more your body gets used to using calories efficiently when you do it, so repeating the same exercises might not get you were you want to be in terms of burning calories.
Some ‘quick fixes’ can work…
There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding ‘fat dissolving’ products recently. Fat dissolving injections do exactly what they say on the tin – a water solution is injected into the fat area, and this solution binds with the cell walls of the fatty tissue. As you urinate throughout the next few weeks, the fat leaves your body. Premier Laser’s fat dissolving injections are the only fat removal injection on the market and require no recovery time whatsoever.
Ideal for the stomach, thighs, chin and buttocks, this treatment can help you shed fat in areas that the gym hasn’t touched.
Starving yourself is not the way to do it
The word ‘detox’ is thrown around a lot, and it’s possible that at least one of your friends has heralded the success of their juice diet. In all likelihood though, she’s thinking about eating the table right now, because it’s not good to put your body through dramatic fasts, on the assumption that it needs to be ‘cleansed’, or that it’s the quickest way to shed pounds.
Sports dietician Jane Griffin warns that “long-term detox diets…should never be considered. The low intakes of vitamins and minerals can cause anything from reduced immunity to infections and excessive weight loss” which won’t help you reach your physical peak. If you feel faint, stop! Your body needs fuel.