3 simple tips to help with weight loss.

Many people struggle to lose weight and out of desperation resort to crash dieting, which may work for short periods, but are in the long run unsustainable and can cause massive rebounds and weight regain, leaving a person in a worse place than they started. With that in mind we bring to you three simple and easy to employ strategies that will help you lose weight and keep it off.

1. Count your calories.

In order to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. Quite often people are unaware of how much food they eat or the calorific content of certain foods. There are now plenty of apps available for smart phones that allow you to quickly and easily log the foods you eat each day, tell you how many calories are in your foods and if these calories come from carbs, fats and proteins. Once you have an idea of what you are eating, then you simply need to do one of two things: decrease your calorie intake from food, or increase the amount of activity you do. Do this gradually over time and do not jump in with huge energy deficits as this will likely lead to failure; slow and steady wins the race. Think of this as a long term lifestyle change, not a diet, and you will get and importantly keep the results.

2. Eat plenty of protein.

No, protein will not make you big and bulky, especially if you are on calorie restriction. What it will do however is allow you to preserve muscle which can be put at risk when calories are low. Remember, we want to lose fat not muscle. Preserving muscle may mean the scale doesn’t shift in the direction you may want it to. But don’t let that deter you; take progress pictures and measurements to document your progress accurately instead of relying on the scales. It is better to lose 6lbs of fat (and only 6lbs on the scales) than 10lbs on the scales which might be 5lbs of fat and 5lbs of muscle. Preserving muscle is important as it is a key determinant of your metabolic rate and how many calories you need. The higher this is the better, and protein will help with that. Protein is also the most filling macronutrient, helping keep hunger at bay; this is also why whole sources of protein are better than shakes as they are more filling. So, please put the weight loss shakes in the bin and eat some real food; there is nothing special in them and they tend to be full of poor quality, cheap nutrients sold at an unnecessarily high price based on false promises. As a general guide, consuming 2.5g of protein per kg of bodyweight is about right for fat loss. Once you have worked out how much this is for you and the calories it contains, then you know how many calories you have left to eat from carbs and fats. Again many nutrition apps allow you to program exactly these things, so when you log your foods you can see exactly how much of each nutrient you have left that day. This might be a slight inconvenience, but it will seriously help you get the results you want.

3. Exercise.

Please ignore anyone who suggests exercise doesn’t help with weight loss. It does. If you use more energy through exercise, you create a bigger deficit and you lose more fat. These are the simple laws of the universe that can’t be avoided. The other advantage of exercise, whatever type you choose, is that it will help you maintain muscle tissue; although some form of weight training will really help promote this but anything that increases your output will help initially to promote the loss of body fat. Exercise also has less of an impact on appetite that restricting calories form food. Therefore, by doing more exercise, this allows you to keep a bit more food in the diet; this will make you less hungry and make sticking to your new lifestyle a lot easier.
So there you have it. 3 simple things that will help you on your fat loss journey and most importantly help change your lifestyle. No it’s not a quick fix, but quick fixes simply don’t work. If you are looking to be fitter and healthier which will lead to long terms sustainable results, then following these simple tips will definitely help.