MOST people think losing weight involves gruelling sessions in the gym and a rigorous diet.
However, blitzing body fat doesn’t need to be as taxing as this – and extreme weight loss regimes actually rarely keep the kilos at bay in the long term.
Instead, there are several ways you can blitz body fat fast – without having to work too hard or stepping foot into a busy and expensive gym.
Here, we take you through some of the main ways you can maximise your weight loss this year…
1. Swap the gym for running
If your gym membership expired in 2019, then don’t worry about renewing it.
There are plenty of other ways you can get in shape without being shut away in a stuffy gym – you just need to make sure you’re raising your heart rate.
In particular, running is possibly one of the best forms of exercise out there – and it burns more calories than most other forms of fitness with the average person burning between 80 to 140 calories in just one mile.
On top of this, it’s free and you can do it anywhere, with friends and family.
Olympic runner Jo Pavey recommends people new to running take their time and aren’t frightened by the fact they might not be able to run very far at first.
She said: “You don’t need to keep running, you can maybe try and jog for a couple of minutes, walk for a couple of minutes, jog for a couple of minutes and gradually build up your confidence.”
2. Keep your diet simple
There is a lot of conflicting information out there surrounding diets and what people should and shouldn’t be eating.
In particular, many people claim cutting out carbs or fats out of your diet will help you lose weight.
Despite this, top dietitians say keeping your diet simple and eating a range of different foods is actually more effective at helping people keep the weight off.
Registered dietitian Helen Bond told The Sun: “Cutting out carbs like bread, rice, pasta and removing a whole food group without any medical need means that most people who go on a low carb diet will lose weight, and very quickly.
Carbs are a key part of a healthy balance diet
Helen Bond, registered dietitian
“But the majority of the weight loss comes from the loss of water and muscle, not fat which is what you need to keep the weight off.
“Carbs are a key part of a healthy balance diet and bring with them B vitamins for energy and fibre for a healthy gut.
“Carbs and fibre are also the food for our gut microbes which new research also links to better weight and health overall.”
3. Don’t beat yourself up
Results NEVER happen over night, it takes time – so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t see yourself losing weight straightaway.
Blitzing body fat and keeping it off goes far beyond what happens in just a couple of weeks.
Congratulate yourself when you make achievements and keep reminding yourself that more will follow if you keep it going.
4. Chill out
The hamster wheel of life – work, eat, sleep, repeat – can leave many feeling stressed but a hectic lifestyle could also lead to you piling on excess weight too.
The stress hormone, cortisol aside, stress actually makes it way harder for you to say “no” to booze and biscuits.
Scientists from UNSW have been working out why it’s so hard to ignore unhealthy foods.
Top tips on how to relax
- Turn your phone off – Half the problem is that we’re so contactable all the time. As soon as you can, turn off your phone at home and just enjoy being off-grid.
- Set yourself a proper bedtime – Sleep is so crucial for wellbeing and fat loss. A lack of it has been found to really contribute to piling on the pounds, as well as poor mental health.
- Download a meditation app – Apps like Headspace offer five, ten and 15-minute meditations for those of us who struggle to concentrate on switching off.
- Have a hot bath – A hot bath twice a week has been found to be “better than exercise” for easing depression, and is great for taking down stress in general.
- Use a foam roller to relieve tension – Your muscles can get super tight if you’re exercising regularly or walking around. Foam rollers can help to release the tension and they’re quite cheap (like this one, £10, from Amazon).
They found that feeling stressed, tired or overworked makes it almost impossible to ignore cues that signal something rewarding – like unhealthy food.
If you are experiencing stress, then you need to remove yourself from situations where you’re likely to be tempted to give in to your weakness.
5. Record what you eat
Tracking the food your eating is key when it comes to blitzing body fat.
A 2019 study even revealed that people who tracked their food daily using a fitness app lost the most weight compared to those who used the app less diligently.
There are plenty of free apps you can download including MyFitnessPal, which calculates your daily calorie intake and allows you to log what you eat throughout the day from a nutrition database of over six million different foods.
It will also help you understand how the portions of food you eat each day stack up in comparison to one another.
6. Drink more water
It may seem a bit contradictory, but one of the best ways to lose water weight is to actually drink more water.
That’s because if you’re constantly dehydrated, your body tends to retain more water in an attempt to prevent its water levels getting too low.
Water also boosts your metabolism, cleanses your body of waste and acts as an appetite suppressant, experts say.
Guidelines suggest about two litres per day, but it can vary from person to person, so simply drink when you’re thirsty and stop when you feel well hydrated.
You can usually use your urine colour as an indicator of hydration – if it’s light yellow or fairly clear then you’re well hydrated.
When it’s dark yellow or amber then you need to be drinking more water.