Being involved in the health and wellness industry for most of my life in a few roles; coach, personal trainer and athlete I have experienced so many ups and downs with dieting and trying to lose weight. I have seen this in my clients, colleagues, friends and especially myself. I have compiled a list of the top seven things that are, in my opinion, keys to successfully losing weight and keeping it off. First off before we begin I want to say that we use the term losing weight or weight loss all the time but just think of what that actually means. When you lose something it is natural instinct to want to find what you have lost. I suggest and will use for the rest of this post the term Weight Release. I sure as heck do not want to "find" that weight that I worked so hard to take off
1. Eat Clean Unrefined Foods
Whole and natural foods are our best bet not only when trying to lose weight but as a lifestyle. Our bodies can use the many amazing nutrients found in clean unrefined foods. Processed or refined foods are loaded with sugar and fat and because of the refining process are lacking in many of the essential nutrients our bodies require.
Even after consuming these processed foods our bodies still need the required nutrients and I strongly believe this is one reason why junk food is so addictive. One rule of thumb in regards to healthy eating is that if your food comes from a window (fast food) or a box (processed/refined food) then do not eat it. Strive to eat green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and essential fats. Also, important to mention here - invest in your health and get a high quality, natural supplement to ensure you are filling in the gaps in your nutrition. It is impossible to get everything your body needs through food alone these days. I suggest Moringa or Mangosteen - both super foods packed with nutrients. There are others but I have personal experience with those two.
2. Set a Target Weight
Setting a target weight that you want to attain (ie: your ideal body weight) that is realistic is much more powerful than just trying to lose some weight. When you have a a goal weight that you focus on you create a mindset of being at that weight. That being said it is important to be patient in your quest to reach that weight and to focus on the tasks required to get to your end goal!
3. Eat Smaller Meals More Often
It is best to eat a small meal consisting of clean unrefined foods every 2 to 3 hours. When you eat often you are letting your body know that it is being properly fueled and this will promote a faster metabolism. You want to have some healthy protein, vegetables, essential fats and complex carbohydrates with each meal.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Our bodies are around 65% water so proper hydration is essential not only for weight release but for proper bodily function. Proper hydration will moisturize your skin, help to avoid muscle cramps, increase exercise performance, help to avoid constipation, you retain less water, it enhances your immune system and helps your kidneys work their best. It is easy to test for proper hydration by checking your urine. If your urine is bright yellow or dark yellow then you need to drink more water.
Note: I started tracking my water intake again after years of being aware but not super aware. So over the last month I have been tracking and aiming for 4 litres everyday and since I have been doing this I have more energy, my performance has improved in my crossfit WODs and I do not drink that much coffee anymore.
5. Strength Training
A weight training regime of 3 to 4 days per week is extremely beneficial for weight release. Strength training increases lean muscle mass which will boost your metabolism. For the purposes of weight loss a proper weight training regime will help you lose fat and tone up. If you are unsure or nervous about what to do at the gym then I suggest working with a trainer or going to a crossfit box near you. Don't be afraid to push yourself or to go outside of your comfort zone. I love crossfit because it is a supportive community and it really is about getting better every day and you start where you are. The progression is amazing to see.
6. Cardiovascular Training
Cardiovascular (cardio) training is probably one of the most important steps to losing weight and should be combined with weight training. It burns calories, releases endorphins and it is good for your heart and lungs. It is my opinion that some form of cardio should be performed every day. Cardio can be walking, riding a bike, swimming, rollerblading or whatever you want as long as it gets you moving and your heart rate up.
7. Be Consistent and Be Patient
Consistency is the key in any weight release challenge. Take your challenge day by day and be patient with yourself because it won't happen over night. It takes work and dedication to achieve any goal. Try to focus on the tasks each day that will get you to your goal. Remember that as you embark on your challenge you are making a decision to improve yourself and your life! That is amazing and good for you! You can do it!
If you have any questions or would like some suggestions on how you can get started on your journey then let me know. I am happy to help!