There comes a time (or there may come a time) when you look in the mirror and there's a fat person staring back at you. There's any number of reasons that you don't realise that this has happened. For me it came down to a bit of denial and generally not having too many cares about my outward apperance.
But the day that I struggled to walk up the stairs was the moment that I appreciated that fitness = health & vitality. My personal journey was not to do with body confidence issues. My journey started because I want to live a long and healthy life with my partner, friends & family, taking part in as many things as I can.
I didn't want to get to the stage where I couldn't do things because of my size.
My weight loss didn't happen over night. Unfortunately when you're 4-5stone overweight, you really have to commit and work your tail off to achieve your goals, you can't just click your fingers or take a pill and be done with it. . As anyone who knows me will tell you I didn't have it plain sailing either - I lost a couple of stone quickly then steadied for a while as my body become accustomed to the things I was doing. This was incredibly frustrating.
It took some time but I realised I had to refocus, adjust and change my training programmes and techniques to continue improving to get to where I wanted to go. Your body has a funny way of getting used to things really quickly so it's vital that you mix it up and keep on pushing yourself!
I wanted to share with you a few things that I picked up a long the way that I think will really help you:
10 Ways to Lose Weight
1) Make small changes to get maximum benefit
If you're just starting out then subtle changes in your daily life are going to make a huge difference. Take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to the shops rather than drive, bust out a few squats or press ups whilst you're watching the TV - anything you can think of to be more active is a positive, no matter how small!
2) Don't keep crisps, biscuits or chocolate in your home
I actually think having the occasional treat is a really positive thing. I always say to my clients that it's absolutely if it's done in the right way - if you're going to have a Mars bar that's great, but remember to reduce your food intake over the rest of the day so you're not overeating! By not having these types of food in the home you're far less likely to over-consume them though. Snack by all means, but make better choices.
3) Plan Ahead
Plan your meals and plan your workouts (or get someone to do it for you). Planning your meals means writing a shopping list and only buying that stuff when you go to the supermarket, you'll have less food wastage and will spend less money - I guarantee this! Prepare everything yourself so you know what you're eating and so that you can keep a check on what's going in. Exercising is an essential part of the journey so be ready to put the hard graft in and sweat a few times a week.
4) Put Yourself First
A hugely difficult proposition for many people, I totally understand this. However, if you have a weight loss goal (or any goal come to think of it) then it's beyond essential that you prime yourself to have a laser-like focus on achieving it. Those people around you who truly love you will support you in helping you have success in this area and will lighten the load in other areas to do this. YOUR health is the most important thing to look after if you're going to be useful to those around in you in the future.
5) Eat More Vegetables
Seriously, load the plate up. Not only do you get to have amazing flavours but you're giving your body all of the nutrients it needs to function at an optimum level. Eat as many colours as you can to really maximise nutrient consumption and increasing the amount of fibre in your diet, making you fuller for longer.
6) Drink Water (or stay well hydrated)
Sometimes we eat food not because we're hungry but because we misunderstand the signals our body is sending us and we're actually just thirsty. Have a bottle of water with you, on your desk or carry it in your bag and make sure you're drinking a couple of litres a day. This will keep you hydrated and will make you feel full, reducing the risk of snacking throughout the day.
7) Don't drink soft drinks (i.e. coke, pepsi etc)
They're loaded with sugar and all kinds of other crap that you have no reason to consume, as well as being a surprising source of calories. Don't switch to diet drinks either - studies have shown that these encourage you to seek out sugary foods to satisfy the cravings you get soon after drinking them. If you have one can of coke a day you're taking in an extra 139 calories a day. Remove this for one month and you've reduced your intake by 4,170kcals!!
8) Remove or reduce Alcohol intake
Sorry. I know people like a drink - I certainly do! It relaxes me and it's a social thing so, again, I don't tell people they should never do it but if you're serious about losing weight and being healthy, this is a key area for you to make significant changes. I've written an article about alcohol and fat loss over herethat may be of interest to you but in summary, alcohol = extra calories = restricts fat burning = fat/weight gain!
9) Portion Control
Particularly important when you go out for lunch or dinner as there are so many amazing options to pick from! Worse case scenario, look at labels and try to stick within the recommended intakes of those foods. Avoid buffets as these are the most difficult places to stick to your limits! In fact, one of the best ways I can think of keeping that portion control down is by using a smaller plate - it sounds silly but by doing this you'll have a smaller portion and cut down on your calorie intake each day without any doubt.
10) Do Interval Training
If you stick with slow steady state cardio exercises and have a good handle on your diet then you'll lose weight over time. But to really speed up the process then you should get some High Intensity Interval Traning (HIIT) into your programme as this maximises calorie burn not only during the session but long after it as well (pitch it right and your metabolism will be burning for up to 72hrs after the session!).