When it comes to weight loss, we would all like a quick solution. If you are asking yourself “How can I lose my tummy ?” or if you feel more like Buddha than Bolt, then you may need to make some lifestyle changes.
As a Personal Trainer, one of the main questions I get asked is “what can I do encourage weight loss?”
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We are all different, so there are many reasons why people put on weight. Perhaps you are living a very sedentary lifestyle. Maybe you are eating a poor diet or you like a few beers or glasses of wine on an evening. A stressful job can lead to weight gains. It could be that post-childbirth excess that you never had the time to work on. You might be doing everything right, but going through one of the four stages of menopause. Hormone imbalance can impede weight loss. The list is endless and it could even be a combination of several of them. But the reality is that all of this can be changed.
Convenience means no weight loss
Let’s face it, life is just far too convenient these days. We have prepared meals that are ready in a matter of minutes. Coffee shops and fast food outlets are filling our streets. We can shop online. And hands up also those who make car journeys they don’t really need to? Don’t worry you are not alone!
So what are we doing with all of this extra time we have saved? We may be putting in more hours at work and getting more stressed. We may be sitting in slow moving traffic during rush hour or making good use of the 200+ channels of prime televisual entertainment. There is no weight loss associated with playing console games as part of the new modern XBOX army. And tweeting, poking, liking and messaging your social media buddies is for fun not fitness. All this is generally done while sitting down and going soft around the middle!
Ok, enough of the negativity, now we have an idea how it may have appeared, what can you do to get rid of that excess weight?
The answer to weight loss isn’t one particular diet or exercise, but a dedication to regular exercise, clean whole foods and a change to a healthier lifestyle.
It is at this point that you need to make the decision. How committed am I to change? Before rushing onto the latest fad diet take a breath and do the following three things.
- Get out your tape measure and check your hip to waist ratio. This is a good indication of how severe the problem is as this can be an indication of a greater risk of CHD (chronic heart disease). Many vary by age but I find this to be the easiest out there.
- Complete a full week’s food diary, absolutely everything including all drinks. Do not make any changes until this is complete.
- Complete a mood and stress chart, how you felt when, did that lead onto snacking etc.
With this and your other personal information any decent Personal Trainer would be able to write you a fitness programme and provide nutritional advice that would guarantee the successful removal of your tummy. That is the easy part. Committing to it 24/7 is the real challenge.
Taking a positive approach to weight loss
By the time people have committed to see a Personal Trainer they have made the mental decision to change and through experience I have found that most have also incorporated some of those healthy choice lifestyle changes into their diet. It is not about depriving yourself of all of the things you enjoy forever but you need to reach certain milestones before you restart the treats.
All of my clients are advised upon starting to remove all, crisps, cakes, biscuits, sweets, pastries, potatoes (except sweet), carbonated drinks, energy drinks and concentrated juices completely from their diet for at least two weeks. Also replacing all white bread, rice and pasta for healthier wholegrain options. Increase their vegetable intake, in particular the brassica family such as broccoli, savoy cabbage, bok choy, kale, all dark green in colour.
In most severe cases it is also likely that your metabolism will also need to be retrained to cope with your changing diet. This can be helped in a few ways such as starting your day with some protein such as boiled or poached free-range eggs. Adding in a small snack of nuts, seeds and cottage cheese mid afternoon. If you usually train in the evening add a quick Tabata session in the morning 5 minutes of intense interval training when you get up will not only give you a quick interval session that will benefit you for hours but also make sure you are awake and energized for the rest of the day.
Make the most of compound exercises in your training by adding equipment such as kettlebells and powerbags ensuring you get maximum benefits from everything you do.
For years prior to becoming a Personal Trainer I have competed in Marathons, half Marathons 10K’s etc but regardless of the calories burnt or miles run I always carried unwanted weight around this area. Apply the right nutrition and targeted exercises to your fitness training and you will start to see results.