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Losing weight can be an arduous journey. What you eat or don’t eat goes a long way toward determining what kind of results you will see. To help matters I have 3 tips that will help you in your quest.
Don’t Do #1
Diet - I don’t encourage diets. I actually think they rarely work. In my experience people are most successful when they have a plan that meets their lifestyle and satisfies them psychologically. Diets often start with vigor and determination but end up petering out.
Do This Instead
It’s more realistic to write out a plan that consists of things we like with the idea that they are to be consumed in moderation and only on certain days. Having a built in cheat day eliminates anxiety and gives you something to look forward to. Foods like lean animal proteins, non animal proteins, fruits, unrefined carbs, and vegetables should still make up most of what you eat.
Don’t Do #2
Going Cold Turkey - Don’t go the complete deprivation route.
Do This Instead
Try to eliminate one bad habit a week and replace it with one good one. Choose a strategy that you’re likely to do and derive satisfaction from. If you drink 3 sodas a day start by cutting back to one a day and replacing the other two with water. Change implemented slowly is more likely to last.
Don’t Do # 3
Eating over your activity level (most of us eat more than our activity level warrants).
Do This Instead
People make the mistake of not planning ahead. The most successful people are the ones who have a plan. Write out your plan and stick to it. People without a plan resort to eating what is around (usually junk food) and too much of it. In cases like this it’s better to not eat at all if no healthy option is available. Delaying a meal for an hour or two until you can get something that’s good for you is better than consuming something that’s going to throw of your caloric intake for the day. Hunger pains are fleeting and go away in time. So, if you’re in the airport and about to fly for a few hours grab some almonds and a piece of fruit and wait until you can get something healthier.
Writing down what you eat, using a fitness application, or taking a picture of everything you eat and drink for a few weeks helps create awareness. If you’re recording what you eat you’re more likely to make better choices and plan ahead.
At the end of the day weight loss comes down to calories in versus calories out. As long as there is a caloric deficit weight loss will usually occur. If your cheat day doesn’t exceeded your daily caloric allotment you should be fine.
It’s assuring to know that weight loss and body composition change can happen rather quickly. If you’re consistent it’s not uncommon to see positive change in a week or two.
If you aren’t noticing weight loss or your clothes fitting more loosely after a week or so of consistent exercise at the appropriate intensity you’re probably eating too much. Reassess what your eating and make the necessary change. This is usually correctable by reducing portion sizes.
As a trainer I like to provide input but ultimately success comes down to whether or not the plan works for the individual. An eating plan that is manageable is more likely to get results! So take some time to plan and enjoy the journey.