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Looking to lose a few of those lockdown pounds? The right diet and exercise routine will help you to get back into shape - and stay that way. It's perfectly possible to drop excess weight easily and enjoyably if you follow a sensible and managed diet plan for your weight loss, and the trick to getting this right is to tailor your plan to your needs.
First, beware of standard diet plans that promise results without knowing anything about you. These plans seem to be a magic bullet because they promise to be effective, but they are very often based on extreme low-calorie models and will have been created without any knowledge of your own macro needs, health, activity levels, hormones, and other vital factors.
There are plenty of ways to create your own plan. Try these tips:
- If you like following a tailored plan that someone has made for you, consider a slimming group so that you also feel part of a community and have accountability from weigh-ins.
- If you are eager to invest in your health and follow a nutrition plan alongside a fitness program, consider using a personal trainer or joining a women's weight loss group at your gym.
- If you like the idea of creating your own plan, you'll find plenty of resources online.
- Alternatively, think about your goals and your preferences. If you like the certainty of calorie-counting, use an app like MyFitnessPal and track your macros. You'll find macro counters online. If you're interested in the health benefits and fat loss potential of low-carb plans, look at keto. If you want to be healthier, consider cutting out processed and junk food, removing sugar and alcohol, and upping your intake of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and whole grain carbs.
- Some people find supplementary approaches such as fasting (the 16:8 approach, for example) or meal replacement products to be useful.
The trick to determining your plan is to think about what is going to work for you. If you live a busy life without time to meal prep, strictly counting calories might be difficult unless you use pre-bought food with barcodes to scan. If you love your food, bland dishes and ingredients you don't like will make you feel unsatisfied and more likely to rebound. And if you eat out with family, friends, or for work, a more flexible plan is likely to be the one for you where you can save some treats for the weekend.
One of the most important keys to success with a meal plan for weight loss is to choose smart ingredients that will help you to burn calories, feel energized and support your health. This invariably means choosing natural ingredients and cutting chemicals and additives out of the mix as much as possible. Great ingredients to try include:
- Konjac noodles, such as those found in Zero Slim Noodles. Konjac noodles are made from the konjac root, and they are calorie-free while providing plenty of beneficial fiber that supports good gut health and helps you feel full and satisfied.
- Garlic, ginger, and chilis - Chilis contain capsicum, which boosts your metabolism, and garlic, ginger, and other spices are perfect for adding delicious flavor to your dishes without loading on the calories.
- Stevia - This is a great natural sweetener that provides all of the sweet taste of sugar but without the calories. It is also made from the stevia plant rather than any chemical formulations.
- Vegetables and herbs - Load up on veggies and herbs to really safeguard your health, boost your fiber and vitamin intake, and enjoy feeling full and satisfied. You can enjoy fruit, too, but keep an eye on your intake of sweet and tropical fruits that are high in sugar.
As you follow your meal plan, be sure to measure your progress. Take your measurements and weigh yourself once every two weeks; weight fluctuates, so don't do it more often. You may want to avoid the scales altogether and focus on how your clothes fit and how you look. This is especially the case if you are also working on your fitness as muscle weighs more than fat and can give you a confusing reading on the scales!
How will you take your weight loss goals forward and create a plan that works for you?