(1) Set a goal and have a clear vision of you want to achieve. Start with setting small steps, this will really help you to reach your ultimate goal. Envision yourself fitting into those jeans you just bought or that bikini for your beach holiday. Share your set goal with a selective group of family or friends. A simple: ‘how are you getting on?’ ‘You look amazing’ can help to keep you encouraged and on track. Recognition and compliments by others go a long way to keeping you motivated.
(2) Ditch the scale. The scales are not a good indicator of how much fat you have lost or gained. There are important changes happening in your body that the scale can’t measure or detect. It will not give you an accurate reading of your changing body composition and how much lean muscle you have. Muscle takes up less space than fat, making you look slimmer, and it’s more metabolically active. The best measurement should always be how you feel about yourself, and how your clothes feel and fit.
(3) Plan and prepare your training sessions for the day /week. Keep consistent with your training and nutrition. Opt for shorter workout sessions rather than long boring cardio sessions. Try time saver exercises such as; HIIT (high-intensity interval training) This technique of training involves intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, often active periods. This is a great way to get the heart pumping, keeping the heart rate up and to burn fat in less time. Plyometric training is also a great way to work the body as a whole and incorporates workouts and moves using your own body weight. These will help to build strength, power and agility. These types of workouts will help you to burn lots of calories if done regularly because they are cardio, strength and sculpting all in one.
(4) Have a workout partner. Having someone to train with can keep you motivated and you can motivate each other. When you know that someone else is depending on you to work out you don’t want to let them down. This will motivate you to stick to an exercise schedule and the planned workout appointments. Your workout partner can be someone who you can turn to when you need advice or a sympathetic ear when you feel guilty for eating a doughnut or skipping a workout.
(5) Walking. If you are a beginner to exercise than try walking. Walking is a great way to lose weight and keep fit. It’s also free and simple and one of the easiest ways to get more active. Walking is also perfect form of exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels who want to be more active. Regular walking has shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma and stroke. Start with strolling pace and then progress to brisk walking and fast walking.
(6) Lift weights. Include resistance training in your workout routine. Resistance/ weight training will improve your muscular tone as well as increase your metabolism, so you will burn calories faster over time. Training with weights helps to increase your metabolism, which is crucial to burn fat, even long after your workout when you are at resting. Weight training will help you to achieve that lean, tighter, sculpted body. It helps to combat those lose wobbly parts and areas of your body.
(7) Keep a food diary and write down what you are eating and when. This is important because it will enable you to learn more about your eating habits and more about which foods are causing you to gain weight, or lose it. You will find you become more conscious about your food choices and you will begin to make healthier meals. Always plan and prepare your meals. Do not allow yourself to get over hungry. Eat well at meal times. Chew your food well and slow down your eating. Practice mindful eating: pay attention instead of mindlessly putting food in your mouth. Rather that unconsciously eating become more aware of what you are eating i.e the taste, look, smell, feel of the food.
(8) Correct nutrition is essential for health. Eat real natural foods. Many people struggle with healthy eating because of the intense craving for carbohydrate rich foods. Banish those carb cravings by staying away from processed foods which convert quickly to sugar in the blood, leaving you craving more. Try to avoid sugar and fat. These are lethal combination together and make us want to eat more. Eat protein with each meal. Protein will keep you satisfied for longer. Eating breakfast can also help to reduce cravings by keeping blood sugar levels balanced.
(9) Water Intake is very important for health in general and to lose weight. Aim to drink at least two liters of water a day. Replace all regular beverages and sugared drinks with water. Drinking water will help you feel refreshed, more focused, help relieve headaches, and curb your appetite. I recommend drinking fresh lemon water – this naturally speeds up your metabolism and makes a very refreshing healthy drink.
(10) Don’t overdo it! Don’t set yourself totally unrealistic goals e.g to exercise every day, twice a day! Every so often give your body a rest and time for recovery. Enjoy your rest days by planning time with family, scheduling a movie or just curl up with a good book. Give your body and your brain a day to simply just ‘be’. Be patient and consistent, you won’t achieve your goals overnight. Don’t get discouraged with slow progress or setbacks. You will see results if you keep yourself focused.
BIOGRAPHY: Dal Dhaliwal
Dal Dhaliwal is a health and wellbeing expert and Advisor on Physical Activity. She is also an active professional speaker and TV/ radio presenter. To learn more, visit www.daldhaliwal.com or follow her on all the major social media platforms @daldhaliwalPT