Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My 6 sure-fire tips for weight-loss plus 1!

I notice a lot of my posts are centered around weight maintenance, probably because that is where I am at. This post is a reminder to myself about what it took to lose the weight in the first place. If you have a goal to lose fat, here are my six sure-fire tips (plus 1!) to fat-burning (you'll notice they are very nutrition-based because losing weight is 80% nutrition!):

1. Cut out the fat. Let me be the first to say that fat is extremely important in a healthy diet. However, if you're trying to kick-start your body into burning stored fat - you can't be eating any. That means no butter on toast, no oil in salad dressings, trim milk in tea or coffee, low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt, and lean meats. This isn't forever ... it is just for the first 4-6 weeks to get your metabolism up and running. Then you'll be having fat in a weekly free-meal and you can introduce 1 tablespoon of food fat (I use flaxseed oil) each day.

2. Eat every three to three-and-a-half hours. The body needs regular re-fueling to ensure it does not go into 'starvation and storage' mode.

3. Eat protein and carbohydrates together at meals and snacks. Protein keeps the blood sugar stable while the carbs give you the energy. I'm not an expert on the science but it works! You won't be starving an hour after eating.

4. Do not eat heavy carbohydrates at your evening meal. Carbs such as bread, potatoes, rice and pasta get stored as fat if you have them during your evening meal. Unless you are an athlete, you don't need these carbs at dinner.

5. Drink lots of water. You need to be peeing clear.

6. Exercise. I am not talking about training for a marathon - or even slogging it out for an hour at the gym. Just walking 40-60 minutes 4-5 days a week at a moderately brisk pace is all it takes for the body to burn fat.

And here's my extra tip which is the best!

7. Eat a free meal each week. After you've been following the above for approximately four weeks (on average you should be losing 500g or a pound a week) ... add in a free meal. Pig out - anything goes. You need it. It will stop your weight-loss from plateauing. Read more about the coveted free meal.

Sound simple? It is! Truly. I highly recommend visiting a nutritionist/dietician to get your food programme spot-on. However, if you just want an idea of what I ate to lose weight and keep it off, I wrote a post about it here.

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