7 healthy ways to achieve your goal
Deccan Chronicle.| Annette Meinke
Exercise can help transform your body into a veritable combustion engine. (Representational Image)
Exercising is the most sustainable way to lose weight — if you are able to keep it up. Make sure to combine endurance and weight training while also optimizing your diet to achieve the best result possible.
Some facts and insights may help too. "The better you understand what happens in the body, the more targeted the way you can reduce weight," says fitness coach Jan Bahmann, adding having a positive mindset, optimizing your diet are important steps to begin with.
Here are 7 tips that will help you shed the kilos:
1. Turn your body into a calorie-burning machine
Exercise can help transform your body into a veritable combustion engine, "eating away at calories" around the clock. That process, under way 24/7, will have a positive effect on your figure.
And with weight training you rebuild your muscles, creating what you might think of as power plants throughout your body that you fire up through endurance training.
2. Work out optimal training intervals
Women have about 10% less muscle mass than men. "Unfortunately, they have to do a bit more to maintain their weight," says German fitness coach Saskia Reinhardt.
The experts advise all beginners to train two to three times a week. Those who are more advanced can add alternative sessions on the other days.
3. Don’t harm yourself
Make sure your training programme is adapted to your physical capabilities, meaning no matter what type of sport you choose or how much you exercise, the exercise must not be harmful to your body.
One good sport that is well suited for beginners is aqua jogging, for example. Aqua jogging can provide you with an extremely versatile workout that improves your strength and endurance, working not only your legs, but also your arms, shoulders and back.
4. Picking the perfect time to exercise
It doesn’t matter whether you exercise in the morning, at lunchtime or in the evening, as long as you exercise regularly.
However, there’s a big advantage to exercising in the morning as you haven’t eaten anything yet. "The carbohydrate stores in the body are empty, which means your body starts tackling its fat stores," says Reinhardt.
The afternoon is also a good time for any kind of workout, from weight training to cardio.
Evenings are different as physical activity affects our sleep, due to melatonin, a hormone, which influences our day-night rhythm. So if you want to exercise in the evening, try doing a relaxing session of endurance training such as yoga or Pilates.
5. Give your self-discipline a boost
Monitoring your progress can help you to stay on track. Hiring a fitness coach is recommended if you are looking to lose a lot of weight and want some personal support.
A tracking app, for example, can count your steps directly, as can a fitness wristband or watch.
When monitoring your progress without tech support, use a tape measure, not scales.
Documenting your activities in a photo diary can also help you to focus positively on your own body image.
6. Avoid common mistakes
Reinhardt recommends that you don’t take on too much in too short a time. Make sure to include weight training in your routine as endurance training alone is not enough, and don’t forget to rest as those periods are important too.
7. Optimize your eating
In terms of cutting calories, ideally you should slash your intake by 500 kilocalories. "With that, you will lose an average of 0.5 kilograms of body weight per week," says Bahmann.
Bear in mind that carbohydrates and proteins are crucial nutrient groups for athletes. Focus on complex carbohydrates, which are found in wholemeal products, rice, fruit or pulses.