High intensity Interval training means you are incorporating short, intense bursts of exercise followed by a short period of rest. The intensity is as hard as YOU can do, if this means you only get your heart rate up a littler higher or you breath just a little faster, thats ok. It's not an all or nothing scenario. If you are in good shape and can go more intense, that's even better. Anyone can incorporate high intensity interval training into their routine no matter the exercise.
Examples: If you love to walk, incorporate 30 seconds of faster walking into your exercise routine, followed by a minute of normal walking. Take it a step further and jog for 30 seconds followed by a minute of walking. If you love the elliptical, then speed up your stride for 30 seconds to go as fast as you can, followed by a minute of an easy stride. There is no right or wrong way to do this, but the greater the intensity of the interval, the greater the calorie burn during and after the exercise.
Start lifting Weights
This does not mean you need to lift heavy weights (unless you want to!) this means incorporating any sort of weight bearing exercise into your routine, including both yoga and pilates. Strength training helps to build and maintain muscle mass which is often lost when you start losing weight. We don't want to lose muscle because muscle is metabolically active tissue, meaning the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn during exercise and rest.
Eat more Fiber
Fiber has amazing health benefits for many reasons. In terms of losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight, it is an absolute must. Fiber is the indigestible carbohydrate meaning you don't absorb the calories from it. It also may prevent you from absorbing calories when it is passing through your system. Not only that, but it also keeps you full!
Eat more protein
Protein is another powerhouse when it comes to losing fat and keeping it off. Protein keeps you full because it takes a long time to digest, and because it is so hard to digest you can burn up to 30% of the calories from the protein just from digesting! That means that if you eat 1000 calories of protein you will absorb only around 700 of them in the day!
Drink more water
Water is extremely important for fat loss for a few reasons. Number one is that it supports your metabolism and is needed for all essential metabolic processes in the body. You metabolism is the rate at which your burn energy (aka calories) and you need a healthy metabolism to maintain a healthy weight. A second reason that water is so important for fat loss is that water keeps you full and will prevent hunger causing you to overeat. Sometimes dehydration can even be masked by hunger, so the next time you feel hungry have a glass of water and see if that curtails your hunger.
Eat more vegetables
Vegetables are absolutely key to a healthy lifestyle and healthy body. They fill you up because they are made mostly of water and fiber. As we learned above, fiber keeps you full and doesn't have any calories meaning eating fiber can never make you gain weight, no matter how hard you try! The less you cook the
vegetables the greater the amount of water and fiber content and less the digestible calories, but vegetables cooked in any form is better than not eating them at all!
Stressing less is easier said than done, for sure. But it is so SO important to keep stress low in your body for many reasons. Stress hormones promote both muscle breakdown and fat storage in the body, both of which also slow down your metabolism making it even harder to lose weight. Take time everyday to check in with yourself and to be mindful of your stress level for the day. If you know that you are going to have a stressful day, have a plan in place of what you are going to do to combat that stress.
Tips to beat stress:
Meditate for 5 minutes, go for a walk, call a friend. Have a few go-to stress relievers that you can use any time to make you feel less stressed faster - remember your health depends on it!
Get more Sleep
Everyone agrees that getting good sleep is an essential aspect of optimal health, including keeping you at a healthy weight. If you don't get a good sleep, this causes your hormones to go haywire and hormones control EVERYTHING. Lack of sleep causes hormone changes that will make you feel more hungry, irritable, anxious, depressed, and stressed. Sleep is also when your body heals itself from exercise, so if you are not sleeping well it could lead to muscle breakdown and loss rather than muscles building back up. Most individuals need 6-9 hours of sleep, and you will be on the higher end of sleep need when you are exercising hard at the gym and/or when your body is under more physical or mental stress.
12000 Steps A Day
Keeping track of your steps is one easy way to quantify how much you are moving throughout the day. Moving more throughout the day leads to a greater calorie burn and a greater metabolism boost. Start keeping track of your steps and see how much you are doing on a day-to-day basis. If you notice you are not getting more than 5,000 this is considered sedentary and being sedentary is a risk factor for just about every chronic disease. Start slow if you fall into the sedentary group and aim for 7,000 steps per day, then 10,000, then at least 12,000. There is no upper limit so the more steps you get per day the better.
Space your meals at least 3 hours
If you are not full for 3 hours, this means you didn't eat enough nutritious food at your last meal, or you ate too many carbs or empty calories at your last meal. It is a fallacy that we need to graze on food all day. All this does is prevent us from ever feeling completely full because our meals are too small, causing us to then overeat by the end of the day. There is also research showing that if we eat throughout the day and if these foods are spiking insulin, then this constant rise in insulin could also lead to fat gain or an inability to lose fat. This is because insulin is the fat storage hormone and the more it gets activated, the more it wants to store your calories as fat.
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