Successful Weight Loss
For sensible, sustainable and successful weight loss, it is essential to combine healthy eating with exercise. Reducing food intake alone by dieting will result in weight loss, but the amount and rate of loss is always improved by an increase in regular exercise.
There are many weight loss diets are on the market today. Although they appear to be different advising you to eat only certain foods or in different combinations, the majority work on the basic principle of reducing overall calorie intake. Consuming less calories than your body needs is the key to weight loss – if carried out sensibly. For sustainable and successful weight loss, it is recommended that you do not go below 1,400 calories per day.
Popular weight loss programs include:
- The Atkins diet
- The GI diet
- Meal replacement diets (Slimfast, Herbalife, Lighter Life, New You etc)
- The Cabbage soup diet
Many of the ‘fashionable’ weight loss diets are so restrictive it is unrealistic to stick to them for long and the majority of us just give up, or worse go on a binge afterwards simply because we are so hungry – resulting in gaining back any of the weight you may have lost and often MORE! The most successful weight loss approach is not to be so restrictive, and set realistic targets of no more than 10% weight loss in one go. Breaking down your weight loss into milestones like this will encourage you to stay motivated and achieve your successful weight loss goal. Cutting down your calorie intake slowly, in stages, allows you to gradually adapt to a new lifestyle and weight loss will soon be achieved. Combining a healthy diet with exercise means weight loss will be achieved even quicker.
Your energy expenditure must be more than your energy intake in order for weight loss to be achieved. The daily recommended intake of calories for a woman is 2,000 and for a man 2,500 (this of course varies for each individual depending on age, height, build etc but these figures give an “average”)
In order to lose 1 pound of body fat your body must burn 3,500 calories. At rest your body burns 1,800 calories (average person) and these calories usually come from the diet. So if you normally consume approximately 2,000 calories a day and you reduce your intake by 500 calories per day, in seven days your body should have burnt off one pound of body fat. The degree with which you reduce your calorie intake compared to what you would usually eat, will determine how much weight you lose. A realistic target is 1 to 2 pounds per week. It is important too that your weight loss is at a steady rate if you are to keep the weight off long term. Forget about weight loss programmes that say quick weight loss or fast weight loss, remember if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is! They will not be sustainable and the chances are they will be some sort of meal replacement – what are you learning if you are swapping out food for shakes or special meals? Once you stop the programme what are you going to do?
Tips to eat healthy & aid weight loss
- Eat breakfast
- Cut down your total fat intake
- Reduce how much sugar you eat
- Cut down on salt
- Limit your alcohol consumption to 1 – 2 drinks a week (normal measures)
- Eating more fruit and vegetables
- Avoid snacking
- Drink water instead of sugary fruit juices
- Having smaller portion sizes
Exercise uses energy in the form of burning calories and exercising, as part of a calorie controlled diet, can cause weight loss. For example, running for 30 minutes at 9 km/hour will burn off approx 320 calories. In theory, if you are consuming 1,800 calories in your diet and running for 30 minutes per day, in 11 days you would lose 1 pound of fat. The ideal way to lose weight is to cut your calorie intake by 500 calories per day AND exercise. For example if you run for 30 minutes per day and also reduce your calorie intake then in 5 days you will have lost 1 pound of fat, making your calorie reduction less drastic and weight loss much more achievable and also makes it happen in more than half the time!
What’s the Best Exercise For Successful Weight Loss?
The simple answer is that the “best” exercise is the one done on a consistent basis and with healthy nutritional habits. To burn fat you have to burn calories and all the aforementioned exercise machines do that, the extent to which each does this is down to the person on a given machine and how much effort they put in. All work the body in different movement patterns but all have the same potential for being the best at burning body fat. An ideal situation would be to actually cross-train and optimise the differences between them by alternating between machines and spending time on some/all of them. Variety is underestimated and research clearly highlights how keeping workouts different accelerates beneficial results due to the constant demand to adapt to change placed on the body. I would suggest choosing free weights but most people only have access to machines so choose what you enjoy (or favour over other machines) and vary the duration and intensity you give to that machine.
An example of two different cardio workouts could be:
- X-trainer 10minutes easy-moderate
- Treadmill 16-20 minutes interval: 3min moderate: 1min hard effort
- Bike 8 minutes moderate-easy = 38minutes total workout time
- Bike: 6 minutes
- Rower: 6 minutes
- X-trainer: 6minutes
- Repeat bike-rower-x-trainer circuit 6 minutes on each X 2 = 36minutes total workout time
If you have more time to train then do it but remember that higher intensity workouts (i.e. treadmill intervals) will not be able to be sustained for as long a period of time! Remember effective and successful weight loss exercise plans should also include some form of resistance training (using weights to improve muscle tone) and would recommend including resistance training into your workouts at least 2 – 3 times per week. Resistance training not only helps to tone your body as you lose weight but also as your muscle mass increases this in turn helps your body to burn MORE calories at rest! Definitely a huge plus point for those trying to lose weight, and more importantly makes it much easier to MAINTAIN your weight once you hit your goal weight!
If you are looking for a successful weight loss programme then make sure to visit our website www.whyweightireland.ie and see for yourself how so many people are losing weight in a healthy, manageable and sustainable way. Read what some of our members think of Why Weight Ireland https://www.whyweightireland.ie/client-testimonials/
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