Weight loss can be complicated and confusing these days. Especially if you do an internet search for the fastest way to lose weight. Most of the time you will come across dozens of articles claiming their method as superior. Well, I’m here to tell you weight loss doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact its quite simple actually if you can weed through all the BS. Most people who tell you that there is only one way to do something are more interested in filling their own pockets with money rather than actually helping others. Now, while weight loss may be simple it definitely isn’t easy. But, if you put these 5 tips into practice you can see immediate weight loss and body change.
Step 1- EAT LESS
When I say eat less I am not saying skip meals! What I am saying is make the meals you are already eating just a bit smaller. Weight loss is about a calorie deficit. Putting less food in will lead to a larger calorie deficit or even create a calorie deficit if you are currently eating too much. This also doesn’t mean removing half of your daily food intake! That is too much too fast. SLOWLY decrease your portion sizing. I would say the best place to start is decrease your portions by 1/4 or less and let your body slowly adjust to the change. Remember we are going for long term weight loss here not overnight results.
Step 2- Move more
At this point you might be thinking “these tips are stupid they’re too easy” And you are right. These tips are simple. Just like I said fitness is simple it’s just not easy. Now, where this becomes tricky is creating more movement in an already busy schedule. Many people that speak to me about weight loss tell me they don’t have time for the gym, or to add ANY activity into their life. First off, that is a fallacy. Also, when I say move more I am not saying spending hours in the gym. What I am saying is doing more than you are currently doing. If you are inactive start by adding one or two 30 minute walks into your week. If that’s too much then start by parking farther from the grocery store, opting for the stairs, or moving during commercial breaks while watching TV. Basically what I’m saying is find any way possible to move more. I promise you no matter how busy you are there are ways you can be better about moving. They might be minimal, but they add up. Let’s say you burn 10 extra calories by taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator. Over one year thats roughly a pound of fat loss. I’m sure many of you are saying, “well that’s not a lot”. And to that I have to say it’s more weight loss than you would see if you didn’t do it. Remember, the little things add up.
Step 3- Plan ahead
Planning ahead sounds nice in retrospect, but I would say this might be the hardest tip to follow on the list. This step requires conscious thought and planning, which if you already busy is extremely challenging. So, let me make this as simple as I can. We all know ourselves better than anyone else. So, look at your bad eating habits. Do you snack when you get home before dinner? Do you skip meals? Do you let yourself get too hungry? If you can take a good honest look at what “Bad” habits you have when it comes to eating then you can find ways to plan for them. So, let’s say you are a pre dinner “picker” or snacker. Well if you know you are going to pick or snack give yourself something “healthier to pick at or snack on. Trader your chips or croutons for cucumbers or carrots. This will do two things. It will lower your calorie intake and also lead to a smaller dinner because this kind of snack will be more “filling” than an empty snack. Planning ahead also means having healthy snacks with you at work and at home. We all have bad days where we wake up late or don’t have time to pack a lung. My best advice on this is to have healthy quick snacks and food to help you make it through the bad days. Some of my favorite healthy snacks to keep around are: boiled eggs, greek yogurt, fruit or veggies, string cheese, hummus, etc.
Step 4- Don’t go too long without eating
This is a BIG way to reduce total calorie intake. I’m sure we can all think back to a time we waited too long to eat. Then when we finally get a chance to eat we eat everything in sight. Yea, been there, done that. When this happens overeating is more likely. Because your body is looking for instant relief. So a few things can happen. One, cravings for bad easily digestible food will be higher. When your body is super hungry its more likely to crave food that is easily digestible. Sugary or fatty foods are more likely to be consumed. Two, the last thing you want to do when you’re hungry is wait longer to eat to prepare food. So, while food is being prepared “picking” and snacking is more likely to happen. And it will be ravenous snacking. Possibly even and entire bag of candy or potato chips. And boom, there goes your daily calorie deficit. Another thing that can happen when you’re extremely hungry is unnecessary eating out. Stopping at a fast food restaurant. So imagine coupling extreme hunger with a menu of greasy sugary items. Your body is going to crave the bad food which are always higher in calories that the “healthier” menu items.
Step 5- Eat out LESS
The sad truth about restaurants is they usually don’t care too much about their patrons health. They only care about getting them back in the door. How do they do that? Well usually by adding extra butter, oil, seasoning, etc to the foods on their menus. What does this mean for you? Extra unnecessary calories. Obviously never eating out isn’t going to be a reality so I would recommend cutting it back a little at a time. If it is something you do once a week cut it down to every other week. If it’s every day start doing it every other day. And so on. Slowly cut back and watch the weight come off. Now, when you do enjoy a meal out here are a few things I would focus on. Grilled foods not fried. Only eat 1/2 or 3/4 of what you order and save the rest for later. Eat similar to how you would eat if you were at home. Many people I know think of eating out as a crazy treat where they can go wild and eat like a maniac. Remember eating out is a treat in itself you don’t need to go crazy on what you order. One bad meal a week at a restaurant, especially if it includes an appetizer, entree, and dessert can ruin an entire week of eating better.
Weight loss is not easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. The golden rule is: Slowly make better decisions. Will you be immediately in the best shape of your life? No, but you will be healthier than you were yesterday. And a healthier day leads to a happier day. And a string of healthy and happy days leads to long term satisfaction. Make one small change and others will follow. Stay strong everyone!
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My name is Patriel Dunford and as the owner of Infinite Fitness my main goal in life is to spread good advice in the health industry and help people live healthier, longer, more fulfilling lives.