Forget ‘fitfluencers' promising you the ‘best exercises to lose weight!' - because there really is no such thing. Weight loss comes down to one simple equation: calories in vs. calories out. When you consistently burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight!
You don't have to starve yourself or burn off those calories with endless burpees, either. Our bodies are already burning calories for energy throughout the day. Even sitting still burns 60 to 130 calories an hour - although any weight loss strategy should obviously start with getting off the sofa. Even standing burns anywhere between 120-200 calories per hour, so you can see the massive difference even minor movement can make.
Joompa Coach Kazaf has put together six simple tips to help you burn more calories and keep you on the right side of a calorie deficit.
Healthy weight loss really can start with a simple trick of the mind. Don't just measure out a smaller portion - literally serve it on a smaller plate. A 2013 study by researchers from Cornell University and the Georgia Institute of Technology found that even reducing plate size by 2 inches (from 12” to 10”) resulted in a 22% reduction of calories. Based on an 800-calorie meal serving, a simple plate swap could result in losing over 5 kilograms in one year.
This works thanks to something called the Delboeuf Illusion, an optical illusion which tricks your brain into thinking something is smaller or larger than it actually is, based on its immediate environment. That is: a small piece of food on a large plate will look tiny and insufficient, but the same piece of food on a small plate will look like a full meal. You'll be more satisfied with the same serving without even realising it. An easy way to get started on your weight loss goals!
We live in a fast-paced world, constantly connected, always on the move, and this is increasingly reflected in our eating habits. Look around any typical office at lunchtime and you'll see many of your colleagues taking out their Tupperware at their desk, holding cutlery in one hand with the other still on the keyboard. Not long ago, this would have been unthinkable; today, it's common practice.
Rather than inhale your food as fast as possible, practice more mindful eating. Many studies have shown that quicker eaters tend to be more overweight, while those who eat more slowly actually feel full faster. Put the phone down or take your eyes off the screen so you are not distracted, chew your food properly - when was the last time you really savoured a bite? - and put your utensils down between each mouthful. High-fibre foods encourage more chewing and help you feel full faster, too. Eating slowly can also help reduce stress, improve your digestion and nutrient absorption, and generally make you feel better about your food! And a better relationship with food is a major factor in your weight loss journey.
Not literally - although in Asia of course, this is quite typical! We mean: use your hand to measure your portion sizes for a quick and easy way to keep serving sizes under control:
Typical guidelines as a standard starting point dictate two servings of each of the above for men, and one for women.
Of course, this will vary massively depending on body type, level of activity, targeted calorie intake and more - as well as adjusting and adapting over time - but it's a good rule to start off with. It's also helpful in making sure you are getting a balanced diet with healthy foods.
Calorie counting is complicated, and really not a very exact science, with a reported margin for error of 25% in both intake and expenditure calculations. Simple tricks like this help cut through the calculations and leave you confident in your overall calorie control. You might say it's an excellent rule of thumb! (and fist, and palm, and …)
We should all be drinking water throughout the day anyway, but a nice glass of the clear stuff before, during and after a meal will help digestion and absorption of nutrients. Timing is important so you don't interfere too much with digestive enzymes: aim to drink water 30 minutes before your meal and around one hour afterwards. While you are eating, sip your water gently to help tenderise and break down your food, but don't gulp it down. This may affect digestion, and you'll probably feel a little bloated and uncomfortable. Stick to water and stay away from caffeinated or fizzy beverages while eating to avoid acid reflux. Staying hydrated might also help with hunger; a study found that drinking two cups of water before a meal help suppress appetite, contributing to weight loss.
We all know how important it is to get some daily steps in - and going for a walk after a meal has additional health benefits. Note: a leisurely stroll around 30-45 minutes after eating is ideal, not a fast-paced power walk immediately after your meal! Walking after eating can help stimulate digestion, reduce gas and bloating, and regulate blood sugar. Plus of course, even a slow, steady, low-impact walk will burn calories and bring you towards a calorie deficit. It's a great stress-buster (reducing cortisol and adrenaline) and will help you sleep better, too - and there is a strong positive correlation between good sleep and good shape.
If it's not always possible to go out for a ‘proper' walk, do your best to move around the house as much as possible. Over the course of a whole day, standing up and pacing around the house will burn so many more calories than staying sitting down. This is especially important if you're working from home. On a phone call, watching TV or listening to a podcast, or even brushing your teeth - stand up and move around, even if it's walking in circles around your dining table! Any physical activity is better than none, after all, and even small daily bursts can really add up over the week.
By: Coach Kazaf
Coach Kazaf's coaching focuses on fat loss in particular, with programs that begin with the fundamentals of the five key compound movements (squat, press, deadlift, row, lunge) and then fine-tuning these exercises to apply them safely to more advanced training.
Coach Kazaf likes to keep a close eye on his clients' food diaries and provides helpful advice on making better choices for a healthy diet. Generally, his programming focuses on gradual and stable fat loss, and can be accelerated for specific occasions.
Combining expertise in calisthenics, bodyweight & strength training, and high intensity compound training with manageable nutrition protocols, Coach Kazaf will guide you to become the best version of yourself in a safe and sustainable way that works with your lifestyle.
NASM Certified Personal Trainer Resistance Training Specialist (Level 1) FITM Fat Loss Coach KiloFit Health and Wellness Coach NASC Shoulder Injury Management