There’s a ton of information out there about weight loss and exercise. It makes it difficult to know whether to raise the bench press bar or simply raise the bar with healthier eating.
Exercise is essential for a healthy body but without changing your diet you’ll continue to pound the treadmill without seeing a pound drop from your waistline. You can be training every day of the week but if you’re eating more kilojoules than you burn your problem is only getting larger.
The issue with exercise alone is that it produces hormones that increase appetite. A solid hour at the gym may burn 2000 kilojoules but that’s only the equivalent of one Mars Bar. Training also burns more kilojoules initially but then the effect plateaus as our body adjusts.
We have made eating complicated with diets and misinformation produced for the masses. Eating should be simple and tailored to the individual. What works for the lean brunette on the stair master next to you may not work for you.
Changing bad habits is a good place to start. Open your pantry and see how many high energy, processed foods you have. If these are right in view put them to the top of your cupboard for occasional use. Try thinking of healthy snacks that you like and could have on hand when you feel hungry.
Choose snacks like Greek yoghurt, wholegrain cereal, low fat milk, fruit, vegetables or low-fat cheese. Energy from snacks can really add up. Replacing your orange juice with an orange is going to save you about 600 kilojoules with added fibre to make you feel fuller.
It’s worth thinking about your serving bowls and plates. Serving sizes can really weigh heavily on your weight loss goals. Start using a bit less of that plate space or smaller bowls so that you’re really aware of your portion sizes.
Eat slowly so you can stop just before you feel full. Focus on your eating and not on Instagram so that you’re aware of what you’re consuming. TV is another big distracter. Try to use hunger as your guide not The Bachelor. Also, be aware of emotional cues that affect your eating such as a bad day at work or a late night.
Develop a pattern and routine to your eating. Eat your meals and snacks at around the same time each day. Don’t skip meals as this will probably just lead to overwhelming hunger and you’ll overeat or make poor food choices. It’s a good idea to eat most meals at home if you can.
Drinking water with snacks and meals really helps. It not only makes us feel fuller but also slows down our eating. It reminds us that we might actually be thirsty not hungry. We consume too many kilojoules through juice, soft drink and coffee instead of water. Cutting back on a stout on a Friday will make you less likely to look like one yourself.
It might be time to ponder if the dairy milk in your house has become too abundant. You pay a hefty price for consuming too much of the wrong food after your gym session. Make some broad changes and combine a well-rounded diet with a heavy workout. You’ll soon see the solid progress you make in your weight game.