Staying fit and healthy doesn’t have to be difficult – even the tiniest changes can help
Everything is in place for your new fitness regime: you’ve dented your bank balance with a new gym kit, stocked up on Tupperware to make healthy lunches, and begrudingly thrown away your takeaway menus. Now what?
Revamping your lifestyle and losing weight to become healthier can seem like an almost impossible riddle that only a few people can crack.
But when the fitness jargon and meaningless weight-loss terminology are swept aside, it’s actually rather simple. Studies show that eating less and moving more are the keys to weight loss and fitness.
To remind us how small gestures can make a big difference to your well-being, high-profile fitness figures on Instagram have come together to give their 50 fat loss secrets for the launch of Aurora, a new free monthly women’s health magazine.
Here are ten of their best tips to help you stay motivated and improve your routine.
Drink more water
“Your liver is responsible for converting fat to energy you can use for fuel but this process can become sluggish if you are dehydrated,” says medical student at fitness blogger Hazel Wallace.
“Drinking more water can therefore help you burn more fat by optimising the fat-loss process by helping your liver to efectively metabolise body fat for fuel.
“What’s more, many people confuse the feeling of thirst for the feeling of hunger, which leads to excess snacking throughout the day. Drinking enough water will help you curb your appetite and stick to your healthy diet! Aim to drink six to eight large glasses of water per day.
“If you find it difficult to drink tap water, try adding lemon, cucumber or mint to make it easier to sip on.”
Cut down on sugar
Fitness, food and travel blogger Natalie Glaze recommends cutting out refined sugar to keep weight off.
“Ditching refined sugar and processed food from your diet is one of the quickest and best ways to help your body burn of any extra body fat that you’ve struggled to lose before. Sugary foods and drinks are incredibly high in calories yet very low in essential vitamins and minerals, which means they have very little nutritional value.
“All you get from consuming them is an energy rush that quickly subsides into an energy crash where you crave more sweet foods for more energy, creating a vicious fat-storing cycle.
But she stresses moderation: “while diet is so important for effective fat loss, remember you need to have balance in every area of your life. And we all love the odd bit of chocolate sometimes, right?”
Do more squats
“Squats are a fantastic move because because they improve core strength because your abs and lower back need to be engaged to keep your torso upright and stable,” says fitness blogger Faya Nilsson.
“I love squats because they are such a great functional move improves posture, and because they involve so many diferent muscle groups they are a fantastic exercise for burning fat too.”
Forget restrictive diets and ditch guilt
“I am a ‘foodie for life’ and believe food should be celebrated and enjoyed and never loathed,” says personal trainer Kim Hartwell.
“Don’t get caught up in restrictive diet plans that make you feel guilty for eating certain foods. Instead stick to the 80:20 rule: 80 per cent of the time you eat clean, nutritious, healthy food and drinks; and the other 20 per cent of the time when you fall of the wagon that’s OK. No guilt necessary.
“All too often people get lulled into extreme measures, such as cutting whole food groups out, only to later binge on them.”
“Consistently choosing a healthy lifestyle over a restrictive diet will allow you to reach your goals whilst enjoying the foods you love.”
Weightlifting is not the enemy
Victoria Lissack, a fitness writer, advises: “Strength training with sufciently heavy loads will help you lose fat and build lean muscle quickly and effectively.”
“That is not to say that other forms of exercise should be abandoned – I practice yoga every day, love walking, sometimes go for a run and take the odd exercise class – but weight training should be prioritised over other activities if fat loss is your primary goal.”
Put down your smartphone and focus on the task in hand
“If you can talk to your friend whilst on the treadmill, can send a tweet, or check Facebook, then you’re simply not training with enough intensity or effort,” says fitness blogger and YouTuber Carly Rowena.
“When it comes to fitness it’s all about pushing past your comfort zone, getting sweaty, making noises and pulling them ost unattractive of faces!
“Give yourself one hour and aim to feel like you couldn’t possibly do another step, rep or jump.”
Warning against sabotaging weight loss with mindless gorging, lawyer and fitness blogger Louise Rumball says: “Just because you have worked out doesn’t mean you can eat what you want.”
“I snack on a handful of nuts or a protein shake mid-morning or mid-afternoon to keep me going and on track. Vanilla protein with almond butter and almond milk is perfect – and it tastes amazing!
“Keeping track of the small things is important because they do add up, and you can easily negate your hard work with too many sweet treats.”
Forget perfection – there’s no such thing
“There is no one ‘perfect ‘way to look so don’t put any pressure on yourself to try and conform to one ideal body shape or type,” stresses Ms Nilsson
“All you can ever strive for is to be the healthiest version of you possible. And this starts by making realistic, sustainable and long-term lifestyle changes to be more active and eat better.
“There is so much pressure on women to fulfill a certain ideal but if you wake up every day full of energy and happy with the way you look and feel then what more could you want?”