We’re back for another question and answer session – I’m enjoying these!
Today’s topic of discussion? Losing weight. Last Saturday, I received an email from someone asking for weight loss advice. Without revealing his name, he wrote:
“I have issues in gaining weight. I’ve been stuck on 15 stones for a long time. I gained two stone within 1 year but it’s just not happening.”
Thank you for your question. You can read my response after the cut.
Before I continue, I’m sorry to hear about your issue in regards to gaining weight. Rest assured, you are not alone – this year, I put on 2 stones in a month!
As I have mentioned in a previous post, losing weight is simple math: calories in vs. calories out – simply, you have to burn more energy than you take in. So, for you to have gained weight, I’m presuming that you’re doing the opposite – eating more, doing less. Therein lies the problem.
Instead of the usual hoo-ha, I’m going to make a few suggestions, lifestyle changes if you like, which will hopefully help you on your way to achieve your weight-loss goals.
First, assess the people around you. There are two types of people in the world: those that want to see you succeed, and those that don’t and so, the company you keep will have a huge influence on your self-esteem. If a friend, for example, is making you question your own worth, then it’s time to question whether or not you need that person in your life. Surrounding yourself with positive people usually leads to positive things.
Next, understand that losing weight is not a scheduled slot in your diary – it’s a lifestyle choice. The best part of your progress will be a result of what you do outside the gym. For instance, are you getting enough sleep? Studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between a lack of sleep and increased cortisol levels (a stress hormone) and since cortisol encourages cravings, it is essential that you get enough sleep. For more information on the benefits of sleep, please click here.
Thirdly, eat smaller meals more frequently as this will keep your metabolism revved up. The word metabolism refers to how much energy your body uses daily in order to keep you alive. Analogously, your metabolism is a fire that needs to be fuelled – the greater the fire, the more calories you burn. Now, unappetizing as it may be, imagine that your meals are the fuel, which in this case are logs; frequently fuelling the fire with logs will ensure that the flames stay alight. Your metabolism is no different; eating little and often will stoke your metabolism, helping you burn more calories while also keeping blood sugar levels stable.
While cardio is a great way to burn fat, don’t be afraid to lift weights either. Weightlifting will also help boost your metabolic rate and speed up fat loss. How? Well, it takes energy to repair and maintain lean muscle mass. This energy is acquired from the food that we eat and moreover, stored body fat. So, even when you’re not exercising, you’ll still be burning calories – WIN!
Finally, before starting any weight-loss programme, please consult your doctor or other health care professional. There could be a chance that he/she finds an underlying problem such as hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid), which could be impacting your metabolism.
I wish you all the best.