11 Tips for successful and sustainable weight loss
11 tips for sustained weight loss, but are you doing them?
Hey, first of all thanks for making the time to read my blog. Before you go on, (and I am sorry if this is a little disappointing) there is no ground breaking research here. It is definitely opinion based and relevant to some of the experiences that I have had. My hope with this blog, is that it may help some of you realise or determine a point of focus. Trying to do too many things at once, or not even realising where you need to start can be overwhelming. It is worth trying to build one good habit, or work on one of the points below first, rather than trying to do all of them at the same time. You can achieve sustainable weight loss, but it will take work and determination. My first point I believe is a very important one! Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy reading my blog and please send me a message if you have any questions or feedback.
1. It's time to become more self aware
I keep bringing this up. It's a conversation that my trainer and I keep having. I have to question whether we are actually in tune with our thoughts and emotions? So… are you aware of why you make certain choices? How often do you make choices that are rational or are they spurred by emotional reasons? Do you have the tools, (mentally and emotionally) to recognise the actual “why” of such choices. I really believe becoming more self aware can give you greater control of...
There's a STRONG possibility that if you took the time to learn more about your thought processes or delved deeper into habits that you struggle to break, you'll have far greater success not only in nutrition and weight loss, but even in life itself.
Once again, I truly believe, you need to spend the time working on yourself. If you learn more about how you think, work on how you react, work on building your general resilience then you should have a strong base for sustainable weight loss. It's not the workout or nutrition plan that should concern you, it's your ability to stick to it.
“The first thing you have to know is yourself. A man who knows himself can step outside himself and watch his own reactions like an observer.” - Adam Smith
2. Drink more water
You do need to buy that 2L water cannister and you need to carry it around with you everywhere like it's your newborn baby. Not only that, but you actually have to get through it, maybe even a bit more and all in one day. Yes you do! Sure you may have to go to the toilet often, but if your health is a priority, then a few more visits to the lavatory shouldn't be a problem. You should want for more movement anyhow.
Have water with every meal, start your day with a good amount of water with breakfast, forever change the way you consume H20. I guarantee at the least, you will feel better for it. I'm sure feeling better will aide you in making more informed choices often. So what do you think making better choices is going to help you with? Yes, quite possibly your nutrition.
So you need to go out and purchase a water bottle or two, maybe even three! And place them in areas where you going to use them. Look it is all about choices at the end of the day, I have had clients tell me that they don't even think about drinking water even if they have a bottle sitting right in front of them, but if health is important to you, then you have to make an effort to start thinking differently.
3. Less labels
A client I spoke to the other day admitted that he found reading food labels quite difficult. It of course cued me perfectly to say... “you don't need them”. Look I know it’s hard to avoid it at times, but you'll run into less problems buying as much fresh food as possible whilst trying to steer clear of “food” with elaborate packaging and labelling. I put food in quotation marks because you have to question whether it is real food if the product can sit on a shelf or in a cupboard for several months without decomposing.
It's great that there is a new star rating system on the the side of packaged food product. It does give us at least an idea of what “might” be healthy for us to consume, but I still feel you'll have greater success eating food where the only ingredient is….*drum roll please* THE INGREDIENT! You're pretty safe with a lot of these choices. The other day I noticed a 4 star health rating on an iced coffee drink, I mean seriously!?! How is that even right?
If you do your shopping say once a week, you should find that it's your fridge that fills and empties, not so much your cupboard. You'll spend a lot less time actually trying to analyse the crap out of...*insert packaged product* and whether it’s better or healthier than *insert other packaged product*. So what should you be buying you may ask? Look at the next point.
4. Plan your meals, buy those whole foods
So yes, as stated above less packages. Purchase as many items as possible which are whole foods (least possible processing as possible) but you do need to plan your meals every week. Whatever days you have off, you do need to spend that time planning breakfast, possible snacks, lunch and dinner. Don't you love the saying, "If you fail to plan then you plan to fail." Well, it is true. You need to do your best to put something in place.
Yes it’s hard sometimes, tedious, even overwhelming but it's your best course of action. You can make or cook meals that will last a couple of days or I think one of the best things you can do is freeze some of those meals for that “busy day”. Especially for when life turns a bit pear shaped and cooking a meal at the end of a crazy day seems almost more detrimental to health, rather than beneficial.
5. Don't put it in the trolley and try online shopping!
Less impulse, more time. Who doesn't want more time? I know I do. My wife and I have started doing most of our grocery shopping online. I definitely think there is less opportunity to impulse buy. We are more likely to just click on the items that we need. But you know what? You probably need to test it yourself to see whether that concept works for you. Maybe it may give you more access to the items that you probably need less of 😉 . Nonetheless it seems to be working for us and it is saving us time.
I have a client that has organic fruit and veg delivered every week. It is seasonal produce, so it will require some creativity at times when planning or cooking meals, but that's a good thing in my opinion.
There seems to be a lot of supermarket chains or businesses that are offering home delivery or click and collect for your groceries. I say give it a go, but plan those meals first!
6. More veg kids!
This is a bit of a repeat of point 4 from above, but eating more vegetables of course more often is going to be beneficial to you on many levels in particular from a nutrient density point of view. I challenge you to start your day, (along with that lovely tall glass of water), with some vegetables for or with your breakfast. Mushroom, tomato, spinach, grilled capsicum, vegetables in a frittata that you planned for and cooked the day before, hey be as creative as you want. There are tons of recipes online, do the research and start using those veggies more often.
You don't like vegetables? I'm sorry, but you have to do your best to start eating more. Again there are LOADS of recipes online that make vegetables a lot more palatable, but I believe that vege consumption isn't all about taste, it is about purpose.
You need to remind yourself of your "why". What do I mean by that? I am assuming if you have read this far, you do want to lose weight, you do want to be healthy so it is highly likely that a diet high in vegetable intake is important. Yes vegetable consumption is a part of your WHY. You need to focus on benefit, goals and I think it is also EXTREMELY important to remind yourself that if you have access to fresh fruit and vegetables that you are indeed VERY FORTUNATE. So what's on the menu today then? Yes... a plate full of veg with gratitude and purpose attached to it.
7. Get your cardio and strength work in weekly
There would have to be thousands of programs or training methods online that you have access to, you've just got to pick one and follow it. If you are unsure, then find a trainer that you deem capable of showing you an appropriate way to train. I'll say this, ask around, look for client results and don't just focus on trainers delivering weight loss. My advice, is also to look for a trainer that focuses on getting you to move better. You should want not only for weight loss, but also a gain in strength and mobility during the process. I believe it is a huge component in feeling better overall. Movement is one of the most important parts of your life, so do more of it.
A reasonable week of training might be something like this:
* 2-3 strength workouts
* 3 plus cardio workouts
* Daily walks
* Making some time for stretching such as yoga, doing some breath work/ meditation for recovery
It may sound like a bit to do, but it can be done. The daily walking is pretty important in itself. You don't have to spend hours at time doing some of the workouts. I believe 30 minutes is enough, you just need to be focused on moving often. A workout could be going out and kicking a ball with your kids and turning it into a bit of a game where you do a few push ups in between kicks. Hey I know, sounds tiring, but you want results don't you? Then get used to doing the work almost whenever you can.
8. Get to bed!
I don't want to get too technical with you, but lack of sleep can cause weight gain. Sleep deprivation can stuff around with your hormones, which can affect your appetite and increase your general hunger. Sleep most certainly affects how you function and a lack of it can interfere or muddle with your decision making. Does tired and lethargic YOU make great decisions? IN PARTICULAR great food choices? Hmmmm? :)
Hey, I am definitely an individual that likes to get the most out of every day. I have a friend that almost feels like sleeping is more of a hinderance than a benefit. Unfortunately/fortunately, however you’d like to think of it, it is a necessity. Getting the most out of everyday means having the appropriate energy for it. So… switch off the tele, stop work, remember that project can wait till tomorrow and tuck yourself into those sheets. Yes you need it!
9. Time to fess up, you drink WAY too often
I believe every trainer, nutritionist or health professional of similar nature has asked their clients whether they consume very much alcohol and I can guarantee that the answer would be somewhere along the lines of… “No I don’t drink that often”.
We conveniently forget about the drinks that we had after the lovely midweek dinner date, which of course was after that dessert we couldn't say not to! It was just the “couple of glasses” right? You had Thursday night off, but Friday you had a catch up with that “friend” who is insistent that you have drinks with them. There is NO WAY you can deny them of such an activity. Without alcohol between you and your friend, there is no friendship, you may even fail to exist!
Saturday you were stuffed, it’s been another HUGE week. It’s cold, or maybe it’s hot, but nonetheless it was some relaxing beers or a bottle of wine at home whilst watching your favourite show on the box. You deserve it... yeah?
Sunday… Damn! Another weekend gone and it’s back to work again tomorrow. Do you have another drink? Oh hell why not, you haven’t had much to drink this weekend right?
Whether or not this is your exact pattern, I am pretty sure it is close for some of you. Please take note, for it is time that you realise this very strong point:
You will NEVER lose the weight that your heart desires, nor will you keep it off UNTIL you first realise that you most probably drink too much and way too often. Until you realise and understand the pattern you are in and make a conscious decision to act upon it, you will remain stagnant if not go in the opposite direction of what you desire. In other words, you will continue to gain weight.
A saying that I have heard a few trainers mention is, “you can't out train a s@#t diet”. This saying is definitely applicable to alcohol consumption. When Monday comes along and you're on that treadmill again trying to undo the damage you've done over the weekend, (which was most likely Wednesday to Sunday), you're just not going to achieve the results you initially were striving towards.
For the love of your body, your health! Give the alcohol a good rest. You’re going to feel so much better for it.
10. Do the best Nutrition program
So what is the best nutrition program? The one you FOLLOW! Do the work, plain and simple on that one folks 😊
Look some plans I believe are better than others and I understand that some of us are intolerant to particular food groups, but there is a point where you have to actually knuckle down and choose a program that you are going to follow start to finish and hopefully implement for the rest of your life.
I personally don't agree with shake diets or juice this, lemon that. They can be a bit of a "circuit breaker" for some, but you have to question whether some of those diets are actually sustainable? There are nutrition plans out there which are quite balanced, which offer the correct servings of fruit, veg, protein and fats, which are also designed specific to your goals. If you have any questions about such programs, please send me and email and I can point you in the right direction.
11. Go back to the top, read again, implement
There’s plenty of info out there, there's plenty you can learn. Problem is, unless you do something about the information you have newly acquired, often you've just wasted your time. You really want results? Be proactive rather than reactive and keep chipping away at some of the stuff I have talked about. Don't let this be another blog you've read and forgotten about in a week. Do something now!
"Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice"
- Anton Chekhov