Stick to these 3 rules for losing weight quicker than you imagined

It may seem like skipping a meal would help you lose weight, but the opposite is true

Vahdaneh Vahid
Vahdaneh Vahid - Special to Al Arabiya English
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Sticking to these three rules may help you lose weight quicker than you think.

You have been fasting throughout the night in your sleep. If you skip breakfast, chances are your body will eat you for breakfast instead. It may seem like skipping a meal would help you lose weight, but the opposite is true.

When we go for long periods without food, our bodies break down muscle tissue for energy. This slows down our metabolism and increases insulin, which can lead to blood-sugar issues and more fat around your middle. It is important to maintain your muscles for a healthy metabolic rate, so if you are serious about losing weight, eating breakfast should be your top priority every morning.

Create all your healthy meal plans and workout routines a week ahead. Schedule your workouts into your diary or phone like an appointment, and treat them as such. Write a shopping list and stick to it. Preparing meals and snacks in advance will avoid you slipping into bad habits when you are hungry or too lazy to go to the gym.

I am a big believer in the 80/20 percent rule - 80 percent of the time stick to a healthy eating plan, and indulge freely during the other 20 percent. That way you can keep weekdays healthy and let the weekend be the 20 percent. This allows you to enjoy yourself because you have earnt it, and you are more likely to stick to your routine during the week.

Weight-training is just as beneficial for women as it is for men. Many women fear that increased muscle means increased masculinity, which is not the case. Women have very low levels of the hormone testosterone, which is needed to bulk up. Therefore, our muscles develop differently and weight-training will not lead to a butch physique.

Resistance-training builds muscle, which increases your metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories all day. The more compact muscle you carry, the more fat you can lose because muscles work hard even while you are at rest.

Do exercises that work all the muscle groups, and do eight to 12 repetitions. Use a suitable weight so the last rep feels like hard work. Do not overdo it, and ensure you leave a day or two to recover between sessions. Muscles grow while resting, so pushing yourself as hard as you can everyday will be counterproductive, leaving you sore and exhausted.

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