Nutrition & Exercise for Weight LossDecember 25th, 2013 by David
For successful, healthy and long term weight loss, nutrition and exercise go hand in hand.
Now this does not necessarily call for a gym membership panic-buys. Exercise does not need to involve sweating it out on a treadmill, or joining a weekly spin class. It comes in a whole array of forms – walk faster, more often; go online to find workout videos; go dancing!
The key is consistency. If you do join the gym just be organised and disciplined enough to commit to regular sessions. Investing in a personal trainer can really help to keep you on track. If you vow to walk more, plan your routes and involve friends and family to help motivate you to stick to it.
Exercise really is more of a lifestyle – it should not be restricted to allocated slots in your schedule. Choose to take the stairs over the lift or escalator; walk rather than drive; stretch or do lunges as you dry your hair; and take your dog out more! All the additional steps that you take will add up and make a big difference in helping you reach your goals.
Despite the fact that we are all different, there are a few hard and fast rules to follow… and you’ll be pleased to hear that none involve calorie counting.
- Base your meals and snacks around protein sources such as fish, eggs and chicken. Protein foods help you to feel fuller for longer, and are a preferred source of fuel for the body, therefore they are not automatically stored as fat. (Sugar is automatically stored as fat.) Protein keeps the energy release from food more balanced, lending to fewer cravings or dips in discipline. A portion equal to the size of your palm is recommended to meet your individual requirements. Serve with plenty of vegetables and a little complex carbohydrate if required.
- Eat little and often. This really is key to keeping you feeling satisfied and less likely to cave into cravings or emotional eating – which are two of the main causes of over-eating and weight gain.
- Choose carbohydrates wisely. You want to avoid refined carbohydrates such as white bread, bagels, crackers and rice and instead opt for whole grains like millet, quinoa, sweet potato and brown rice. These are slow releasing carbohydrates, which help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, and balance your blood sugar levels. Remember you don’t need heaps of refined carbohydrates. Vegetables and fruits are recommended to make up the majority of your carbohydrate intake if you are looking to lose weight. If you would like some grain, add 2 level tablespoons, no more.
- Fibre is absolutely essential for aiding weight loss. It promotes the elimination of waste. Aim for 9 portions of fresh produce a day – mainly in the form of vegetables. Have a few portions of dried fruit a week – each portion made up of no more than 3 pieces.
- Essential fats are vital for good health and managing a healthy weight. They help to fuel your body’s fat burning mechanisms. Include 2-3 portions a week of oily fish in your diet, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. Avocados, olives, seeds and nuts also provide good levels of essential fats.