Since summer is right around the corner, everyone is on the ‘bikini body hype’ before they go on vacation. This is also the time when shady businesses use this opportunity to target women and coax them into purchasing their ‘skinny teas’, ‘skinny wraps’ and ‘waist trainers’ promising fast results. Unfortunately there are still a lot of women out there that will fall into this trap, purchasing one of these so called miracle products.
These products are not only unhealthy but they will not give you the desired results that you are after. Unfortunately when it comes to fitness there are no shortcuts. It will take time, dedication and consistency. Not only will your general wellbeing improve but your confidence will boost tremendously as well. Here are some of my golden rules to help your get rid of that stubborn fat.
Never skip breakfast!
Life can get hectic at times and sometimes we get so caught up in everything that we forget about ourselves. Regardless of how busy your schedule may be always try to eat breakfast every morning. Some good easy breakfast on-the-go ideas are:
-Boiled eggs, with avocado on wheat toast
I eat oats every morning for breakfast (I know I’m boring). But it is the perfect fuel my body needs to kick start my day, especially after an intense workout. Try to opt for a breakfast that is high in protein and high in fiber to give you energy as well as curb those constant cravings. Skip the sugary things for breakfasts like muffins.
Eating more frequently=speeding up metabolism
Studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have suggested that eating more frequently boosts metabolic rates. Now, generally when people hear this they think ‘Great! more frequently= a lot more food’, not necessarily. Taking your daily calories into account, studies have specifically seen that spacing meals at different intervals throughout the day (within your given caloric range) showed metabolic rates increased as opposed to eating the same number of calories split into 2 or 3 meals for the day. Aim to eat your three main meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as three snacks in between and before bed. Try to eat nutrient dense snacks like avocado on rice cakes, carrots and hummus, protein bars, fruit etc. Incorporate more lean protein into meals (0.6 grams per pound of body weight per day). This will not only aid with dietary thermogenesis (calories it takes for your body to digest a meal) but will increase overall satiety as well.
Never underestimate the power of water. This is most people’s down fall. I myself find water to be very bland and boring so I have to spice it up by adding lemons to it. In the past I found it very hard to meet my daily water intake but now I can easily surpass it, drinking more than 3L of water a day thanks to my HydrateM8. As soon as you wake up in the morning try to drink at least 500mls of water before you start your day. This will flush out the toxins in your body, which can allow nutrients to be absorbed easier.
Eat more fats
People often assume that all fat is the same and if you eat it your waistline will increase. Fats such as coconut oil, nuts and avocado are great to help reduce hunger. Consider adding more fats to your diet and cutting back slightly on carbs. While I am a big believer of carbs, everything should be done in moderation. If you are looking to lose weight make sure you are not overdoing it with complex carbs. They can spike your blood sugar and elevate your insulin levels which in turn leads to an increase in fat storage. Try to get at least 25% of your daily calories from healthy fat sources
In order to lose weight you need to ensure that you have worked out your daily caloric limit for your goals as well as make sure that your calories in do not exceed calories out. You will need to remain in a slight caloric deficit, however most people think that with a reduction in calories, they must resort to eating extremely low carb meals all the time like salads. Macronutritents are vital to ensure your body is getting the necessary daily nutrients from your diet. Make sure you have calculated your protein, carbohydrate and fat macronutrients that your body will need daily within your caloric limit.
Add Strength Training
Strength training is something a lot of women are scared of because of the stereotype. A lot of people often associate this type of training with bodybuilding. It is more difficult for women to get ‘bulky’ as our testosterone levels are much lower than males. While it is very efficient in bodybuilding, it is also a great way to burn fat and build lean muscle. In return your body will thank you because your ligaments and tendons will get stronger, your bones will get denser and your posture will improve. So many people think that cardio is the best way to burn fat quickly. While it can help, it does not help with developing the muscles covered by the fat (those chiseled ab muscles that you are dying to reveal to begin with). Too much cardio will result in muscle loss which will make you weaker. Heavy weights are great to help you maintain muscle mass and increase it. Try to incorporate compound exercises into your workout like squats, deadlifts and shoulder presses for 4-8 reps at least 2-3 days a week.
Mix up the cardio
Cardio machines are quite mainstream. Long gone are the days when I would spend hours on the treadmill thinking that it was the key to all of my problems. To avoid reaching a fitness plateau mix up your cardio. Throw in a mixture of LISS (low impact steady state) cardio such as treadmill incline walks and swimming, as well as HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio such as interval sprints and circuits. They all have their own benefits but one thing they both have in common is that they will continue to challenge your body.