When it comes to getting the weight off, everyone wants to lose weight fast, and there are many diets out there promising instant results.
But while they might work in the short term, more often than not they are difficult to stick to and so the weight quickly comes back on. If you’ve tried and failed to lose weight before, you may believe that diets don’t even work for you.
You’re probably right: some diets don’t work at all and none of them work for everyone—our bodies often respond differently to different foods. But while there’s no easy fix to losing weight, there are plenty of steps you can take to develop a healthier relationship with food, curb emotional triggers to overeating, and achieve lasting weight-loss success.
What’s the best way for YOU to achieve healthy weight loss?
While some people respond well to counting calories or similar restrictive methods, others respond better to having more freedom in planning their weight-loss programs. With any weight loss it will require a change to eating habits, it shouldn’t mean missing out on nutrients or cutting out whole food groups.
Diets that involve removing – or severely limiting specific foods or food groups that are nutritionally important are not going to be a long-term solution. The more extreme high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets limit fruit and vegetables, while faddy diets based on single foods involve eating a lot of one type of food and not enough of others.
Some diets also drastically limit calorie intake so you get results fast. However, a very low-calorie intake can leave you with low energy and hungry all the time, so this is where you give up, regaining the weight as quickly as it came off. Very low calorie diets can also cause muscle loss, which will harm your metabolism.
Mainstream guidelines recommend that, for sustainable weight loss, a reduction in calorie intake of about 500 a day is the maximum you should shoot for. In fact, as a general rule, you should be eating as many calories as possible while you lose weight, as this gives you more room to make further reductions when your fat loss stalls (and it will at some point, as the body is very good at finding homeostasis).
A 500 calorie deficit should lead to a weekly weight loss of around 0.5kg (1lb). While it may not sound a great deal next to the promises of many quick-fix diets, it allows you to incorporate healthy eating habits into your lifestyle permanently, so you’re more likely to keep it off for good.
The truth is there is no “one size fits all” solution to permanent healthy weight loss. What works for one person may not work for you, since our bodies respond differently to different foods, depending on genetics and other health factors.
The best first step is to aim for normal meals, a balanced diet and portion control. You also might be eating a healthy balance of foods, just too much of it. Too many people think that the secret to losing weight or body fat is to eat “clean”, when in fact calorie balance is the key to weight loss.
Changes to your food aren’t the only thing to consider either. The most effective weight loss approaches combine changes to diet with increased physical activity (and most importantly, strength training) and also address some of your behaviors around food to help you understand your own eating pattern and responses to food at different times or in certain situations.
Move that body!
Staying fit and active is very important for your overall health, and can help you to lose excess weight in combination to that balanced diet. Lets first get one thing straight, moving more doesn’t mean you need to join a gym. From walking up stairs to gardening, any activity that gets your heart rate going and your muscles moving will have a positive effect.
Exercising has more then just a few benefits to weight loss and your health. Exercise can significantly drop your risk to the leading causes of death in the United States such as, Heart disease and Type II diabetes. Exercise is also helpful to improve digestion and gut health. Your digestive tract does a great deal of work to move food through your system. Exercise helps stimulate abdominal muscles that participate in digestion to help the process go smoothly.
Another positive form of exercise is building muscle. Building muscle mass isn’t just about building a six-pack. Having a greater percentage of muscle mass can make your body burn more calories at rest. Fat tissue burns very few calories because it doesn’t do anything to help your body move. Adding muscle to your frame can help you burn more calories daily – as much as 15 percent more — supporting weight maintenance or loss.
Stay motivated and get support
This might be the hardest step of all, but it’s important to keep in mind, especially as you progress through your weight loss journey. Set goals to keep you motivated and find a cheering section. Social support means a lot. Seek out support—whether in the form of family, friends, or a support group—to get the encouragement you need to keep your health first priority.
Interested to find out how I can help YOU achieve your fitness and fat loss goals while still living your life? Check out my 28 Day Fat Shredder Program which has helped hundreds of busy parents just like you shed pounds and pounds of ugly, oozing bodyfat while still enjoying the foods and beverage that they love…
Author: Chris Friesen
Chris Friesen is a gym owner, personal trainer, online fitness coach and former “fat dad” living on 60 beautiful acres of countryside in rural Canada.
He specializes in helping busy parents shed body fat quickly, WITHOUT becoming gym rats OR giving up the foods they love to eat.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids, sitting in his hot tub out in the snow with a glass of bourbon, and yelling at his (many) misbehaving barn cats.