The Sparkle Coach: Tips on fat loss, how to get lean and lose weight for life
Here are some top tips to getting more definition and transforming your physique, not just for summer but for life.
Too often we focus on a diet mentality and restricting whole food groups to lose weight, which often consists of losing essential nutrients, water and vitamins. It’s much more important to enjoy food, exercise and, feel healthy through a sustainable transformation
So, if you do need to get rid of excess body fat and 'tone up' it’s about losing fat and building muscle, rather than crash dieting, which studies show leads to a slower metabolism, muscle loss and eventual weight regain that makes it harder to shift the fat in the future.
Instead make sure you’re eating a slight calorie deficit and following the right exercise programme.
"As each body type is different, you can estimate your calorie deficit which is: Your body weight in pounds multiplied by 12 equals a basic calorie deficit for your body weight as a starting point," explains personal trainer Mike Green, who helps transform the bodies of busy people.
He added: “Lifting weights or bodyweight exercises can not only help those who want to shift excess fat but it can also give you the lean muscle definition that so many people want. Resistance training is best for losing fat and building muscle because the greater your muscle mass, the faster your metabolism functions at resting.
“Even some doctors are prescribing resistance training now, rather than an old-school emphasis on BMI.
“You can build muscle in certain areas but fat will come off where it wants to depending on your body type. Be wary of people who offer fat burning workouts or just lots of high intensity cardio.
"If you want to get that ‘toned’ look, all it actually is, is eating a calorie deficit or upping your calories to meet your necessary needs and building in three resistance workouts a week plus regular walks. Rather than stressing your body out with lots of HIIT, which can raise cortisol levels and in turn, increase fat storage.”
This is why getting enough rest and sleep is not only a corner stone to our overall well-being to help us achieve peak performance in mind and body, but it can stave off cravings, reduce stress, boost our energy to exercise and help repair muscles, in turn contributing to fat loss and most of all feeling strong in our mind and body.
Absolute novice? Start small with healthy swaps such as adding more protein and vegetables into your diet; drink two litres of water daily; be mindful of adding sugar or fat to food and drink; eat off smaller plates to reduce portion size and snack on fresh produce rather than processed foods.
If you are eating processed food, check the sugar content, calories and additional ingredients even if the food claims to be ‘healthy’ or ‘plant-based.’
Where possible, consume earth grown colourful food and plenty of protein, which helps to fill you up and refuel your body.
Keeping an honest food and mood diary can really help you track your intake as well as helping you to become more conscious of what you’re thinking, feeling, and consuming.
Move more by swapping a sedentary activity for something movement based, even if it is tricep dips and incline push-ups on the sofa whilst watching TV or walking to the shops instead of driving - you can use your shopping bags as resistance for some walking lunges on the way home!
Once you’ve adopted the basics and tracked your progress so you have a clearer picture of your habits, you may begin to plateau which is totally normal. Then you know it’s time to focus on specific areas of your health that you’re struggling with and set goals in that area, either with the support and accountability of a specialist such as a nutritionist, personal trainer or psychologist.