Top 10 Tips — for Weight Loss
Be CLEAR as to what you want and why! You have probably heard a lot about visualization. Well — it works! You need to have a clear mental image about what you want to look like as a goal! Imagine yourself already there and how happy you are. KEEP that image in your head always….
Eat more… often! Mainstream recommendations most often indicate 4-6 meals per day, while eating smaller volumes. Some sources claim that this helps stabilize your blood sugar, helping to burn fat and to reduce those slumps in energy that come after eating a large meal. It also allows you to plan ahead and eat for what you are about to do.
Increase amount of exercise. Weight loss is not rocket science! It is about burning more calories than you intake. A major element of this is diet — the other is exercise. Depending on your fitness level and goals there are many different kinds of exercise your can undertake. You can read more about that in our article on the types of exercise. Remember to vary the choice of exercise, and particularly to combine cardio and resistance training.
Drink water. Water helps re-hydrate you after exercise. Make sure you stay properly hydrated. Contrary to popular belief, there is no magic amount of water that you need. Your diet and your activity level will determine that. So pay attention to your body and always have a water bottle at hand.
Increase protein percentage Make sure to keep a balanced diet where you include proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables and fats — most people who follow an unhealthy diet will probably need to lower their carb and/or fat intake and increase their protein. Aim for a sensible macronutrient ration like the 40-30-30 (carbs-protein-fat).
Be happy! The happier you are (and even the more happy you like to think you are) the better you feel about yourself and thus elevate your energy levels. An increased energy level equals increased loss of fat.
Set short-term goals. Have a long-term goal of e.g. 25 pounds (12kg) of weight loss in 6 months. Break this down into 6 individual months and then also 12 two-week periods. Set mini-goals for what you want to see happen for each of those 12 two-week periods.
Surround yourself with like-minded people. You will not lose any weight if you only talk to 400 pound individuals who eat fast-food every day. Focus on meeting and talking to people who have the same goals as you, or who have already met these goals. Talk to them and ask them what they did to achieve their goals. Eventually go train with them.
Get a partner. As in… a training partner! Find someone who also wants to achieve the same goals as you (approximately) and then set up a diet / training regime with them. If the two of you really get on, agree that on alternate days you will swap in preparing some delicious, healthy foods for you both. This helps alleviate any boredom from always eating your own food — and helps set commitment to your goals — you would not want to let down your partner now would you?
Diet. Whilst not saying that you have to be on any specific diet, you should definitely focus on eating more healthily! Reduce the amount of alcohol and coffee. Alcohol is high in calories (especially beer) and coffee retains water making you bloat somewhat. Choose a diet high in lean protein like fish, poultry, lean meats, soy, etc., with moderate portions of wholegrain breads, or brown rice to the side, and then add lots of greens and fruit. Obviously — stay away from fatty fried foods!
The key to long-term weight loss, in other words where you avoid the yo-yo effect, is to think of nutrition as a lifestyle change rather than a short-term effort. Slowly change what you eat, replacing foods that are processed, have high saturated fat content, are high in salt, have sugar added, etc. The next step is to think about balancing your macronutrients so that you get the right amount of protein-carbs-fats.
AND A BONUS…
Eat for what you are about to do not for what you have just done. Most people eat lightly, then train, then have a huge dinner. This is wrong. Always ask yourself, what am I going to do for the next 3-4 hours? Then plan that meal accordingly. If I am very active, I may add more carbs and fats. If I am going to nap, I should eat a light meal, low on carbs and fats, and dominated by a lean protein (e.g. 7 ounces (200g) low fat cottage cheese, a few olives, and an orange).