I get tons of emails and Facebook messages from people who are desperate to lose some weight.
They’ve tried everything from counting calories, reducing fat to replacing most of their meals with diet shakes. Some have even tried laxatives and weight loss pills. Some have tried all that while beasting themselves with an horrendous exercise schedule which sees then doing all the machines in the gym, followed by a spin class, a Zumba class and rounding it out with a stretch and tone class.
Now while I applaud anyone who gets their butts up off the sofa to change their health I often think that they are on a hiding to nothing.
You see when you first begin an exercise program or cut calories you might find that you lose a little bit of weight initially but sooner or later those results start to fade and your weight begins to plateaux.
This is often when people start to cut calories a little more and start adding to their exercise program, think that if a little bit worked then more MUST be better.
And granted when they cut calories again and double their time in the gym they get a little bit of a result. BUT sooner rather than later they hit another plateaux.
This is when the long term ‘stick ability’ of their diet and exercise program is put to the test. They’ve already cut calories so low that to cut back anymore would mean they were eating dust and they’re exercising so much that to spend any more time in the gym would mean living there!!
So when I get emails like this and I often tell them to flip it
That’s right, I tell then to start eating more and exercising less.
This is often met with a bit of resistance at first because they are not losing weight how can eating more and moving less possibly work.
And the answer lies in eating better and moving smarter.
You see, eating the typical western diet that involves denatured, nutrient deficient processed foods, such as bread, cakes, biscuits, pasta and processed cereals is going to results in nutrient deficiencies in the body which results in the bodies hormones going out of sync and it’s metabolism to head towards the gutter.
Then when you add in an excessive exercise schedule, which overly stresses the body, it starts to release more cortisol. Excessive cortisol results in incomplete digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients as well as muscle breakdown.
This results in an even slower metabolism and less than optimal workouts in the gym. In a nutshell the body is over stressed, undernourished and on the verge of catching every cold going as the immune system has been suppressed.
So, with all that said here’s my less is more top tips:
Drink MORE water:
Water provides the brain with energy for the brain as it is used to create hydroelectricity. Without enough water this system isn’t efficient and can result in mental tiredness, fatigue and sugar cravings.
Water is also essential for digestion and elimination of waste products. Every cell in the body produces it’s own waste, which is transported through the blood to be eliminated by the kidneys as urine or out the ‘other way’ as faeces. Without enough water this exchange.
For instance without enough water the stomach cannot make enough hydrochloric acid to help break down proteins in your food. This can result in food fermenting in the stomach, which results in indigestion and acid reflux. Acid reflux isn’t a case of too much stomach acid; it’s not enough to allow proper digestion of proteins. Adding an antacid only makes matters worse as you’ve now created an alkaline environment where it should be acid. This leads to a knock on effect further down the digestive tract.
Water also fills you up and helps you to correctly identify if you really are hungry. Most people confuse thirst with hunger, as the signal from the brain is almost identical. If you are fully hydrated you will be able to tell the difference, which will result in you naturally eating less.
Drink LESS caffeinated, diet, and fizzy beverages:
Caffeine is a diuretic, which results in the body excreting more fluid that it takes in. This results in dehydration. Dehydration leads to sugar cravings, making it harder to make healthy food choices.
Eat MORE green leafy vegetables:
Green leafy vegetables are not only full of fibre but they’re also packed with lots of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that not only help you achieve good health. Fibre helps you to feel fuller for longer which will stop you from reaching for the cookie jar.
Fibre helps to keep your digestive system and bowels healthy as it passes through digestive tract soaking up toxins, sweeping up excess cholesterol and lowering your risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Eat LESS sugary and processed foods:
Refined sugars, and this includes sort drinks, sweets, cakes, pies, breads and pasta, are the enemy of anyone wanting to lose weight.
Refined sugars don’t have the proteins, fats and fibre to slow down their digestion and absorption so they hit the blood stream pretty much unopposed and skyrocket blood sugar levels.
When blood sugar climbs too high the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin is a storage hormone, charged with storing glucose, the digested form of sugar.
Glucose is stored primarily in the liver and muscle cells with any excess being shunted off to your belly fat stores!
It gets worse, as you now end up in with low blood sugar levels, which leaves you craving more simple sugars. In effect you have create a blood sugar roller coaster which leaves you constantly in wanting more sweet foods which in turn just get stored as fat.
Do LESS exercise:
Training for hours on end is very stressful for the body. Any time you go over 40-60 minute’s cortisol levels start to raise as testosterone starts to drop.
Testosterone is needed for the growth, repair and maintenance of your muscles. The fitter and healthier your muscles the faster your metabolism and the more calories you will burn in the long run.
Cortisol basically undoes all of that!
Instead of doing long training sessions or an hour or more stick to short sharp workouts of between 20-40 minutes per session. Basically work hard and smarter, not longer.
So in conclusion:
Drink more water. This helps you to feel fuller, reduces sugar cravings, gives you energy and helps the body to digest food and eliminate waste.
Drink less caffeine. Caffeine dehydrates you, stresses the body, and shuts down digestion and elimination. Caffeine also messes with your blood sugar levels as well as interfering with sleep.
Eat more fibre. Fibre helps you to feel fuller for longer, keeps the digestive system healthy and has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Eat less processed foods. Processed foods are nutrient deficient, mess up the bodies digestive and endocrine system. Processed foods also rob you of energy, leaving you feeling bloated and hungry which often leads to over eating and weight gain.
Finally workout out smarter in the gym or at home. Short sharp workouts. Like the ones I teach in my programs help to rev up the metabolism for hours after the event. Long drawn out workouts result often result in fatigue, muscle breakdown and injury.
Any questions please drop me a reply.