So, it's four months into your New Years resolutions and you have hit a bit of a weight loss stand still. There is nothing more frustrating than working hard and not seeing results, but with a few simple changes to your routine, you could drop that last 10 pounds quicker than you can say ditch the diet.
We have gathered the top 10 shortcuts to shedding the last of your winter weight just in time to get you in mini shorts for summer. Thank us later...
Are you at the gym on the treadmill for hours but not seeing results? You should probably give interval training a go. Instead of slogging away at the same pace, interval training means switching up the intensity of your workout so you spike your heart rate and get your metabolism going. It has been proven to burn calories (e.g. Christmas pudding) faster than exercising at the same standard pace.
The quickest way to cut your calories in half is to say goodbye to the sauce. We know that cheesy dressing may taste like heaven but it wreaks serious havoc on your weight loss goals. Cutting the heavy sauces and cheeses can immediately save you up to 300 calories per meal, which means more room for healthy snacks throughout the day.
The best way to avoid hunger pangs throughout the morning and to keep those sugar cravings at bay is to eat a breakfast rich in natural fibre. Aiming for at least 8 grams of fibre in your brekkie means that you will remain full until lunch time and won’t be scrounging around the office fridge on the search for something sugary. Studies also show that people who eat breakfast tend to lose more weight than those who don’t, so even more reason to get some oats into your morning routine.
It may seem counter intuitive, but make sure you are eating something every 3-4 hours. Even if you don’t yet feel hungry, eating regularly throughout the day keeps your metabolism chugging along and ensures your body doesn’t go into “energy saving” mode. The body actually holds on to calories when in this mode, and those calories are later transferred into fat. Just make sure that those snacks are the right snacks. Opt for veggies and fruit for the best results.
We eat as much with our eyes as with our stomachs. If you are constantly eating from a large plate, you will most likely be filling it with huge portion sizes that you do not need. Switch to a small plate and fill it completely. This will trick your tummy into feeling more satisfied, and helps you to make better portion decisions throughout the day.
Rethink the drinks! Most people fail to consider that what they are drinking actually has a huge impact on their calorie consumption. Alcohol is full of empty calories, as are sugary sodas and fruit juices. If you have a bit of a Mountain Dew addiction, replace it with seltzer water and lemon. You will find that you actually start to crave sugar less and less as you phase it out of your life.
Planning your meals is one of the best ways to make good dieting decisions. If you plan ahead and have all of the ingredients available to you, you are much less likely to eat poorly. Planning your pantry and fridge around the meals you intend to have throughout the week and ridding your kitchen of any naughty snacks like chocolate or crisps makes it a lot harder to cheat.
Did you know that the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn even sitting on the couch? Do not be afraid of building muscle at the gym because it is the best way to keep slim. Add in slightly heavier weights to your workout this week and you will immediately notice a difference. Women often worry that weights will cause them to ‘bulk up’ but celebrity trainer Teddy Bass says that this will not happen, because it is actually remarkably harder for women to achieve a muscular appearance than it is for men.
Know your portion sizes! Different food groups play different roles in your dietary needs and all have ideal levels of intake. A serving of carbs should never be larger than the size of your fist and the ideal portion of lean meat like fish or chicken should be about the size of your iPhone. These guidelines may vary depending on your size and level of physical activity.
Give yourself a pat on the back. Acknowledging how far you have come and what a positive change you are making is an important part of any health journey. Take some time out of your day to reflect on where you did well and where you want to improve. This is a great way to keep focused on your goals and stay positive.