Are you hoping to lose some weight? Maybe you feel like you’re constantly on a diet and never losing any weight, and if anything your weight seems to creep up year after year.
Each December you vow that this will be the year you finally shift that weight that’s holding you back, and by February you’re resigned to the fact that whatever you’re doing just isn’t working.
A lot of this is due to how poorly educated we are about food. The foods we associate with being on a diet are things that are typically marked “low fat” but what that really means is that they’re high in sugar. Sugar is actually carbohydrates and what happens when we don’t burn off all our carbs? That’s right, they turn to fat.
We’re sold this lie that if we only eat low-fat foods and sweat for hours in the gym we’ll have a body we can be proud of. But this couldn’t be more wrong.
Firstly, those women you see strolling on the treadmill while reading the latest issue of Cosmo may think they’re doing a good thing, but they’ll find it hard to lose weight because they’re not raising their heart rate. Slow and steady cardio is great for our health, but to see results and fat loss you need to get that heart rate up, and keep it up. Think HIT training, workout programs like Insanity and spin classes.
But cardio is just a small slice of your workout pie, and it definitely shouldn’t make up the bulk of your gym time. In fact, cardio should just be one or two days a week and the rest should be, you guessed it, strength training.
Many women are worried that if they lift weights they’ll bulk up. But this is a complete myth. Women just don’t have enough testosterone to see huge gains like guys do. What will really happen is that while you may put on some muscle, it takes up far less room than fat. That means you’ll be sculpting lean, sexy curves and feeling strong and confident. Win/win.
Of course exercise is just a part of what you’ll be doing if you’re aiming to lose some serious weight. The truth is, those who want to lose weight need to get serious about cutting calories. And contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t mean you’ll constantly feel like you’re starving.
Instead, you’ll be changing the types of food that you eat and switching from high-carb and sugar to high-protein with good fats. Protein keeps you full for longer and helps repair your muscles, especially after a good workout.
If you’re not the organised type, or you simply hate to cook, consider using meal replacement shakes. Choose a brand which is high in protein to keep you full, and you’ll be able to switch out one to two meals a day and lose weight without taking the time to cook healthy meals. Pu-erh Tea is another good option to rev your metabolism and a good alternative to coffee in the afternoon.