We have all been there, looked in the mirror and seen a reflection we are less than satisfied with. Unfortunately, there is a big industry built up promoting weight loss tips and tricks that are frankly awful. Here are ten weight loss tips that work.
Weight Loss Tips that Work Introduction
Before we jump into the weight loss tips that work, let’s understand the basics of weight loss so you can understand how weight loss actually works.
Calories In and Calories Out
I have seen videos on YouTube with so-called weight loss gurus promoting fad diets or eating healthily with terrible advice.
For example, a big weight loss/fitness guru V-Shred recommended eating healthy apple slices as a snack dipped in peanut butter. Peanut butter is a high calorie dense food and despite nuts being ‘healthy’, eating them in any quantity will increase your calorie intake a lot.
In order to lose weight, you need to ensure the amount of calories you are using is higher than the amount of calories you are taking in (eating).
10 Weight Loss Tips that Work
Before you do anything relating to diet or exercise you need to start with tip number 1.
Calculate Your Resting Calorie Expenditure
The human body is a complex system and like all systems it needs power. This is known as your resting metabolic rate (RMR) for those scientifically inclined.
That means you’re expending energy (and burning a calorie or two) simply by reading this article.
There are useful calculators online that allow you to get an idea of your basic calorie expenditure. This is the amount of calories you burn each day just by being alive.
Calculate Your Calorie Intake
Once you have your calorie expenditure, you have a figure that you can use as a benchmark for calorie intake.
You can diet below this figure and your body will burn fat stores for energy without doing any exercise whatsoever.
That’s right, with an extremely restricted diet you can burn fat without exercise. This isn’t a recommended route to weight loss though because you will likely feel fatigued, hungry all the time and cognitive function will decline while you are dieting.
Dieting Sustainably – Weight Loss Tips that Work
You will likely want to eat around 250-500 calories above your RMR.
You should completely disregard the usual figures you see banded around like recommended daily intake. These figures are generic and for most men 2500 calories is too much, especially if they are living sedentary lifestyles.
Using your own calorie figures is tailor-made to your body and your needs – much better than a generalised calorie target.
The reason you will want to eat above your RMR is because you don’t want to feel like you are heavily dieting and you want the weight loss you achieve to be sustainable in the long run.
Dieting aggressively normally has good results in the short term but poor results over the long term as people tend to eat badly afterwards and pile on the pounds.
Exercise To Lose the Weight
So far, we have established:
- Your resting metabolic rate (calories your body needs to survive)
- Your target calorie intake
You will probably find your target calorie intake is much LESS than you ordinarily consume.
Even if you don’t, you shouldn’t worry. We are about to burn some calories.
You should aim to do exercise daily that burns more calories than the excess amount of calories you have budgeted above.
- Walking 10,000 steps daily burns roughly 400 calories,
- Swimming casually burns around 400 calories an hour,
- Aerobic dance burns roughly 400 calories an hour,
- Cycling for an hour burns roughly 500 calories.
Do Low Impact Exercise
It is advisable to focus on an exercise regime that is low impact for several reasons.
Low impact exercise is exercise that doesn’t put too much strain or pressure on your body.
For example, running is a high impact exercise and can do long term damage to your knees and joints. Walking on the other hand is a low impact exercise that is much kinder to your joints.
Running will burn more calories over the same period of time, but it won’t be as sustainable especially as you grow older.
Running is also more mentally demanding than walking, this means you are more likely to put off going for a run than a walk. Walking is easier than running.
Track Your Exercise and Calories Burned
There are all manner of fitness trackers, some better than others. The Apple Watch is a great way to track exercise and monitor it from the watch itself or on your phone using the fitness apps.
You want to ensure the amount of exercise is exceeding the amount of additional calories to your RMR.
For example, if you are eating 250 calories additional to your RMR, you will want to burn more than 250 calories.
The more calories you burn the faster you will lose weight. If you manage to exercise daily and burn 500 calories more than your calorie target you will lose on average 1 lb a week.
Initially You Will Lose Weight Faster
When you lose weight or start a diet, you will notice in the first two weeks, your weight loss is greater than the weeks thereafter. This can cause people to become disheartened, feeling as though they aren’t achieving weight loss at the same rate as before.
This initial weight loss is commonly called water weight. When you start a weight loss regime your body releases a lot of the water it has retained.
After the water weight has been shed, the body will be left with only fat to burn – which burns at a slow rate.
In short, don’t be disheartened if your weight loss starts to slow down, it is just your body adapting to a new lifestyle.
The Heavier You Are the More Calories You Burn
The good news if you’re starting your weight loss journey at a higher weight is that your body works harder when you are heavier.
This means your RMR will be higher and the amount of calories you burn doing exercise will also be higher.
Over time as you lose weight you will need to recalculate your RMR and ensure the amount of exercise you are doing is burning enough calories.
Don’t Undertake a Radical Diet – Weight Loss Tips that Work
Despite the marketing, no diet will work if you aren’t burning more calories than you take in.
The way most diets work is to restrict the amount of calories you take in by either fasting or not allowing certain food types or food groups.
Some of these diets are designed to work while others simply won’t work unless you’re exercising regularly.
The diets designed to work are made for a general audience, and while some do a better job at customising calories to individuals, most fail on some level to do this.
Your diet can be easy with some very simple changes.
Diet Hacks – Weight Loss Tips that Work
There are five things you can do to adjust your existing diet to make it less calorific.
Yes, that means you can eat the foods you like with simple adjustments to reduce calories.
- Don’t drink calories. Switch any drinks that have calories to no-calorie alternatives.
- Halve carb portions. Carbs and sugar are higher calorie food groups, half the portion of chips you put on your plate, and you halve the amount of calories compared to your normal intake.
- Substitute the halved carbs with veg and greens. Make sure you are using low carb veg. A simple side salad will help you feel full up but be less calorie dense.
- Low calorie sauces. We all like ketchup or mayo, but you should use low calorie alternatives. Make sure you read the labels properly and ensure you are using a real low calorie alternative, some products say ‘reduced fat’ but have similar calorie levels.
- Find a healthy snack. We all like a cheeky treat or snack, simply pick a low-calorie snack and substitute it for your ordinary snack.
The goal here is to reconfigure your existing diet into a lower calorie diet. You still need to ensure you aren’t exceeding your target calorie intake so you may need to reduce or remove things from your diet.
By using these diet hacks you could restructure your existing diet in a way that saves over 1000 calories a day. That means you can still have the same diet, but by being smart with low-calorie substitutions you are avoiding your usual calorie intake.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Finally, slow weight loss means less drastic changes to your existing lifestyle and enables you to make habits that last. Whether that be becoming accustomed to zero calorie drinks or getting into a manageable exercise routine.
Fast weight loss often results in the commonly observed yo-yo effect where people lose weight quickly and gain it equally quickly afterwards.