Two Steps To Losing Weight

This is is quick guide to losing weight (or losing body fat, to be exact), for those who are saying “Just tell me what to do!”
These steps are not easy, but they are straight-forward and if you put in the effort, you will see results. How fast you see results will depend on how much you stick to the plan, but these steps work.

Eat Less Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates provide energy. However, if you eat more carbohydrates than your body uses, then the extra will be converted to fat and stored. If you eat less carbohydrates than your body uses, then your body will start to use up your stored body fat for energy.

So, the first step in losing weight is to eat less carbohydrates. Cut the quantities that you currently eat of the following foods in half, or if you can, skip them altogether

  • wheat products such as breads, cakes and pastries (whether white or brown or whole meal),
  • rice,
  • pasta,
  • cereal,
  • sugar,
  • sugary drinks such as juice or soda. It is better to skip drinks such as soda altogether. They have no real nutritional value. Eat actual fruits instead, if you must have something sweet.

To be full and for proper nutrition, eat more green vegetables and proteins such as meat, eggs and some beans.

steak and salad

Exercise, or Exercise Intensely
Generally, any exercise will use up energy. However, if you want faster results, you need to challenge your body more. Low or moderate intensity exercise takes lots of time per session and gives results slowly. High intensity training takes generally less time per session and gives results sooner. Intense exercise burns up calories for longer.
So, do some sprinting instead of jogging. Hill sprints are even better. Do stair runs. Do squat jumps.  Give your exercise sessions all you can.

Because of the greater intensity of your workout, you can keep the workout session short. (You may have heard of the 7 minute workout or the 4-minute Tabata Protocol). Do this at least twice a week.

Of course you do not have to suddenly start intense exercise, especially if you have not been exercising, but you can build up towards high intensity exercise.
Please check with your doctor before you begin any exercise plan.

Many team sports involve short intense bursts of activity

Many team sports involve short intense bursts of activity

That’s it! Two steps: eat less carbohydrates and exercise more intensely.

With consistency, you should start seeing some results within four weeks or less.

Links:
Many Paths to Successful Weight Loss
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/weight-loss-study/index.html

Low Carb or Low Fat Diet
http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/low_carb_fat_diet_plan

Exercise and Weight Control
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/staying-active/exercise-weight-loss/

High Intensity Interval Training Benefits
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/conditioning/a/aa112701a.htm

Study Suggests Less Is More for Exercise and Weight Loss
http://www.wired.com/playbook/2012/08/less-is-more-for-exercise-and-weight-loss/

http://www.mensfitness.com/training/lose-weight/how-to-get-lean-25-ways-to-lose-fat-faster?page=2

How To Lose Weight

How To Lose Weight

Image courtesy of maya/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This article should actually be called ‘How To Lose Fat.’ Your body weight includes the weight of your muscles, and you generally do not want to lose muscle. I used the phrase ‘lose weight’ because that is what most people say when they talk about losing body fat.
If you want to simply lose any weight from your body, then that is fairly straight-forward. Just eat less and less, and your weight will drop. However, you will also probably become unhealthy if you eat less nutrients than your body needs.
Losing fat, on the other hand, is slightly more challenging, but the steps are also quite well known: Eat less, exercise more.
I will phrase that slighly differently and say, eat less and move more.

Eat Less
If you have some additional body fat, then it means your body converted some of the food you ate to fat and stored it for later use. It means you ate food that got converted into energy that the body did not need at the time, so it got stored. It is the same concept that animals use when they hibernate. They eat lots of food, it is stored as fat, and their bodies use these stores to keep their bodies functioning while the animals are asleep and not hunting and eating, during the winter period. The problem with humans is that we eat food, it is stored as fat, but we do not stop eating and hibernate. We just keep on eating more food, and more gets stored. So the goal is to not eat so much that some has to be stored, but eat only as much as our bodies need.

It is important to state that what you eat is perhaps more important than how much you eat. To put it simply, eat less carbohydrates (these are usually white foods – bread, rice, potatoes, pasta) and eat more green vegetables and also more proteins – eggs, meat, beans.

Move More
I replaced the word ‘exercise’ with ‘move’, so that we do not get stuck thinking we can only benefit by blocking out some time in our schedule, changing into exercise clothes and then doing some specific exercises. Doing all that is good, but the whole point of exercise is to burn calories and strengthen and build muscle. We burn some calories whenever we move. Such movement can be walking to the shop, gardening, dancing, mowing the lawn, carrying our shopping into the house and so on. All that is movement that burns calories. If you want to lose weight, then you want to burn some of the calories that have been stored earlier. Moving more gives your body a reason to burn up these calories. Of course, this will only work if you are also eating just enough for your needs. If you eat more than you need, then the calories burnt by moving more will only be replaced by the excess food you eat.

So, move more: walk more, take the stairs, start an exercise program, take up a sport. If you want to really accelerate your fat loss, then you could look into high intensity interval training.

So plan how you will eat less and how you will move more, and the fat will come off. This is a very summarised article on this subject, but it addresses the basic concepts of fat loss.