It takes a lot of hard work and discipline to achieve an enviable toned body. But with a some basic nutritional knowledge you could achieve your goals faster than you thought. Getting the right balance of food, exercise and dedication may seem a hard task but putting your mind to it is the first hurdle. For starters, try following these eight essential nutrional tips
1. Eat more often!
That's right. By spacing out your meals to every 2.5 - 3 hours you will actually help yourself lose weight. Instead of eating 3 large meals a day, divide this into 6 smaller meals. Not only will the more regular flow of nutrients into your body help raise your metabolism (and burn more fat in the long-run), you will also feel less hungry.
2. Don't forget Brekkie!
Research has shown that people who miss breakfast find it harder to lose weight. Breakfast, in short, is the most important meal of the day and is essential for getting your metabolism firing. Let this be your biggest meal of the day - after all, you've starved yourself for at least 8 hours whilst sleeping.
3. Take your time
It can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full after you have finished eating. Don't rush your food and savour every mouthful. The more slowly you eat, the fuller you're going to feel
4. Eat protein at every meal
Put simply, foods high in protein make you feel fuller quicker and for longer. Choose meats such as chicken, turkey, or low fat mince, or any type of fish. Protein is also essential for muscle growth and repair
5. Cutting the calories
To lose a pound of bodyfat, you must burn the equivalent of 3500 calories- now how many packets of crisps is that? If you cut your daily calorie intake by 500 calories a day (about a chocolate bar and a bag of crisps), you'll be losing 1 pound a week. Do this for 3 months and you've lost almost a stone! You don't need to become a calorie counting junkie- just remove foods from your diet you don't really need (however tempting). Increasing the amount of cardiovascular exercise will also help burn the fat. Start of slow and build up - try running for 30 minutes 3 times a week and if you've got more energy, try longer/more regular intervals.
6. Carbs are good
As much as you may have heard about the infamous Atkins diet, carbohydrates are NOT the enemy. We need carbohydrates for energy whether for short burts or long-sustained energy sources. Without carbohydrates our bodies may find it hard to adjust to this inherent energy deficit. You may have heard of the glycemic index. Without going into too much detail, the GI is a ranking of foods based on their immediate effect on blood sugar levels. Higher GI foods (i.e. more sugary) are required after exercise to replenish drained sources and lower GI foods for the rest of the time. As a rule of thumb, stick to complex carbohydrates which take a long time to digest and have a more prolonged release of energy. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates include vegetables, whole grains, and beans.
7. Drink Enough Water
Water is a fundamental part of our lives. It is easy to forget how completely we depend on it. Aside from aiding in digestion and absorption of food, water regulates body temperature and blood circulation, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, and removes toxins and other wastes. Among its other benefits, water plays a major part in weight loss. Since water contains no calories, it can serve as an appetite suppressant, and helps the body metabolize stored fat - it may possibly be one of the most significant factors in losing weight. If you find yourself getting hungry quickly, trying drinking a pint of water to curb your appetite.
8. Try not to eat before bed
If you're trying to lose weight, this is an excellent method to shift the pounds. Clearly our energy levels plummet whilst we sleep hence it is harder for our bodies to burn the excess calories eaten during the late evening. This is often a simple mistake 'dieters' make early on. Save your food for when you're awake!
An active lifestyle is above all the most important factor in losing weight. See further Exercise tips in the Team Fitsense features section