The number one question our sports nutritionist Marewa Sutherland gets asked is, what is the quickest way to drop weight? This is in the context of both healthy living and staying lean for sports performance (power to weight ratio).
As you probably know already there is no quick fix or even a one size fits all approach, but here are some tips of the trade to point you towards real results in maintaining a healthy & balanced lifestyle:
- Don't get caught up on the numbers. The endpoint of a goal should not be the number you see on the scales. Besides the fact weight is naturally changeable (hydration status, muscle vs. fat percentage and hormone influence etc) weight loss should hands-down be the byproduct of a number of small but sustainable changes you make to diet, exercise and lifestyle balance.
- Enter an event to achieve your fitness goals. Ditch the quick-fix solutions and commit to a sporting event you have always wanted to do. Locking in an event will provide positive motivation to get training. Get out of your comfort zone by choosing a new event or longer distance. Invest in some good training and nutrition advice and allow yourself 6-12 months to build towards race day.
- Yes, you're right, you don't have time to exercise. Sounds cliche but you do in fact need to make time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day to juggle work, family and everything else the fast-paced world throws our way. Fitness should be a non-negotiable inclusion into every week and doesn't need to labeled as "work out" time. Got a family? Get outside with a ball or check out some bike trails. Glued to your phone? Make yourself a no scrolling rule until you have ticked off daily exercise.
- Don't begin a "diet" you're not prepared to do for the rest of your life. Many trendy diets are simply not sustainable and can end up harming your body and your relationship with food. If you need to drop large amounts of weight a health professional will be able to help you with safe strategies for this. For regular weight management, just make small but effective changes to your dietary intake rather than follow a strict regime.
- Limit your alcohol intake. Health impacts aside alcohol is, in fact, an energy source (along with carbs, protein and fat). If you are targeting weight loss it's a no-brainer to limit drinking (sorry, but soda water + vodka still has energy!). It's worth a mention that when you drink you're also more likely to make questionable food choices and are less likely to get off the couch and move the day after.
- Hydrate. We generally need around 2L per day of water (give or take depending on your size). Start the day with a large glass of water and start implementing regular drinking habits into your daily routine. Some suggestions are a glass of water every time you use the bathroom or drink 1x 750ml drink bottle of water between every main meal. Don't forget training hydration; water is fine for sessions under an hour, however, aim to use sports drink for sessions over 60 minutes or that are high in intensity and hot and humid conditions.
Related article: Hydration 101. What to Drink During Exercise, When.
- Build your main meals around fruits and vegetables. This will help increase your fibre, vitamin and mineral intake which is essential for weight loss (and also important for supporting your training and recovery). If you are out and about lots, then powdered forms of fruits and vegetables and can be a convenient way to ensure you are still getting plenty of nutrients into your meals and snacks. Check that your powders are freeze-dried to ensure the full nutrient profile remains undamaged through processing. We recommend taking 1tsp of PURE Blackcurrant Recovery on a daily basis (containing over 30 NZ blackcurrants per serve) to support general health & immunity.
If you would like more information & help with your healthy weight loss / nutrition plan, consider booking a Personalised Nutrition Consultation with our qualified nutritionists.