unnamedThis article has been a long time coming, and so after much anticipation, I finally decided to pen down my secrets here so you can try it for yourself. Having said that, the important thing to note is that it actually was not a secret…everything I did, I did with the help of experts in the field of fitness and nutrition. So here goes. My recipe for weight loss.

The Motivation

I have never been excessively overweight but I was overweight none the less. To the point whereby I bought a new wardrobe of bigger clothes that then made me extremely uncomfortable. I found that my confidence was at an all-time low, I could barely manage to take my Staffies for a run, and worse I would just resort to eating to make myself feel better about it all. The result was me being 10kg heavier than I should be at my height and age. This coupled with being called fat and doing a drunk weigh-in one night was enough for me to push harder than I have ever done before.

Acceptance

Accept that there are no quick fixes to weight loss and in order to lose weight, still be healthy and most importantly keep it off, you have to put in the hard work and sacrifices to see results. In fact, it has to be a lifestyle change. Anything but and you would either not lose any weight or worse, you will lose it and pile it on almost instantly after obtaining your goal. If you are hoping for a 3-day miracle that involves you drinking an all-juice diet, a pill that will make the fat vanish or a diet that excessively cuts out food groups then stop reading now, this is none of that.

Research

2wallpaper-439667_largeKnowledge is your best friend…and so is Google to be honest. Find what works best for you. First, understand what your body type is and what your body craves most. For me it was carbohydrates. For some its simple sugars, Iron, and for the lucky few its protein. Once you understand what your body craves, start by eliminating that food group entirely. This gives your body a chance to re-adapt to a new state of normal. Its tough, believe me. But after 3 days of alternatives, I barely missed it. Then once you start seeing weight loss and you plateau, shock your system by adding in good carbs…this gives you that boost to burn more fat. Read up and research what are the good foods, whats best for your body type and what is healthy.

Eating Healthy

Remember eating healthy does not mean you need to starve yourself. Eating healthy is ensuring you are giving your body what it NEEDS vs what you think you WANT. 80{7b66f5b8f9cce5198cdc7f2d96338c3c9bbce7bf1ebd58c7794d60da2dc43006} of weight loss begins in the kitchen. You can be gyming as much as you want, but without changing your food consumption patterns, you can forget drastic improvements.

Exercise

One of the biggest things I have learnt about exercising to lose weight is that weight training will not get you the results you want to see. You have to adopt a 2 phase approach. Cardio is the only thing that will help you drop weight (throughout your body) and once you have dropped mass body fat and you are lean THEN you should include weight training to build muscle. By doing planks, sit-ups and leg curls you are just building muscle that is going to remain hidden under the layers of fat. In order to see those muscles you have to drop your body fat and then build.

Self Discipline

Remember why you are doing this. Remind yourself every day if you have to. By complaining every day about what you CANNOT do, you prohibit your mind from doing what you actually can.

And lastly, here a few quick tips that have worked for me. Remember, I am not an expert in fitness or nutrition so consult with yours before attempting what I suggest here. And remember if you find it is not working for you, research and find what does!

  • Castor Oil – The best natural detox I could think of.  Yes, it is not the most pleasant BUT it’s an instant detox that works. You would only need to do it bi-monthly. And the benefits go beyond that of a weight loss, it also cleans out your pores for brighter and more radiant skin.
  • Sipping on water instead of gulping it – you know they say you need to be drinking 8 glasses of water a day? Well, I found myself trying to gulp a whole lot down at once to reach my target. Instead just sip throughout the day from a bottle. It makes it a breeze to hit your target.
  • Warm water in the morning – by drinking warm water in the morning with a lemon slice, you speed up your metabolism.
  • Green tea at night – it makes you pee a lot BUT it is great for helping with digestion whilst you sleep.
  • Carb alternatives – Checkers and Woolworths have been my best friends for finding carb alternative ingredients. From the Cauliflower and Broccoli noodles (that does not taste bad AT ALL) and Low carb ice cream to the Macadamia Bars, Pumpkin & Coconut Pizza bases and low carb rusks. Look for the blue label that says “Carb Clever” and I assure you, you will not miss your precious carbs.
  • Have a good carb once a week in the form of Brown basmati rice, sweet potatoes or Quinoa.
  • Cut down your portions by eating in a side plate. It tricks your mind into thinking it is a big meal when it actually is not.
  • Do not ever let yourself get to the point of starving. If you feel hungry, drink water or snack on a few almonds, some biltong or berries.
  • Your biggest meal should be breakfast in the morning and thereafter your meals should decrease throughout the day with your smallest meal being in the evening. You do not need a ton of energy to sleep so why give your body too much of it at that hour.
  • Have 5-6 meals a day. Big breakfast, a 10 am snack, 12:30 lunch, 3:30 snack, then supper at no later than 8. If you really can I suggest cutting out supper and having a low carb protein shake.
  • If you insist on having good carbs, have it no later than 1 pm. I suggest keeping your carb intake at once – twice a week though. And for the rest of the days have your carbs in the form of carrots, green beans and peas.
  • Avoid dairy…be it fat-free or low fat. Almond milk is a great alternative if you insist on having milk. Skim milk is also a good option.
  • Cut out sugar in all forms. Even sugar substitutes. Every now and then if you insist on something having something sweet in your tea, opt for no more than a teaspoon of honey but as much as you can avoid it.
  • Stay away from junk food and only eat whole foods. That is chicken, fish and veg.
  • Easy does it on the fruit – Fruit may be healthy but it is high in fructose. Stick to fruits like Strawberries, Cherries, Blackberries, Blueberries etc.
  • Peanut butter helps curbs the sweet cravings. A teaspoon every now and then does the trick.
  •  Remember there is a difference between a meal replacement and a protein shake. A meal replacement has a high carb composition so if you are going to have it, make sure it is during the day or before a workout. A low carb protein shake is just to assist you to recuperate your muscles after a heavy work out. Know the difference and buy accordingly.
  • Do cardio for 70 minutes straight 3 times a week. Anything above 60 minutes and you start burning double the calories per minute.
  • The other two days do compound exercises to burn more calories and tone muscle.
  • Ensure you have a rest day to give your muscles a break. Avoid breaking yourself.
  • Do not become obsessive about calories. Understand that in order for you to burn fat, as a female you need to be consuming a minimum of 1500 calories. As a male in order to lose weight, you need to be consuming 2000 calories. Anything below 1000 for women and men and you are putting your body in a state of a caloric deficit. Here your body gets alarmed and starts reserving whatever remaining calories and starts storing it which is when you start to see a plateau in weight loss.
  • Having said the above make sure you are consuming the GOOD calories. Not junk. Again only stick to WHOLE foods.
  • Incorporate more Fish into your diet, but the right kind. Tuna is a high protein meat that is high in Omegas.
  • Avoid too much of red meat. Remember this is not a Banting diet so avoid high-fat foods.
  • Opt for good fats like Sunflower seeds and Avocado
  • SLEEP – Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Rest does your body wonders in breaking down fat and rehabilitating your body from the exercising.
  • Add chilli to your diet a few times a week to speed up your metabolism.
  • For the days when you have no access to a gym (holidays etc) then go for a run or do a HIIT workout session. (High-Intensity Interval Training) is great for burning double the amount of calories in a short space of time.
  • Get that heart rate up. If you don’t you are wasting your time.
  • And last but not least, START NOW. Don’t wait until tomorrow or Monday or next month, I assure you there is no better time than the present.

And that about sums it up, for now, ladies and gents. I can’t promise that the above will work for you because we are all different but I can assure you that if you even just adapt SOME of the above and keep at it, you will start to see a change. I hope that this journey you are about to embark on is as rewarding and fulfilling for you.

Seri

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