At some stage of their life, most people worry about their weight and want to lose some. Sometimes they don’t really need to, it’s about rebalancing things, and that can be addressed just through exercise.
Most of the time though, it’s about rebalancing with exercise, what you eat, and your overall habits of eating and exercise combined over time.
Most people hit the ground running then run out of steam really quickly. That’s why questions around hitting a dieting brick wall so frequently asked online.
What happens is initially you cut out loads of calories and start exercising, and you lose some initial weight. But the problem is you haven’t dealt with the underlying problems and you don’t have the tools and information to spot those problems.
So this is a quick guide to ensuring the weight loss you achieve is not only significant, but is done through establishing good knowledge and habits that not only make it easier, but also work better for the long term.
These Are The Three Biggest Problems People Face When Trying To Lose Weight
To lose weight and keep it off, you have to understand and address the three big problems people face when they start weight loss:
- A lack of education and detailed plan
- Ignorance of poor long-term food and health habits
- Lifestyle & friends who perpetuate or eating and health habits
We will address planning and education in this quick guide. We will also look at how part of that planning is to be honest about your food and health habits.
What I really want to hammer home right here is how much lifestyle and your friends can perpetuate poor eating and health habits.
If your social life is all about meeting people to drink and eat, then how likely are you to lose weight? If none of your friend’s exercise, how likely are you to lose weight? If none of your friends are motivated or forward thinking, lacking in energy, how likely are you to be different?
I’m not saying that your friends need to go, but you can rebalance your social behavior. Change some of the passive and negative social encounters with positive ones though. That small change will make a huge amount of difference to your initial weight loss progress, and the ability to keep the weight off. I will cover this in more detail later.
1. Start With Education & A Plan
The problem is that most people launch into a diet with no plan or education. They simply follow plan they have been given, and then don’t know what to do they have to step outside that will struggle.
My suggestion is that in the weeks leading up to your planned diet that you make sure that you achieve the following:
- Record the types of food you eat
- You record when you eat
- You record calories are what you eat
- Write down how you are feeling when you eat and the situation
- Record how often you exercise and what you do
After doing that the two weeks you will have a very good snapshot of your good and bad food habits. That knowledge will help you to spot times when you are in danger territory from your diet may help you to spot some quick wins, and understand better the types of food you eat, both good and bad.
The other thing you need to do is to understand what macronutrients are. These are the main three groups of foods: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
You need to look at the macronutrient balance you should be following, and how your current diet fits into it. That will tell you how good or bad your diet is, and how much of a culture shock to your body and mind your planned diet will be.
2. Cut Out Processed Foods
If you don’t want to go calorie controlled in your diet, then cutting out processed foods is a brilliant way of ditching calories fast.
Processed foods are refined carbohydrates, and also foods mainly stuffed full of sugar and salt.
Ready meals, pastries and treated bread, convenience foods, sweets and treats, takeaways, burgers, all of that stuff has to go. Replace it with low calorie and highly natural alternatives.
Refined carbohydrates are the big devil. Those are the things you should look to swap out for whole foods and natural carbohydrates.
2. Eat More Produce
You must eat more produce, meaning more fruit and vegetables. This is an easy as it can get very dull to eat tons of these things every day. You just end up chewing your way through the board. You can offset this a bit with good cooking, but only up to a certain degree.
But you do have a couple of strategies. The first one is to mix things up well. So ensure you find five or six different types of fruit, the same with vegetables, and make sure you’re eating different things every day rather than repetitively.
The second strategy is to use vegetable smoothies. A moderately sized smoothie can contain three of the five portions of fruit and vegetables you should be aiming for each day.
3. Drink More Water (And At The Correct Times)
People don’t often realize how much thirst can be misinterpreted as hunger. Dieticians will always look at your water intake when they are setting up a plan for you and build it in.
So if you are feeling “hungry”, drink some water. Not only will it fill you up, but it could end a misinterpreted body signal.
Also, stay away from sugary drinks, caffeine drinks, and drinking lots of milk. Stick to plain water or sugar-free squash, and always drink plenty when you eat because this can help to fill you up.
4. Do 30 Minutes Of Light Exercise Every Day
To help burn calories, lift your metabolism, build muscle that burns calories even when you are static, and to better cardiovascular and mental health, you should do some sort of exercise every day.
This can be just gentle walking, but you need to do at least 30 minutes per day in one go. That means running, working out, something.
If you break it down into 30 minutes per day, it’s not that much. Don’t think that just because you walk around a bit at work that’s enough. It has to be 30 minutes of sustained movement that raises your heart rate and burns an elevated level of calories.
Muscles burn fat faster than not having muscles. So do some toning work as well, even it’s just dumbbell work at home. This will allow you to burn more calories each day even if you are not doing much physical exercise.
5. Avoid High-Risk Food And Drink Situations
Before you start dieting, you should be building up a picture of your eating habits. Within this you will spot how often you eat and drink in social situations.
Mostly, these will be high risk situations, with calorie laden food and alcoholic drinks involved. You then need to ask yourself some questions.
How bad is this habit? Am I being led on by certain individual or group of people? What can I do differently?
Just small changes to your lifestyle and social life can lead to a dramatic drop in calories, as well as increasing your health.
For example, imagine you have at night just once per month with friends where you consume lots of alcohol and takeaway food while watching films or talking. You could be consuming 5000 Cal, two days normal intake in just one evening. How can you do that differently or not at all?
6. Practice These Three Good Habits
Although dieting is about the variety of things, at the heart of it is the simple equation of consuming less calories than you burn each day.
At the heart of your food intake, these are three crucial things you should be doing:
- Decrease your portion sizes
- Decrease your calorie intake by 100 call per day
- Replace unhealthy options and cooking methods with healthy ones
There are a ton of things you can do around decreasing portion sizes. Smaller plates, getting other people to serve up your food, not cooking when you are ravenous or tired, there are options. Aim to cut your portion size by about 20%, but not to the point where main meal is less than 300 cal.
From the record you built up, you’ll be able to spot where you can shave calories out of your normal diet, before you even have to go down the road of a calorie controlled diet.
If you aim to shave just 100 Cal per day of your diet, that 700 call per week. Once you’ve achieved that for two weeks, shave another hundred calories per day. At that point you will be shaving nearly a day’s worth of calories off each week.
The third thing you should do is replace unhealthy options and cooking methods with healthy alternatives.
It’s possible to have low calorie alternatives even with the purchase takeaway. Rather than egg fried rice go for boiled rice. If it’s a pizza, get the thinnest base option and one with toppings that aren’t full fat cheese or lots of neat.
When cooking at home, swap to lower fat and calorie laden options where possible. Just by swapping out a few things for lower calorie alternatives, or swapping them out for increased portions of vegetables, you can easily shave 100 Cal of every meal you have.