Here's what else you should consider if you want to lose weight

At Expertrain, and elsewhere on the web too, there’s a lot of talk about fitness and nutrition – typically considered two of the most vital elements of weight loss. While the two factors are mightily important, there are other things you might want to think about in your weight loss journey, too – things that aren’t talked about as widely or as often. It’s not always as simple as “calories in vs. calories out.”

Below, we’ve put together some of the key elements of successful weight loss that you might not have realised were important.

1. Getting enough sleep

When you’re sleep-deprived, you get hungrier more easily. It’s true – the science backs it up. That might not be an issue if you weren’t trying to lose weight. It also might not be an issue were it not for the fact that sleep deprivation doesn’t just make you hungry for food, but it makes you hungry for a certain type of food, namely anything that gives you a hedonistic pleasure from eating it. Think carbohydrates, sugar and all the stuff you don’t want to eat excessively when weight loss is your aim.

To keep your food cravings under control, try to get at least seven hours of sleep per night. And if that’s not currently possible, look at where you can make some changes to your lifestyle. For example, why do you currently stay up too late to fit in those seven hours? If it’s watching TV, record your favourite show instead. If it’s browsing Facebook on your phone, switch off your mobile after dinner.

2. Doing the right type of training for your appetite

Not every style of training is right for every person’s body or appetite. If you’re wearing yourself out with a high-intensity cardio session, like an hour’s spinning or kickboxing for instance, and then raiding your kitchen cupboards because you’re ravenous, you can end up defeating the point of the exercise. It’s useless giving a workout your all, only to overcompensate with your calorie intake later.

Experiment with different types of workout. Perhaps steady-state cardio, such as a long run, is what works for you. Or maybe you respond better to interval training and find you can satisfy your hunger afterwards without going overboard.  Ask yourself what you’re currently doing to work out, how your hunger levels respond afterwards, and how you can change things if necessary.

3. Eating foods you actually like

Weight loss should never feel like a punishment. We firmly believe that if you don’t enjoy the journey, you’re unlikely to enjoy the destination, so why punish yourself with bland foods in an effort to shed the pounds? If plain, grilled chicken and broccoli isn’t your bag, try something that is. There are millions of recipes online that taste good and do you good, too. Try some out. Better that than diving headfirst into a bag of chips because you can’t stomach the thought of yet another portion of plain brown rice.

4. Doing the right amount of cardio

There seems to be a trend with cardio right now that it’s either all or nothing. It’s prolonged cardio sessions, or it’s hours in the weights section and no cardio at all. It obviously depends on what works best for you, and you might find that laying off the cardio makes you leaner. However, if you’re pumping a lot of iron but not seeing great results, it might be time to incorporate some more movement. Simply carve out half an hour twice a week for a cardio activity you think you’ll enjoy. It could be running, hiking, cycling or swimming. Keep it at a moderate pace, see how you feel afterwards and see if you can spot the results.

Weight loss certainly isn’t straightforward all the time. As you can see, there are different factors to consider. If you feel stuck on your journey, take into account one of these points, incorporate it for a few weeks, and then evaluate your progress. And let us know how you get on in the comments below!


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