Often people who want to achieve their weight goal adopt restrictive and drastic diets to get immediate results. Diets that are about losing weight fast are actually very harmful to your health.
Steady physical activity is important
To lose weight effectively and safely you need to be patient and follow a healthy and balanced diet, coupled with a programme of steady physical activity; increasing in duration. This way, you’ll lose weight but not your health. And to get good results in the long term, you should also get advice from a doctor, a nutritionist or a dietician who will recommend the right diet; taking into account the right calorie intake depending on the exercise programme you want to do and your specific goals.
Daily physical activity
In order to benefit from exercising, you have to gradually increase the intensity and frequency of training. This is key for overall weight loss. Physical activity should be done every day or at least five times a week. To lose weight, it’s ideal to train for 6-7 days a week for 40-50 minutes, rather than train three times a week for two hours. Even just 30 minutes of daily physical exercises broken into three sessions of 10 minutes every day may be sufficient to increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
What the Basal Metabolic Rate is
The basal metabolic rate affects the rate that you burn calories and ultimately whether you maintain, gain, or lose weight. Your basal metabolic rate accounts for about 60 to 75% of the calories you burn every day.
When you start exercising, you consume more or less in equal parts carbohydrates and lipids, especially if you work at a low intensity and for a limited time. After about an hour of activity up to 80% of lipids are required for energy, and only 20% of glucose and / or glycogen. As the intensity of exercise increases - the use of fatty acids and glucose increases. Therefore physical activity and nutrition are two complementary elements.
Nutrition for effective weight loss
The easiest solution might be to eat less, eliminating some particular foods from your diet, but this actually limits the supply of nutrients essential for the body. The goal is to consume more calories but reduce your calorie intake by limiting (not eliminating) foods that contain too many calories and empty calories.
If you do aerobic activity long-term, you’ll need large quantities of carbohydrates to avoid an energy crash due to lack of sugar. If you’re more of a body builder, you’ll require high amounts of protein.
By reducing the intake of protein weight loss occurs at the expense of muscle mass and proteins that make up the organs such as the heart and kidneys. Diets low in carbohydrates and rich in protein instead can be harmful especially for bones, kidneys and cholesterol. All diets based on the consumption of large amounts of certain foods are harmful not only physically, but also psychologically.
Your body needs energy to perform
The correct amount of nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, water, vitamins and minerals) will vary according to the individual’s lifestyle. Carbohydrates should cover about 60% of your needs, the remainder being 25% fat and 15% protein. The time between eating and starting physical activity, can greatly improve performance.
It is recommended, before exercise, to eat a meal consisting of carbohydrates. While carbohydrate-containing foods such as yogurt, fruit and cereal takes one to two hours to be digested, foods high in fat will take more than four hours and is not ideal. Maintain a steady diet and physical activity that reduces body fat without affecting lean muscle mass.
Training on an empty stomach
Training on an empty stomach can increase the risk of seizures from lack of sugar, characterised by sweating, a feeling of faintness, paleness and dizziness. If you feel like this, eat foods immediately that contain a lot of sugar like chocolate, honey or sugary drinks, or even better eat a meal rich in carbohydrates.Trying to lose weight through diet alone can be very restrictive, not always effective and difficult to maintain over a long period of time. It’s better to mix a healthy balanced diet with physical activity.
Main things to remember:
- Be patient. Do not be in a hurry to lose weight
- Eat a bit of everything in moderation
- Have five small meals a day: your metabolism is maintained by eating moderately several times a day rather than over-eating during mealtimes. A snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon leads to eating a little less for lunch or dinner
- Drink at least two litres of water a day for proper bodily hydration
- Do regular physical activities even for just 30 minutes a day
- Don’t forget to also relax and get some rest.