Please tell me I’m not the only one to have gained a few pounds recently?! I’m calling it Lockdown Belly! Suddenly some of us are thinking of holidays which may involve stripping down on the beach so here’s my top tips for getting it back under control!
To lose weight in any form the simplest thing to do is create a caloric deficit, which means burning more calories than you consume. You don’t want to lose weight too quickly because yo yo dieting often results in putting it all back on with interest. Also if you cut back too much you won’t have the energy for exercise which is another key factor in burning more than you use.
Aim for 1-2lb steady loss per week. This will mean cutting back around 500 calories per day. You can use tech to watch your calorie intake but most of us know we could reduce this if we avoid the high fat / high in sugar snacks, cut back on the booze and reduce portion sizes.
The first rule is to get back into your exercise routine and doing it regularly will help to keep weight gain under control. This is why it’s so important, above all, to enjoy your exercise. If you want to sustain an exercise habit it’s impossible if you don’t like it!
The harder you exercise the more calories you burn and exercise that bears your weight like running or walking will burn more calories than swimming or cycling. Don’t leave those out of your routine because they are great for cross training but if you are looking for exercise that’s more efficient at burning calories anything weight bearing is your friend.
Interval training such as Speedwork in which you mix hard efforts with bouts of recovery, is one of the best ways of maximising calorie expenditure, improving aerobic fitness and making use of limited time.
Exercise the larger muscles in your body for greater calorie burn eg thighs, glutes, chest and back. The more muscles you use the higher the calorie expenditure.
One of the best things about exercise is that the fat-burning benefits continue even after you’ve finished. This ‘afterburn’ (increased calorie expenditure) is far greater following exercise at 75 per cent of maximum heart rate, or higher.
I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know but, if like me you’re aware you’ve put on a few pounds in lockdown then following a few simple steps can help you get your shape back in shape again! Good Luck!