This blog will be directed to all those people who hate exercise in all its forms, people who have stressful sedentary desk jobs. If that’s you, and you want to add some form of indirect exercise into your life with some nutritional advice, then read on…
It’s unavoidable, we get older and the foods we once ate without guilt are now showing visibly on our waistlines. The fact is, our basal metabolic rate (BMR) is dependent on two main factors; age and physical activity level. We can’t change the former, so let’s try and tackle the later in small baby steps.
Walking is a great low intensity exercise that most people can do on a daily basis. Getting off the bus or tube a stop early and walking that extra 10-20 minutes to work everyday will make a huge difference if done day in day out. Don’t just stand on the escalator, walk up the stairs. Going for a brisk walk in your lunch hour rather than sitting at your desk surfing the web with a sandwich has been proved to not only shift the lard but also help brain function and release mood enhancing endorphins. Take the stairs for that 11am meeting on the 4th floor rather than the lift and you’ll burn many more calories and stoke that fat burning flame long after you’ve got there. Volunteer to get the coffees and teas in, it’ll make you more popular while keeping you on the move. Instead of calling or emailing your colleagues, meet face-to-face and have a real conversation. To keep up the momentum, get yourself an expensive pedometer and monitor your daily steps and calories burned.
There’s no point getting the extra exercise in and then eating a Krispy Kreme. You need to keep a check on what you put into your mouth and keep a balance. Start the day with breakfast. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast in the morning eat fewer calories throughout the day than their non-eating breakfast counterparts. Bad food choices are due to being hungry, the brain will crave high sugar foods once you get to this place and you’ll lose the willpower and give in to that biscuit. Wake up and eat a balanced nutritional breakfast, for example, scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast, porridge with chopped nuts and berries, etc. The breakfast will kick start your metabolism and keep you away from that mid-morning craving for that jam doughnut or those custard crèmes. Keep hydrated by drinking lots of fluids; preferably water and teas and coffees without sugar. If you’ve can’t bear your tea or coffee without sweetener try using stevia (a natural sweetener found in plant extract). The extra fluids won’t have you peeing like a race horse, but you’ll be making more visits to the toilet, again, getting you moving. Bring in your lunch and snacks and save yourself hundreds of pounds a year at the same time. When you prepare your own lunch, you’ll know exactly what goes into it as you’re in charge.
These are all great ways into getting your mind-set and body into good habits, giving you the momentum to maybe heaven forbid join a gym…who knows. It all starts with baby steps…
In this blog, I’m going to talk about diets and why most dieters are actually making themselves fatter and not slimmer…to put simply ‘why diets make you fatter’…
When people go on a diet, they usually starve themselves from the food they love by using willpower. Sooner or later, the dieter will give into temptation and fall off the wagon. During the time on diet, they might have lost weight. In most cases, the weight which is lost is a combination of water, muscle and fat. Losing muscle is the worst thing as it brings down their basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is the number of calories a person needs to maintain current weight and function, including breathing, cell repair and a host of other functions we take for granted – the autonomic nervous system. When the dieter concedes to temptation and starts eating the foods that were forbidden they put the weight back plus a few extra pounds. The double whammy here is that the weight gained is almost always fat, which means the dieter has changed their body composition for the worse.
An example, Wendy weighs in at 12 stone (76kg); her body fat is 35% or 26.6kg fat. She decides to go on the latest fad diet and initially loses 4kg of which half is muscle (2kg). After a couple of weeks she gives into to temptation and puts all the weight back plus 1kg. She now weighs in at 77kg (28.6kg being fat) but her body fat percentage has increased from 35% to 37%. If Wendy repeats this cycle of failed yo yo diets she will get fatter and fatter, losing muscle at each cycle and making her likely to suffer from a number of diseases including type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The right way to lose weight (fat)
To lose weight, you have to create a calorie deficit. I have spoken on how to work out your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) and how to lose fat – create an energy deficit. When losing weight, some of the weight will be muscle – this is unavoidable. However, you can minimise the muscle loss and target the fat loss when losing weight by incorporating the following:
1. Keep up the protein intake and drop the calories through carbohydrates and fats
2. Exercise, preferably resistance training
3. Keep hydrated
4. Don’t reduce calories by too much*
*If you restrict calories by too much the body will go into starvation mode and resist using its fat stores for energy. Studies have shown that keeping your calorie deficit under 500 a day will not prompt this unwanted reaction.
Today, I’m writing about ‘how to lose fat – create an energy deficit’. It’s quite simple really, if you burn more calories than you ingest, you’ll lose weight / fat – period.
To do this you first need to find out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), refer to my previous blog “How to work out your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)”
Once you’ve worked this out, you’re good to go…
A common approach to reducing body fat is to establish a negative energy balance. Research indicates that if the energy deficit is too great then body fat is more likely to return, possibly to an even greater level.
A priority for an effective weight management programme is to lose body fat, whilst retaining as much lean mass (muscle) as possible thereby minimising the fall in metabolic rate. Many studies on this subject have all concluded that a weight loss of 1 lb per week (ideally from body fat) is recommended.
Create a 500 kcal deficit per day = 3500 kcal in a week = approximately 1 lb of fat
This reduction in body weight may be achieved through several different strategies:
- diet restriction alone
- exercise intervention alone
- exercise and dietary restriction combined – most effective approach*
* The combination of exercise coupled with a modest dietary restriction has been proved from numerous studies to be the most effective method for achieving the desired negative energy balance whilst minimising a fall in metabolic rate.
To work out the number of calories in foods / meals, you could use a number of free android apps. My favourite app is “MyFitnessPal”, which helps you keep track of your eating habits and the amount of calories in each meal.
Reduce calories by a combination of exercise and diet to the sum of 500 a day from your TDEE. Try to be honest with your calorie consumption, use an app like “MyFitnessPal” to track your meals and snacks.