WEIGHT LOSS GUIDE: EXERCISES, DIET AND TIPS TO LOSE WEIGHT
WEIGHT LOSS GUIDE: EXERCISES, DIET AND TIPS TO LOSE WEIGHT
Most women would agree, losing weight is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks and requires constant monitoring. Even if you manage to achieve this feat once, you need to constantly keep exercising and eating right to keep it that way. While weight loss isn’t easy, wrong information on ways to lose weight quickly further add to one’s problems. To help you, we have a simple weight loss guide that lists everything from exercise to diet to help you shed kilos the right way.
CARDIO EXERCISES FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Cardiovascular exercises not just help lose weight, they also keep your heart healthy. Doing cardio exercises regularly can help you shed kilos by burning calories consumed. How much you burn depends on your body’s metabolism which tends to decline as you age. Just 30 minutes of cardio workout every day is enough to keep you in shape. But if your goal is to lose weight, you can do a mix of cardio and weight training. Here are a few exercises you can choose from.
BRISK WALKING: A doctor-recommended exercise, taking brisk walks every morning is a tried-and-tested way to keep fit. With time, you will also see weight loss results thanks to the calories burnt during this activity. Ensure that you wear proper footwear when walking, and have a gap of 30 minutes between your walk and meals. Walking on a full stomach is not recommended.
SWIMMING : If you are a water baby, this is the perfect workout for you. Swim your way to a slimmer you. It tones the entire body which means you will lose weight overall, and not just from a specific body part. However, only swimming isn’t enough to reach your goal so keep reading for other exercises to help you lose weight effectively.
RUNNING : Get your heart rate up and the scales on the weighing scale moving by running your way to a skinnier you. Running whether you like sprinting or prefer marathons, are perfect examples of a good cardio workout. However, make sure you have your doctor’s approval if you have any medical condition before you begin running. With time, you will have more stamina and see better results of this exercise.
CYCLING : An eco-friendly way to burn calories, cycling is a good cardio exercise that will also give you perfectly toned legs. If you do not have a cycling path nearby, you can also look at indoor cycling which is common in most gyms these days. You can slowly increase your distance and pace to see faster weight loss results.
WEIGHT TRAINING EXERCISES FOR WEIGHT LOSS
While cardio is essential, many ignore the importance of weight training when it comes to weight loss. Weight training works on building your muscles and you continue to burn calories even hours after the workout. Adding muscle mass to your frame makes you stronger as well as fitter and leaner. Many women think that doing weights will make them look bulky but women cannot look as muscular as men due to their hormones. So, do not ignore weight training when trying to lose weight. Here are a few exercises you can try.
BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES: If you do not want to pick up dumbbells, you can use your body to help you build muscle. Exercises like planks, crunches, push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, burpees, etc, are all bodyweight exercises that you can do even at home. The number of reps and sets you do will determine the results. Start slow with a set of two with 10 reps each, and slowly increase the number. Make sure your form is correct as a wrong exercise posture can do more harm than good for your body.
BICEP CURLS: This exercise is good for toning your arms. If you tend to put weight on this area, here’s what you need to do. You can start with 2 kg dumbbells. Hold one in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your upper arms should be touching the side of your chest and your palms should face forward. Keeping your upper arm stationary, curl the rest of your arm by bending your elbow. Then roll it back to the starting position. Increase the weight when this gets too comfortable for you in addition to the reps.
LAT PULL-DOWN: A toned back definitely adds more definition to your figure and makes those backless blouses and dresses look more flattering. If you want to lose back fat, try the lat pulldown exercise. Since it requires an equipment, you can only do it in the gym. Grab the bar attached to the pulldown machine after you sit facing it and place the weight rest on your thighs. You can adjust the weight according to your strength. Your palms should face forward and be more than shoulder-width apart. Now pull the bar down bringing it just about your chest and then go back to the starting position. This exercise will also strengthen your back.
LEG PRESS: Toning your legs, especially thighs is usually a concern for many women. Doing this exercise can help you achieve this goal. Use the leg press machine in your gym to perform this exercise. To do this, sit on the machine and adjust the weight which will act as resistance for this workout. Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees bent. Now push the machine until your legs are straight. You can increase or decrease the weight according to your performance. This will work on your quadriceps and in turn tone your thighs and glutes.
OTHER WORKOUTS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
If you do not want to take the traditional route to weight loss, you can look at new and fun options that also promise great results. We list down a few for you.
YOGA : Even though this ancient fitness routine has been around for centuries, various forms of yoga have emerged over the years that promise quicker results. Power yoga, which is a good mix of cardio and bodyweight exercises is one such workout. Other types like Ashtanga Vinayasa yoga, hot yoga and Yogalates are also great for weight loss and toning.
ZUMBA: This dance workout became a worldwide rage thanks to its peppy beats and weight loss results. Join a Zumba class or if you cannot find one near you, look for online video tutorials that can help you work out right at home. Zumba combines cardio with bodyweight exercises that help tone the body whilst burning calories.
CROSSFIT: This intense workout is also a rage internationally and it is all thanks to the way it completely transforms one’s body. CrossFit workout has different tasks daily and the idea is to combine functional as well as weight training. So from flipping tyres to doing pull-ups, you will be doing a bunch of interesting activities in a CrossFit class to lose weight.
PILATES: You must have heard of Pilates as many Bollywood actors do it to stay fit. It is touted as a total body workout that helps not just lose weight but also give you a stronger core and flat abs. Pilates requires special equipment which makes it difficult to do it at home. There are however certain Pilates exercises that do not require equipment but if you want to lose weight using this method, it is best to join a Pilates class.
DIET TIPS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
You have managed to push yourself and hit the gym regularly but you still haven’t managed to lose much weight. It could be perhaps because you are not eating right. While exercise helps in burning calories, the rest depends on your diet. Without the right diet, you cannot lose weight in a healthy way. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
EAT SMALLER PORTION SIZES: Portion control can help you lose weight as it means you are consuming fewer calories. The trick is to eat right so that the energy from the food is used up by your body and does not get stored as fat. One way to achieve this is by eating in a small plate and taking only one serving of food.
AVOID EATING PROCESSED FOODS: Foods that are packaged and processed contain less nutrition and more calories that do more harm than good. Give sodas, chips and biscuits a miss and have fruits, veggies and home-cooked meals instead.
REDUCE INTAKE OF SIMPLE CARBS: Yes, you do need carbs but excess of it can hamper your weight loss goals. Refined flours, bread, rice, pasta, sugar are all high in calories and carbs. Cut down on the portion size of carbs and add protein-rich foods to your plate. You can swap your wheat chapatis with jowar, bajra and ragi rotis, and white rice to brown rice or quinoa.
SNACK HEALTHY: Many of us pay attention to our main meals but do not account the mindless snacking that happens in-between which can be the culprits in weight gain. Snacking between meals isn’t bad as long as you eat healthy. Have your quota of fruits, dried fruits and nuts between meals. Peanut butter, yoghurt-based dips on a whole wheat toast are healthier than mayo-laden burgers.
FOODS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Choosing the right foods can help you chart out a diet plan that is both healthy and helps take you closer to your weight loss goal. Here are some foods that are low in calories, yet nutritious.
GREEN TEA: This beverage has many health benefits and a cup of it barely has two-three calories. It also aids digestion and calms your nerves. So make the switch from coffee and masala chai to green tea.
CUCUMBER: Another food item that is low on the calorie meter. 100 grams of it has only 16 calories since much of it is water. So before your meals, don’t forget to eat a bowl of cucumber to fill you up.
BELL PEPPERS: If you want to boost your metabolism to burn more calories, include peppers in your diet. It has a compound called capsaicin that helps burn more calories due to its spicy flavour. Even chillies have this compound so you can include that too in your diet.
LEAFY GREENS: We know the very many benefits of eating green, leafy vegetables yet we don’t always include these in our diet. Not only are they low in calories, they pack a nutritious punch and are rich in iron, magnesium and vitamins like A, K, B, etc. Make sure you eat spinach, fenugreek, kale, lettuce, etc regularly.
TIPS TO REMEMBER
DO NOT FALL FOR FAD DIETS: Many diets promise to help you lose a lot of weight in a short period of time. As tempting as they sound, do not follow these diets as they are unsafe. Even though you will lose weight easily, you will also ruin your health as these diets require one to eat very restricted food items and do not fulfil the body’s nutritional requirement. Losing more than four to five kilos per month is also not considered healthy and some of these diets promise to help you lose that much weight in a week’s time.
BEWARE OF WEIGHT LOSS PILLS AND BELTS: You will find several quick ways to lose weight. There are slimming pills that promise weight loss solutions and then those belts that promise getting rid of belly fat by sweating it all out. While they may look believable and even work for a short while, the results are not long-lasting and you will end up putting back all the weight sooner than later.
STARVING YOURSELF IS NOT THE ANSWER: Many feel that starving is the best way to lose weight but it is simply unhealthy and can lead to other health issues like acidity, dizziness, nausea, etc. A detox or cleanse one day of the month can be healthy, but starving or going on a liquid diet for days is not the right way to get rid of excess weight.
In short, eat right, exercise and get a goodnight’s sleep to stay healthy and lose weight the right way.