8 must know secrets to dieting

Dieting can be extremely tough, but there are lots of ways you can make it easier and stay motivated throughout. No matter what the reason may be for dieting, these 8 handy tips will not only help to keep hunger at bay, but will provide you with that little extra boost you may need when it starts to really get difficult!

1. Exercise portion control

Controlling the amount of food you consume for each main meal, as well as snacks, is a very smart way of reducing the amount of calories you consume. And if you do it right, you won’t really notice any difference until you get on the scales!

Our advice would be to start slowly with controlling your portions, and don’t go overboard by removing half your usual meal! All you need to do is just make some small cuts and be smarter about how much you eat.

If you are looking to control the amount of calories you eat each day and you have a specific number you need to stick to, then spreading out your calories between each meal and snack is extremely important anyway. So portion control, and learning how to do it smartly and not leaving yourself feeling hungry is the way to go!

2. Keep a fruit stash

One of the most common ways to ruin a diet is through snacking. More often than not we find ourselves reaching for the cookie jar because we think that just one more won’t make a difference – but it will!

Lots of people make the mistake of thinking that they are not allowed to snack when dieting, but having a couple of snack times (usually morning and afternoon) is a great way to keep the metabolism going between main meals, and to keep hunger at bay.

But snacking on the right thing is important, so don’t make it difficult for yourself. Stash lots of fruit so you can access it easily. If you work in an office for example, then stash it in your desk drawers, and make sure you keep it well stocked.

3. Use smaller plates

Now this may sound a little silly, and surely we have the will power to not pile ridiculous amounts of food onto an already decent sized plate? Well the problem with that is that we all do it without even realising it!

A smaller plate will not only instantly reduce the amount of calories you consume, but it will also make you realise that you weren’t as hungry as you thought you were. It can often take up to 30 minutes for hunger to fully disappear, and that’s why we often keep eating – not realising that we have actually had enough to satisfy our hunger already.

You can also use this mantra for packing your lunch when you go to work. Make sure you use a relatively small container, and then you can pack it as much as you want! You will still find that you are eating less, but you won’t realise it.

4. Brush your teeth before bedtime

You’ve often heard that eating at night is a contributing factor to weight gain, and in some respects this may be true. However, what ultimately makes you gain or lose weight is the amount of calories you eat during the day.

Sure, if you eat just before you go to sleep, then you are not really giving your body chance to burn it off as you won’t be active. This is why it’s always advisable to eat at least 2 hours before you go to sleep. The problem however with that is that your last evening meal might be at least 4 hours before you go to sleep, which leaves you feeling hungry and cranky.

A great way to combat this hunger is to brush your teeth after your last main meal. The reason why this works is that you usually don’t feel like eating straight after brushing your teeth. You have a nice minty tasting mouth which you don’t want to ruin, and any food or drink tends to taste funny as well. Mouthwash is also a great way to keep hunger at bay.

5. Use ‘selfies’ as motivation

Taking a ‘before’ picture is a great motivator when it comes to dieting. If at any point you are really struggling and need a kick up the bottom to get back on track, just take a look at your ‘before’ picture to remind yourself why you are dieting.

Dieters often forget why they are trying to lose weight in the first place, so remembering why you started this journey is a great way to keep going. If this doesn’t work for you, then don’t hesitate to try something else. Just make sure you give yourself constant reminders.

7. Watch your liquid calories

It’s so easy to focus entirely on what we eat when it comes to dieting that you can forget about what you drink. The liquids that you consume can often be high in calories, and may put you over your daily allowance without even realising it!

Alcohol is of course one of the worst drinks you can have if you are trying to diet. A pint of lager will contain on average almost 200 calories. Soft drinks can also be quite bad – a can of coke can contain around 40 calories!

Apart from the obvious health reasons for avoiding alcohol and soft drinks, cutting these out altogether, or at the very least reducing them dramatically will make it much easier to stick to stick within your calories for the day.

8. Dig out those skinny jeans

If looking at photos of yourself before you started the diet doesn’t help keep you motivated, then digging out your old jeans certainly will! We all know how frustrating it is when some of our old clothes don’t fit anymore – so use that as the perfect motivator to stick with the diet and keep shedding the pounds.

9. Move those leftovers – immediately!

Leftover food can be a very big temptation, so make sure you don’t leave it lying around. As soon as you’ve finished plating up, pack it away in a container ready for the fridge once it’s cooled down.

It may also be tempting to go for seconds once you come back into the kitchen, so it’s also really important to put it away as soon as you can. That leftover food will also be a nice bonus the next day when you raid the fridge.

7 Reason Why You Should Lift Weights

Weight lifting can often sound like hard work, and unless you want to look like Mr Universe, it isn’t really worth it – or is it?

There are numerous benefits to weight lifting, and it’s not all about getting a huge chest and biceps. Adding weights to your diet and exercise regime is not only going to help you burn fat quicker and for longer, but has some amazing health benefits as well.

If you also want to get ahead in your career, then having a fit body may just be the edge you need to stay ahead of the competition.

Here are our 7 amazing reasons as to why you should lift weights:

1. Cardio can burn muscle as well as fat

If you are looking to hit the treadmill in an attempt to burn off extra fat whilst dieting, then it’s important to realise that you may also be burning off your muscle. Studies have shown that performing cardio only exercise will burn around 75% fat and 25% muscle.

So although the scales are showing a great weight loss, a good portion of what you’ve lost could be muscle. However, this does really depend on what you are looking to achieve. If you are not too worried about muscle and your body shape, then it may not matter. But if you are looking to not only lose weight, but strengthen your body and even gain some definition, then weight training is the way to go.

2. You will burn more calories

Lifting weights will increase the amount of calories you burn when resting – and for up to 24 hours or more! During weight lifting your muscles will tear, so they need to use lots more energy in order to repair themselves.

Your metabolism will also literally be in overdrive for hours after your workout, and will continue to burn fat even when you are sat on your bum watching TV!

3. Dieting is easier

Extensive research has proven that those of you who are hitting the gym on a regular basis are much more likely to stick to a diet than those who don’t. One of the main reasons for this is that once you’ve been to the gym, you are more likely to stay focused on a healthy diet because of the hard work you’ve put in.

4. It’s easier to keep cool

Studies have shown that a regular trip to the weights room is more likely to keep you cool under pressure, and will make it much easier to keep stress at bay. When tested, fitter people showed lower levels of stress hormones than unfit people, and blood pressure levels were able to return to normal quicker.

5. You will get into shape quicker

If you already have a cardio training regime, then you may want to consider adding weight lifting into the mix. Studies have shown weight lifting during circuit training can increase your heart rate by up to 15 beats per minute.

Building up your muscle strength as well as endurance training is extremely important when it comes to burning fat and getting in shape. You are likely to lose muscle as well as fat when performing cardio, so lifting weights will allow you to retain as well as gain more muscle along the way.

6. You’ll have a healthier heart

It may be easy to forget about your heart when it comes to diet and exercise, so it’s important to realise that weight lifting can reduce your diastolic blood pressure by up to 8 points. That kind of decrease can reduce the risk of a stroke by up to 30 percent and the chance of a heart attack by up to 15 percent!

7. You might get a promotion

Lifting weights will not only burn fat and keep you looking and feeling healthy, but you also might find yourself up for promotion as your productivity at work increases.

Studies have shown that productivity can be increased by as much as 20 percent if you’ve hit the gym that day. So not only are you better equipped to handle a stressful day at work, you are much more likely to be better at your job.

Image by Istolethetv (Flickr) licensed under Creative Commons

5 reasons why your diet will definitely fail

Although there are lots of amazing diets out there to help you lose weight, the hardest part is actually sticking to one! There are lots of reasons why people struggle with dieting, and knowing the problems beforehand may just be what you need to be successful in shedding those extra pounds.

Here are the top 5 reasons why your diet could be set to fail:

You may not be eating enough

A common mistake made when dieting is to not eat enough! Now this might sound a little silly, because surely you’re supposed to eat a lot less right? But what most people don’t realise is that there is a minimum that you should eat to keep your metabolism going, and to help stay motivated enough to refrain from raiding the cookie jar.

Depending on size and gender, you should be able to work out a minimum amount of calories you need per day. On average, most women should not go below 1,000 calories per day, and men would be around 1,500. This should also ensure that you are also getting the right amount of nutrients in your diet.

You treat yourself to regular post workout snacks

So you’ve just finished a gruelling gym session, and you want to give yourself a reward by munching on a snack. This is understandable as you’ve just burnt of hundreds of calories right? Unfortunately, this may not be the case – and an unhealthy snack like a chocolate bar or muffin could contain as many as 300-500 calories.

What you have to remember when exercising is that it isn’t always a good idea to reward yourself to a treat after, as you may be undoing all that hard work. The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to count the amount of calories you’ve burnt during the exercise, and even consider underestimating to be safe. If you do have room for a snack then go for it. Or at least consider a really healthy low calorie snack to get you by until lunch.

You’re hydrating with fizzy drinks

Fizzy drinks contain quite a surprising number of calories. And although it may seem quite low when you check the bottle, you have to take note of the amount you drink throughout the day. You can easily notch up another few hundred calories just through what you drink.

For example, a 330ml can of cola contains around 140 calories. You only need to drink 2-3 a day and you are hitting around 300-400 calories extra to what you may have planned for your diet. You can even reach around 50 calories per cup of coffee with milk and sugar!

Our advice would be to either cut down on these drinks, or cut them out altogether. Water is the best drink to have as it contains zero calories. If you find that a little boring, you can always add low calorie dilutes to give it some flavour.

Your diet isn’t tracked

One of the best ways to ensure you lose weight is to track everything you eat and make a plan. There are some fantastic apps out there at the moment which allow you to easily enter in what you’ve eaten and will instantly calculate the amount of calories – as well as other important information. You can of course put everything down using pen and paper, but this tends to take a long time, and can easily go wrong.

Research has also shown that by digitally tracking your diet, you are much likely to stick with it and get great results! The reason for this is that by taking control of your diet and using great apps that do all the hard work for you, this can be very motivating. You’ll also find that most apps allow you to enter your current weight as well as the weight you’d like to get to by a certain time frame. The app will then also give you the right amount of calories you need to reach that goal.

You’re aiming for low carbs

A common way to diet nowadays is to completely remove carbs, or consume a very low amount. And although this may mean you lose weight very quickly, it will most likely result in a big reduction in energy levels.

One of the best ways to stick to a diet is to actually enjoy it! And you will find that very difficult if you cut out all of the carbs leaving you lacking in energy and motivation. A diet has to be sustainable, and making an extreme change to your diet just won’t work for most people.

However, this doesn’t mean to say that cutting out carbs for the short term is a bad idea. If you are wanting to lose weight quickly over a short space of time, then this may be a good option. You must however remember that you will need to re-introduce carbs after a few weeks, and let your diet and body stabilise.

Can Yoga Help to Burn Belly Fat?

Lots of famous celebs like Jennifer Aniston practice yoga on a regular basis, so it must be helping them to burn the belly fat right? Well, kind of, but not really as much as you’d think.

Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a quick way to burn away that belly fat, then yoga isn’t the answer. However, there are lots of reasons why you should give yoga a go, and it will certainly contribute just fine towards shedding those extra pounds!

Two people doing a yoga warrior pose on the beach

Does yoga burn belly fat?

First of all, if you are looking to burn belly fat then it’s important to know that there isn’t a method of exercise or diet that specifically targets the fat cells around the stomach. You may have read about some amazing exercises that blast away that belly fat in no time – but this isn’t really the case!

Lotus pose yoga

Weight loss is a gradual process, and the fat cells all around your body will gradually disappear at the same time. So no matter how many sit-ups you do, you won’t really make a real difference to the fat around your belly unless you have a balanced diet and exercise.

Person practising yoga in front of the sea

So why practice yoga?

Although yoga won’t directly target belly fat, it is however an exercise that can get the heart pumping and the metabolism racing. So if you are thinking about devising a plan of action to get rid of that belly fat, then it’s certainly a good idea to bring yoga into the mix.

It also doesn’t matter if you are completely new to yoga and don’t think you’ll be very good at it. There is a learning curve to yoga just like anything else, and not only will it help

All of these things are extremely important when it comes to weight loss, so this is why yoga can be a great contribution to any diet and exercise regime!

Yoga pose in front of a body of water

Isn’t yoga quite static?

There are certainly some aspects to yoga which won’t get the heart racing too much, but it really does depend on which style of yoga you choose. Some forms of yoga are more energetic – Ashtanga and Vinyasa for example.

The most direct way to burn body fat is to choose an exercise that is strictly cardio and very energetic. Interval training for example is a fantastic way to get the heart pumping.

However, studies have shown that practicing yoga as well training in the gym will not only contribute to burning calories, but will also help you to mediate your body better and help you to develop the tools needed to be able to listen to your body as well.

A 2009 study, conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, found that people who didn’t practice yoga regularly were more likely to gain weight – in contrast to those that did who were able to better control there eating habits, and more likely to maintain or lose weight.

Girl doing yoga on a mountain

So should I include yoga in my regime?

Absolutely! If you have the time and the energy, then yoga is a fantastic way to help you better understand your body and will contribute to your overall performance in the gym, as well as help you maintain a healthy balanced diet.

Yoga is very much about discipline, and when it comes down to it, discipline is what’s needed when you are trying to lose weight and get fit. With the added bonus of helping you to sleep better at night, yoga may just be what you need to keep on the path to a healthy life!

Yoga resources and further reading:

How to guarantee your diet works in ten awesome steps

Millions of people all around the world struggle with their weight, and just can’t seem to stick to a diet. We’ve all been there, and it can sometimes be so difficult when there are so many unhealthy options around us all the time.

However, you should never give up, and to help you keep on track we’re sharing ten awesome ways you can guarantee that you’ll stick to your diet – and it will work!

1. Fail to prepare…

Before you even start your diet, it’s really important to take a step back and think how you’re going to motivate yourself throughout. Grab a pen and paper and jot down all the reasons why you might quit the diet. Then create a solution for each one, so you give yourself a great chance of success before you even start!

2. Why do you want to diet in the first place?

One of the best ways to keep motivated throughout the diet is to make a list of reasons why you want to diet in the first place. Are you looking to shed a few pounds for a holiday this year? Do you need to diet for health reasons? Can you no longer fit in that dress?

Once you’ve made a list, make sure you put this somewhere you will see it everyday. One of the best places would be on the fridge, or some place in the kitchen near where you eat. That way, if you do get a craving for something unhealthy which will mess up your regime for the day, you can take a second to read your list and get back on track.

3. Sit down and relax

Try to make sure you don’t eat everything on the run, and take the time to sit down for each meal and relax. Rushing your food doesn’t give you time to realise how much you’ve eaten, and the less you chew, the more hungry you’ll be when you finish your meal.

4. Get a friend to help

You can’t always do this on your own! So why not ask a friend to help you track everything, and to give you some morale support and guidance. This will help you to stick to the regime, as you will not want to let your friend down as well as yourself.

Try to stay in touch with your friend at least once a week, and consider sending them an email so you can detail everything that you’ve done. Putting it down in writing will have more success than just speaking to them.

5. Don’t expect too much of yourself

It’s easy to give up on a diet because of how strict it may be. So instead of choosing an extreme diet that doesn’t allow you to eat anything unhealthy, why not choose a diet that is not only balanced, but also doesn’t stop you from eating some junk from time to time.

There is nothing wrong with eating a couple of slices of pizza, or having the odd bag of crisps now and again. If you don’t let go sometimes, you will probably go insane and quit anyway!

Pizza or salad choice
The odd piece of pizza won’t hurt – and can help keep you sane!

6. Change your mindset

Before you start the diet you need to decide if you want to lose weight, or if you want to eat anything you want, when you want? Unfortunately, you can’t have it both ways. One of the biggest struggles a dieter has is deciding whether or not it’s really that important losing weight and going on a diet. So make your decision now, and change your mindset completely on what your goal is.

7. Is being hungry really that bad?

Although it might not feel very nice being hungry, is it really that big of a deal? Sure, it may be an uncomfortable feeling, but it’s certainly something that can be managed and controlled.

A great way to push through those hunger pangs is to make sure you drink plenty of water (not fizzy drinks that are high in calories). There are lots of occasions when you think you’re hungry, but in fact you are a little dehydrated. A large glass of water will usually take the hunger away, and constantly drinking throughout the day will have a lasting effect.

Another smart way of repelling hunger is to eat healthy snacks. Fruit is a great way to keep within your calorie goal, and should keep you going until your main meal.

8. Create some distractions…

Whilst dieting you may find yourself thinking about all the nice junk food and unhealthy snacks you used to eat. One of the best ways to take your thoughts away from this is to create some distractions. If you are working for most of the day, then this may not be a problem for you. However, when you come home after a long hard day at the office, the evening time might be where it all goes wrong.

It will be different for everyone on what the distraction could be. For example, you may want to join a gym that you can go to in the evenings. Some gyms have saunas and swimming pools which might be a fantastic way to relax in the evening.

The main thing to remember is to keep busy! Don’t let yourself get bored, otherwise you may find yourself craving those unhealthy snacks.

9. Consider a set meal plan with snacks!

Typically the most successful diets are planned in advance – and include snacks. When you think of a diet you instantly assume that snacking is out the window, but this isn’t the case. If you don’t actually plan your meals for the day/week, and also include snacks in between, then you are much more likely to fail. However, it is of course important to remember that these snacks must be healthy. Fruit, or even low calorie cereal bars are always a good option.

So make sure you not only plan out your meals and add up all the calories, but also include a couple of snack times for the day. Typically the best time to snack would be once in between breakfast and dinner, and again in the afternoon between dinner and evening meal. Depending on how many calories you are allowing yourself, you may even be able to include another snack at night.

10. Join a group

Joining a group is a fantastic way to lose weight. Groups like Slimming World and Weight Watchers continue to get great results – and it’s easy to see why!

One of the hardest ways to diet is to do it on your own. Finding that inner motivation can just be too much sometimes, and it’s very easy to lose that mental battle after a few weeks. However, if you are going to a group once a week, it’s much easier to stay focused when you are presenting your results in a group each week. There is nothing worse than gaining a few pounds and everyone knowing about it!

It’s also a great way to socialise and make new friends. You’ll also be able to get some fantastic advice on what to eat, as well as some great recipes. It can also be nice to know that you are not the only one who struggles with losing weight, and being able to share your experiences with other people can help you keep going.

You will always come across someone who finds it much harder than you, and when you find yourself helping them, it can be a very enlightening experience.

Celeb diets – which one is right for you?

We often read about celeb diets and how amazing they are, but choosing the right one can be very tricky! So to help you decide, we’ve chose what we believe to be the best celeb diets out there right now.

Here are our top 3 celebrity diets…

Patsy Kensit
Patsy Kensit BAFTA” by Patsy_Kensit_at_the_BAFTA’s.jpg: Damien Everettderivative work: Wildhartlivie (talk) – Patsy_Kensit_at_the_BAFTA’s.jpg. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.

Weight Watchers – chosen by Patsy Kensit

The Weight Watchers diet is a firm favourite with Patsy, and in order to keep in shape for her TV and film roles, she shed around 14lbs. She said: “What I love about the Weight Watchers plan is that it’s realistic. You don’t have to hide away for three weeks in case you get tempted by other food around you.”

How does it work?

After signing up to the Weight Watchers plan, you then follow their ProPoints plan. This means that every food you eat is assigned an amount of points that you can easily follow and track. A weekly points limit is also set so you don’t go over. This limit is calculated for you personally, taking into account your own personal goals.


Like many other diet groups, the whole idea behind this type of diet plan is to get people together as a group and help each other achieve their goals. Dieting on your own can be extremely difficult, and is often the reason why people fail.

It’s also an excellent motivator if you are meeting up with other people trying to diet too, as you are all able to talk about how it’s going, as well as share recipe ideas. You might even make lots of new friends too!


There aren’t really any cons with this type of approach, other than the actual very small cost of attending the groups. However, the time aspect may be an issue, as attending the weekly meetings may be difficult for some people. However, if you are really keen on shedding a few pounds, then attending a group is an excellent way of going about it. And for a few quid and a couple of hours, it’s certainly worth it!

What the experts say…

The Weight Watchers diet plan is very nutritional, and would always get the approval from your doctor. Essentially, you are encouraged to eat lots of fruit and veg. However, the plan also allows you to eat anything you want, like chocolate, chips or ice cream. It’s worth mentioning however that you only have so many points per week. And these types of unhealthy foods would eat into that limit very quickly.

The large emphasis on group support, as well as sticking to a certain amount of calories/points makes this diet choice a very easy one to make. Exercise is obviously optional, so you are also not under any pressure to hit the gym every night.

Find out more about Weightwatchers

Megan Fox
Megan Fox 2014” by Eva Rinaldi from Sydney Australia – Megan Fox. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons.

Paleo Diet – chosen by Megan Fox

The Hollywood star reportedly said that she owes her amazing figure to this very simple ‘caveman’ diet of plenty of protein, low carb fruit and veg diet.

How does it work?

The Paleo diet is based on the principle that we eat the same as our ancestors from the Paleolithic era. This means for example – no processed foods, dairy products, beans, potatoes, and even cereal grains. The diet encourages you to eat lots of meat, fish, eggs, as well as fresh fruit and veg. There is also no particular set plan, and you basically just eat as much as you want.


Eating lots of protein and cutting out carbs has been proven to accelerate weight loss. Cutting out unhealthy snacks and foods high in carbs, and replacing them with fruit and veg can also make it easier to shed the pounds.

It also means that you don’t have to worry about counting calories, and some people might find this diet much easier to track and stick to.


Any diet plan that allows you to eat as much as you want can sometimes backfire. Even if the foods that you are consuming are healthy like fruit and vegetables, you can still consume too many calories and either sustain your current weight, or even put weight on. Our advice would be to still loosely track your calories on this diet, and make sure you don’t overdo it!

Also, cutting out carbs might be too difficult for some, and may leave you feeling drained and lacking in energy. There are a lot of healthy carbs out there which are often included when dieting, so removing these altogether may not be for everyone.

What the experts say…

This diet can be a lot of fun and isn’t necessarily as serious as most. Being able to eat big fat juicy steaks is certainly a plus, as well as fish and non starchy fruits and vegetables. However, there are lots of healthy foods out there that are being missed in this diet – like pulses and beans for example. This diet can work for most people, but is certainly very different from what we are used too.

Find out more about the Paleo Diet

Beyonce Knowles with necklaces” by Parkwood. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

The 5:2 Diet – chosen by Beyonce and Jennifer Aniston

This diet has become extremely popular, and lots of celebs are giving it a go – and with great results!

How does it work?

The principle behind this diet is that you eat ‘normally’ for 5 days, and then cut your calorie intake down to just a quarter for the other 2 days. This would usually amount to around 500 calories for women and 600 for men. So essentially, this is almost like fasting for 2 days!

The trick to this diet is being able to keep hunger at bay as much as possible during those 2 low calorie days. So rather than snacking on a slice of pizza and using them up instantly, it would be much better choosing low calorie foods which would fill you up more, and trying to spread out the calories during the day as much as possible.


The 5:2 diet is essentially another name for intermittent fasting. So unlike other diets whereby you try to cut down on calories every single day, the Paleo diet allows you to only worry about it for 2 days out of the week.

Some people might find it much easier to only have to diet, albeit very extreme, for 2 days per week rather than every day.


One of the main reasons why dieting is so difficult is because you end up craving those unhealthy snacks. Sometimes it’s just inevitable that we will crack eventually and pile on the pounds that we’ve spent so long trying to shed!

So this is why the 5:2 diet can be very difficult for some people, because when you are only allowed to have 500-600 calories, it may prove a little bit too much and will power might just end up taking a back seat.

This may seem a lot harder than eating a balanced diet every day, and may prove too inconsistent for some.

What the experts say…

When compared to other diets, this one may just prove too difficult to stick too. Most health and fitness professionals will tell you that a balanced diet and exercise is all that’s needed for staying trim and healthy. So subjecting yourself to such a strict calorie diet for 2 days per week, may just be a little bit too extreme for some.

However, this has proven to work, and overall you should find yourself consuming fewer calories each week, allowing you to lose weight. If you can handle the hunger for those 2 days, then this just may be the diet for you!

Find out more about the 5:2 Fast Diet

Do fat burning pills really work?

Fat burning pills are often sold as a quick fix to weight loss but they don’t work that way. There is some evidence that they can help you burn fat, but you’ll need to take them at the same time as dieting and exercising.

So before you order the latest faddy pills, give some thought to how you’re approaching weight loss and make sure you’re on the right path to success. These seven steps to effective fat burning will keep you on the right track:

1. Set realistic expectations

Even with dieting and exercise, the weight is not going to melt off with a fat burner. It’s not healthy to lose weight too quickly either. A safe rate of weight loss is about 1% of your body weight. This reflects the fact that people who have more weight to lose tend to lose it more quickly at first and this is usually quite safe.

A faster rate of weight loss can indicate that you’re losing lean muscle mass which will not be a good look in the end!

2. Change your diet

It’s reasonable to assert that people who need to lose weight eat too much food, or eat the wrong foods. So taking fat burning supplements without changing your diet won’t make a difference – you’ll still be eating too much. If you want to lose weight, you have to create a calorie deficit from your needs. Taking a fat burner and dieting at the same time can be really beneficial – it can boost your energy, help stop you feeling hungry, promote the use of fat for energy and increase your metabolism and core temperature – all helping you to burn more calories.

You might find these articles are helpful in your approach to dieting:

As you can see from these articles, sometimes choosing the right food can alone boost your fat burning potential!

3. Start exercising

Exercise is crucial to the fat burning process. If you’ve not exercised in a long time, swimming can be one of the best ways to get back into the game. It’s a fantastic all round work out which exercises practically every muscle in your body and burns 500 – 700 calories an hour, depending on how much effort you put in!

A 130-pound person swimming freestyle for one hour will burn 590 calories swimming fast, and 413 calories swimming slower. A 155-pound person swimming freestyle for one hour will burn 704 calories swimming fast, and 493 calories swimming slower. Source: Active.com

Once you’re feeling more energetic, HIIT is the perfect fat burning exercise – find out more.

Don’t be tempted to overdo it – too much exercise can burn you out and result in chronic fatigue syndrome, which will mean you can’t even walk up the stairs without wanting to lie down. Too much exercise can have a lot of other undesirable side effects as well which will hinder your fat burning efforts, as this article by Chris Kresser explains. If you want to exercise every day, mix it up – cardio one day, weights the next, swimming the next and so on. Always have at least one rest day where you don’t do anything.

4. Consider a supplement

Different pills in blister packsFat burners can be beneficial – when combined with exercise and diet. Some of the most popular include:

  • Capsaicin – it’s the chemical that makes peppers and chillies hot. Possible benefits include encouraging your body to use more fat as fuel, boosting energy expenditure and (where it is included as part of a meal) causing you to eat fewer total calories. There are scientific studies that show promising results.
  • Chromium Picolinate – it’s an essential trace mineral that is required by the body in very small quantities for normal development and growth. Chromium Picolinate is a potent form of Chromium. The best natural source of Chromium is broccoli.
  • Green tea – it’s thought to boost your metabolism and as a bonus, it’s full of antioxidants which have numerous benefits. It’s certainly the safest and healthiest fat burner you can choose!
  • Guarana – it’s a plant that’s often added to energy drinks. Together with improved weight loss, research has recorded benefits such as cognitive improvements, reduced hypertension, reduced metabolic syndrome and lower cholesterol.
  • Caffeine – combined with the polyphenol compounds in green tea, it’s thought to have weight loss effect. Of note, it is thought that combining guarana with polyphenols may have a similar effect.
  • L-Carnitine (carnitine) – it’s a natural nutrient that helps burn fat for fuel by transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria – our internal power plants – to produce energy.
  • Phosphatidylserine – it reduces the stress hormone cortisol which is responsible for fat storage. The hormone can be excreted when you work out as you are putting your body under stress. As a result your body can use muscle tissue for energy. Phosphatidylserine blocks the secretion of cortisol allowing you to recover quicker, burn more fat and build more muscle.

It’s a good idea to consult a doctor before you start taking fat burning supplements as they may not be suitable for you. You should always follow the instructions on any supplement you take and never take more than the stated dose. We recommend starting on the minimum stated dose and sticking to this for at least a couple of weeks. Afterwards you can decide if you want to increase the dose, should the product suggest this is feasible.

5. Lay off the caffeine

A lot of people use caffeine both as a weight loss aid and to help them stay alert during the day. However, if you’re also taking a stimulant fat burner, you may need to reduce your caffeine intake elsewhere. Many fat burners contain caffeine or a similar substance and taking these while maintaining your regular caffeine intake can have some unwanted effects, including burn out. You’ll find it harder to exercise, you’ll feel tired more quickly and you won’t recover as fast. Too much caffeine does not equal better results – it can stop your plan from working properly.

6. Drink plenty

A lot of people who embark on an exercise and diet plan notice a marked drop in their weight over the first few days. This is often because they’re losing water through exercise and less food, and not drinking enough to replace it! Drink plenty – 6 to 8 cups is recommended – as not only will this keep you hydrated but it will also help flush toxins out of your body.

7. Measure your results

If you’ve got a realistic weight loss goal, you’ll know exactly where you want to be 6 weeks, 12 weeks and even 6 months from now. Measuring your results is essential to ensuring that your plan is working for you. Weigh yourself each morning without clothes on at roughly the same time and track your progress. Don’t be surprised if your weight fluctuates up and down from day to day. What you really want to see is a downward pattern from week to week (e.g. Monday to Monday). After a three or four weeks if there’s little change, you need to reevaluate what you’re doing and make a change. Try a different exercise plan, change up your diet or switch your fat burning supplement as everyone’s body is different and what works for one won’t necessarily work for another.

In summary…

  1. Set realistic expectations
  2. Change your diet
  3. Start exercising
  4. Consider a supplement
  5. Lay off the caffeine
  6. Drink plenty of water
  7. Measure your results and make changes if you need to

Scroll back up and check out our diet and exercise articles that will help you create the perfect fat burning plan!

Dieting secrets – what the doctors don’t tell you

dietingYou’ve probably read a million and one articles on how to lose weight, but did they ever really work? Millions of people around the world struggle with their weight, and no matter what they try they just can’t seem to stick to it. Does this sound familiar?

Everyone has good intentions when they first start to diet, but after a couple of weeks (sometimes even days), the cravings come back and so does the weight. Dieting is all about changing your lifestyle and not just your current eating habits. Continue reading “Dieting secrets – what the doctors don’t tell you”

Katie Hopkins: to be, or not to be, obese

Katie HopkinsMost of us love to hate Katie Hopkins the apprentice star turned outspoken celebrity, who continues to cause uproar among the general public with her opinions and in some cases downright rude and inappropriate remarks about very sensitive issues.

The list of topics that Katie has commented on ranges from the working class, to the Ebola virus, right through to the obese. And it’s the latest weight gain/loss regime that she’s put herself through that I’d like to talk about and to try and tackle the question that’s on everybody’s lips – is she right? Continue reading “Katie Hopkins: to be, or not to be, obese”