Weight loss: How to lose lockdown pounds safely – important advice over crash dieting

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The lockdown is almost coming to an end but there’s always that small chance that we will return into lockdown as soon as we start getting too comfortable. This post is dedicated to people looking to lose pounds safely and effectively.

In this post, we provide holistic advice on how to lose pounds and how to keep them off.

What triggers weight loss?

There are two stages to losing weight, and both stages are triggered by a caloric deficit.

The first stage of weight loss is called Lipolysis. Lipolysis is triggered by the lack of energy (calories) required to perform daily activities or exercise. When the body hasn’t obtained enough energy, it will start to break down body fat into free fatty acids. Once they are broken down, they will be released into the bloodstream to be used for energy.

The second stage is called fat oxidation, and this is where your body takes the previously released fatty acids and uses them for energy. The body will simply use them to fuel your daily activities and during this stage, the free fatty acids will be breathed out.

Therefore, it is the caloric deficit that drives weight loss, and this is what will help you shed fat.

The common issues with crash dieting

Crash dieting is the name given to very restrictive and low-calorie diets. ‘Crash diets’ is simply a holistic name given to unsustainable diets. They are great for helping you lose weight fast, but they are terrible for causing the weight to pile back on.

These weight loss diets include the ketogenic diet, OMAD, Sirtfood diet, and intermittent fasting, and much more.

The issue with crash dieting is that they are unsustainable, and due to the calorie restrictions that they impose, they can cause some severe side effects on the body.

For instance, crash diets can cause hormonal imbalances that increase your appetite and risk of binge eating. Some other hormones can even make your body more efficient at storing calories as fat. You can take a look at hormones that affect weight loss here, but the point is that these restrictions are damaging and set you up for weight regain.

Have you ever heard of a body’s metabolism? Metabolism is the name given to all the chemical processes that are continually going on within your body to keep you alive and your organs functioning normally, such as breathing, cell repair, and digestion of food. Energy is needed by these chemical processes, and the minimum amount of energy your body requires to execute these chemical processes is the basal metabolic rate (BMR). You can read more about this here.

The problem with metabolism is that it can adapt, and even get suppressed due to calorie restrictions. When the metabolism gets suppressed, you are at a much greater risk of regaining weight and potentially gaining more weight than before.

Advice over crash dieting

Crash diets are one of the biggest, if not the major reason for the sudden reversal in weight loss. A lot of people have reported hitting a plateau in weight loss after completing several weeks of crash dieting.

These types of diets have been made complex with a variety of ‘creative’ restrictions, but what most people don’t realise is that all of those diets have one thing in common.

For instance, let’s take a look at intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet. Intermittent fasting limits your food intake to a specific time of the day whereas the ketogenic diet limits the consumption of carbohydrates to no more than 50g per day. If you take a look at both diets, they reduce your calorie intake by default.

The intermittent fasting diet reduces the time you can eat and the ketogenic diet eliminates a whole macronutrient leading to lower calorie consumption by default. If you followed the restrictions but ate more calories then you wouldn’t lose weight, and you could still gain weight.

So, what is the best thing to do? To lose weight safely, you need to be in a calorie deficit of no more than 500 calories and consume a balanced diet to minimise any hormonal changes or imbalances. This will help you to lose 1lb of weight per week (safe amount) and help you obtain all nutrients for the body to function properly. 

How to lose lockdown pounds safely?

There are a variety of tips and advice we will provide to help you safely lose lockdown pounds. The main thing to do is to reduce the calorie intake by either eating less or exercising more. Therefore, we will take a look at:

  • 6 Tips to avoid binge eating
  • Food for weight loss
  • Sample meal plan to lose weight
  • 5 best exercises to lose weight at home

All of these tips will help you create the perfect weight loss plan. However, if you’d prefer to get help from a professional then be sure to contact Nutrition2change. We offer a variety of personalised diet plans and exercise programs that get tailored to your goals.

6 Tips to avoid binge eating

These tips will help you remain within your calorie deficit, and help you lose weight. If you believe that your eating habits could be the problem then take a look at this post here that discusses the most common eating habits and how to overcome them.

1. Treat yourself

When dieting, try not to fall into the mindset that you can only eat salads and green vegetables but rather try to treat yourself here and there. One of the most popular comedian actresses, Rebel Wilson, advised her fans to ‘Treat yourself’ as she completely transformed her body.

The purpose of eating your snacks in moderation is to keep your sweet tooth under control and minimise binge eating. If you stop eating your favourite sweeties completely, soon you’ll find yourself having the worst cravings. Whereas, if you include your snacks within your diet and your calories then you not only satisfy your cravings but also successfully remain within your caloric deficit.

2. Set an appropriate calorie deficit

As you know by now, a calorie deficit is a major factor that drives weight loss right? Well, many people try to create a large calorie deficit to lose weight as fast as possible. Although this does shed weight very fast, it is only temporary and causes hormonal changes that skyrocket appetite and protect the body from further weight loss by slowing down the metabolism.

Therefore, it’s important to lose weight safely and gradually.

Losing approximately 1-1.2lb per week is considered safe, and to do this, you will need to be in a calorie deficit of 500 – 600 calories.

To make sure your calorie deficit is adequate, it’s important to calculate your maintenance calories and then take these calories away from that figure. Take a look at our guide on calculating calories here or simply use our automatic macronutrient calculator that also provides macronutrient recommendations.

3. Avoid skipping meals

It’s important to have a regular eating schedule and sticking to it. Eating at specific times of the day helps the body to recognise the feeding times, and as a result, it will adapt to those times. This means that you won’t be as hungry between those periods of eating.

This is a great way of avoiding binge eating. However, it does take a few weeks for the body to recognise the feeding times so make sure not to give up after just a few days if you don’t see results.

4. Stay hydrated

Water can help you feel fuller for longer and curb the cravings.

Some people enjoy nibbling throughout the day and need something in their hands regularly. Drinking from a water bottle can help control that habit and instead of grabbing extra calories, they can just hydrate.

5. Get enough sleep

When you are sleep deprived, the body needs more food to obtain enough energy to carry out your daily tasks and exercise.

As a result, you may experience more cravings and a bigger urge to eat. If you give in to those cravings, you may exceed your daily calories.

Therefore, it’s important to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.

6. Eat more fibre

Fibre is a type of carbohydrate and it plays a vital part in cleaning the digestive tract, helping you feel fuller for longer, and regulating blood sugar levels.

You should consume approximately 30g of fibre per day to take advantage of these benefits.

Fibre is slow to digest which means that you will feel satiated for much longer helping you eat less and minimising any cravings.

Food for weight loss

Check out this small list of foods that can help you lose weight, these foods are either thermogenic which means that they help you burn more calories per day or they regulate your appetite so you feel fuller for longer.

  • Grapefruit
  • Oats
  • Almonds
  • Eggs
  • Flaxseeds
  • Lentils
  • Chili peppers
  • Wholegrain / wholewheat bread and pasta
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Peas, beans, and pulses

If you’d like to take a look at certain supplement recommendations then you can take a look at our recommendations here.

Sample meal plan to lose weight

We’ve created a simple meal plan that can help you lose weight. It is a meal plan that follows the balanced diet principles and helps the body obtain all necessary nutrients.

Breakfast
1 cup of low fat milk
1 portion of fruit (160g)
1/2 oz dry roasted almonds
Morning Snack
3 whole-wheat crackers (9g)
20g of cheese fresh, queso fresco
Lunch
AppetiserVegetable Soup
Pasta, brown rice, or cooked lentils
White meat or fish portion
Boiled vegetables
Afternoon snack
A portion of berries with plain yoghurt
Dinner
Appetiser Tomato or lentil soup
Boiled vegetables
Low-fat beef mince or turkey mince
Wholewheat spaghetti pasta
Tomato / Bolognese sauce
Evening snack
Herbal tea: Green, mint or white tea

6 best exercises to help you lose weight at home

These exercises can help you stay active throughout the lockdown and help you lose weight.

To make these exercises more effective, it’s important to perform low sets and more reps. For instance, you can use sets and reps like 3 x 15 or 2 x 25 for each exercise.

1. Burpees

Burpees are one of the most difficult but effective exercises to be performed at home. You can view an instructional video here.

burpees illustration

2. Mountain Climbers

Does anybody like them? No, and there’s a good reason for that- they are so intense! You can view instructional video here.

mountain climbers illustration

3. Squats

Squats are an incredible exercise to perform for weight loss. Leg-dominated exercises burn more calories than the upper body.

To add more resistance to your squats, simply slow down on the way down. This will put the muscle under more strain and for longer.

squats illustration

4. Bench Dips

Bench dips can be performed at home using a chair or a sofa. You just need something to place your hands on for the dip.

This is a great exercise that truly tones up your arms and burns fat. You can view instructional video here.

5. Walking Lunges

Walking lunges are perfect for toning up the glutes and thighs. You can also burn a lot of calories doing these.

wlaking lunges illustration

6. Side Jump Tuck

This exercise, when incorporated within a workout session, increases the intensity of your workout and helps you burn more calories. You can view an instructional video here.

side jump tuck illustration

We’ve created 2 fat-burning and full-body workouts that you can download for FREE. You can download the workouts below.

HIIT workouts

Download 2 FREE HIIT Workouts

Summary

In this post, we went over strategies on how to lose the lockdown pounds safely and provided important advice over crash dieting.

Weight loss success is not just about losing weight as fast as possible but rather about losing weight slowly and gradually. This helps to keep the body healthy and also protects you against weight regain.

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