It's pretty normal to put on a bit of weight over the festive season, but we are now well and truly into 2020 and no doubt there will be a lot of you who have already begun efforts to shift those excess calories you enjoyed with your nearest and dearest. Here are 6 ways to help you get back into your pre-Christmas jeans:
1. Consume fewer calories than you burn. If you're consistently consuming more calories than you burn, you will put on weight, however, if you consistently burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. No need for quick-fix fad diets that get you nowhere in the long run. Just be sensible with your portion sizes.
2. Eat adequate amounts of protein - This comes in at a very close second to the calorie equation. Protein helps to build and preserve lean muscle tissue, so if you are trying to lose weight, it's important that you're consuming enough protein so you don't lose the very tissue that helps to burn calories in the first place. A number of factors (weight, height, age and activity level) will have a bearing on how much you should consume but it usually lies between 0.8-1.5g per kg of bodyweight.
3. Lift weights REGULARLY - I cannot stress the importance of a regular strength training program enough. Lifting weights enables you to build lean muscle tissue, which in turn burns more calories at rest - talk about getting something for nothing! - Not only that, but it will help to improve your posture, body composition (your ratio of body fat to lean muscle tissue), flexibility and keep your bones from becoming brittle towards old age.
4. Sleep - lack of good quality sleep can have a huge impact on your ability to lose weight, not least because sleep deprivation plays havoc with our hunger hormones. When these hormones are out of whack, we're much more likely to reach for the high fat/sugar-laden foods, which are no dieters friend. Have you ever noticed how hungry you are after a poor night's sleep - and the sorts of foods you crave? Help to fix all that by getting between 7-9 hours of good quality sleep as often as you can.
5. Manage your stress levels. Stress releases the hormone cortisol that promotes fat storage, particularly around the stomach area. Stress can also make it difficult to sleep (which we've already covered) so the 2 of these together make a pretty rubbish environment for losing weight. You can start to manage your stress levels by simply taking 10 minutes in the morning (or whenever suits you) to sit in a quiet place either meditating or reading a book. Going for a short walk when things feel tense can help clear your head. We can't always do something about the stressful situation itself, but we can do things to help us cope with it.
6. Be consistent with numbers 1-5 - CONSISTENCY is the key. If you are consistently taking control of all of the above, you will see results!
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