1. There is nothing other than a calorie deficit that can help you lose weight.
I say that again for the people in the back. There is NOTHING other than a calorie deficit that can help you lose weight. There are soooooooo many weight loss pills, fat burners, skinny teas, health remedies and waist trainers out there on the market, that it’s so easy to buy into the idea, that this pill or meal replacement shake or this fucking whatever, will help you achieve weight loss if you simply add them into your routine.
- Firstly, fat burners don’t actually burn fat, they increase your heart rate significantly in the idea to increase your energy output (calories burned).
- Waist trainers hug tightly around your waist, causing you to sweat more in that area, that does not result in you losing more fat around your waist. Sweat does not equal fat exiting your body.
- Meal replacement shakes result in significantly decreasing your calorie intake, as you are now no longer eating. So yes you will probably lose weight but you won’t be able to maintain it, as you’ll eventually have to start eating again before you hate your life.
- And lastly, skinny teas will simply make you shit, as they are a laxative.
So hopefully you are now clear on these things and we can move on.
2. Track your calories
In order to lose weight we must create a caloric deficit, meaning we need to be consuming less energy than we are using.
A caloric deficit can be made in a few different ways:
- Decreasing food intake. Eating less energy then the amount we are burning.
- Increasing your energy output – aka exercising more. Increasing the amount of energy you are using.
- The third and most effective, is to do both. Eating under maintenance calories and increasing your energy output – through exercising more or increasing your current exercise intensity.
In order for this deficit in energy to be accurate, you must track it.
It’s all well and good to start exercising and just assuming this will put you into a deficit but it just mightn’t. We become hungrier when we introduce more exercise, so often we actually start eating more, even though we now go to the gym. So track your food and turn your guessing into a certainty.
3. Ensure you have a food scale and properly weigh out all your food.
If you are wanting successful, accurate and consistent weight loss, you can’t simply guess the amounts of each food you are consuming, because chances are you’ll get it wrong.
So often I deal with clients who have been tracking their food and not losing weight, after asking them to start weighing out their food and ingredients, do they then realise they have been consuming much more than they thought. Consuming 20-50 grams more of something, can add an extra 200 calories that you haven’t be tracking and is therefore putting you significantly over your daily calorie target.
If you have never tracked before or have little experience with it, weigh out everything, everyday. You will be able to learn your portions and become better at being able to eyeball your servings in the future.
4. Keep things slow and steady. Don’t go from 0 to 100.
Don’t wake up one day and decide your going to try and lose some weight or get leaner and then straight away set your calories to 1200. You’ve most likely been consuming on average around 2000 calories a day and to do this, would be a drastic decrease that will actually prevent you from losing all the weight that you sort out to.
When we significantly decrease our calories like this, you will lose a few kilos in the beginning but that momentum of weight loss will quickly end. When we hit a plateau in dropping weight we need to then decrease our calories further. If you’ve gone from 2000 to 1200cal then you have no where to go. You can’t lower your calories any further without being starving, grumpy, tired all the time and most likely bingeing frequently.
What you need to do is decrease your calorie intake incrementally over time by small amounts. (50-100cals at a time.)
So if you eat 2000cal per day on average to maintain your current body weight, then you would start by dropping your calories down to maybe 1900. You would then record your weight reguarlry and then only once you notice that your weight hasn’t dropped any further for a while, then you could drop the calories down again to 1850 and do the same process.
You can also further your deficit by introducing an extra day of exercise or start walking more each day instead of dropping your calories more.
5. Minimise food items that do not offer you anything in return for there calories.
If you are drinking say a can of coke per day, that’s almost 200 calories that doesn’t fill you up, doesn’t satisfy your hunger in any way and doesn’t offer you any valuable nutrients (e.g macronutrients such as protein, or micronutrients – vitamins, minerals).
So this would be a wasted 200 calories, that you could of used on a decent snack like eggs or oatmeal or even chicken.
An easy way to combat this is to switch all of your drinks to zero sugar options.
– coke zero, white monster, diet lemonade, diet rite cordials the list goes on.
There are so many zero sugar, low calorie drinks on the market now that there’s really no reason to be consuming the high sugar options.
When I really want to save calories I even start to get rid of the milk in my coffee and just have long blacks. This will save you around 100 calories depending on what milk you get.
6. Don’t cut out food groups & keep treating yourself!
We’ve all heard that friend say, “oh no I don’t eat bread anymore, I’ve decided to cut out all carbs” or the popular, “I’m trying to lose weight so I’m not going to eat cheese or chocolate anymore.”
The reason this method is not so great, is because your body needs all food groups in order to maintain healthy energy and hormonal levels.
Carbohydrates for example, are the first choice of energy for our brain and nervous system. People on low carb diets usually find themselves fatigued, lacking energy, unmotivated and struggling to concentrate.
Cutting out a certain food won’t achieve anything other than sadness, because you’re no longer eating a food you truly enjoy. A better, more sustainable approach would be to portion out your higher calorie treat foods, so that you can still enjoy them regularly and stick to your daily calorie target at the same time.
I like to dedicate 100-200 calories at the end of each day to treat food, which for me is some chocolate or biscuits or even ice cream, depending on what I’m craving that day. This makes me feel like I’m eating as I normally would and that I’m not dieting at all, which means I will successfully be able to stick to this routine for a longer period and therefore have a bigger result at the end.
7. Measure your progress in various ways.
The scale only shows so much of the picture and that’s why it’s so crucial to have another form of measurement to show you what’s truly going on.
So often the scale doesn’t tend to budge, but when you look at the photos and measurements, you can see a significant difference. This is because our weight has so many variables; whether you’re on your period that week, fluid retention from yesterdays meals, water content etc these can all have significant impacts on what your weight will read as, day to day. I know for me, I tend to weigh the most on Monday mornings, this is because I often eat out at restaurants or cafes over the weekend and am likely holding fluid from these meals. I also have dessert after dinner on the weekends, which increases my calories slightly over these days.
Ideally you should
- weigh yourself 1-2 times a week and
- take girth measurements and progress photos once a month.
This will give you a much more accurate picture as to whether you are losing weight and more importantly whether you are losing fat and changing your overall body composition.
8. Be consistent.
Be consistent, this one is the most important of all. Weight loss is not a linear journey, meaning you aren’t going to lose exactly 1kg every week for 3 months. One week you might lose 1kg, the next week you might lose nothing and the following week you might lose 0.8kg.
I know in my own experience, my weight can even go up from the previous week. There are so many factors and variables that go into the number that appears on the scale, so don’t give up on yourself or feel disheartened if things aren’t going the way you thought they would.
If you stick at it, exercise consistently, tracking your calories – ensuring you are eating in a deficit, you will lose weight! It’s so easy to throw in the towel and say that’s enough I give up, but you will thank yourself later if you stick with it!
Remember “dieting” should not be time served in hell. Make sure you are eating foods you really enjoy!
Make sure you enjoy your exercise. Don’t slog it out for 2 hours a day on the treadmill, if you hate every second of it.
Find what you enjoy, try new things, lift weights and move more.
I hope this has helped!