If you really want to lose weight and get fit, there are certain points you must take into account.
First of all, get to know your health indexes: cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood sugar levels etc, all information provided by your typical annual check-up. Don’t forget to check your thyroid. Imbalances of the thyroid hormones lead to metabolic disturbances. The problem, once diagnosed, can be controlled with proper medication and make a significant difference to your efforts.
Nevertheless, there are a few tips that can help you on your fight against accumulated and stubborn fat.
Never follow too low calorie diet plans. Your metabolism is the mechanism that transforms food into energy. The less the food levels in your system, the lower your metabolism becomes. When you start cutting off calories, you begin to lose weight, at first. Soon enough, though, you may reach a “plateau”, that your brain interprets as a state of “famine”. In order to protect your body from starving to death, your brain blocks the metabolic function, preventing you from losing any more weight. When your metabolism is blocked at a very low level it is almost impossible to lose weight by simply reducing further your food intake.
As a consequence, the proper way to a thinner you is by keeping your metabolism busy, i.e. keep eating. The secret here is when to eat and what.
Research has shown that three main meals per day or up to five smaller meals throughout the day are perfect for keeping your metabolic rate active. In any case, you should never go more than six hours without eating. This routine, combined with the proper type of food, will start showing positive results on your scale, will protect you from mood swings and cravings, will fill you up with energy and finally will help you stick to your plan and succeed.
Drink a lot of water, 8 to 10 glasses per day, or even more if you like. You may even consume 2-3 cups of herbal tea (avoid normal tea or coffee, since too much caffeine may eventually block your metabolism) or some fresh fruit juice (watch out for sugar, though) but do not include those beverages to your daily water intake. Water will keep you well hydrated and will help dissolve excess fat.
If you should eliminate only one food from your menu, this is sugar. Taking into consideration all the different kinds of food where sugar is well hidden, even among the healthy ones (i.e. fruits, breads, cereals etc) you realize you should NEVER add extra sugar to anything that enters your mouth. On a later post we’ll discuss in depth the consequences of sugar in our body.
Last but not least, get active. Do some sports, discover weight lifting, yoga, pilates, practice to run a marathon or simply WALK! Yes, walking briskly for at least 30 min three times a week is the most efficient way to jump-start your metabolism. Even if you haven’t followed a routine for ages, or have health problems that prohibit intense training, walking is the perfect workout for anybody, with amazing results and no unpleasant side effects.
Finally, remember this: the key to fat loss is commitment. Make one change at a time, be it in nutrition or exercise, give your body time to re-adjust and follow it through to the very end. The more time you need to lose a pound, the more permanent the result is. Follow those tips for fat loss and enjoy the new self of yours for life.