Pamela Ofstein is the Director of Nutrition Services at eDiets.com, a leading provider of weight loss services, information and products.
Losing weight isn’t easy for anyone, but with a positive and healthy approach, you will be right on your way to reaching your weight-loss goals. To have the best weight-loss outcome possible, you must provide your body an optimal environment.
What does an optimal environment mean? Well, making sure your body has what it needs and what it can do to make it better. There are four steps to keep in mind:
1. Make sure you are eating enough calories daily. You might be thinking “Oh, that’s easy. If I need 1,500 calories to lose weight, all I have to do is eat that much — just eat two or three big meals.” That’s essentially true, but if you spread out your calories in 5-6 sittings, your weight loss will be more effective.
If you eat your daily calories through multiple evenly spaced meals, you’ll give your body just enough for energy purposes and won’t store the excess. And with the regular meal frequency, you will keep your metabolism working all day long and find yourself less hungry.
2. Get into exercise. For weight-loss purposes, view exercise as a tool to elevate your metabolism. Studies have shown you will benefit more from increasing your exercise intensity rather than exercise duration. Also don’t exercise on an empty stomach. When you exercise on an empty stomach you use up muscle energy, you start to break down your muscles and fat for that energy.
The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate will be and the faster you will get rid of the excess fat. So make sure you have a small meal or snack with some carbs, a bit of protein and little bit of fat about an hour before you exercise.
3. Drink lots and lots of water. A well-hydrated body will be an efficiently running body. You give your body what it needs to do its job.
4. Get rest. (I need to focus on this one!) You need to rest and recover. Without enough sleep, your body will be under a ton of stress. Stress leads to an increase level of cortisol; regular elevated levels of cortisol can contribute to the accumulation of fat and will only make it harder to lose the weight and fat.
Think of your body as a temple and treat it that way. By following these steps you’ll be right on track to reaching your overall weight-loss goal!