If you have ever tried losing weight you have probably come across multiple books, doctors and fitness coaches claiming to offer the panacea in weight loss. And if you have ever tried any of their methods you know their methods fail miserably.
But why is it that they manage to become so popular in the first place?
Weight loss is simple. But it is not easy. Looking for a shortcut we get caught up in false promises. Self proclaimed ‘magic cures’ guarantee an easy solution to a hard problem. While most of them may work in addition to a good weight loss strategy, on their own they are useless and just throw you off focus.
Losing weight is not really rocket science. If you manage to follow those 4 simple rules you are good. But it won’t be easy.
Rule #1 – You shall listen to the wise
Set up your goal with the help of your doctor
Step. 1. First off, make sure you do have to and that you can lose weight. Contact your doctor. If you have gained weight really quickly recently, first run some tests and have bloodwork done. It is possible your thyroid or your pancreas are unhealthy. It happens more often than you think.
Step. 2. Second, contact a dietitian to measure your BMI. Ask questions about anything you believe may fail you. Work together to set a goal – both for the amount of weight you can lose and the amount of time you should aim for.
Rule #2 – You shall not be greedy for food
Inject discipline in your eating habits
Step. 1. The mindset - brace yourself, hunger is coming! Remember when we said it is simple but not easy? You might have heard that before, but you just have to eat less! And that is not easy! Know what to expect:
- You WILL have а headache.
- You WILL be irritable.
- You WILL NOT feel as efficient.
- You WILL NOT be as energetic as before.
- YOU WILL NOT QUIT
Step. 2. Learn to count your calories.
Trying to lose weight without counting your calories is like trying to be on time without having a watch.
There is no excuse for you not to count your calories. You have the information on the package, you have it in nutrition tables, you have it on the Internet.
Now, don’t aim for perfection. Especially when you eat cooked meals even when you find the nutrition value online, it will not be 100% accurate. Just try to find something as close as possible. Especially in the beginning you will make mistakes but simply seeking out the information will teach you a lot about food.
Step. 3. Food diary. Keep a spreadsheet on your computer with everything you ate that day. Find a way to keep a diary while you are away as well, and every evening make sure it is complete. You need to know:
- The type of food
- The amount of food (get a kitchen scale)
- The amount of calories
- The balance between carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Your overall calories for the day should be more than 1200 to avoid exhaustion and overwhelming hunger. And it should be less than 1500 to achieve weight loss.
Proteins should be your favorite group. Meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans.
Fats, contrary to popular belief, are also good for you. Your body and your brain need them. They should be your second favourite group. So, don’t be afraid to have some cheese from time to time.
And last but not least, you should limit your carbohydrates as much as possible. Another simple but not so easy task.
Step. 4. Learn to escape the carbs vicious cycle. Carbohydrates are processed by your body fast, give you often unneeded energy spikes and then leave you exhausted and hungry, usually for more carbs. Whatever energy you did not manage to spend, is stored in your body as fat.
Avoid pizza, pasta, potatoes, anything sweet, and even some fruits – bananas, for one, are full of sugar.
Rule #3 – You shall work with your body
Move your body!
Step. 1. Find a workout that works for you. Fitness gurus may tell you you need to do this or that to get in shape. If your goal is to lose weight, just find something that you like and that you can keep up with. You will be exhausted enough from limiting your food intake, you don’t need to be stuck in a workout regime you hate. You like running? Go jogging. You like dancing? Enroll yourself in a class. When you lose the weight you need, then you can consider a certain workout to shape this or that body part.
Step. 2. Don’t cheat! A good workout is not an excuse to deviate from your diet. There is no such thing as burning enough calories to be able to afford a treat.
In weight loss a good diet is way more important than exercise. If you feel your regime is becoming overwhelming, think about skipping a workout, rather than binging on the wrong food.
Step. 3. Don’t set unachievable goals. Sports will bring your endorphins up. After a workout you will feel excited, even invincible. And you will want to go even further next time. Be careful about raising the bar. Failing to keep up with your high goals will be discouraging. You don’t want to relapse in your old behaviors.
Rule #4 – You shall not suffer inconsolably
Use weight loss hacks
Once you have your focus on your goal, your timing, your food and your workouts, you can use supplements that will make a very strenuous situation less difficult.
Remember, they will complement your regime, they will speed up the effects, they will make you feel better and stronger, but they will not substitute good diet and exercise.
Step. 1. Get help with your digestion. When you limit your calories, your metabolism is in trouble. You are throwing it off its cycle. Arm yourself with a good probiotic and a rich enzyme source in order to be able to extract all possible nutrients from that limited amount of food and preserve your health at maximum.
Step. 2. Get help with your workouts. L-carnitine is a food supplement that helps transport fatty acids, improving the rate at which fats turn into energy. It will increase the fat burning effect of your exercise and stabilize your energy levels.