Self confidence often stems from your own body image. Most people want to have a healthy body, which looks good and inspires self confidence. Unfortunately, no matter what diet you try, it is often the case that the pounds stubbornly refuse to come off. The following tips should help you achieve the body of your dreams:
- Eat fewer calories
This is a basic principle which anyone who wants to lose weight must adhere to. Your body will require a certain amount of calories every day. The average male requires 2,500 calories whilst the average woman only needs 2,000. Of course, these are average figures and a more accurate approach will be to work out how many calories you personally consume on an average day. There are two parts of the equation to work out this information:
- Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR) – this is calculated using the following formula:
66 + (13.7 x weight in kilos) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)
- Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is your BMR times one of the following numbers:
1.2: if you engage in little or no exercise
1.375: if you undertake light exercise; between one and three times a week.
1.55: if you are moderately active; between three and five times a week.
1.725: if you are extremely active; between six and seven times a week.
Once you have your TDEE you will know how many calories your body needs every day. Simply subtract 500 from this and that is how many calories you need to eat to guarantee weight loss.
- Diet or Cardio
A diet is far more important than cardio in terms of weight loss. Cardio will improve fitness and provide a host of health benefits. However, if it is undertaken whilst adhering to a poor diet there will be little or no benefit. Any improvements resulting from the exercise will be destroyed by the poor diet with lack of vitamins and minerals. To put this in perspective, an hour running in the gym can be wasted just by indulging in a chocolate bar – both have around 500 calories.
- Keeping insulin levels low
Insulin is an essential hormone which is naturally produced in your body. It assists with processing food and is usually higher after eating and lower when you are not. Unfortunately, high levels of insulin means that your body will be storing fat. This means that no matter how hard you exercise or control your diet, your body will continue to store fat. The hoped weight loss will not be achieved. Keeping your carbohydrate and sugar intake to a minimum will help to keep your insulin levels low.
- Workout comes first
When you first wake up your body has been effectively fasting. If you exercise at this point, before you have any breakfast you will be burning fat rather than glucose. The glucose, or glycogen levels in your body will be low due to the sleeping process and your body will convert stored fat to energy instead.
There is a secondary benefit to working out first thing in the morning. It gives your metabolism a boost at the start of the day and a workout increase your calorie burning rate for up to twelve hours after the workout has finished.
- Don’t weigh yourself too much
Many people who diet like to look at the scales every day. As the diet starts to work the scales will be going in the right direction. However, your weight will naturally fluctuate. This can be thanks to more water retention than usual or when you last ate. A more accurate picture can be provided by weighing yourself just once a week. Always use the same scales and do it at the same time of the day. This will provide you with the most accurate results possible.
Mirrors can also present a problem. Your mind will be clouded by a perception of yourself. You can stand in front of the mirror one day and think you look great. The next day you may think you look fat. Mirrors are affected by light, distance, angles and our perception and are not a reliable source of how a diet is progressing. A safer method of monitoring weight loss is to use a tape measure to measure your hips, thighs and your stomach – but only weekly!