How are you working to reach your weight loss goals? Are you trying fad diets or crash diets that cause your weight to yo-yo, or are you settling in for a slow, long-lasting weight loss? Are you trying all kinds of sketchy supplements or just trying to eat healthier? Your approach to weight loss can determine just what kind of effects you see—not just in the short term, but for the long-term down the road. Here is some simple yet VERY effective advice on how to reach your weight loss goals:
A lot of people spend their days trying to work on their cardiovascular conditioning, sweating and killing themselves just to run a few more minutes. While this is excellent for your endurance, it won’t help you lose weight. The key to effective weight loss via cardio is to move a lot longer, not necessarily more intensely. Rather than trying to run for 20 minutes, try walking for two hours. Or, combine the best of both worlds: a run for as long as you can sustain it, followed by walks throughout the day. The more you move, the more you’ll burn fat and get in shape!
Shift Your Macros
Your body needs carbohydrates, so you can’t cut them from your diet completely. Any diet plan that tells you otherwise is setting you down a path to diet failure and potential health problems. Instead of cutting out any one food group, try shifting your focus on the more important macros. Protein should be your primary focus, followed by healthy plant-based fats, fiber, and whole-grain carbs. Limit yourself to a few servings of carbs per day—some fruit, and some whole grains—but don’t cut them out completely.
Include Resistance Training
Just doing cardio isn’t going to help you lose weight. In fact, you might see the OPPOSITE effect—you could end up gaining body fat and weight despite your increased stamina. This is because cardio burns body fat, which teaches your body that it needs to store more body fat in order to function. Mixing in resistance training also burns glycogen (blood sugar), and helps your body to activate stored fats as well as use the sugar stored in your body. The combination of resistance and cardio training is exponentially more effective than cardio alone!
Use Carbs for Muscle-Building
Your body needs protein to build new muscle mass, but it takes carbs to sustain your weight lifting activity over the long term. Try to eat most of your carbs directly before and after your resistance training session. Eating them before will give you the energy you need to get through your workout, and eating them after replaces burned carbs to help you get through the rest of your day energized.
Choose Quality Foods
Rather than trying to cut specific foods from your diet, try focusing on eating the highest-quality foods you can find. Load up on high-nutrient veggies, high-fiber whole grains, low-fat animal proteins, healthy plant-based fats, and the antioxidant-rich fruits your body needs. Make sure to get plenty of nuts and seeds, too, as they’re loaded in nutrients. By focusing on healthy foods, you change your diet mindset completely.
Sleep is a vital part of the weight loss process! Not only does it regulate your appetite and your metabolism, but it helps your body to activate and burn fat while you sleep. Make sure to organize your life so you can get a solid seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Your body will thank you!