If you are like me, the lockdown has seen you put on some weight, you are eating more, making more trips to the fridge, have the local pizzeria on speed dial and every time you walk into a shop you leave with your favourite sweet treat (mine is Mini Eggs!). In this blog post, I wanted to share with you a few tips I have learnt during the latest lockdown to lose weight and how you can make better choices with food and generally make you feel better.
Know your daily metabolic rate – Your metabolic rate is the number of calories you burn during your daily activities or normal routine. On average this is 2500 calories for men and 2000 calories for women. Everyone’s metabolic rate is different however and if you want to track your metabolic rate more accurately, I highly recommend using any fitness watch or app to do this. If you do not have these then you will not go far wrong with the averages for men and women.
Track your food intake – One of the main reasons I have managed to lose weight is checking my portion sizes. I ate far too much and realised that I did not need all the food that I was cooking. Write down what food you eat each day and the rough number of calories that you have eaten. By taking your daily food intake away from your daily metabolic rate, you have a plus or minus number which is your daily deficit. Generally, if your daily deficit is -500 calories a day, you will lose 1lb of weight per week and if it is -1000 calories per week, you will lose 2lbs in weight. Simple! If you want to accurately measure your food intake, weigh out all your food into portions so you know exactly what calories you have eaten. Or even use an app such as My Fitness Pal to scan the barcodes of foods and log into a diary.
Try and walk/exercise everyday – There are many benefits to exercise such as greater cardiovascular health, less injury prone, increased strength, flexibility and many more. On top of these benefits is that exercise burns calories and aids weight loss. By exercising you are reducing your daily deficit and increasing your chances of losing weight. Even a short 30-minute walk can burn 100s of calories and have all the benefits listed above.
Drink plenty of water – Your body is made of up of around 60% water depending on your age, gender and various other factors, so it makes sense to drink plenty of it. Try and drink around 2 to 3 litres every day and your body will thank you for it! Water will also make you feel fuller. When you are hungry drink water first before walking to the fridge and if you are still hungry after, then eat.
Don’t follow fad diets – The aim of all diets is to reduce the number of calories you are eating to allow your body to be in a daily calorie deficit. The problem with some of these diets is that they are not sustainable and they lead you to want the foods you most crave. It is ok to eat a bad meal occasionally such as pizza, Chinese takeaway, cheeseburgers, sweets and chocolate, but make sure it is just occasionally. Know that when you eat these kinds of food, you are massively increasing your calorie intake and you will gain weight very quickly if you eat a bad meal after a bad meal. It is ok to eat your favourite ‘cheat meal’ but try and make sure you get back to eating a well-balanced meal the next day or next meal. A balance of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) in each meal will allow you to lose the weight you desire. If you eat around 3 meals per day, at around 500 calories per meal, this is a good place to start. Listen to your body; if you are hungry eat a bit more and if you are too full, eat less!
I will cover the foods you can eat to help cover these macronutrients in my next post. I hope this helps you and helps you realise that you CAN eat what you want!
Dan Richards – Inspire Fitness Academy Member