Q. I have been over weight for a number of years due to a combination of lack of exercise and a poor diet, much of which began when I started my office job. Previously I was a pre-school helper, so I was always active, plus had the time to eat more wholesome foods. I only have time to exercise first thing in the morning, or in the evenings, so I am looking for a weight loss workout I can follow to help control my body weight .Plus, any tips for dietary intake for weight loss would be great. I have started consuming slimming drinks at lunch, do these work?
A. Weight loss is a common goal, and thus also has a large commercial appeal. Those seeking weight loss will often be pulled in multiple directions by companies marketing various products, from slimming shakes to ready meals. A lot of people like to be told what to do, and want the simple solution, so if it is possible to drink a slimming shake and follow a specific diet to achieve weight loss, a lot of people will do so. Unfortunately this does not go to the root of the issue, which is the education of the individual. The individual should be able to make decisions on what to eat, what to drink, and when to exercise, without spending money (and becoming reliant) on various products and services.
Weight loss is best achieved via a two angled approach. Dietary intake and activity levels. We can establish this by the following equation.
Weight loss = calorie intake < calorie output
Generally, for weight loss to occur we need the calorie intake to be less than the calories expelled. How do we reduce the calorie intake part of the equation? By (intelligently and steadily) reducing our dietary intake. How do we increase the calorie output part of the equation? By increasing activity levels.
The key to weight loss is to make it enjoyable and sustainable. If a boring diet and exercise plan is followed, how long will you stick to it for? If an imbalanced diet is followed, with a drastic reduction in calories, how long is the weight loss going to be sustained for? This is trap many fall into, and continue to “yo-yo diet”, whilst following a regime which may actually be counterproductive to health and wellbeing.
The activities followed must be enjoyable, and be part of a long term commitment. Playing tennis with friends, going for a cycle ride, and going swimming are all examples of great fitness activities which will expel calories, leading to weight loss, yet are enjoyable. These types of activities, which elevate the heart rate and increase breathing frequency, are known as cardiovascular activities. It would be wise to perform cardiovascular exercise three to four times per week, for a duration of between 40 and 60 minutes. If you do not have time to go to a gym first thing in the morning, there is various home exercise equipment available which may be suitable. We can also make small changes to our every day decisions to lead a more active lifestyle, such as; taking the dog for a walk in the mornings, cycling or walking to work instead of taking the car or bus, and using the stairs instead of the lift (elevator) at work.
Dietary intake should remain balanced and optimal for health and wellbeing. Calorie intake will likely be reduced, but this will equate to smaller serving sizes, not an exclusion of one particular food group or macronutrient. Dietary fats should still be consumed, and not totally eliminated from the diet. For information regarding diet plans for weight loss, the www.mealplansite.co.uk is a great site to check out. See meal plan for male weight loss and meal plan for female weight loss.
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