Working with over 70 clients since I opened my business two years ago have taught me many lessons. Based on those and my client's successes I want to share 5 most important tips you need to consider if you want to lose fat in a healthy way, and to be able to keep it off.
You need to be in calorie deficit...but not too large
The single most important factor for weight loss, for otherwise healthy individuals, is to be in the calorie deficit, i.e. eat less than you move. This deficit can be achieved many different ways but it's really important that it's not too large, so no more than about 200-300 calories a day. If the changes are too drastic, and the deficit too large, you will lose weight very quickly, but there is a high likelihood for the yo-yo effect. Additionally rapid weight loss is extremely stressful for the body putting your health at risk by suppressing the immune system and de-regulating hormones.
You need to be patient.....and realistic about your expectations
I know that when you start a fat loss journey you are all excited and ready to make changes, but many people expect dramatic results right away... What I mean by that is they expect to lose weight overnight and if they don't, they get very disappointed and give up. This is by far the worse thing that can happen. We seem to not notice the weight gain that most likely have happened over the course of multiple months, if not, years, yet we expect to lose it all in a couple of weeks. An average fat loss rate that is easy to keep off is about 1-2 lb a week. Any faster than that and you are most likely losing lean mass as well (and you never want to lose lean mass!). So be patient and realistic about the timeline of your weight loss journey.
You need to embrace vegetables....and protein
For the veggie haters out there (including my dear husband) - it is so crucial for your health and well-being to get your vitamins and minerals from whole foods. Vegetables and fruits have enormous amounts of nutrition, not to mention fiber which helps you feel fuller and have better bowel movements (and regular bowel movements mean easier weight loss).
Consuming protein increases your metabolic rate by 30% so once you increase your protein intake you actually start burning more calories than if you were to consume the same amount of carbs and/or fats. This initial increase in intake is often times how you get your initial weight loss started without even cutting calories.
For highly active individuals (exercising about 5 hrs a week) I would recommend as much as 0.8-1g of protein for each lb of body weight.
Don't underestimate the value of hydration... and sleep
Water intake and proper sleep are very much under valued and sadly so. Many times I've tracked weight gain/loss based on sleep habits and travels patterns of my clients. If you missed my article on things you can do to improve your sleep tonight, you can read it HERE.
I've also seen times where just by simply increasing water intake my clients were able to lose the first 1-2 lbs, just like that. Additionally, we often eat more because we think we are hungry, while in reality we just need to drink more water.
Be smart about cutting foods/drinks & adding exercise
Lastly, be careful what foods you are cutting out and how much exercise you are adding in. Let's say you decide you want to cut out all the wine for a month. If you've been drinking 2 or more glasses a night, it's likely that you are going to lose a few pounds. But what do you think it's going to happen once you start drinking again? You're likely to put it right back.
Same with exercise. Let's say you just added 4 hours a week to your regular exercise routine to get into tip top shape. After a couple of months you reach your goals, and decide to dial back from 4 to 2 hours a week. Beside getting less exercise now, you are probably adding some foods you cut back on. Result? Weight gain.
Obviously there are many more factors at play but I hope you do get the point.
If you need help getting started and figure out where you can start creating deficits without sacrificing quality of your life and your sanity, let me know.
I would love to help you. You can reach me HERE.