As many of you will be aware, I am currently on a weight loss journey. This time around, it is much harder and I hope to blog regularly to help me stay on track and update you all as I make progress. I have put together a list of 5 top tips to help other people lose weight, too.
1. Make sure you have a calorie deficit
One of the mistakes a lot of people make is that they don’t realise their consumption exceeds their output. If your calorie intake is greater than what you are expending, you will gain weight! Don’t get me wrong, macros are very important but this is the starting point. If you get this right, everything else will follow. If you’re unsure of how much you are consuming, you can record your intake with an app such as My Fitness Pal, which is what I do. This means that you must weigh and measure all your food to ensure that you are inputting the correct values for every item you eat. Don’t forget to include any activity, as exercise burns calories. While this sounds like a chore, you do get used to doing it after a while. It depends on how much you want to lose weight. For me, the promised results outweighs the hassle.
2. Eat enough protein
Protein is your friend on your weight loss journey as it leaves you feeling full for longer. It’s found in foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, tofu and legumes. The amount of protein you should have every day depends on a lot of factors such as gender and your age, but it’s hard to get the required amount you need even if you eat meat. I find having a serve of protein powder in the morning helps me reach my goal. Meal replacement shakes also contain a serve of protein, so if you’re having one as a substitute for a meal, you can be assured that you’re not missing out.
3. Set a final goal, but have mini goals
To keep you motivated, it can help having a final goal weight. But it is just as important to set some mini goals, that is, key milestones along your journey. This breaks up the journey and makes the end goal seem less daunting. My starting weight this time around was 87.4 kg and my mini goals are 80 kg and 70 kg, before I hopefully reach my goal weight of 60 kg by the end of the year.
4. Track your progress
Weigh and measure yourself at regular intervals and record the results somewhere. That way, you’ll be able to look over your progress and see how far you’ve come. Whenever I’m feeling a bit down, I always look at my previous results to make myself feel a bit better and help stay on track to my target. Recently, I have started taking photos of myself at different stages so I can actually see the results, too.
5. Don’t be afraid to get help when you need it
Some people are happy to be on their weight loss journey alone and get the results they are looking for, but sometimes you need support. Seeing a personal trainer at the gym is one of the most common ways of receiving help and can be beneficial. With the help of my personal trainer Alice at Les Mills in Howick, I managed to reduce my weight from 93.3 kg when I first started seeing her in July 2018 to 79.9 kg (my weight yesterday). In slightly under two years, I have managed to lose 13.4 kg with Alice’s help.
If you lack the motivation and know-how to lose weight on your own, you can join a weight loss programme such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. You’ll meet with an expert who will coach you on the tools you need in order to lose weight. Weight Watchers also has support in the form of a community of people who are on the same programme, working towards the same goal of losing weight. I haven’t done Jenny Craig before but used to belong to Weight Watchers and did manage to lose quite a bit of weight on the programme. Jenny Craig supply you with food, so everything is pre-portioned and packaged. There’s no excuse to overeat! You just need the willpower to avoid going off-piste and snacking outside the programme. If you follow Jenny’s programme, you should find that you have the calorie deficit you need in order to lose weight. In time, they will wean you off her meals and encourage you to cook on your own. So, unfortunately, you’ll eventually have to get used to weighing and measuring your own food. In saying that, I think it can be very helpful in the beginning, especially if you are struggling to get started or are very busy and don’t have time to prepare your meals.