Watching your weight: Ten top tips from Belfast trainer
Personal trainer and nutritionist Alan Waterman says when it comes to weight loss there are many misconceptions and myths.
And even if you do manage to lose weight, how do you make sure you keep it off long-term?
With years of experience under his belt, Alan swears it's easily done if you follow these tips.
1. Drink a minimum of 1.5 litres of water per day
This is nothing new, we all know we need to drink our water. Staying hydrated is important for many of the body's functions, and can help keep appetite in check.
2. Include a palm-sized serving of a protein-based food in every meal
Protein is hugely important for helping with muscle growth, as well as maintaining the muscle you have - this keeps your metabolism revving! A higher protein intake is great for keeping appetite under control too, which can help with weight-loss.
Aim for 3-4 servings a day for women and 5-6 for men.
3. Don't eliminate any foods from your diet
Cutting out your favourite foods just isn't sustainable in the long-term, and will likely lead to you 'breaking' more and more often from your diet.
Including those foods you enjoy, in moderated amounts, will make you more likely to stick to it.
4. Get walking and aim for up to 10,000 steps per day
Keeping a relatively high day-to-day level of activity will burn calories outside of the training you do in the gym.
Again, this isn't rocket science - the more energy you burn, the more weight it can help you lose.
5. Aim for 3-4 days a week of training in the gym, with a focus on weights
Want to improve your bodyshape? Head for the weights room.
Lifting weights helps maintain muscle mass, which will keep metabolism high and aid in burning bodyfat.
And I know what you're thinking, but trust me, it won't make you look 'bulky'.
6. Calories really do count
Take your bodyweight in lbs and multiply by 10-11 to give you your intake target for losing weight.
This can give a rough ballpark figure of how many calories to aim to eat every day.
Still not losing any? Reduce that intake by another 10% and see if that gets things moving.
7. Eat 5-6 fist-sized servings of fruit & veg per day
No surprises here... Making sure you get your greens ensures you get a good variety of nutrients in your diet, as well as helping keep you feeling full.
8. Get eight hours of sleep each night
Lack of sleep can increase your appetite or affect your eating habits, which can make weight-loss a real struggle. Aiming to catch eight hours worth of Zzz a night can help avoid this.
9. Make it fit your lifestyle
Make your training and diet fit into your lifestyle, rather than the other way around.
Don't have the time/flexibility to count calories or train five days a week? Choose an approach better suited to you, which you will ultimately find much more sustainable than one you can't stick to longterm.
10. Eat until you feel around 80% full, not until you're 'stuffed'
Eating slowly and mindfully can help you recognize your body's natural appetite signals and allow you to eat a little more intuitively.
If you keep going until you're stuffed, you may have already overeaten - just remember, you don't have to clear everything from your plate!
- Alan is a personal trainer and nutritionist, and runs Phoenix Health and Fitness in Belfast.
Belfast Telegraph Digital