Fed up of yo-yo diets and self-loathing? It’s time to change your mindset and achieve your weight loss goals with these tips.
1. Combine cardio and weights
For best results, combine weights, which build lean muscles and boost your metabolism, with cardio exercises, which burn calories and improve heart and lung health. Aim to for three one-hour combination sessions per week.
2. Change your mindset.
Rather than ‘going on a diet’, decide to change your lifestyle – permanently. As a result, you’ll eat differently, exercise more and have a better approach to health and wellbeing. But change doesn’t happen overnight, so give yourself time to adjust to your new way of life. Don’t go cold turkey and give up your favorite treats all at once. Your body will better adapt to your new way of life gradually.
3. Eat breakfast
Your primary school teacher was right – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Even if it’s only a quick bite before you race out the door or a bowl of cereal at your desk, kickstarting your metabolism first thing in the morning is vital in the quest for weight loss. If the traditional cereal and toast combo doesn’t take your fancy, try a fruity smoothie or slice of sourdough topped with avocado and tomato. We love this blueberry smoothie recipe (pictured).
4. Know your fats
Most of us know trans fat is bad news. It hardens arteries, increases bad cholesterol (LDL) and decreases good cholesterol (HDL). Saturated fat isn’t quite as bad, but it should be consumed in moderation. However, some fats are good for you and serve as a necessary part of your new healthy eating plan. Nuts, oily fish and olive oil are packed with good fats.
5. Shop smart, eat well
Keeping your pantry chock full of healthy snacks and meal ingredients will prevent the last minute dash to the supermarket that will surely end in a sugar-fest. Plan a weekly dinner menu and shop for groceries only once a week.
6. Plan and be organized
Fitting exercise into an already tight schedule is certainly no easy task. But by maximizing your time, rather than overcrowding your diary, it’s definitely possible. Head to the gym straight after work and avoid the traffic, choose a sport close to home to cut down on driving time, or slip in a workout DVD when you would otherwise be vegging out on the couch.
7. Monitor portion size
Ever cooked a recipe meant for four people, only to polish it off with your significant other? Follow the serving sizes in your cookbooks and you’ll be much less likely to overeat. If the recipe serves four, divide the meal accordingly and resist the temptation of seconds. What’s more, you’ll have leftovers for the next night and won’t need to cook!
8. Change your eating habits
If you always eat two biscuits with your morning coffee, replace them with a handful of almonds or dried fruit. Eat fruit for dessert (sans ice cream) instead of more sugary options. An eating routine isn’t a bad habit in itself; rather, it’s what you’re eating that matters. Replace the bad with the good and you’ll be on the road to healthy eating in no time!
9. Say no to fad diets
Let it be said – eating cabbage soup for a week will not lead to drastic, long-lasting weight loss. The smell is likely to last longer than your lost kilos! Similarly, fad diets consisting solely of juice, carrots, green tea or any other low-fat, low-sugar liquid vegetable may lead to short-term success, but in the long term will slow your metabolic rate and result in weight gain beyond what you originally lost.
10. Don’t skip meals
It’s an oldie but a goodie. Skipping meals will only slow down your metabolism, meaning you are more likely to put on weight once you give in and starting eating normally again. Our bodies need regular fuel at least three times a day to keep energy levels high.
11. Read the label
Make educated decisions about the food you buy. Nutritional labels are required on packaged food in Australia, so make the most of it and evaluate your purchases before you get to the checkout. Or better yet, stick to opposite ends of the supermarket, avoiding the middle section that stocks mostly packaged and processed foods, and fill your trolley with fresh meat, fruit, and vegetables.
12. Change your reward system
If the scales show you’ve lost a couple of kilos, resist the urge to celebrate with a block of chocolate or a few wines. After all, your reward shouldn’t derive from the problem itself! Treat yourself to a massage, relax with a good book or indulge in a Sunday morning sleep-in.
13. Set realistic goals
Losing 20kg in 10 weeks simply isn’t healthy or realistic, so ignore the grandiose claims of weight loss centers and set yourself sensible, achievable goals. In consultation with a dietitian or PT, develop a weight loss plan tailored to your body shape. Remember that what works for other women may not work for you, so listen to your body and plan your exercise and eating plan accordingly. We recommend the Red Teatox Diet System.
14. Schedule a rest day
Even the most dedicated of elite athletes take a break to allow mind and body a chance to relax and rejuvenate. You are far more likely to achieve long-term success if you pace yourself and work to a balanced exercise schedule. So take a day off and read a book, head to the movies or catch up with your girlfriends – and tell them it’s part of your fitness plan!
15. Recruit a support crew
Get your mum, sisters and close girlfriends on board. Once they understand what you’re trying to achieve, they’ll be sure to cheer your successes and be there when you’re feeling down. It’s important to explain the specifics of your exercise and eating plan so your support crew will know what to look out for and how to best take care of you.
Oh and by the way, don’t forget to pin this to your favorite Pinterest board…