How to lose weight this weekend

Use the time off to kickstart your health goals and set yourself up for a week of success.

Weekends are notorious for weight gain – socialising, plenty of drinking and eating and far less time spent at the gym inevitably mean an excessive calorie intake and even a kilo or two of extra weight if you are not careful.

So, how can you make the most of the weekend and even lose some weight?

Well, your weekend may need to be toned down a little but come Monday morning it will all be worth it.

1. Exercise more than usual

Weekends mean more time, and more time means that you have more time to move your body. Forget a single class at the gym or a quick run around the block on Sunday afternoon, if you are serious about shifting the kilos you need to spend a lot of your weekend hours on your feet. Plan a long walk or ride; walk to an event rather than catch a cab or drive, or schedule some exercise both morning and evening of each Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Not only will your body feel a lot better at the end of each day, but you will help to compensate for the many hours we spend sitting down during the week.

2. Cut back on your meals

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Weekends inevitably mean more eating, and more eating means a whole lot more calories. A relatively simple weekend strategy is to swap your regular meals and snacks for a couple of larger meals – say a brunch and then a restaurant meal out. Not only will the change in your food routine help boost metabolic rate, but eating a couple of substantial meals with plenty of hours in between will help you actually feel hungry in between eating occasions.

3. Avoid the calorie bombs

You may find it is via alcohol; fast or takeaway foods or weekend fried treats but when you include some pastry, fried food, pizza, hot chips or several glasses of wine or beer you can literally consume hundreds and hundreds of extra calories. Once you ditch the low nutrient density foods such as heavy breads, dips, fried pub foods, pizza and large volumes of alcohol you will keep your calories tightly controlled which will support fat burning.

4. Ditch the feeders

Of all the behavioural research available, there are two key predictors shown to encourage the consumption of ‘extra’ or ‘discretionary’ foods – how available these foods are, and whether those around us (friends, family, and work colleagues) are eating. For this reason, if you spend your weekends with friends and family who are constantly stuffing their faces, ultimately you will eat a whole lot more too. For this reason, if your goal is to really take control of your diet and lifestyle and drop a kilo or two, you need to be strict about who you spend your time with. Seek out supportive, motivated people who will encourage you to keep being active and not make you feel guilty for not indulging in high calorie foods you are trying not to eat. Remember, we become like the people we spend our time with.

5. Go light on Sunday night

A lot can be said for a low calorie meal every so often. Not only are low calorie soups, frittatas and salads packed full of nutrition, but when they are packed full of vegetables and not much else, they can contain as few as 200-300 calories per serve, or less than half the calories we would usually consume in a meal. Swapping your regular Sunday night pizza or pasta for a low calorie meal helps to contribute to an overall calorie deficit and weight loss; it means you will more likely wake up hungry some Monday morning and it sets us up with a good habit of resetting our diet each Sunday night with a vegetable rich, low calorie dinner.

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I lost 15kgs in 12 weeks without giving up carbs

“To the rest of the world I was a happy individual but behind closed doors I really disliked my physical self.”

Tania Verbs was and at odds with her body given some recent weight gain.

“I was disgusted looking at myself in the mirror in the morning. Walking past windows was shameful as I looked at my reflection, but the worst was feeling my stomach wobble no matter what I did.

“I have a weird body shape and all the weight I had, I was carrying around my stomach and bum which really didn’t help my confidence!” Tania told myBody+Soul.

At her lowest point, the blonde saw a friend’s weight loss before and afters on social media and decided to try the same program in the hopes of regaining some of her self esteem.

Now, 15 kilograms lighter, Tania says she’s “never looked back”.

Taking on the six-week program initially had it’s hurdles, including some strenuous exercises and taking the time to plan meals but that hasn’t stopped Tania from continuing with the program and is now into her third round.

“I spent 9 weeks doing DICED by Varlah, 6 days a week, then I slowed down and committed 2-3 days a week for another 5 weeks after that which is where I’m currently up to.”

“As soon as people started telling me I looked lean, I slowed the program right down,” she revealed, adding: “As soon as I was happy with my weight I made sure I indulged a bit in junk food as the workouts were that intense I didn’t want to look too thin either”.

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Having never been one to cook and eating plenty of takeaway, Tania says she was surprised by how much you could do with proteins like chicken, eggs and salmon. But the best bit was not having to give up the breads and pastas.

“Salads became better than fast food and I never had to give up carbs…Soon enough I was craving those meals as much as I did fast food in my previous, unhealthy life,” she admitted, adding that giving up alcohol altogether was a big help too.

Cooking wasn’t the only thing Tania avoided previously – with exercise not really a part of her routine, other than lifting a heavy camera bag at work.

However, seeing the results was motivation enough to get out of bed and workout but the camerawoman admits she struggled to do the full 45-minute workout at first, leaving her feeling deflated.

“In my mind, I thought I was failing if I didn’t do the full 40-45 minutes,” she said.

“To be honest it wasn’t until into my second round that I could pull through a full workout, that’s how challenging these are. The best thing about that is it shows that even if you only accomplish 20 minutes of the workout a day, you will still see amazing results.”

Having completely overhauled her life, Tania is in a much better place and in her relationship with her body is better than ever.

“The best thing was that I could get fitter, leaner and tone up not because of supplements I was taking, but because of exercise, diet and a strong mindset.”

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