Everyone has those few extra pounds that they want to lose. But today there's so much misguided information and countless diet plans promising results. The matter of fact is, there no such thing as a cookie cutter diet that will universally help everyone lose weight. Losing weight is very individualized, but also is not as complicated as many make it to be. For an ordinary person just looking to drop a few pounds or fit into that summer dress, here are a few tips to help you Neutralize and Optimize our nutritional Weaknesses.
1. Be in a caloric deficit!
This tip alone is the most important out of the rest. It seems simple but many people think they can either exercise or work off a bad diet. This 99% of the time is not the case. The simplest way to be in a caloric deficit is to simple portion control your meals and snacks. It is very rare that we eat proper portion sizes during meals, this alone will help lower the number of calories consumed on a daily basis.
2. Get 7-9 hours of high quality sleep.
Sleep is so incredibly important for not only recovery but the weight loss process. The quality of sleep we get has a dramatic effect on how our bodies process foods. By getting proper sleep, you will not only feel better during the day, you will see faster weight loss results.
Many of us neglect to drink water during the day because it is boring. But proper hydration is incredibly important for losing weight. When you are dehydrated, your cells will not work as efficiently as they can. Water also helps to eliminate excess waste within the body, overall helping your body function better!
4. Cardio is not the answer!
What is the first thing that we think of when losing weight, excessive cardio. By all means if you enjoy doing cardio then you are more than welcome to do it. But cardio simply burns calories, it does not specifically burn fat. It has been shown that lifting weights along with 25-30 minutes of cardio 2-4 times a week has the most beneficial weight loss results. This is due to the way our bodies oxidize macronutrients during specific HR/VO2 max zones. Many times during bouts of intense cardio, our HR/VO2 zone is actually using carbohydrates as fuel instead of fat. Simply put, excessive amounts of cardio is not the answer to lose weight.
5. An 80/20 eating style.
What exactly does this mean? Many people that are looking to lose weight don't succeed or discontinue because they are simply too strict. The 80/20 eating style means that you are on track or strict 80% of the time. The other 20% you are allowed to enjoy the foods you like, such as a pizza, burgers, donuts, etc. This does not mean during that 20% to over indulge, which goes back to portion control in tip #1, but rather consciously enjoy.
There will always be those days where you might slip up on your diet or have that extra slice of pizza when out with friends. Life moves on and it isn't the end of the world! The most important thing is that you continue back on track the next day. Do not punish yourself with excessive exercise or decreased calories the next day, simply get back on track with your diet. Being consistent with your eating habits is what will help you obtain your weight loss goals faster than punishing yourself every time you might slip up. Remember we are meant to enjoy life!