10 tips to improve weight loss

10 tips to improve your weight loss results

Natural-Weight1Weight loss is all about putting your body in the best possible state to burn excess stores of energy which your body puts away as fat. There are simple and time proven ways in which you can be sure that your body will access those stores as fuel to help you lose weight.

1- Exercise first thing in the morning

There are a few reasons as to why you should exercise first thing in the morning. Firstly, it gets the exercise over and done with for the day (so you don’t have the whole day to think of reasons why you shouldn’t do it!). Secondly, exercising on waking increases your metabolic rate for the rest of the day which will help you burn energy more efficiently. It improves your energy levels and is more effective at balancing stress levels when done first thing. As you will see in point 2, it also gives you the opportunity to exercise while fasting, which is better for burning fat.

2- Don’t eat a before exercising

This helps to ensure that you burn stored fat, and not just burn your last meal. If you have not eaten then your body will have to use stored energy in the form of glycogen (stored in your liver and muscle) first and then fat, rather than burning glucose and fats circulating in your blood stream. This is also another reason why exercising first thing in the morning, before breakfast is best for weight loss. If you are exercising later in the day, do not eat for 1.5 hrs beforehand. However, for those doing endurance training or exercising for longer than 2 hours you will need to top up on glucose during and/or before your session.

3- Always eat within 30mins of exercise

This ensures that you replace the glycogen stores in your liver and muscle after exercise to ensure that you can keep burning fat. It helps to suppress hunger and appetite and will keep from feeling too hungry later in the day. For those on a low carbohydrate regime, this is also the best time to have your carbohydrate meal. You can include lots of veggies, starchy root vegetables and a small portion of whole grains (such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, wholegrain bread) at this meal.

4- Exercise for a minimum of 35mins to get fat burning started

Research shows that it takes about 30-35mins of exercise before you will start to burn into your fat stores. Therefore, aim to exercise for a minimum of 35mins. A 45min to 60 hour exercise session is a great aiming point.

5- Increase your muscle mass

An increase in muscle health leads to a faster metabolic rate which means that you will lose weight faster and be more likely to keep it off. This means not just doing cardio exercise (like walking, running, swimming, aerobics). Resistance or weight based training is just as important. In fact, studies show that if you combine cardio and resistance exercise you will burn twice as much fat as when doing cardio exercise along. Try yoga or pilates classes for resistance exercise using your own body weights. You could join a gym and do a pump class or use the weight machines. For those who are not into classes, you can easily do this at home. Finish your walk/run/swim with 10-15mins of floor based exercises such as squats, lunges, plank, sit ups OR use light hand weights. Talk to us if you want some more ideas and instructions.

6- Cut out the coffee

It’s not the caffeine itself that is the issue but the milk and sugar that is added. For example, if you are having two large latte’s that is around 800mls of milk a day! That is pretty much a meal in itself, without taking into account the sugar. Switch to an espresso or a long black with a dash of milk if you are desperate for the caffeine, or cut out the coffee altogether for much faster weight loss results.

7- Keep a food diary

The research shows time and time again that those people who are keeping a food diary consistently get better weight loss results than those who do not keep a record. A diet diary helps to keep us more accountable for what we have eaten and reflect better on the bad and good choices we may have made. If you are writing all that you eat down, you are much more likely to make a positive food choice. There is also more chance of sticking to your healthy eating plan if you can see how good the rest of your week has been.


8- Include some protein with each meal and snack

Protein stimulates metabolism, helps to build muscle, reduces sugar cravings and stabilizes appetite and keeps your feeling fuller for longer. As a guide, aim for a palm sized portion of protein with main meals and half of this with snacks. Good protein sources include anything from an animal product (such as fish, chicken, meat, dairy, eggs) and vegetarian proteins (lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, and tofu)


9 – Include a small, light snack only (and don’t turn your snack into another meal!)

A snack should be just that- something small, light and protein based to keep your blood sugar levels stable and appetite at bay. There is no need to eat if you are not hungry, but if there will be a long period of time between meals (5 hrs. or more) then it is important to snack on something to avoid over eating at your next meal. Try some vegetable sticks (cucumber, celery, capsicum, carrot) with hummus, or a handful of raw, unsalted nuts and with a piece of fruit. A miso soup is an easy snack for the colder weather, or you could try about half a cup of natural yoghurt with some berries.


10- Allow 8-10 hours of fasting overnight

Aim to finish dinner by 8pm at night and don’t have anything after this time. Our body is designed for periods of fasting, and eating late into the night means that we are missing this overnight fasting. It is much easier (and more enjoyable) to include your fasting while you are asleep rather than trying to fast during the daytime when we will naturally need to eat more regularly.


Hayley runs a 10 week weight loss program designed to help you meet your weight loss goals. The program is based on healthy eating instructions that suit your lifestyle and can be continued for life as well as giving you the education that you need for healthy eating. Please email her to hayley@betterhealthpractice.com.au or call 9518 0722 for more information.

Hayley Stockbridge Better Health Naturopath

Hayley Stockbridge Better Health Naturopath