Here’s a harsh truth: we don’t all lose weight in the same way, or at the same rate. It may sting to say, but it’s true. Some people, some lucky people, can eat cheeseburger after cheeseburger — and their metabolisms will be quick and effective enough to burn them with just a brief run. Others among us can hardly even look at junk food if we’re trying to shed some pounds.
So why is that? Why, when you’ve been exercising yourself into the ground, can you still not see any progress when it comes to weight? It’s a problem we’ve put to Gentleman’s Journal fitness expert James Stirling, AKA Instagram’s @london_fitness_guy. Below, he shares some professional tips and techniques to make getting on the scales a little less daunting…
Calories are king, so create a calorie deficit
Ultimately, when it comes to reducing your body fat, calories are king. You may have heard the term ‘calorie deficit’ in the past, and it’s essential to create this deficit in order to reduce body fat. A weekly deficit of 3,500kcal equates to 1lb of fat loss, which is around 500kcal per day. If you aren’t sure about how many calories you need, use an online Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) calculator to find out your requirements.
Get those steps up
I always encourage my clients with fat loss goals to, first and foremost, think about movement. Getting out every morning for a walk, jog or run — in addition to making simple, everyday swaps such as using the stairs rather than the lift or escalator — are easy ways to meet your calorie deficit. It’s called NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis).
Build up your muscle mass
The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn at rest. Resistance training is essential for building muscle through the principle of ‘progressive overload’ — something that can be achieved through bodyweight exercises that focus on strength. And, for the more advanced fitness enthusiasts, resistance training with weights will lead to more muscle mass, which will mean even more calories burnt at rest.
Only drink in moderation
As someone who enjoys a drink or two, I never force my clients to cut alcohol from their life. Instead, I just only suggest they moderate their consumption and choose ‘sensible’ options. If you are serious about weight loss, alcohol can lead to excess calories that can make your deficit hard to achieve. Not only that, hangovers also leave us craving junk food and not wanting to exercise. So, while a vodka, soda and lime may not be the most exciting drink, it’s got far fewer calories than the sugary cocktails on the menu.
Hit the pillow a little earlier
Research has linked the importance of sleep with weight management. Studies have suggested that sleep loss can shift the hormonal balance that promotes fullness and increases the levels of endocannabinoids in the body — which can have appetite-promoting effects.
Although further research is needed to fully gauge the impact of sleep on weight loss, I think we’d all agree that we perform better in general after a good night’s sleep! Even without talking about hormones and endocannabinoids, we’re more likely to want to hit the gym or undertake a workout after a good kip.
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