After giving it many laps and postponing it as much as possible, you have made the decision to lose weight. You may do it for aesthetics, for health, or for both at the same time. At the end of the day, losing weight is not just a way of seeing ourselves better: overweight and obesity are decisive factors in our quality of life and can have an impact on our health in the medium and long term, from joint problems to increased risk of cardiovascular, metabolic and cancer diseases.
Of course losing weight is not always an easy task: contradictory advice, hundreds of diets and training plans, miraculous tricks, diet products… It is difficult to distinguish what is important and what is not.
If this is your case and you do not know where to start, keep reading because here are some basic ideas that can help you.
1. The calories that enter by which they leave
The first thing to keep in mind when losing weight is that there is only one trick to achieve it: consume fewer calories than your body spends .
Calories are a way of measuring energy , in this case, the energy your body uses to carry out its daily tasks, from breathing to running a marathon. If you want to lose weight, you must get your body to use the calories stored in the form of body fat and for that you have to eat fewer calories than your body needs.
That does not mean that all calories are the same and only their number is important: the quality of the food you eat will decisively influence your health status . But when it comes to losing weight, the number is what counts.
2. Diet is more important than exercise
Exercising regularly is an essential part of a healthy life, as it provides many benefits that go beyond losing weight, a variable in which it also has influence.
But taking into account the caloric calculations of which we spoke in the previous point, the following basic rule is that food is what most influences our weight.
By exercising you can increase the amount of calories your body requires per day. On the one hand, because the exercise itself requires your body to spend more energy, and on the other, because muscle tissue has a greater metabolism than fat tissue, so by increasing it, your metabolism will increase even when you are at rest.
But all this will be useless if you do not control the amount of calories you eat, and that will always depend on the diet.
3. Start with sugary drinks (and alcohol)
To reach this caloric deficit, there is a very clear place by which you can start: do not drink sugary drinks. Refreshments, juices and processed smoothies (including coffee) are a huge source of calories that hardly provide any interesting nutrients. You may think that you can not leave them, but it is not true. With a little effort you can do without them and in a few days you will not miss them.
Substitute them for infusions (hot or cold), coffee or sparkling water with a little lemon. The fruit juices can be substituted for the whole fruit whipped, so that you keep all its flavor but also its fiber contributions).
Special mention of alcohol, which not only has calories without any nutritional compensation (in fact alcohol is harmful to your body for many reasons), but also in many cases is consumed along with other sugary drinks , such as soft drinks. If you want to lose weight, the farther you go, the better.
4. Less supermarket, and more market
Making the purchase in the supermarket usually leads us to buy more processed foods, while in the market we usually buy fresh foods naturally.
Processed foods are safe. Although you have heard about the dangers of additives, everything on sale has passed strict quality controls and all its ingredients are in quantities below the maximum levels allowed.
But keep in mind that insurance does not mean the same as healthy: processed foods contain ingredients that often are not the healthiest and that certainly can be a problem when losing weight, such as added sugars, salt, bad fats quality, refined flours…
By buying fresh ingredients at the market and preparing them at home, you make sure you know what all the foods you eat carry. If in any case you find it more convenient to make the purchase in the supermarket, do not forget to take a look at the nutritional label of the products you buy.
5. Better strength training than cardio
Once your diet is in order, physical exercise can play an important role in your effort to lose weight. So you sign up for the gym and, once there, what? The main thing is that you choose an activity that you enjoy, so that it costs you less to take the routine of training. If your thing is to dance, join Zumba. If you prefer to give everything on the bike, do spinning classes. If you prefer to start with something softer and increase in intensity, the tape can become your best friend.
Of course it is useful to have the following in mind when choosing: if you want to lose weight, strength training is more effective than cardio, understanding as effective the relationship between effort and result obtained.
Cardio training causes our body to burn calories while we perform it, while strength training burns them during exercise and also afterwards. In addition, strength training increases our muscle mass, which requires greater energy consumption than fat mass, which means that when we are at rest we burn more calories than before.
6. This is a long distance race, not a sprint
Forget about the concept of Swimwear Operation. Losing weight should not be a race to get as much as possible in the shortest time possible in order to look body in summer and then when the cold forces us to wear more clothes, retrace the steps and return to overweight.
Instead, consider it as a way to take care of your body, which in the end is your inseparable life partner. Instead of going on a strict diet, change your habits. Use summer as a date to set an intermediate goal, but not as the ultimate goal of your effort.
In summary, think of this decision as something that must be sustainable in the medium and long term, even if that means that progress is somewhat slower. Keep in mind that sometimes it is so difficult, or more, to maintain the new weight than to lose it, and that if from the beginning you think of it as a change of habits you will be better prepared to fulfill your objective.