The Western world is getting fatter. A sad statement but a true one. Every year the percentage of populations in the obese category goes up, and so every year the money that Governments and individuals spend on weight related health issues goes up.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, losing weight is not as difficult as some make out. Yes it does involve work and some sacrifice, but in reality weight loss can be as easy as walking. In fact weight loss can be achieved BY walking.
Walking for Weight Loss
Whilst the idea of strapping on some running shoes and pounding out a marathon might leave you sweating from fear rather than exertion, the idea of walking for 20 minutes shouldn’t. And for many people that is how little effort it can take for you to lose weight.
Such a small effort as walking for 20 minutes every day can start to burn calories, calories that you were storing as fat you instead now burn as energy. Almost as importantly your metabolism increases, giving you an even bigger calorie burning boost that will last well beyond the length of time that you were walking for.
Because such a small effort is required walking for weight loss is perfect for beginners to losing weight, people who might have struggled to make weight loss gains in other more active sports. Unlike many other activities to burn calories walking is also low impact, it puts far less pressure on your bones and joints than running, cycling and the like.
It is not just beginners that can look at walking as a useful weight loss tool though, by properly adapting a regime weight loss can be achieved at all sorts of levels for all sorts of people. Extending the walking distance, walking up hills and more can be done to make this weight loss trick something viable for everyone.
When you look for dieting advice you tend to hear the same old thing about avoiding foods, counting calories, ditching carbs, eliminating fat. But advice tends to avoid what is best, sure they might give you a few, boring, options but they don’t tell you why – and often they give wrong advice.
One of the worst pieces of advice that tends to get given is to try limit your protein intake. This is wrong, pure and simple. Not only is protein good for you but it can actually aid the weight loss.
Protein and Weight Loss
The problem many people giving weight loss advice have with protein is two fold
1) it can increase muscle
2) it is often associated with fatty foods
To address the second point first – yes protein is found in a lot of fatty foods. But it is also found in a lot of healthy, lean foods. Foods such as chicken breasts, turkey, mushrooms and more. Protein is not unhealthy in itself and plenty of very healthy foods are packed with it.
Yes muscle can increase muscle, which if you are just trying to lose weight (rather than tone up at all) can be a slight hindrance, but also a blessing. Muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you aren’t doing anything. It also burns more calories than not having the mass (naturally), so having some muscle will burn more calories.
Don’t think this means you’ll end up looking like a body builder. It takes an enormous amount of time and effort to build that much muscle. Cardio exercise and low weight, high repetition weight lifting will strip fat whilst developing lean muscle that will have you looking trim and toned rather than muscular.
Some describe it as the most important meal of the day. To others it is something that is better left skipped in an effort to lose weight. But which is the truth? Is breakfast a must eat or something you can safely ignore?
This may surprise you by fat loss studies have shown that eating breakfast will actually help you to lose weight! Obviously we are not talking about a calorie and fat laden fry up here, but a healthy cereal or some yoghurt and fruit can set you up for the day, help stop you from feeling hungry.
Why does this work?
How a Breakfast Helps You Lose Weight
1. When you sleep your body’s metabolism also sleeps. Your calorie burning slows down. To bump start it you need to eat, otherwise your body will be in permanent ‘starvation mode’ and you will be using less calories to do simple things. This can add up to make a big difference.
2. By eating when you get up and before you are hungry you are less likely to eat a lot at lunch time – as your body will already have been provided with some of the fuel that it needs. By having breakfast you stop yourself from needing to ‘pig out’ at lunch, which is often the hardest meal to do healthy – with eating out when in the office etc.
3. You stop yourself snacking. Having an instant hit of energy that continues throughout the day you are far less likely to snack than if you skip and start feeling peckish. Considering how unhealthy many snacks are that is an important difference.
4. A good size breakfast stops you thinking from about food. You eat more when you think about food – that is why dieting can be so hard, it is always on your mind. If you eat breakfast it is far less likely to be playing on your mind throughout the day.