With so much information out there on weight loss, it can be difficult to know where to start.
There are many misleading articles claiming certain supplements will “burn belly fat”, or exercises which will “banish love handles”.
But for the most part, losing weight is very simple – to lose fat you have to burn more calories than you consume in a day.
Ultimate Performance (UP), the world’s leading personal training business, says as long you are exercising regularly and following a calorie controlled diet – you will see results.
Here personal trainer and body transformation expert at UP, Elliott Upton, has revealed his key tips he gives his clients to lose weight.
“The next step is all about consistency and tracking what, and how much, you’re eating to make sure you’re remaining in a calorie deficit to sustain this weight loss”
Elliott Upton – Personal Trainer
How to lose weight fast:
Many people are struggling to lose weight because they are simply consuming too many calories, says Elliott.
He recommends finding out your “maintenance level”, the amount of calories your body needs to maintain weight.
Then reduce the intake between 10%-20%.
Elliott explained: “The next step is all about consistency and tracking what, and how much, you’re eating to make sure you’re remaining in a calorie deficit to sustain this weight loss and not unknowingly straying into a ‘calorie surplus’ and gaining weight.”
2. Eat protein at every meal
With weight loss you are going to want to lose fat but not muscle.
Protein is responsible for the repair and regrowth of muscle tissue, which means eating protein at every meal is important.
Elliott explained: “Not only that, but protein is really satiating.
“This means it will help you feel full for a lot longer, so you don’t get hungry between meals, fall off the wagon and snack on calorie-laden junk foods that will dent your weight loss efforts.”
Ellott recommends women should eat between 20-30g of protein per meal.
3. Prepare your meals
Preparing meals throughout the day means you won’t be tempted to grab the nearest convenience food.
Elliot recommends buying food in bulk, because it’s cost-effective and means you can portion it out.
Also, batch cook your food so you can freeze them for a later date.
4. Reduce your carbs initially
Carbs are not completely evil, but at the start of your weight loss journey you could use a kick-start.
Elliott explained; “It’s always best to start by cutting out highly-processed sources of carbs from your diet (bread, pasta, cereal and baked goods) and replacing them with green vegetables and carb sources with a lower glycemic load (like sweet potato).
“Green vegetables are particularly good – firstly because they’re full of vitamins and minerals, but also because they’re very low calorie, so you can eat them in large quantities without pushing the calorie count up too high.
“The high fibre content of green vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli aids digestion and helps keep you feeling fuller for longer.”
5. Eat healthy fats
Fats contain more calories than protein and carbs, so it’s easier to overeat.
Fats are important when it comes to reducing your intake of carbs, but you want the right kind.
Elliott said: “Healthy sources of fat to include in your weight loss diet are Going low carb for a short period is a great way to kick-start weight loss – nothing is more motivating that seeing progress in the first week or two.
“Always avoid man-made ‘trans’ fats which can be pro-inflammatory and are associated with myriad health complications.”
6. Boost your daily activity levels
To lose weight you have to increase your general activity throughout the day.
And not just by going to the gym int he evening.
He said: “So many people fall into the trap of thinking all they need to do is a quick hour session in the gym to lose weight.
“But if they’re sedentary for the other 23 hours in the day, their overall energy expenditure will still be pretty low.’
One of the biggest weight-loss tools can be “non-exerts activity thermogenesis”, which is the activity we use doing activities that aren’t exercise.
For example shopping, walking, cleaning.
Elliott recommends clients to aim for 10,000 steps a day.
7. Start resistance training
Following a challenging weight training program is one of the best ways to lose weight fast.
Elliott recommends doing “compound” exercises such as squats, deadlifts and pull-ups.
These are a great way to get more muscle mass to burn more calories.
Elliott explained: “If you are trying to lose fat and shed some unwanted pounds, lifting hard and heavy is incredibly effective. Doing 1,000 reps with a 2kg dumbbell isn’t enough to stimulate muscle growth needed to improve body composition.
“If you’re new to weightlifting, it’s best to start out performing a full-body workout programme three times a week.”
8. Drink more water
It’s crucial to part of any weight loss programme to drink a lot of water.
Specific to weight loss, Elliot explained: “Not getting enough water means your liver will metabolise less fat as it has to step in and assume some of the functions of your kidneys when dehydration sets in.:
Water can also help you fill up more, starve off hunger and keep you from overeating.
He continued: “A good daily water intake target to aim for is around 1 litre per 25kg of bodyweight.”
9. Improve your sleep
The relationship between sleeping well and losing weight is well-documented.
He explained: “When you’re sleep deprived, cortisol levels increase to help keep the body running – this, however, results in fatigue, food cravings, mental fog and lower ‘real’ energy.
“Lack of sleep puts you at higher risk of weight gain – and of that gained weight, more of it is likely to come from body fat.
For anyone who has lost weight, sleep loss puts us at 40% higher risk of total regain.”
Keep in mind the NHS recommends eating a healthy, balanced diet of 2,500 calories for men and 2,000 for women to maintain weight.