This winter has been tougher than usual for most of us, and there is no shame in having gained a little weight. Here are five suggestions as to how you can lose that excess weight in a sustainable way.
1. EAT LESS
The only way to lose fat is to be in a negative energy balance, taking on fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its weight. If you don't mind calorie counting try and take on 300 to 500 fewer calories than you need each day. Alternatively try eating slower at mealtimes, and aim to put down the fork when you are around 80% satisfied.
Whether you count calories or go with a more intuitive approach it is important to ensure that you still consume all the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy.
2. CHOOSE WISELY
What you eat can be as significant as how much you eat when it comes to losing weight. Don't write off all treats, but ask how you can make every meal slightly healthier. Look at ways of including wholefoods and more fruits and vegetables.
3. PRIORITISE PROTEIN
Protein helps the body to feel fuller for longer, and a high protein intake has also been shown to boost your metabolism and burn more calories at rest. Meanwhile, protein can protect muscle mass, which will mean you are more likely to burn fat than muscle as you lose weight.
Protein supplements such as Whey90® and Vegan Protein, which have been specifically developed to meet the needs of footballers, can help boost your protein intake.
4. MOVE MORE
Movement is an important part of burning calories and good body composition, and adding more movement to your week can only be an advantage. Even small increases in movement can help, such as a brisk walk, or taking the stairs at the office. When you do go for a longer bout of exercise, or when you restart football training, make sure that you stay fully hydrated.
5. SLEEP BETTER
As static as sleep may seem, it is a key part of fat loss, as well as muscle building, recovery and repair for the body. Getting good-quality sleep will help you lose fat, while poor sleep can have the opposite effect and has repeatedly been linked to weight gain. Poor sleep has also been linked to increased appetite, which certainly works against your weight-loss goals.
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