Summer might have ended, but that doesn’t mean your efforts to stay healthy should come to a halt. With 62% of the UK population classed as overweight, it has never been more important that we take good care of our health and well-being and make lifestyle adjustments where necessary.
If you’ve set yourself specific goals to finally get in shape, don’t let the colder months ruin your plans. They say that summer bodies are made in the winter after all…
Perhaps you’re looking for a hack to speed up the process or advice to get the best results. Here we’re exploring six popular weight loss tips and if they really work.
- Healthy diet and exercise – YES
Let’s start with the most obvious way we’re told we can lose weight. Does a healthy diet and exercise work? Yes, yes, and yes again.
If you’re serious about shifting those extra pounds and becoming a fitter, healthier version of yourself in the long run, a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise is the best way to make this happen.
If your shoulders just dropped at the sight of the word ‘exercise’, don’t worry; you don’t have to spend gruelling hours in the gym if that’s not your thing. Instead, you could grab yourself an electric bike and treat yourself to fresh air and views of the great outdoors.
An excellent form of aerobic exercise, you’ll burn calories and increase your levels of fitness – without it feeling like a chore.
The trick here is to find a form of exercise that works for you. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll struggle to keep it up long-term, and then your weight loss results will suffer. Experiment with a few different options to find out what it is that you like (or can at least tolerate) the most.
- Exercising while wearing a bin bag – NO
Not only is this ‘hack’ likely to get you strange looks from neighbours and fellow gym-goers, but it’s also not a healthy way to lose weight sustainably.
If you’re not familiar with this tactic, it pretty much involves wearing a bin bag over the top of your workout clothes and exercising as you usually would. Yeah…
While it’s true that you will sweat more – which is often attributed to losing weight faster – this idea does nothing for weight loss and everything for water loss.
So when you inevitably replenish your body with some well-needed H2O after that brutal (and let’s admit, a bit strange) workout session, you’ll put what you lost back on again straight away. We recommend leaving the bin bags for the bin.
- Getting more sleep each night – YES
We’re not fibbing when we say that getting more sleep can contribute to weight loss, especially if you’re someone who manages only short bursts of rest each night.
People that are actively trying to lose weight should aim for at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night. So it’s a good idea to avoid binge-watching that Netflix show you’ve had your eye on for a while…
Fundamental weight loss components such as metabolism, cell regeneration, and appetite are all affected by poor sleep. If you’re continuously starving your body of those vital ZZZs, you’ll find it even more difficult to lose weight – and keep it off!
- Wearing waist trainers – NO
A trend that once took social media by storm, waist trainers do not help you lose weight. In fact, they’re just plain bad for you.
Waist trainers work in a similar way to traditional corsets (which people stopped wearing because they were uncomfortable and posed health risks – need we say anymore?); the tough fabric pulls the midsection in as tight as possible, giving the illusion of a smaller, sleeker waist.
This ‘hack’ isn’t related to fat loss in the slightest and will not aid in losing weight. You may be able to give off the impression of an hourglass figure while you’re wearing it, but once it’s taken off, you’ll more than likely return to your natural shape.
- Taking regular photographs of your body – YES
It may seem counterintuitive to take multiple shots of your body during a stage when you’re not happy with your body…but hear us out.
Consistency is key when it comes to weight loss, and it’s hard to stay consistent with your diet and exercise efforts if you can’t be sure that what you’re doing is even working.
Once a week, fortnight, or month, take a photograph of yourself in front of a full-length mirror, from all angles, and keep the photographs together somewhere safe.
Slowly but surely, if you’re doing the right things, you’ll see key changes in each image. The changes could look like slimmer legs, a flatter stomach, or a defined face, and they’ll be sure to keep you motivated and on track.
- Cutting out fat and sugar – NO
What if we told you that you could lose weight and still enjoy the odd takeaway meal and chocolate bar? Yes, we really mean it.
If you completely deprive yourself of enjoying the food you love the most, you’re going to crave it even more. This increases your chances of overindulging on more ‘naughty’ food than you would have if you had just let yourself have the treat in the first place.
Of course, the trick is to relish your favourite sugary and fatty foods in moderation. If your diet is healthy, balanced, and nutritious for the most part, you can – and should – let yourself enjoy your favourite snack or meal occasionally.
Ready, set, go…
Losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint (and remember, you don’t have to do either of those things to get the result that you want). There are no secret hacks or quick fixes – none that are safe and will create long-lasting results, anyway.
To become a healthier version of yourself, you need to follow a nutritious, balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly. That’s it! Good luck – we wish you all the best on your journey.