Weight loss is a journey!
Like any journey, unless you have a map (or a good satnav) you’re likely struggle to get to your destination without sufficient direction.
You may know your starting point but as progress stalls it can become demoralising and you could end up back at your start point to begin the journey again.
To reduce the possibility of that happening, here are my top 10 tips which should help lead you along the right path to your destination:-
1. BE IN A CALORIE DEFECIT
It should go without saying you need to be expending more calories than you are consuming in order to lose weight.
Whether it’s eat less or move more or a combination of the two.
To find out how much you’re consuming I would definitely recommend tracking your food for at least a week by completing a food journal or by using one of the many apps that are available such as Myfitnesspal.
What isn’t measured isn’t managed!
2. DON’T BE TOO RESTRICTIVE
Eating plain chicken breast, brown rice and peas in every meal is not going to lead to sustainable weight loss in the long term.
Food is meant to be tasty and enjoyable. However its human nature to want what we can’t have or are not allowed to have.
A good balanced diet with a few of your favourite treats here and there will be much more enjoyable, you’ll still achieve your goals and will be easier to sustain.
3. INCREASE PROTEIN INTAKE FOR SATIETY
Many people do not consume enough protein in their diets.
Protein not only helps to preserve muscle mass but it aids in feeling more full which aids with controlling hunger.
A good daily guideline would be to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
4. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
When you are dehydrated, you can misread signs of thirst as hunger, therefore potentially eating excess calories.
Daily guidelines vary greatly, they’re many online calculators that will work this out for you depending on your height, weight, age, activity levels such as this hydration calculator:
5. PLAN YOUR MEALS
Failing to plan is preparing to fail!
Plan out what meals you’re going to cook for the week, write a shopping list of all the food and ingredients you’re going to need for all this awesome, tasty nutritious food you’re going to prepare.
Then factor into your day time to cook these meals.
Bulk cooking saves a lot of time and helps keep you on track towards your goals. There is certainly nothing wrong with eating the same meal a few times a week.
6. AIM FOR 6-8 HOURS+ OF SLEEP
Sleep is so important, if you don’t get enough sleep the body will struggle to deal with stresses of recovering from exercise you’re doing to assist with weight loss.
There is also research to suggest sleep deprivation combined with calorie restriction can increase hunger, which can lead to excess calorie consumption.
7. DON’T JUMP ON THE SCALES EVERY DAY
This can lead to an unhealthy obsession with numbers and can lead to questions of whether your diet is actually working.
Although scale weight is one way of tracking, measurements and visual images tell a much more accurate story of progression.
If you are going to use the scales, a couple of simple rules would be to make sure you weigh yourself on the same day, at around roughly the same time and NOT every day.
8. EAT FOOD!
Meal replacement shakes have their place when time and convenience are an issue but people can over-rely on these.
Try and stick to solid food as much as possible.
If you’re on a calorie controlled diet, would you rather eat or drink your controlled quantities of food?
9. BE PATIENT
Weight loss can take time!
The more patient you are, the more likely you’ll be able to sustain consistent weight loss on a weekly basis and be less tempted to take extreme measures such as severe calorie restriction.
10. BE CONSISTENT
If you can consistently get yourself into some good habits and routines, and are able to consistently stick to a flexible, sustainable diet you give yourself the best possible chance of achieving the weight loss you want.
Ironically this logic is not to be mistaken for consistently binging on high calorie foods. This will not help you with weight loss unless it is factored in to your overall daily calorie targets.
TO SUM UP......
Stick with these 10 principles, and you should have a good foundation and direction towards achieving your goal. I’m not going to lie and say that all of these are achievable 100% of every day, which brings me to my question to you guys:-
What do you guys struggle with the most when it comes to weight loss? (Might even be one of the principles listed)