Our demanding jobs and social lives often makes it difficult for us to find enough time to exercise regularly. Deadline crunches, chores, and millions of other things can make your determination to work out dwindle and waistlines expand. But, there’s a difference between not having enough time and finding time to take care of your body. No matter how busy you are, the right amount of commitment and discipline can help you shed those extra kilos.
Here are 10 simple steps to get you on your way to losing fat, which can be easily followed from the comfort of your home:
1. Setting realistic goals – One of the things to be mindful about when trying to lose body fat or weight is setting realistic, achievable goals for yourself. Unattainable goals can overwhelm you and throw you off. Start out with small goals and gradually review and amend them as you progress.
2. Prep weekly meals – Being organized about your meals and nutrition is one of the most important things to follow. Pre-plan your meals for the entire week. It’ll help you stay on track with your weight loss goals and you’ll avoid binge-eating on snacks available in your kitchen (if even they’re healthy, you could end up consuming excess calories).
3. Strength training and full-body workouts – We recommend working out, preferably strength training, at least 3 times a week. Include full-body workouts such as burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, plank exercises etc. which hit all the major muscle groups. Add dumbbells or kettlebells to create resistance and burn extra calories.
4. Schedule your day – Schedule your workout timings so that you are more organized and aren’t tempted to skip them. Try getting them done early morning to keep yourself energized for the rest of the day and help avoid the too busy or tired excuses that may creep up later in the day.
5. Calorie deficit – A very important factor for you to lose fat is consistently staying in a calorie deficit. In simple terms, calorie deficit is achieved when you consume less calories in a day compared to the calories required for your body to function. These calories that are used to maintain your basic bodily functions add up to your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which can be calculated online.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t eat out ever again. Aim to keep your weekly/monthly average intake of calories in a deficit. Don’t skip your meals – it’ll just slow down your metabolism, burn lesser calories & store more fat. Pro tip: A good source of protein and unsaturated fat (think avocados, nuts and seeds, salmon, olive oil) in all your meals will help to keep your body burning calories throughout the day.
6. Declutter your kitchen – The chances of you snacking on something unhealthy that’s within your reach are more than you stepping out to buy it. So, get rid of unhealthy foods from your kitchen – you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. Make healthy food swaps – switch out your high-carb snacks for those lower in carbs and higher in proteins and fats. This will keep your blood sugar stable and the lower-carb intake will reduce your cravings.
7. Increasing daily activity – You don’t have to work out at the gym to be active. Engage in some form of activity that you enjoy – it could be walking, cycling, jogging, swimming, playing sports, etc.
8. Limit fruit juices – We all know that processed food & drinks are a big no, but even fresh juices aren’t the best idea, unless you’re substituting it for a meal. You end up using 3-4 oranges to make 1 tall glass of orange juice. While the thought of drinking freshly squeezed juice is always refreshing, can you imagine eating 3-4 oranges in one sitting? We thought not. Don’t drink your calories when you can eat them.
9. Don’t underestimate sleep – Sufficient sleep is one thing people tend to ignore easily (thanks, Netflix). Lack of sleep can make you hungrier and crave for higher-calorie foods. Sleeping for 1 hour less per night for a week could also cause you to hold onto more fat and lose more muscle.
10. Don’t throw it all away on weekends – When the week is over, it can be tempting to abandon your workouts and indulge in junk food. It’s okay to let go a little, but excess slacking off can end up negating your entire week’s hardwork.
Losing fat doesn’t need to be complicated. Don’t obsess over your diet or appearance since it can be mentally draining. Instead, take control by making small changes that put you in power of how you feel, exercise, and eat.