“I want to lose weight but I just don’t know what to do and nothing seems to be working!” Sound familiar? Whether you’re setting out on your weight loss journey or a few goal weights in it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated by the process. Whether it be in magazines, on social media or even in the news you can’t avoid a barrage of weight loss tricks and health tips that often seem like they contradict each other. All this can make your weight loss goals feel like a monumental undertaking instead of the simple and highly achievable process that it is. Cut out the rest and have a read of our 8 tips as an informative guide on how to lose weight without all the fads, expensive gym classes and gimmick supplements.
1) Decide whether you really want to lose that weight.
Whether it be 5lbs or 105lbs this is the most important factor. You really have to decide that you’re sick of the way you’ve been living and it’s time for a change. You have to really commit to it, no ‘I’ll start on Monday’, no ‘ooh one more day of takeaways and then I’ll start,’ no one will do it for you and this something you must recognise and motivate yourself with. You will be the one that has to put in the work every day, so this commitment and decision have to come from you!
And with that it is important to note that you can do it! The only person that can limit you in this is yourself, you’re more than capable of doing it and if you feel like you can’t have a look on social media and sure enough you will see people just like you managing it, you can do it too!
2) Get walking more!
It doesn’t need saying that more movement and activity is key in losing weight, but this doesn’t just mean hitting your regular gym sessions. Get active and make that change in your day to day life and make it a habit so the weight stays off.
Walking has incredible benefits and you can do it anytime, anywhere. Go for a walk round the block first thing in the morning with your morning coffee rather than lounging in bed with it for 20 minutes. Take a breather out of the office at lunch time and go for a brisk stroll. How about a weekend morning wander with your loved ones in the country side instead of lounging out? Whatever the scenario, you can probably find some space in your lifestyle for this extra exercise that is great at burning those extra calories, getting some fresh air and giving yourself a refreshing change of scenery too. And remember, something is better than nothing.
"With Charlies help and Shreddin8 I managed to drop more fat than ever before on any type of program like this, the training program was superb and the diet was full of food I love like coco pops". Aaron from the UK
3) Create a goals board and put it somewhere you’ll regularly see it.
Go through social media or magazines and save those pictures that embody your goals. Keep it realistic, but give yourself visual aids to remind you why you’re doing this. Going on holiday? Get a picture of the beach you’ll be on, or that swim suit you saw in the shop and really wanted to wear but it wouldn’t fit. Need a confidence boost? Buy a nice outfit 1 or 2 sizes below your current size, take a picture of it and keep it as a goal. Struggle to stay motivated? Get those quotes that really fire you up and remind you why you’re doing it.
Now it’s all very well making a board but you need to be able to see it too! You need to really be able to envision those goals. So if you’re making a physical board consider sticking it on your fridge, or on the wall next to your bed so when you wake up in the morning it’s the first thing you see that fires you up! Or alternatively, if you are more digitally minded, make a collage on your phone, set it as your background or set it to come up as a reminder at different points during your day.
4) Don’t drink your calories, it is a waste!
Don’t drink your calories, drink water only if you can and if that sounds too boring just make sure that water makes up the vast majority of your drinks.
Avoid juices, fizzy drinks, sports drinks. These are all calorific with not a lot of nutritional benefits and it’s a waste of ‘empty’ calories. Interestingly enough the most popular sports drinks were actually made for people in hospital as an easy way to make sure they were meeting the calories needed to get better. Just an example of how these types of drinks aren’t what your diet needs and will hinder your progress. This also includes diet soda! If you’re really struggling, one or too won’t break all your progress but just remember that the artificial sweeteners in them activate the ‘’reward pathways’’ that are triggered when we eat sweet foods. But, these diet sodas do nothing to turn that switch off because there are no calories in them, this then leads to increased cravings which can be challenging for even the most strict athletes to resist.
Increasing the amount of water you drink can also be a great benefit because it makes sure you don’t misread your body signal for ‘I’m thirsty’ as ‘I’m hungry.’ Many people report a reduced appetite when they drink more water, and this is why! They don’t feel hungry because they aren’t interpreting the need for water as the need for food.
As a target aim for 35-40ml per kg of body weight and add 500-1000ml per hour of exercise. This can sound like a lot but if you keep a water bottle on you you will soon find that its not as much as it sounds!
5) Don’t slack on your stability work.
If you are an individual who has gained weight because you have been fairly sedentary jumping straight into the deep end with exercise without preparing your body can lead to injuries, time out of the gym and yep you guessed it, more weight gain! You’d be surprised at how even the most simple workouts can leave you feeling in bits the next day. Prepare your body for these by spending some time working on your balance and stability. This will help your neuromuscular system work more efficiently as well as strengthen your core and stabiliser muscles, reducing the chance of pain and injury. It might not look like it will help you achieve those goals but in the long run it will and your body will thank you
6) Start tracking your food.
There are plenty of apps that can do this for you with just the click of a button. Understanding exactly just how much of what you’re putting in your body can be an eye-opener for some and be an incremental step in you making healthier choices as you suddenly find those calorific meals and snacks not actually that appealing anymore because you’ve seen the salt and fat they contain. It can also help people that are inclined to go the other way and unknowingly restrict too much in a big to really hit those goals, and that drive and desire is great but your body does still need to be fuelled for you.
7) Pay attention when you eat.
Turn off the tv, put your phone down, let the kids run wild for a minute. You need to be looking at your food when you eat it. Digestion begins with your eyes, you see the food and your mouth then produces the saliva that aids your digestion. We all know the phrase ‘mouth-watering food’ and that’s an important step, even if you do struggle that level of enthusiasm for your chicken salad! To add to this, if you eat without paying attention studies have found that you don’t fully recognise just how much you’ve put in your body and even though it was a healthy portion size, you’re left feeling like you need more. And similarly to this, slow down when you eat! Chew your food properly, not only does this decrease any indigestion and bloating but it also takes around 20 minutes for your body to recognise that it’s full. If you wolf down your meal in 6 minutes flat and find yourself diving back in the kitchen for snacks, pudding, second helpings, you will end up eating beyond what you need and what you actually wanted. We’ve all been there where we’ve suddenly hit a point and think ‘ooh I feel sick I’ve eaten too much.’! So slow down, pay attention and actually enjoy the food you’re eating!
8) Stay positive.
Your weight will fluctuate with your body this is natural and normal. You will have bad days and cheat meals. Somedays will be harder than others but just remember through all this that you can do it. Stay positive, something is better than nothing even if it’s only a small change that day, you’re still doing great. There is absolutely no reason why you cannot achieve your goals, keep thinking positive!