Wednesday, 30 January 2013

My Weight Loss - Tips & Tricks


This year, along with a ridiculously high proportion of the country, I made a resolution: to lose weight.  Generic and obvious I know but I decided this would be the year that I finally get the body I’ve always wanted, in a healthy way.  So far, I’ve lost 6 pounds of my 14 pound aim and I couldn’t be happier.  It hasn’t been easy but it also hasn’t be ridiculously hard so I thought I’d share with you my tips and tricks – calories, exercise, chocoholism and all!


It’s all in the maths

At the end of the day the simple fact is this: in order to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume.  It really is that easy – if you burn off more than you consume, you WILL lose weight.  Now as humans, we burn calories every day just by living and as such, we all have a BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which is, simply put, the number of calories you would burn if you just lay in bed all day.

You can work yours out here.

Once you have that number, you can use the Harris Benedict Equation to work out your daily calories needs based on your lifestyle and level of activity.

As there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, you will need to reduce this daily number by 500 to lose 1 pound a week or 1000 calories to lose 2 pounds a week, which is the recommended maximum. 
The important thing to remember is that as you lose weight, your body will require fewer calories so you may need to check your numbers every so often to ensure you are not consuming more calories than necessary.

Sounds easy, right?!

Keeping Track

It is all well and good working out the figures but keeping track is one of the hardest parts.  That’s where my little miracle comes into play – MyFitnessPal.


This genius app/website keeps a log of your meals, snacks, exercise, weight, measurements…basically everything you could ever want.  You can also tailor your profile to how many calories you want to consume to ensure it is personal to you.  However the best part is the barcode scanner – simply scan your food and it will log all the nutritional information immediately – doing all the hard work for you.

Food – Where to get your calories from

Once you’ve worked out how many calories you need, it really is up to you where you get them from.  You could use all 1,200+ on 5 chocolate bars however you will soon realise this won’t give your body the fuel it needs and you’ll end up tired, miserable and completely un-motivated.

I therefore stick to the ‘1 ingredient rule.’  My favourite phrase being: ‘If it came from the earth or it had a mother, you can eat it.’  That means no processed ready meals, no sauces full of rubbish, no fizzy drinks packed full of sweeteners  – just healthy food that I can identify all of the ingredients in. 


Obviously nobody can be perfect 100% of the time which is where the 80/20 rule comes in – allow yourself to be naughty 20% of the time and you won’t crave all your favourite foods and risk giving in.  For example, I eat chocolate every day (I am a true addict!) – in the form of a Freddo or other snack size favourite; 100 calories isn’t going to tip you over the edge.

Exercise – How to work your calories off

Obviously you can reduce your calories purely by food however if you want a truly lean body, this probably won’t be enough.  Muscle requires more calories to maintain that fat meaning that once you’ve built muscle, your body will use up more calories even when sitting watching the TV.  Also, burning calories off means you can eat more – it really is a win/win situation! 

My favourite free workouts are found on Fitness Blender – this site probably deserves a post of its own.  It’s like having a personal trainer right there in your room and there are so many videos to choose from you will never get bored.  My personal favourites are the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts and with videos ranging from 5 to 90 minutes, there really is no excuse not to work out every day.

If, like me, you’ve avoided exercise your entire life, this won’t come overnight but it does become easier every day.  They say it takes doing something 21 times for it to become a habit – give yourself 3 weeks of doing a small workout every day; trust me, you’ll never go back.


Extra Tips and Tricks

Instagram 
There are hundreds of amazing fitsporation accounts on Instagram.  Trust me, when you’re craving a pizza but log onto your timeline to photos such as the below, you suddenly don’t want that junk anymore.


Look Good
It’s shallow but true – having great workout gear will make you feel better about things.  Who ever felt great in an old t-shirt and pair of worn out leggings?!

Sleep
Simple but so effective.  Lack of sleep can lead to the production of cortisol in your body which aids fatty deposits around your abdomen – the most dangerous area to carry fat.  Working out will allow you to sleep better which will reduce these levels – another win/win.




Losing weight is really hard but hopefully some of the above information will help you on your way.  
What are your favourite tips?  Any amazing workout DVDs you have found?  Please comment and let me know!
xxx

27 comments:

  1. Loved this post! I'm not really trying to lose weight but have been trying to do more exercise this year so will definitely check out the website you recommended xx

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    1. You definitely have to - it is absolutely amazing! Let me know what you think of it! xx

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  2. Great tips! I really agree w/the 80/20 count... 20% of naughty eating is very indulging when you need it the most :D Keep going!!! It's only January and you have only a few pounds more to shred!

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    1. Absolutely - without that 20% I think I'd go mad! Thank you for the motivation as well - the last 8 is in sight! xx

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  3. This was so good to read! I've just joined a gym and this has given me so much more inspiration and motivation x

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    1. Ah thank you sweetheart! Hope it all goes well for you! xx

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  4. After reading this post i feel the need to put my trainers on and get my bum down the gym! - Great post!

    Hayley xo

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    1. Thank you! I dare you - you'll feel great afterwards! xx

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  5. I've just posted about getting back to the gym too and these are some really useful tips x

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    1. Thanks lovely! It's all about the little changes xx

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  6. Great post! I've also jst done one on fitness :) You have my favourite workout quote up there - I gym every day and have never regretted it :)

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    1. I have definitely got the fitness bug! Wouldn't look back now xx

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  7. Congrats on losing 6lb-that's amazing! Once I'm back up on my feet and can start doing something I'm definitely going to start getting in to shape! Good luck with the next 8lb :) xx

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    1. Thank you sweetheart! I hope you're back on your feet soon :) xx

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  8. Really useful post! Especially on Fitness Blender- I had no idea it existed and it looks like such a good source of info.I also find BeFit on Youtube really good if you want to check that out.
    I'm 5lbs down and more determined than ever :)

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    1. It's such an amazing site - completely changed my attitude towards working out. Well done on your 5lbs - I'll definitely check out BeFit xx

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  9. Love this post!! Exactly what I was looking for, thank you so much for the BMR information, now I can actually make the most of MyFitnessPal.
    As for recommendations, Zuzka Light on YT is really good, she does short workouts using only bodyweight or sometimes handweights, I did her ab workout that she did for bodybuilding.com today, all I can say is ouch!
    On Facebook and Twitter I would recommend The Skinny Rules with Katie and Fit Chick Facts. Both are qualified personal trainers and post healthy meal recipes and exercise ideas, only with motivational pictures and pictures of their clients that have lost weight.
    If you're looking for some exercise ideas for the gym check out sospersonaltraining.com then onto the blog, loads of great workouts on there.

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    1. You're welcome! Thank you so much for your recommendations - going to investigate tonight! xx

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  10. I am currently trying to log my diet and bits. I love myfitnesspal... it is such an eye opener to what is actually in the foods that we eat in terms of calories. I have just started Jillian Micheals 30 day shred... and I think it is amazing! I have notice difference in just a couple of days. Would recommend, and I agree with your instagram comment... I have recently started following a fitspo person who person frequently and it helps keep me on track :) Awesome post - I look forward to your future updates and tips :) x

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    1. It really is - it makes you realise exactly what you're putting in your body. I tried the 30 day shred a few years ago but never really got into it - will definitely give it another shot! xx

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  11. Such a great post. I love all the links you have put in :). My weight loss/getting healthy will be starting from 1st of Feb and will be documenting it on my blog as well I am hoping that will help me keep motivated xx

    swirliciousbeauty.blogspot.com

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  12. Thanks sweetheart! I hope the links are useful :) It's definitely so motivating to keep a log of it - it helps on ensuring you don't go back to old ways! xx

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  13. Thank you for posting this and spreading the truth about weight loss and thank you for the motivation x

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post Nee :) xx

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  14. A very motivational post! I love the instagrams and tumblrs with tips and messages xx

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    1. They really do help don't they?! And I need all the help I can get! xx

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  15. Great post! I've been making a real effort to lose weight this year and your blog post has given me so many useful hints and tips x

    peoniesandlilies.com

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