It’s that time of year… Cake, alcohol, chocolate and cheese have been liberated to become part of your regular diet and you have decided it has to stop. Welcome to January- this is where epic goals are set, intentions are at their greatest and fear of failure is outweighed by the desperate need to detox (your body doesn’t need to do this by the way- in fact it is always doing this) and to sweat out the sins of sloth and laziness that will on average leave most people 1kg heavier after the holiday period.
But fear not- what follows are (in my opinion) the seven most effective strategies for losing weight. This isn’t a sexy article- I am not selling any supplements, pushing a branded diet, I don’t have a book out and this advice definitely will not appear on the front of a news paper.
Why? The majority of people will understand that each of these points is true they stand up to scientific rigour. However, it doesn’t have a fancy name, doesn’t involve eating certain foods on certain days and comes with no celebrity DVD.
So away we go….
1. Work out how many calories you need and set a deficit of between 300-600 calories a day.
2. Create a meal plan- it doesn’t matter if you eat 1, 3 or 8 meals a day, eat to what your calorific goal suggests. It will help you avoid overconsumption.
3. Understand what is in your food- read the side of packets and weigh out a serving size. Educate yourself about what you are putting in to your body.
4. Eat a high protein diet- it will help with hunger levels, will maintain your muscle mass and help prevent muscle loss.
5. Be consistent with your carbohydrate and fat intake- it’s not really conclusive if low fat or low carb is “better” for fat loss. Some people respond well to different plans- initially just be consistent with how much you are eating.
6. Resistance train. Don’t go for a jog- if you resistance train while you are dieting you will maintain your lean muscle mass, it should be your priority in your training week.
7. Move. Getting stuck to your desk all day is a great way of limiting the amount of calories that you can burn. Get moving, walk up stairs, get a pedometer or use wearable technology like a fitbit or even a pedometer. Try and keep your residual levels of activity as high as possible.
That’s it your ready made guide to kick off the new year, it’s not recommended by a French doctor with an exotic name and it definitely doesn’t mention raspberry ketones, gluten free, prehistoric eating habits, a new training style or have a desperate endorsement from someone on TV but these things work best… pure and simple.