The 10 Commandments of Weight Loss
Use these in every day life and you will reach your weight loss goals.
The 1st Commandment - You must be in a calorie deficit to lose weight.
There's no two ways about it, the only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume. You need to be in a deficit of approximately 500 calories a day to lose one pound a week. This sounds a lot but if you get your calories from good sources such as fruit and vegetables, you can eat quite a lot of food still without starving yourself.
Where most people go wrong with this, is guessing calorie intake. We live in a world that makes life so easy for us with technology. Using an app such as MyFitnessPal (or our own if you work with us) means it has never been easier to monitor your calorie intake with great accuracy to guarantee results.
Others go wrong by going too low with their intake and depriving themselves of all treats. You should eat well as much as you can but still enjoy nice things in minority, just make sure it fits in your allowance. If you go lower than 20% of your daily calorie allowance for extended periods of time, you run the risk of damaging your metabolism, so it slows down and starts to not use as much energy as normal. This results in less weight being lost, and quite regularly, more weight being put on in the long term when you try to return to a maintenance diet.
To figure out your daily allowance without using MyFitnessPal, Google TDEE calculator and enter you details - TDEE (total daily energy expenditure).
The 2nd Commandment - Move more.
You need to up your activity. If you're training regularly already, consider your approach. Do you get weekly progressions? Are you monitoring your progress or heart rate? How hard are you working??? Or, are you stuck in the same old routine, going through the motions week in, week out.
If you can do 30 minutes of continuous exercise 3-5 times a week (your heart rate should be elevated so you know you're working) you will start to get a base fitness and burn a bunch of calories. You can do whatever you want, walk, run, swim, dance, skip, cycle, chase your kids.... It doesn't matter! Find something you can enjoy and do on a regular basis.
Exercise should be progressive to be most effective, you should consider what you did/how hard you worked each week and try to make it a little tougher each time to get the most from your exercise. This is not essential, but it is helpful!
The 3rd Commandment - Avoid empty calories at all costs.
Empty calories? What are they? These are calories we consume from foods and drinks that have little to know nutritional value. Sauces, energy drinks, fizzy pop and alcohol are all main sources of empty calories that most people will consume daily.
Having these is essentially a waste of your daily calorie allowance when you could have something much more substantial and filling. I would much rather have a larger meal with a glass of water than a smaller meal with a glass of coke.
To best avoid these drink more water! This will keep you hydrated and stop hunger cravings from dehydration, something fizzy pops and alcohol don't do. If you get bored of water, add a slice of fruit like orange, lime or lemon.
The 4th Commandment - Do not starve yourself.
This ultimately results in failure every time. The two main reasons for this are:
1-You will fall off the wagon if you starve yourself. To refrain from having anything that is in your normal diet will cause failure within the first two weeks. You need to adjust what you eat and start with little changes, still have the 'bad' things but in minority to stop the cravings. With time it all falls into place.
2- As mentioned earlier, going into a huge deficit damages metabolism. If you have an allowance of 2000 cals and only eat 1000 per day, your body will start using less to operate because it thinks you're starving it to death! This causes weight to stop being lost and when you go back to a maintenance diet, you are now in a calorie surplus, so start to put on weight. The golden rule is never more than a 20% deficit of your allowance. This can be monitored weekly so if you have a low day, have a few more calories the next to balance it out.
The 5th Commandment - Set realistic goals.
You will not/should not lose a stone in a week. If you do, you are probably starving your body and ruining your normal metabolic rate.
The goal should always be sensible and realistic. Set short, medium and long term goals. For example, a short term goal might be, I want to lose a pound a week over the next 6 weeks. A medium term goal might be, I want to start running 5k 3 times per week and a long term goal should be your eventual target. If that's a year or two down the line that is fine. Throughout that timeframe keep adding short term goals to keep you motivated based on your abilities and success.
Setting unrealistic goals ultimately results in failure. You don't hit them, you get down about it, you eat cake! We have all been there, even us professionals.
The 6th Commandment - Eat foods you enjoy.
It's a diet but we want it to be sustainable so DON'T take away all the food you enjoy. What you need to do is experiment, find healthy options that you like and keep them in your diet.
Use different seasonings and make your own sauces. There are millions of options for food so don't ever feel restricted to the same old crap when you start to get a little bored.
There's nothing wrong with a piece of chocolate from time to time, it just needs to fit in your calorie allowance.
Most people think of a diet as a temporary thing, but really, we all have a diet, it's everything we eat and drink every day. You just need to have a balanced one.
The 7th Commandment - Make exercise fun.
You don't need to go to the gym, you don't need to run a marathon, you don't need to swim the channel. Moving burns calories. That's any form of movement, not just the generic stuff that springs to mind at first. Playing with your kids, doing the gardening, having a nice afternoon walk. This all burns calories.
Find an activity you enjoy, this will help you stick to it and do it regularly. All we want is an elevated heart rate.
The 8th Commandment - Avoid daily weigh ins.
Weighing yourself daily is not fun. You can change a pound or two from day to day due to a number of things including water retention. This tends to depress you and make you give up.
Ideally, you should be using measurements to monitor your progress, ignore the scales. This has proven very difficult to almost everyone I have ever worked with so what I advise is, weigh yourself weekly or monthly. It should be done on the same day, at the same time, every time you do it. This will give you your most accurate result.
If you can stretch out to monthly it is even better, mainly because it gives your body full time to adjust and give a clear reading over week to week. Especially when we are only looking to lose 1 pound per week. Women need to be aware that weight may fluctuate around menstruation, for this reason, do not be disheartened if your weight doesn't change much, or goes up a little, through that time of the month.
The 9th Commandment - Plan ahead
If you plan your weekly meals ahead of the shop, you will buy only what you need. You will get meals necessary for the week and not buy so much junk or be tempted to order a takeaway. This saves calories and money. Win, win!
To add to this, plan your exercise sessions in advance to make sure you fit it in around your schedule. If you plan it in, you are much more likely to see it through and make it work. Once it is planned, stick to it! Don't let anything get in your way or stop you.
The 10th Commandment - Enlist support
Friends and family are everything, without them what would life be? However they easily lead us into temptation. Make sure they know what you are doing and ask them for support. They will give you it and it will make it easier for you to lose weight.
Having a buddy to go through the journey with is also really helpful as you motivate and support each other.
Friends and family can be the easiest cause of failure or success, make sure you ask for their help.
That's all, the 10 commandments that will help you to lose weight. Read each one and make a plan for each step. Put it into action and everything will, very quickly, fall into place. Good luck!
For more information or if you need extra support to reach your goals, get in touch!