Gym tips for weight loss
If your waistline is groaning from the excesses of Christmas and you want to kick-start a fitness routine that lasts well beyond the winter months, here are our tips to help you stay on track and shed the pounds...
Remember why you’re doing it
To lose weight, you need to be in calorie deficit from your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). In plain English, the amount of calories you eat needs to be less than the amount of calories you burn each day. If you’re embarking on a fitness and weight loss programme, it’s worth remembering the basic principle of this energy balance equation and finding out roughly what your TDEE is to understand exactly why that extra gym class or eliminating that daily bag of crisps at lunch can help you lose weight. You can find TDEE calculators online.
Going to the gym but not losing weight? Studies show that people who exercise often cancel out the calories they burn by eating more. This could be because their appetite increases, or simply as a reward for a good gym session. So beware of that seemingly innocuous hot chocolate after a gym session – it may actually being undoing all your hard work!
Watch out for sports drinks
Sports drinks contain salts and sugars to replenish what the body has lost through sweating that water alone can’t replace. Their purpose is to bring the levels of minerals in your blood closer to their normal levels, so you can continue your workout as if you just started. Many of them are packed with carbohydrates however – which means they also contain calories. Unless you need the energy contained in these drinks to fuel your activity (such as a long run of over an hour), it’s wiser to choose simple water, or a zero-calorie electrolyte drink and avoid the hidden calories.
Activity doesn’t just mean the gym
Moving more doesn’t mean you need to join a gym. From walking up stairs to gardening, any activity that gets your heart rate going and your muscles moving will have an effect.