If you've heard it once, you've heard it a million times: the key to losing weight is to "eat less and move more." While it is often repeated advice, and can work for a period of time, it doesn't exactly paint a complete picture when it comes to weight loss. Trust us, there is a whole lot more going on. The following advice is far more helpful. Based on the ways our bodies actually function, these practical tips will help you maintain momentum and avoid hitting those dreaded weight loss plateaus!
1. Get sufficient sleepIf you are serious about losing weight, you have to make sure you are getting enough sleep. When you don't sleep properly, your hormones will get all out of whack, preventing you from losing weight. Lack of sleep increases your body's production of the hormone ghrelin which, to put it simply, increases your sense of hunger. To make matters worse, being sleep deprived decreases your production of the hormone leptin which helps you to feel satisfied. During this time you are likely to be more interested in simple carbohydrates like a bagel at breakfast or a donut at the office. Lack of sleep can also mean an increase in cortisol (which can cause fat to be stored around your middle) and ups insulin resistance which can increase your risk for diabetes. Ask yourself:
- Am I averaging at least 7 hours of sleep per night?
- If not, am I willing to make concessions to get a better sleep? For example: Can I turn my phone off a little earlier? Can I record my favourite show instead of staying up late to watch it?
2. Don't try to out train your dietIt is unfortunate but sometimes too much exercise can lead to an increase in appetite. If you put in a solid sweat session and then run home and eat and eat and eat, you are likely going to consume far more calories than you burned and you won't lose weight. You have to make sure that what you are doing is in line with your goals. If you are just trying to lose a few pounds, doing intense exercise like two-a-days, insane amounts of steady-state cardio, or spending hours in the weight room every day, can lead to an insatiable appetite and work against your goals. Ask yourself:
- Is the exercise I'm doing increasing my appetite to the point where I might be sabotaging my goals?
- What sort of exercise can I do instead to see how it makes me feel? Why not try the BodyRock 30 Day Bootcamps? Offered at both a Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced level, these programs offer you a real time workouts and encouragement from our trainers in your very own living room! Stream these bootcamps (and so much more) on demand with SweatFlix℠!
3. Eat foods that make you feel satisfiedPeople think eating right is boring. The truth is, it can be both delicious and satisfying. There are foods out there that will fill your stomach and give you that physical sensation of being satisfied but if you aren't enjoying the food, you won't actually be satisfied. Forcing yourself to eat foods you don't like will just cause you to start foraging through your pantry later on in the evening. Fortunately, with the BodyRock Meal Plan you can get 30 days worth of healthy meals and snacks that are sure to satisfy your tastebuds. No more menu planning, no more boring dishes. Each week, we give you a detailed grocery list so all you have to do is grab the ingredients and follow along. And just to help you make sense of your healthy choices, we've included a detailed nutrition guide and an added recipe book with over 70 extra offerings! Why not let us help you balance your diet? Get your BodyRock Meal Plan here! Ask yourself:
- Am I eating foods I can't stand because I feel like I am "supposed" to?
- What can I do to enjoy my eating experience?
4. Choose the right amount of cardioFor a long time, all women ever wanted to do was cardio. Now, many are embracing strength training and heavy lifting. This shift is wonderful but it has also meant that people are throwing cardio under the bus and calling it a waste of time. Cardio is a really powerful fitness tool -- when used correctly. Moderate-intensity, steady-state cardio is a great way to burn calories and it can improve your work capacity which means you can improve your training! It can also help your recover from your strength training sessions. Whatever your chosen cardio activity, make sure it is one that keeps stress levels low and your appetite in check. Ask yourself:
- What type of cardio to I enjoy most?
- Can I spare 20 minutes twice a week to do a low or moderate-intensity cardio workout?
- How did that cardio workout make me feel? Did it increase my appetite? Do I feel energized?If yes, stick with it for a few weeks and see if your weight loss increases.