Optimisation is a thing that everyone is up to these days. Artificial Intelligence tracks our every click on the internet, meaning that businesses can optimise their sales pitch to us, making sure that we see the right businesses at the time when we need them – ever been talking about something then it pops up on your Facebook feed in an ad?
We optimise our selfies and pictures with filters and little annotations to make sure the world sees our best life. We optimise our social media profiles to attract the right sort of attention, whether that is from our peers or our potential employers and customers. Whether we like it or not, or even realise it or not, optimisation is going on all around us.
So this week we are going to discuss how we can optimise our weight loss success. Now it is important to understand that doing these things on their own are not going to shed the pounds. This won’t happen unless you get the calorie deficit, but the tips in this article will definitely boost your weight loss in the right direction, sky rocketing your chances of success!
Weight loss optimisation tip 1 – Hydration
It is vital to keep hydrated – humans can live around three weeks without food, but only around three days without water. Our bodies are around 60% water, so it is important we keep that level correct, to ensure all the processes going on in our body keep functioning properly.
We keep hydrated by drinking non-caffeinated drinks like water, diet drinks or sugar free cordials and water. When we drink caffeine it actually acts as a diuretic and draws more water out of our cells and ultimately down the loo, leaving us more dehydrated. When we are dehydrated it can cause headaches, and can give us a lower mood, neither of which we want.
When we are hydrated our bodies work at optimum. Our metabolism fires on all cylinders burning through calories. Our digestion works well, ensuring the smooth passage of waste out of our systems. We feel fuller for longer, and are less likely to snack. The more plain water you drink, the less calorific drinks you will need.
Studies have shown that if a person drinks water prior to and during a meal, they will feel more satisfied and will be satisfied sooner. A clinical trial actually proved that drinking two glasses of water prior to a meal fills our stomachs and suppresses our appetite.
There are other benefits too. Keeping hydrated by drinking water, keeps our tissues hydrated, making our skin look healthier and fresher, and improving elasticity – another thing we need when our fat stores are decreasing – we want the skin to shrink to match it! We flush toxins out of our bodies by drinking water, reducing the risk of kidney stones and build up of mineral salts, and helping us to recover from hangovers.
Protein is essential for our bodies. It is required for cell production – including muscle and bone growth and repair. When we start exercising, the protein in our food is broken down by the body and utilised to repair the tiny tears which appear in our muscles after exercise. Once the muscles repair, they are slightly bigger and stronger than they were before, making us more able to use those muscles effectively.
Protein is a macro-nutrient, that you will hear lots about when it comes to weight loss – but why? Protein is actually a more complex nutrient than fat and carbohydrate. Because of this, our bodies have to work harder to break it down, meaning that our body burns more calories in the process.
We recommend that you get protein in at every meal. And if you feel like you are doing all you should but the weight just isn’t coming off, up the protein, particularly at breakfast and for snacks, and you will find that the numbers on the scale will start to change. If you have really hit a plateau then take a look at our ‘Protein programme‘ to help you maximise the protein intake, and really boost your weight loss. You still need to get that calorie deficit, but try and get it through higher protein foods, such as lean meats, eggs, 0% fat greek yogurt, pulses, quinoa and oats.
Weight loss optimisation tip 3 – Fat burning exercise
We regularly tell you that you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet, and you really can’t. But you can use exercise to boost your metabolism and help your body to burn fat, to optimise your weight loss success. Our bodies energy systems work in three ways. One, the Aerobic system, is based upon using fat and carbohydrate as an energy source, and it is this system that we need to bring into play if we want to lose weight. We activate this energy system, by participating in moderate to high intensity training for periods of over 15 minutes at a time. Once we move into exercise that lasts longer than a few minutes, our bodies switch into using the Aerobic energy system, and therefore starts burning fat and carbohydrates stored in our bodies. Any of our HIIT sessions would help with this, along with cycling, running or jogging, swimming, spinning, step classes or other aerobic exercise classes.
The reason men lose weight quicker than women is because they usually have a higher proportion of lean muscle in their bodies. Muscle tissue utilises the energy from our food when it is used, so the more muscle we have, the more energy we burn. If we build some strength training or weight bearing exercise into our work out routines, we will build muscle which will then help us to burn calories. The better we are at burning calories, the easier it will be to get the deficit. The best bit, is that even when we are at rest, our the more muscle tissue we have, the more calories we are burning doing nothing!
Weight loss optimisation tip 5 – Eat regularly
It sounds daft when you want to lose weight, that we are telling you to eat more often, but as long as it is within our calorie allowance (and more importantly getting that calorie deficit) eating regularly can actually boost your metabolism. Our metabolism is fuelled when we eat. During the night when we go to sleep, our metabolism slows down, so in a morning when we get up and have breakfast we are firing it up again. Keep that metabolism going by having regular small snacks (within your calories), to keep it firing on all cylinders.
Weight loss optimisation tip 6 – Stop picking!
Picking is the additional meal we eat throughout the day without thinking about it. And for some it could mean the difference between getting our calorie deficit and not.
Picking and nibbling on unplanned foods could actually cause us to consume an extra 700 calories a day! Shocker, eh? And that was just a conservative guesstimate on what we might pick at – a biscuit here, a slice of bread there, a dip in the Nutella jar, a chip or two off the kids dinner plates, a slice of cooked meat, when you go in the fridge.
We could track every meal and official snack accurately, but if we ‘forget’ to track all those additional calories from our unofficial snack times, we could be missing a trick – leaving us frustrated with our lack of progress, and feeling like we want to give up.
Make it a rule, ‘you are a no longer a picker’, and just stop. Every time you feel your hand reaching for an unplanned bit of food stop! Think twice – how many calories are in this? Will this still keep me in my deficit at the end of the day? If not, if it’s not worth wasting even 20 or 30 calories, then don’t out it in your mouth.
Sometimes, you might not get the loss you quite expect on the scales, you are sure you are on plan, the calories are on point, but the scales just haven’t reflected that. This is when you need to do all you can to boost your metabolism. So, this week, we want you to optimise your weight loss success by taking on board some or all of the tips here, and send your weigh loss success into the stratosphere!