1. Keep your food simple.
When trying to lose weight, it is better to keep your meals quite basic. Home cooking is always a better option. Restaurant food is higher in calories than the home cooked version.
Try and include a good protein source, non-starchy carbohydrates, healthy fats and plenty of vegetables with each meal (yes that includes breakfast). Limit the amount of extra flavorings to the food.
With salads a simple yet delicious combo is 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil mixed with the juice of half a lemon and seasoned with salt and pepper.
And remember simple doesn’t have to be plain and boring. You can still cook delicious meals with minimal extras.
2. Eat enough food.
This form of weight loss drains your body of the vital calories and nutrients it needs to function, lowering your resting metabolic rate (number of calories you burn to stay alive).
It doesn’t matter what diet you choose to follow, it should never involve starving yourself. This doesn’t work for many reasons.
If you want to sustainable lose weight under eating can be just as much of a problem as overeating.
The key to losing weight and not starving yourself is the type of foods you choose.
Eating a diet full of nutrient dense food – lean proteins (chicken, turkey, lean red meat, eats, fish), Vegetables (especially green colored), healthy fats (coconut, oily fish, nuts and seeds) carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, brown rice).
Counting calories and obsessing over portions is a sure fire way to fail. Eating fewer calories without trying (through the above choices) is the key to sustainable weight loss.
You can still eat delicious meals knowing that you are still consuming much less calories than the standard western diet.
3. Carb intake should reflect activity level.
It is completely based on the individual’s response. If you are exercising regularly you should include carbohydrates in your diet.
I made this mistake last year. I was eating a Paleo style diet while weight training four times per week.
While I was getting lean, my energy and libido dropped as I wasn’t consuming enough carbohydrates.
If you are sedentary throughout the day then a low carb approach may work best for you (10 – 15% of calories). For the active individual, an adequate amount of carbohydrates would be 15 – 30% of calories. You can get these sources from sweet potatoes, pumpkin, brown rice and fruit.
4. Move throughout the day.
That’s a lot of sitting.
A one hour gym session is not enough to offset 12-16 hours of sitting each day. When you are at the gym avoid the bike or machines where you are sitting.
Do a mixture of bodyweight and free weight moves like squats, lunges and pushups.
During the day don’t spend more than one hour sitting at a time. Set a timer and do some gentle stretches or just go for a quick walk.
Park your car further from the shop or from your work. Take the stars instead of the lift or escalator.
These small improvements to your routine will add up over time.
Moving more throughout the day will not only increase fat loss but also reduce the risk of chronic illness.
5. Get Some Support.
It is always easier if you have a buddy to encourage you and keep you accountable.
Have like minded people around you will keep you clear of the unhealthy habits that piled on the weight in the first place.
A personal trainer can be beneficial especially at the beginning when you are trying to implement a regular exercise routine.
If you do not have any one around you for support there are many options online.
Join one of thousands of weight loss forums where you can meet people in your situation and people who have lost weight successfully.
6. Diet and exercise is only one piece of the puzzle.
Diet and nutrition is not always the main cause of weight gain.
Emotional eating, lack of sleep, high stress levels are all common triggers for weight gain.
Taking responsibility for your life, your actions and surrounding yourself with a strong social network can have a huge impact of your ability to lose weight.
Spending time alone each day is a great way to get to the route of a lot of these problems.
Meditation, Yoga, mindfulness practice are simple yet effective strategies to help reduce stress, build awareness of oneself and give you the tools to take control of your life.
If you have found any other methods that have proved beneficial to your weight loss please let me know in the comments below.