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Losing weight can be a laborious and lengthy process, but it doesn’t need to be. A general guideline for healthy weight loss is between .5 and 1kg of weight loss per week. If you’re not happy with your current progress, make sure that you are not demanding too much of yourself. Not only is it unrealistic to expect large amounts of weight loss quickly, it is also very unhealthy. That being said, if you have realistic goals and are looking for tips on how to speed up your results, you do have options that will give your efforts a helping hand.

 

Slow It Down

You generally want to aim to exercise between 30 minutes to an hour for optimal fat loss. If you’re exercising for more than an hour per day, you may be sabotaging your own efforts. Over – exercising is a very common reason for weight loss plateaus. Exercise is perceived by your body as a stressor. Even though it is a healthy and desirable stressor, your body doesn’t distinguish between healthy and unhealthy stressors and goes straight into protective mode. If you are exercising (intensely) for more than an hour per day, your body may enter this lockdown mode where it will not let you lose any weight until the perceived stress (danger) has been removed and you are more relaxed.

The best way to handle this situation is to go cold – turkey on exercising. Take a day off and do as little as possible. Most people who find themselves in this situation are super excited to lose weight quickly and the thought of taking a day off really goes against the grain. But, why keep pushing yourself harder and harder without results? If you’ve been exercising like crazy without results for a while now, it’s worth taking a day off. Anyway, one day off from exercise is not going to ruin your progress overall.

In fact, it might just speed it along. If you must, you can include light exercise such as walking on your day off, but try to limit physical activity as much as possible. The trick here is to lower the stress hormones in your body. For the best results, try pairing relaxation techniques with a lack of exercise. Meditation, bubble baths, reading and painting are some great ideas to start with. If you are really determined to fit some exercise in there, yoga is a great alternative, as it can be pretty relaxing.

Ramp It Up

On the flip side, you may not be exercising enough. Are you doing an hour of exercise every day but not seeing results? How intense is that exercise? Another big reason why some people find it hard to lose weight is that they are not exercising enough. While you may be walking the dog for an hour a day, you will probably find it more beneficial to spend this time doing a cardio activity like running if you want faster weight loss results.

Intensifying your workout can intensify your results, but you may also see better results just by extending your workout a bit longer. If you are doing a light workout such as walking, why not extend it to 45 minutes or an hour? If you are doing high intensity exercise already why not warm up with a yoga class before you get started? Or go for a walk to your local shops instead of driving? Extending or intensifying your current routine just a little bit may help you to get back on track.

 

Adapt

If there are two people, one who weighs 60kgs and one who weighs 100kgs and they both do the same exercise, do you think they will burn the same amount of calories? No. This can come as quite a shock to some and I know it certainly did for me. I loved my workout routine but as my weight dropped, the results stopped. Your body’s survival instincts can often get in the way of your weight loss goals. If you are doing the same exercise every day, your body is going to get better and stronger at doing it until it becomes easier and you burn less calories doing it.

Similarly, as you lose weight you become lighter and you burn less calories doing the same exercises that you did when you weighed more. Your body has adapted. While you can intensify your current workout and it may help, it is usually best to try a new type of exercise that targets different muscle groups. Not only will this target the weaker parts of your body and make them stronger, it will also cause you to burn more calories because these muscles have not been used in this way before. 

 It’s a win – win, but it can also be a bit of a pain to change your workout once you’re comfortable. The best thing to do is to try something new that you can develop an interest in. Spin classes are a great idea, as are running, boxing, weight lifting, yoga and HIIT classes.

Re-evaluate Your Eating Habits

When was the last time you really had a good look at your eating habits? Have you been lenient with yourself lately and sneaked in some extra snacks? Or have you been really strict with yourself? Both can be equally as detrimental to weight loss. The first thing you should do when you’re trying to lose weight is to find out how many calories you are eating per day. If you need to find out how many calories you’re consuming at the moment, check out Cronometer.com. This website is great for letting you record what you eat and telling you how many calories you’ve consumed.

Then, find out how many calories you should be eating per day to lose weight. If you need help calculating your recommended calories for weight loss, check out this online calculator by freedieting.com here. You need to be honest with yourself when you’re recording what you eat each day. Fudging the number of calories you eat hurts nobody else except yourself and will cause you a lot of frustration.

 

Manage Your Caloric Deficit

Make sure that your caloric deficit is not too aggressive but is also aggressive enough to achieve your weight loss goals. When you calculate the difference between how much you are and how much you should be eating, you can usually figure out where you’re going wrong. If you’re over by 200 calories, cut out one of your snacks and if you’re under by 200 calories add another snack to your day. For example, if you’re eating 1800 calories a day and find out that you should be eating 1500 to lose weight, then you’ll have to remove something out of your daily diet.

However, if you’re only eating 2000 calories a day and find out that you should be eating 2500, you’ll probably need to add some more food to your daily diet. If you’re under by 500 calories, your calorie deficit may be too aggressive. Honesty with yourself is really key here. You deserve the truth, so give it to yourself. It’s really the only way to move forward. Eating the minimum number of calories each day is just as detrimental as overeating. All this will do is cause your body to shut down and enter starvation mode and as well as causing serious health problems, it will make it near impossible for you to shift any weight until you start eating more. The key takeaway: find out how much you should be eating and make the change!

Shake It Up

So, you’re eating the right number of calories to lose weight but still no luck. Where exactly are your daily calories coming from? If the majority of your calories are coming from highly processed and packaged foods, you may find that you will lose a lot of weight as soon as you switch to non-packaged and organic foods. Think of it basically as switching from eating food to eating the pure ingredients that make up your food. I used to eat a lot of ‘healthy’ packaged protein bars when I was trying to lose weight and they suddenly just stopped working for me.

When I decided to try a different approach and ate strictly fruit, vegetables and meat (basically avoiding packaged food as much as possible), I noticed that I lost a lot more weight and just felt better overall. If more than half of the food you eat every day comes out of a wrapper, it might be time to shake things up.

 

Take A Different Approach To Dieting

Diets get a bad rap sometimes. I hear a lot about how you shouldn’t diet but instead focus on building a new and healthier lifestyle. I strongly agree with this, but I also don’t think that you should dismiss dieting entirely. Trying a new diet could be exactly what you need to shake up your routine and lose weight faster. If you’ve been eating the same foods for a long time, it can be a good idea to try a new diet, just to see how your body reacts.

One of the most popular diets for losing weight quickly is the Keto diet. If your normal diet includes a lot of carbs, trying out the Keto diet can be a good idea. Not only will it shake up your routine, it can aid in speeding up fat burning and may give your body the variety it needs to start burning your fat in a more effective way. Likewise, if you eat a lot of meat, why not try a vegetarian diet and see how you feel? If you want to lose weight quicker, shake up your diet. It might be just what your body needs to kick start your fat burning.

Try Fasting

Another great way to speed up weight loss is to change when you consume your calories. How long you want to fast and when you fast is entirely up to you. A popular way to fast is to eat your entire daily calories within an 8 hour window. Say, breakfast at 12pm and dinner at 8pm, with fasting from 8pm to 12pm, and the cycle continues the next day.

Fasting like this doesn’t need to be done every day and in fact, it can be better to keep your body guessing about when it will eat next. I find it beneficial just by changing what time of the day I start eating. I’ll eat breakfast at 9am each day for a while until my weight loss stalls and then I won’t eat until 12pm the next day and cycle back when my weight stalls again. This limbo can be a great way to use intermittent fasting to speed up weight loss.

There you have it, the best ways to speed along your weight loss efforts. Nothing moves in stagnation. If your weight loss routine has not been updated or shaken up for a while, it’s probably become stagnant and that could be stopping your weight loss goals from being achieved. Try something new! Have you tried any of these tips? Have I missed any others? I’d love to hear from you! Send an email to emily@zenithfitnessandwellbeing.com or leave a comment below.

 

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