Just a quick note before we get started, this blog is by no means at all suggesting that everyone needs to lose weight. However, if you feel like you want to shed a few pounds, here are some tips on how we would approach losing weight in a way that's effective, healthy but also sustainable.
Trying to lose weight can be a frustrating experience but you can make it a whole lot easier if you follow these top tips!
1) A "Structured" Calorie Deficit
A major reason why fat loss goals fail is because people do too much too soon, either they lower their daily calories too much or start hitting the gym too much, or a combination of both...either way, it's unsustainable and typically you don't get the results you want.
The single most important factor to consider when it comes to losing weight is creating a consistent calorie deficit, in other words, you need to be consuming less calories than you burn each day in order to lose fat. It's that simple.
How you achieve that calorie deficit is largely up to you and can be tailored to suit your lifestyle. Some people like to fast in the morning in an attempt to reduce their overall calories consumed throughout the day, others like to exercise more in order to burn more calories.
Either way, diets & exercise plans provide a means of achieving a calorie deficit which causes you to lose weight, rather than said specific diet or exercise plan being the magic pill for losing weight. Once you understand that, you're able to make rational decisions as how best to lose weight for you and your lifestyle.
No matter how you hope to achieve your calorie deficit, you'll first need to calculate how many calories you typically burn per day. Once that's done, aim for a deficit of no more than 500 calories a day below your maintenance calories & keep your protein intake high!
If you're not sure how to work this all out, talk to one of our personal trainers!
2) Don't forget to strength train
You may assume that the key to losing weight is hours of cardio. Cardio can certainy help weight loss and is effective for burning calories but strength training should remain at the centre of your exercise routine even when trying to lose fat.
1) Strength training raises your metabolism for hours after you train compared to steady state cardio (which does not), therefore helping you to reach your fat loss goals more quickly & sustainably compared to performing cardio alone.
2) As previously noted, in order to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit. When exercising in a calorie deficit, your body can burn muscle and fat, however, strength training is an effective way of keeping hold of as much muscle as possible.
3) & lastly as previously explained, put simply...strength training can build muscle. Muscle burns more energy than fat, thereby raising the amount of calories you burn at rest. In other words, having more muscle increases the amount of calories your body needs to stay at your current weight and essentially raises your caloric ceiling on the quantity you can eat. Whilst this point highlights why you should consistently strength training as supposed to specifically when trying to lose weight, it is helpful nonetheless in explaining the importance of strength training.
3) Follow a plan and be patient
As with every goal you have in the gym or outside of it, having a clear structured approach to what you're trying to achieve is key to giving yourself the best possible chance of reaching those goals. What's more, when you know you're following a structured plan, you'll feel confident in what you're doing and be more patient as you progress towards your goals.
If you're not sure what to do...talk to one of our awesome personal trainers. They can offer you a tailored meal plan based on what you're trying to achieve as well as an exercise plan to match!