LOSE WEIGHT FOR GOOD

THE EXPERT: Scott

Baptie, nutritionist and author of ioi Ways to Lose Weight and Never Find it Again (Quadrille, £15).

When it comes to sustained weight loss, you need a consistent, well-balanced approach. Scientifically proven nutrition and fitness strategies from a weight-loss coach with a masters in applied sports nutrition should do the trick…

THE PHILOSOPHY:

It’s all about the calorie deficit – if you’re taking in more energy than you’re expending, you won’t lose fat. Small changes add up to big differences, so Baptie suggests picking three tips from his 101 ideas that sound fun, easy and achievable, and incorporating them into your life for the next 30 days. The following month, add another three, and so on. Here are nine to get you started.

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Cardioaccelerate your progress

Twice a week, include 30-60 seconds of high-intensity cardio (think burpees, mountain climbers, star jumps or running on the spot) between your weight-lifting sets. You won’t just burn more calories; research shows you’ll reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), too.

2 Fire up fat burning End your traininq witf

End your training with a fast finisher twice a week. A set or two of box jumps, five minutes of kettlebell moves or five minutes of 5-10-15 (5 pull-ups, 10 press-ups, 15 squats, then a brief rest).

Mix up your swim strokes

Swimming is a great, low-impact way to build metabolically active muscle. Mix it up to take your joints through the full range of motion (see box, right).

Be tactical when eating out

You have four choices: a starter, main course, pudding and an alcoholic drink. A simple way to keep calories in check is to pick any two. And if you choose a lean protein and eat that first, because it’s more filling, you’ll be less inclined to want calorie-dense options after.

That way your commitment is to choices, actions and behaviours and choices that, if practised over time, will lead to the outcome goal.

Have a single refeed day

If you’re cutting calories, one day a week, bring your calorie intake back up to weight maintenance level. This should help prevent your metabolism slowing down to adapt to your reduced calorie intake while losing weight. It should improve training performance for a few days and help minimise loss of muscle too.

Focus on your progress

Set up a system

A goal is a specific objective; the system is the way you get to it. Try dividing the three monthly tips you choose into: an activity-based cue (an event that occurs daily, for instance, you’ll take the stairs at work); a timebased cue (at 3pm you’ll have a fruit snack); and a flexible daily cue (to do whenever you like during the day).

Make sure you meditate

A small, six-month study found people who meditated lost 2.8kg more than non-meditators, because it helped them reduce stress and make healthier eating choices. Taking time out to meditate also boosts your exercise motivation. It’s a win-win.

Snack on an apple before you do a food shop – research shows you’ll buy 20 per cent more fruit and veg if you do…

SWIM TO SLIM

4 x 25m easy warm-up (ideally freestyle).

2 x 25m with a kickboard float (just use your legs), rest 20 seconds between lengths.

X 2 x 25m with a pull buoy (just use your arms), rest 20 seconds between lengths.

X 4 x 100m, rest 30 seconds between each 100m.

* 2 x 25m fast swim, rest 30 seconds between each length.

* 4 x 25m slow cool-down swim.

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