Good evening! Thanks for continuing to read my Self Help Tips Blog. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, summer is finally upon us! As a result, tonight I would like to discuss several tips that you can use to increase your chances for summer weight loss.
With good beach-going weather in our sights, it’s that time of year when everyone wants to look impressive in their "lack" of clothing. While I can’t promise you that you’ll achieve a perfectly proportional model’s body, I can give you some simple but important tips for achieving a leaner physique. Always remember: behavioral changes guarantee your success - not just knowledge alone. You may have already decided on your nutritional plan and workouts, so take your strategy and ACT on it. Stay motivated and consistently remind yourself of your fitness goal. If you’re still having trouble, here are 11 basic tips to get you jumpstarted!
1. Cut the “simple” carbs.
It’s unfortunate that the majority of us are "carb junkies." This applies to overweight individuals in particular, mainly because their bodies struggle with insulin sensitivity. Our bodies definitely need carbohydrates, but we need to learn to appropriately reverse the ratio of simple carbs (high glycemic) to complex carbs (low glycemic). The most important thing to do is reduce your total sugar intake. Having a positive ratio of complex to simple carbs will allow your body to regulate blood sugar levels, burn more fat as fuel, and ultimately lose more weight.
2. Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
Smaller, frequent servings every 3 to 4 hours will prevent your blood sugar levels from dramatically spiking throughout the day. As a result, your hormones will stay in check and in turn regulate your feelings of hunger. Ultimately, small and frequent portions help elevate metabolism, take less of a toll on your digestive system and can eventually provide you with more energy throughout the day.
3. Consume more functional fats.
Essential fatty acids such as omega-6 and omega-3, consumed in appropriate ratios of 2:1 (or better yet at 1:1) will allow your body to regulate hormones, calm inflammation and stabilize blood sugar levels. Eventually, doing so will lead to greater fat loss. So suck it up, and buy your fish and flax oils at the local health food store.
4. Drink more water.
Water is often overlooked, but it is the number one nutrient that our bodies need to survive. Staying hydrated aids with digestion, curbs your appetite and flushes out metabolic waste. Make sure to drink at least 64 ounces per day.
5. Increase your fiber intake.
Fiber keeps food moving along your gastrointestinal tract and much like water, it aids in flushing metabolic waste. Fiber also helps maintain consistent energy levels, slows the rate of carbohydrate digestion and stabilizes blood sugar levels.
6. Limit your alcohol intake.
Not only is alcohol estrogenic (negatively affecting testosterone levels in men), but it can also lead to fat gain and has a whopping 7 nutrition-less calories per gram. Even worse, it takes precedence over fat metabolism when introduced into the body. Alcohol actually shuts down the fat burning mechanism for up to 48 hours, so avoid it as much as possible.
7. Spice up your metabolism.
Introducing a variety of spices into your food such as curry, cayenne pepper, jalapeños and certain herbs can help boost your metabolism. Spices also help stabilize blood sugar levels.
8. Combine weight training with your cardio routine.
Even though aerobic exercises can burn a lot of calories, especially when maintained at a high intensity, you’ll achieve better results by combining them with resistance training. I say this because proper resistance training will exert both of your muscles’ fiber types (Type 1 and Type 2). When you effectively work your muscles, you either maintain, tone and strengthen your current muscle mass, or you might even gain some more muscle. Every pound of muscle you gain equates to 50 extra calories that your body can burn per day. So remember to hit the weights at least three times per week, along with your regular cardio routine.
9. Eat slower.
It seems like no one gets to sit down and have a nice, relaxing meal nowadays, especially with our increasingly hectic schedules. Paying attention and learning how to slow down the pace at which we eat can prevent compulsive overeating and assists the digestive process. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize when your body is full. You worked hard for your meal… slow down, relax and enjoy it.
10. Be weary of food allergies.
Many people are allergic to dairy and wheat products. Even mild allergic reactions to these two food categories have been known to cause weight gain. If you’re consuming a diet that is high in refined foods, these sensitivities will become more apparent. The allergic reactions can result in digestive problems such as bloating, stomach pain and water retention. If you’re not sure about an allergy, you may want to consider taking an allergy test.
11. Get more antioxidants.
Getting your daily dose of antioxidants from a good multi-vitamin, a specific antioxidant supplement combination or even a healthy combination of fruits and vegetables is an important step in combating the toxins held in fat cells. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E, polyphenols in green tea and the lycopene in tomatoes can help your body reduce the time that toxins stay in your system.
Summer weight loss doesn’t have to be something that you can only dream of. With the above tips, I hope that you will be able to work your way towards a toner, leaner and more attractive you.
Filed under Exercise by Jeff