Show that plateau who’s boss and blast through the last stage of your weight-loss mission
1. Keep a food diary
Aside from helping you stay on track with a healthy diet, keeping a diary allows you to pick up patterns in your eating habits. If you notice that you’re eating the same things regularly, aim to get more daring with your palate to keep your body guessing and your digestive system cranking.
2. Lift weights
If cardio is your exercise tipple and you’re neglecting weight training, you need to get to grips with the barbell. Big, heavy lifts like squats and deadlifts will build lean muscle mass to rev up your metabolism, as well as mix up your workout.
3. Change speed
A good way to shock your body into a fat-blasting reaction is to vary the tempo at which you perform resistance exercises. For example, try taking four seconds to control the lowering phase of a move, while sticking to one second or as fast as you can on the upwards phase.
4. Take time out
If your body is stressed, your cortisol levels will be high. Although this stress hormone is essential to your body, an elevated amount may cause you to store fat on your tummy. Find time to meditate, have a relaxing bath or just take it easy and have some ‘me’ time.
5. Load up on vitamin D
Us Brits aren’t often given the sunshine treatment, and unfortunately, sun exposure is the best way to get a dose of the crucial vitamin D. Top up levels with a high-quality supplement like BetterYou DLUX 3000 (£7.95, betteryou.uk.com) to keep cravings at bay and improve your body’s absorption of fat-fighting nutrients like calcium.
6. Eat more fat
Are you cutting fat from your diet thinking that it’s hampering your fat-loss quest? Actually, good fats from oily fish, nuts and avocado will give you energy and nutrients – without making you fat. Don’t try to force your body to run on empty while trying to boost your calorie burn.
7. Dial it down
You need full rest days every now and then, but every four to six weeks, try to dedicate a whole week to ‘de-loading’. This means performing your regular routine at a much lower volume and intensity. It’ll force you to recover while you stay moving, which means you’ll come back stronger, making a bigger impact on your results.
8. Treat yourself
Some experts swear by ‘cheat’ meals. They reckon that treating yourself to a blow-out feast once a week can actually help you achieve your hot-body goals by stopping you from caving in to cravings during the rest of the week, and preventing your metabolism from losing steam. So, go on, treat yourself to a big juicy burger with a side of crispy fries once in a while!
9. Get some shut-eye
Sleep to slim down? Sounds too good to be true! Actually, it’s vital to get a proper night’s kip – you’ll need more than most if you regularly exercise. Sleep plays a huge role in weight loss because it triggers the appetite-controlling hormone leptin. If you skimp on sleep, you’re more likely to eat extra cals during your waking hours.
10. Do cardio sprints
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a cardio queen, make sure you’re incorporating interval training into your routine as well. It has a much greater after-burn effect, which means you’ll be torching fat at rest, too. It’s also wise to start sprints if all you’re doing in the gym is lifting weights.