Ever tried to lose weight and feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing really works? The basic formula for weight loss is very simple, but in reality we know it’s not. Create a caloric deficit and you will lose weight (Burn more calories than you are consuming every day). A large number of people find this to be challenging, so here are a few tips from our Weight Loss Specialist, Jonathan Head, that will guarantee to help you shed the pounds!
1. Find your reason
Why do you want to lose weight? Is it so that you can increase followers on Instagram (if that’s your goal it’s fine, we don’t judge)? Or is it to prevent illness caused by excessive fat, such as heart disease or Type II (Adult onset) Diabetes? Is it to gain more energy and feel less lethargic? Is it to fit into your favourite dress or suit? There are many reasons and health benefits to losing excessive body fat. What drives you to get there? Find that out, and use it as fuel to get you going in the gym.
2. Reality Check
First of all, metabolism is something that changes a tiny bit as we get older, but it is not to the extent that we can use it as an excuse to continuously be gaining weight! The reality is that as we age, we tend to do less activities and we eat the same as we did when we were younger and more active (or sometimes even eat/drink more calories!). Have you made an effort to change your eating habits or do you eat the same that you’ve had for the last 10 years?
3. 10,000 steps
Walking is considered locomotion, it’s what we do as humans to get from point A to point B. In modern days, we now have cars, buses, and elevators to ship us around without using our legs. It is recommended that we get 10,000 steps in every day in order to stay healthy. Not sure where you are at? Invest in a smart watch or Fitbit, and you will be able to see how many steps you take each day! Some phones will track this also.
4. Track your food
Why do we go to the doctor to get check-ups and blood tests? To see if everything ok. Food directly correlates to our health; what we put in our body is what controls our health, mind, mood, and energy. Try recording what you eat for one week to see if any adjustments need to be made. One of my clients thought she was eating super healthy and didn’t realize that with her regular portions of food that she has been eating, her fat intake was much higher than expected, and calories in the total day were on track with gradually gaining fat. Interesting fact: when you have a caloric deficit of 3500, you will lose 1lb of fat. Conversely, if you have 3500 Calories that you aren’t burning, you will gain 1lbs of fat. If you have one spoon of sugar in your coffee every day (10 calories) and 10 calories are not burnt through movement or metabolism every day, it means that you would gain 1lb of fat in less than a year (10cal x 365 days -3650 Calories)!
5. Change the small things
Do you drink lattes, or other tea drinks on the daily that have added sugar or calories? Try gradually reducing the amount of sugar/dairy that you consume in your drinks – every 10 calories adds up! Do you have a sweet snack or candy that you are addicted to? Try replacing it with a small handful of almonds, apples, or other healthy non-processed snacks. By making these changes you will not only reduce your daily calories, but also satiate your appetite by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to fuel your body and give it optimum performance.
6. Gym time
According to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, in order to achieve health benefits, everyone needs to do 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise (minimum 10 minutes at a time). This will help you to prevent many health conditions and feel great. Here are some conditions where your gym time can greatly decrease the health risks: heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, some types of arthritis, some types of cancer, mental stress and more.
7. Take stairs
Using stairs instead of an elevator is a great way to get a bit of extra exercise in! If you work or live on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 7th floor, take the stairs instead of an elevator. It’s a small commitment, but including this into your daily routine will help you to shed calories.
8. Planned physical activities
What can you add into your schedule that is active and fun? Having one activity per week that is active can burn through fat without you even noticing. Here are some ideas: bike ride around Stanley Park, rock climbing gym, hiking, swimming at the local recreation centre, yoga, etc.
9. Stand up (legs)
Standing burns double the amount of calories as compared to sitting. Many offices provide an option to have a standing or adjustable desk. If you work from home, you can easily make one for your laptop using a box or your kitchen counter. If you’re not used to standing up at work, make a gradual change and do small spurts of time to start.
10. Stand up (to your peers)
PEER PRESSURE is a real thing even in adult life. Without even realizing it, your friends have an influence on your life by the activities you choose to do together such as eating pizza, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, or consuming snacks that coworkers brought (usually donuts or other unhealthy choices). It might not be easy at first to say “no” to theses things, but it will make a MASSIVE difference in the number of calories you consume. Try if for a few weeks and you’ll see what I mean!
11. Self love
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Be thankful for what you accomplished today. Know that any changes you make are good for your body and your mind. If you screw up, it happens! Just don’t ALWAYS screw up, sabotage your progress, or be ignorant to your personal health. Get back on track rather than stopping and starting… The hurdle is only a mountain if you allow it to be… Show your body the love it deserves by taking steps towards health!
12. Baby steps
Can’t commit to all of these tips all in one go? That’s ok! Even changing one thing in your habits and following one of these tips will make a huge difference to your health. Start with what you can handle, and gradually add more of these tips into your lifestyle. You will not only see the weight drop, but you’ll also feel better.
Bookmark these tips to stay on track in the coming months. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint!