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Diet and Exercise for Weight Loss - Guidelines

To lose weight you need to understand that weight loss is a lifestyle change and not a short term fix. Healthy eating and exercise should become a part of your regular routine, doing this will make results noticeable sooner.

Eating before exercise

Before you workout make sure that you eat some good food which will help you workout more efficiently. Don't skip a meal before your workout as you won't be able to exercise as well as if you had eaten something beforehand. Your body may also hold onto its fat after your workout, this is because the body will lower its metabolic rate when it thinks that it's short on food.

Having complex carbohydrates is the best kind of snack whilst high sugar foods should be avoided. The body does not require high amounts of sugar in one go, so the sudden rush in sugar has to be turned into fat. This will make weight loss significantly harder.

A good snack approximately 1-2 hours before your workout could be a brown breaded sandwich, pasta, porridge or muesli. These slow burning foods will help keep your blood sugar levels steady and allow you to do a good workout. The portion size should not be too big in case you get a stitch.

How to workout

30-45 minutes exercise 3-5 times a week is a reachable target. The treadmill, cross trainer and rowing machine all burn the most calories at the gym. You can try doing all of them or focus on doing one each workout.

Try not to make the common mistake of starting your exercise too fat. If you do this you probably won't be able to workout as long as if you had started slower. For weight loss you should be training for as long as you can which will burn more calories.

When exercising you should aim to keep your heart rate at 60-65% of your max heart rate to keep you in the fat burning zone. When you become fitter and find everything easier, you can try increasing the intensity.

Remember you don't have to always do cardiovascular exercise to help with weight loss. You can also do weight training which burns a considerable number of calories, about half compared to cardio. Once you gain muscle this will also raise your resting metabolic rate, meaning you will burn more calories even when you're just sitting down.

How to burn extra calories

Try changing your lifestyle a bit with these tips which will help you burn some extra calories when you're not working out:

Don't take transport and walk where possible.

Walk up the stairs instead of using the lift.

Try doing sit ups, press ups, squats and lunges in your free time at home.

Taking part in more sport is in my opinion the best form of exercise. If you enjoy playing a sport you will have a lot of fun whilst burning loads of calories.