5 Weight Loss Tips You May Have Forgotten About
If you're busting your butt at the gym but not seeing any progress.
If you're guilty of jumping from one diet to the next.
If you're just getting started but need some direction.
These tips are for you.
1. Track Your Food
Why don’t you put diesel in your petrol-powered car?
Because you look at the label on the pump.
If you can do this for a machine, you can do it for your body.
By becoming aware of how many calories you are eating, and measuring your progress (see below), you’ll soon know if you are on track to lose weight or if you need to make adjustments to your diet.
You’ll also get a snapshot of the overall quality of your diet including levels of vitamins, minerals, and fat content, and all of these details are important if you want to live a long and healthy life. There are loads of mobile apps out there to track the foods you eat, and most of them are free.
Try www.myfitnesspal.com for a week and see how you get on.
2. Up Your Daily Activity
News flash: moving more can have a huge impact on weight loss.
Non-exercise activities, such as walking to work, doing household chores or chasing the kids around, can clock up serious calorie burns.
In fact, these are your biggest and best opportunities to shake off extra fat without getting a sweat on. If you have an active job, you already have a big advantage over those sat on their bums all day.
It’s easily possible for someone with a very active job to burn more calories at work than an office-based worker who goes to the gym four times per week.
Either way, you should look for a minimum 10,000 steps a day to maintain good health and burn a decent amount of energy.
Three easy ways to add to your burn:
- 20 minute ‘no excuses’ daily power walks.
- Lunch break strolls instead of coffee and Facebook.
- Chasing the kids around the soft play instead of drinking a latte.
3. Measure Your Progress
If you’re not tracking your results then how do you know if what you are doing is working? You may have become disillusioned with the bathroom scales, but there are a few things you can do to get them back on your side: ·
- Take a 3-day average. Your weight naturally shifts a little from day-to-day, so weigh yourself three days in a row and calculate your average weight to ‘iron out’ daily fluctuations.
- Accept menstrual mayhem. Big changes in fluid levels can affect your weight during the menstrual cycle so compare your weigh-ins to the same phases of the previous month.
- Be consistent. Weigh first thing in the morning after a trip to the bathroom and before eating or drinking anything. Do it naked or with the same clothes on each time.
Also, measure your waist, hips, and thighs every month to see if you’ve lost inches. Sometimes you may lose fat, but your weight won’t budge (yes it’s weird), so use the tape measure for a ‘second opinion.’
4. Win Little & Often
If you try and do everything at once, you may soon feel overwhelmed and move a step closer to breaking point. Your enthusiasm is admirable, but you need a little restraint to ensure your changes last for more than a few weeks.
- Aim for one pound a week instead of three.
- Plan two gym visits instead of four.
- Have one glass of wine instead of giving it up.
It’s far more satisfying ticking off small achievements and giving yourself a pat on the back than it is breaking your back struggling to reach unrealistic targets. You’ll soon get the knack of winning every day, and these small changes will soon become permanent life-changing habits.
5. Exercise A Little Bit
You don’t need to have aspirations of Olympic glory to benefit from exercise. Anything that gets you out of breath will do the job. If you feel a bit intimated at the gym, go with a friend or train when it’s quiet.
Here are three more ideas:
- A brisk hour walk 3 x per week.
- Self-defense or dance classes.
- The latest celebrity fitness DVD Decide on which days you’ll do your exercise and stick to them with no excuses.
6. Set Goals
Goals can give you some direction and help you stay on track. Let’s kick things off by looking at two types of goals.
- An outcome goal is an end result, such as to weigh 150lbs, drop two dress sizes, or run a marathon.
- Process goals are the things you do to reach an outcome goal such as go to the gym three times per week or to track your calories every day.
An outcome goal can be important, but the process goals will determine whether or not you reach it.
Outcome goals are usually longer-term, whereas process goals are often actioned daily or weekly. You can tick off process goals much more regularly and feel a sense of achievement more regularly.
If you can learn to love your process goals, you will become unstoppable.
You can create your weight loss goal by thinking about your ‘ideal’ weight, and then figuring out the processes to get you there. Or, you could start by thinking about the processes you are willing and able to do as part of a system and then come up with a realistic outcome goal based on that.
Either way, it’s no good thinking about what you could do or would like to do; it’s all about what you will do.
About the author: Ronny Terry is a personal trainer at Kiss Gyms Swindon. You can view his profile HERE