People who want to achieve their weight loss goals often adopt restrictive and drastic diets in order to obtain immediate results. Diets that promise fast weight loss can actually be extremely harmful to your health.
Regular physical activity is important
In order to lose weight effectively and safely, it is necessary to be patient and to follow a healthy and balanced diet, combined with a regular exercise program; increasing in duration. This will allow you to lose weight, while maintaining your health. And to ensure good results in the long term, it is recommended to consult with a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian, who will recommend a proper diet; taking into account the appropriate calorie intake for your specific goals and the exercise program you want to adopt.
Daily physical activity
In order to enjoy all the benefits of exercising, you have to gradually increase the frequency and intensity of your training activities. This is essential for overall weight loss. It is recommended to engage in physical activity every day, or at least five times a week. In order to lose weight, rather than train three times a week for two hours, it is recommended to train 6 or 7 days a week for 40-50 minutes. Even just 30 minutes of physical exercise broken down into three 10-minute sessions per day can be enough to increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
What the Basal Metabolic Rate is
The basal metabolic rate affects the rate at which you burn calories, and ultimately determines whether you maintain, gain, or lose weight. Your basal metabolic rate accounts for about 60 to 75% of the calories you burn each day.
When you start exercising, you consume more or less in equal parts carbohydrates and lipids, especially if you train at a low intensity and for a limited time. After about an hour of activity, this ratio increases to 80% lipids and just 20% glucose and/or glycogen. As the intensity of exercise increases, the use of fatty acids and glucose also increases. Physical activity and nutrition are therefore two elements that go hand-in-hand.
Nutrition for effective weight loss
While the easiest solution might be to eat less by eliminating certain foods from your diet, this can actually limit the body's supply of essential nutrients. The goal is to consume more calories, but to reduce your calorie intake by limiting (not eliminating) foods that contain too many calories and empty calories.
If you do lengthy aerobic activities, you’ll need large amounts of carbohydrates in order to avoid suffering an energy crash due to lack of sugar. If you’re more of a body builder, you’ll require larger amounts of protein.
By reducing protein intake, weight loss occurs at the expense of muscle mass and the proteins that make up the organs, such as the heart and kidneys. Diets that are low in carbohydrates and rich in protein, on the other hand, can be particularly harmful for bones, kidneys and cholesterol levels. Any diet that's based on the consumption of large amounts of certain foods can be 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 based on the individual’s lifestyle. Carbohydrates should cover about 60% of your needs, the remainder being 25% fat and 15% protein. Allowing an appropriate amount of time to pass between eating and beginning your physical activity can greatly improve performance.
It is recommended to eat a meal rich in carbohydrates before exercising. While foods containing carbohydrates (like yogurt, fruits and cereals) take one to two hours to be digested, foods that are high in fat will take more than four hours, and are not recommended. Maintain a steady diet and exercise routine 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 due to lack of sugar, which are characterized by sweating, faintness, paleness and dizziness. If these symptoms occur, immediately consume food items that are rich in sugar like chocolate, honey or sugary drinks, or better yet eat a meal rich in carbohydrates. Trying to lose weight by dieting alone can be quite restrictive, ineffective, and difficult to maintain over a long periods of time. It’s better to combine a healthy balanced diet with regular physical activity.
Main things to remember:
- Be patient. Don't be in a hurry to lose weight
- Eat a bit of everything in moderation
- Have five small meals a day: your metabolism can be maintained by eating moderately several times a day rather than over-eating at mealtimes. Having a snack at mid-morning and mid-afternoon will encourage you to eat a little less for lunch and dinner
- Drink at least two liters of water a day to ensure proper hydration
- Exercise regularly, even for just 30 minutes a day
- And don’t forget to relax and get some rest.