When it comes to losing weight, it’s reasonable to get confused. There are countless diets out there, all claiming to be ‘the best diet to lose weight.’
Yes, you can go vegan and avoid all animal products to lose weight or go carnivore and eat only animal products and nothing else. Should you go keto and eat a lot of good fats and minimal carbs, or vegetarian and eat lots of carbs and almost no fat.
Whatever diet you choose to lose weight, it all comes down to eating a low-calorie diet and increasing your physical activity. Research shows that individuals who successfully lost weight and kept it off use different strategies. Still, they all succeed by eating less and moving more.
I want to save you from the trouble of hopping from one fad diet to the next, and just follow these 5 steps to lose the excess weight and keep it off. I am not promising rapid weight loss. What I am promising is successful weight loss without feeling miserable and maintaining your new low weight effortlessly.
Without further ado, here are 5 steps for successful weight-loss:
1. Swap High-Calorie Foods with Low-Calorie Alternatives
When wanting to lose weight, we have to make some cuts. Just like going through your social media and deleting accounts that no longer serve you – we need to take the same approach with certain foods. Please, try not to overhaul your entire diet overnight. Chances are it won’t be sustainable, and you’ll fall back to your old habits.
Instead, swap your high-calorie food choices with equally enjoyable low-calorie options. Don’t rush, take your time. Go at the pace you are comfortable with.
For Example: If your morning routine is stopping by at a coffee shop and getting a muffin and latte for breakfast, maybe switch to black coffee with sweetener. (I have even had clients ask for coconut milk or almond milk / or bring there own to add in to the coffee). Once you are comfortable, swap out the muffin with something healthier – or make a homemade bar. (There are some great options in the 100+ Weight-Loss Recipe Cookbook – which you can download for FREE).
If your lunch is a burger, fries, and soda, you can switch to diet soda or fizzy water. Later, swap out the fries for roasted potatoes or fruit, turn the hamburger to a grilled chicken sandwich, get rid of the bun to make it a chicken salad. All at a pace you are comfortable with. You can get salad once a week to begin with. Then twice a week, and so on and so forth. Don’t do it all at once.
2. Focus on Adding Instead of Removing
Most diets feel restrictive. They tell you what you can’t eat. Which makes you crave it even more. Instead, focus on adding things to your diet.
For Example: Add more vegetables by ordering or preparing a side salad at each meal. (Be careful of the dressing and added extras). You will notice they will naturally push out the foods that are preventing you from losing weight. If you eat a salad beforehand, you likely won’t finish your fries. Maybe even not want them anymore. Eating a fruit salad after dinner will curb your appetite for dessert.
Increasing your protein intake will help you feel full and prevent muscle loss. Therefore, focus on eating at least 25–30 grams of protein with each meal. When my clients are trying to lose weight, I have this rule: “try to not eat anything unless you are getting at least 25 grams of protein.” This rule prevents you from mindlessly snacking. If you are hungry and need a snack, eat a high protein snack such as Greek yogurt.
Notice how the rule doesn’t forbid you from eating anything! You just have to make sure to get your 25-30 grams of protein. Once you eat that, you rarely feel the need to eat anything else.
3. Move With Purpose
Technology brought many conveniences to our lives. Today, we can commute to work, pay our bills, do grocery shopping, talk to family and friends, get food, and play games without leaving our house. There are days we take less than 2,000 steps. The human body is not designed for this kind of sedentary lifestyle.
That is why you need to be vigilant when it comes to moving. Park your car as far away as possible, take the stairs, walk to your mailbox, carry your groceries out instead of wheeling them in the cart. You need to take every opportunity to move more.
Sometimes it helps to use a step challenge. Most of us use smartwatches/phones these days, and they all come with a fitness tracker. Challenge yourself to take 10,000 steps every day. If you can’t get it, go for a walk after dinner.
The most significant difference between naturally lean and naturally overweight people is how much they move, not how much they eat or their metabolism. The basal metabolism among the population doesn’t vary much. However, NEAT (non-exercise-activity thermogenesis) can vary hundreds, even thousands of Calories. This is the number of calories you burn by activity that is not considered exercise.
4. Plan for Slip-Ups — How to Lose Weight and Live Your Life
There will be days that it will be impossible to maintain your new habits. Weddings, birthday parties, vacations, holidays, and celebrations will happen. You don’t need to avoid these things to lose weight or stay fit. You just need to plan for them.
If you have a dinner event that you know you are going to overeat, prepare for it by eating a little less throughout the day. When you have a big dinner coming up, just get your 25-30 grams of protein 3–4 times throughout the day and lower the calories from carbs and fat. This way, you will enjoy your dinner without any restriction and without going over my calories.
Sometimes you can end up going over your calories. It is not the end of the world. You didn’t ruin your progress. Just move on.
5. Set Small Goals – Celebrate Your Achievements
Who wants to be on a diet forever? We all want to reach our goal weight as soon as possible and be done with dieting. However, this usually causes problems. We either get on a very aggressive diet and be miserable or be disappointed with slow results. Either way, we bounce back and get on a diet roller-coaster.
Instead, the best thing to do is set small short-term goals, achieve them quickly, enjoy our success, rinse, and repeat.
A healthy weight loss diet should last anywhere between 8 to 12 weeks. This is enough time to lose a meaningful amount of weight without experiencing the side effects of weight loss, such as lethargy, food cravings, and mental exhaustion.
You can lose 5 to 10 percent of your weight in this timeframe.
For Example: If you are 200 pounds, and your ultimate goal weight is 150 pounds, don’t set a goal to lose 50 pounds. It will take you too long to lose 50 pounds, and you won’t be able to keep your focus on your goal for that long. Instead, set a goal to lose 10 pounds. Lose the 10 pounds in 8 to 12 weeks, celebrate your success, enjoy your new low weight for a few weeks, and start again.
This way, you will see yourself as a successful person who keeps achieving their goals and reach your ultimate goal in 5 cycles. Who knows, maybe you will find yourself more comfortable, attractive, and happy at a higher weight than 150 pounds.
By following these 5 steps, you will notice pounds melt off your body and staying fit will be effortless. Instead of following restrictive diets only to gain the weight back, enjoy your journey to a slimmer body forever. If you would like to add in the accountability piece – and work on these 5 steps together – just reach out! I am here to help!