When you first set out to become a healthier, fitter, version of yourself, you probably knew that it would be hard work, but you didn’t realise that you could work out and eat the right food for months and barely see a change in the scales. Sometimes it feels like, despite all your hard work, you are still no closer to cracking the code that will unlock all the secrets of weight loss. Out of desperation, you might seek out more drastic solutions and jeopardise your health for the sake of quickly losing a few pounds. Trouble is, you know from experience that it’s not easy to keep this weight off. So where does that leave you in regards to your weight loss goals?
As frustrating as it is, you need to keep going and find the combination that works for you; what works for your friends or fitness instructors might just leave you feeling miserable, hungry, and dejected. While you continue to search for your own magical weight loss formula, you also need to focus on developing a healthier relationship with food, and finding a form of exercise that you look forward to completing each week. In the meantime, here are a few guidelines to help you lose weight without compromising your health.
Never go on a fad diet
If you’ve been trying to lose weight for a long time, then you should know that fad diets never work. At best, you lose weight quickly and manage to keep it off for a week or two before you put it all back on again with some added gain, or you give up halfway through because you’ve essentially been starving yourself and you can’t do it anymore. As far as what you need for a proper healthy diet, you just need to eat food that is healthy. Anything that grows in the ground or on trees, swims in the sea, or runs on land is considered healthy food. Stop eating ready meals that are full of refined sugars and start cooking your own nutritious meals.
The human body needs calories, carbohydrates, and fat in order to function properly throughout the day – despite what you may read in some diet books, these macronutrients are not the enemy. The only thing you need to really avoid is overindulgence – too much of anything can be a bad thing.
Calories are not equal, but essential
Losing weight feels like a cryptic formula because things that appear healthy might actually contain more calories than something that seems unhealthy. You might think a turkey sandwich is more nutritious than a slice of pizza, but if the sandwich comes on focaccia with cheese and mayo, that’s around 970 calories, whereas two slices of pepperoni pizza equal 520 calories.
However, this is not a disastrous outcome as long as you’re still within your recommended calories for the day. Regardless of what some fad diets will say, it’s not healthy to cut your daily calorie intake too much – in fact, it’s pretty dangerous as consuming enough calories is essential for the human body to function. Cutting down your intake to less than 1000 calories can lead to heart problems, digestive problems, nutrient deficiencies, and it causes your body to destroy muscle tissue, which is an unhealthy form of weight loss. If you feel guilty about exceeding your calorie limits, you can just exercise for an extra ten minutes to burn off the excess.
It’s also important, psychologically, to not ban any foods from your diet. The more you deny yourself a slice of chocolate cake, the more you crave it, and the more likely you are to overcompensate for your denial by eating too much cake.
The question of supplements
When hoping to slim down quickly, a lot of people turn to protein shakes and other supplements to keep their body nourished, but without consuming too many calories. However, the clue is in the name; supplement. Products such as powders, energy bars, or vitamin pills are intended to fill gaps in nutrition, not to replace food completely and become the body’s sole source of these nutrients. While there can be a place in our diets for dietary supplements – especially if you’re deficient in something – food is always supposed to be the main supplier of these essential nutrients.
When the food on the plate falls short and doesn’t include essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12, a supplement can help take up the nutritional slack. Vitamin and mineral supplements can help prevent deficiencies that can contribute to chronic conditions. Supplements are also useful for when you’re working out.
Every time you complete an intense workout, body tissue gets destroyed and the only way to build it up again is to consume a lot of protein. While it would be easy to eat more meat, broccoli, and other protein-rich foods, many athletes instead choose to drink a protein shake after their workout because it doesn’t require any digestion and just goes straight to the muscles. Visit http://aretheyonsteroids.com/crazy-bulk-reviews/ for an example of what a protein shake contains, but a good one should have all natural ingredients such as whey, soy, or casein protein.
Crunches and cardio
You can force yourself to do all the weight lifting and crunches in the world, but you won’t get a flat stomach without getting rid of the layer of fat above the muscles. If you’re serious about toning your abdominal muscles, you need to incorporate a balance of cardio and resistance exercises into your regime. Swimming is an excellent example, because the water provides an element of resistance to a vigorous cardio exercise. Alternatively, you could sign up for a High Intensity Interval Training class at your local gym to combine 30 seconds of weights and 30 seconds of cardio in three minute increments for a 30 minute workout. It’s intense, but it can fit into even the busiest schedules, and has been shown to zap more belly fat than steady-paced moderate workouts.