Putting on unwanted pounds never feels amazing. It can leave you feeling lethargic, tired, and even moody. During the beginning of the year, it is common for many of us to desire to start making positive changes and shed the extra weight. But where to begin? What are things to do everyday for weight loss?
Understanding Weight Loss
When it comes to losing weight there are two sides to the equation. The simple and straight forward “calories in and calories out” as well as the less publicized behavioral changes that need to take place.
Did you know it takes a calorie deficit of 3500 calories to lose one pound? While that might seem like a lot, you can easily break this down into a 500-1000 calorie deficit in your intake from what you burn each day to lose 1-2 pounds per week respectively. This will allow for steady and SUSTAINABLE weight loss.
Losing significant amounts of weight at once may seem exciting and sexy but research shows that drastic weight loss is not sustainable.(1) The ups and downs in weight from fast diets only results in additional pounds added on in the long run as your metabolism slows. Relying on external cues diminishes your trust in your own ability to feed yourself properly.
The second part of behavior change calls for mindset and habit shifts to take place in order for these new behaviors to stick. Making sure those new habits stick and helping you overcome challenges to get there is what much of my one-on-one consulting and group coaching program covers.
Below are the top 5 things you can do everyday for weight loss. Learn these tips and better understand how to lose the weight for good!
1. Practice Self Awareness
Today, meditation and journaling practices are becoming mainstream and this is a trend you want to pick up!
Having a daily practice will increase your self awareness and teach you how to better listen to your internal cues. Those cues are important because they should be the ultimate guide for your eating habits. Your mindfulness practice can also help you to identify triggers that maybe causing undesirable actions like overeating or skipping meals.
It takes time to listen to our bodies and practice to understand what it is telling us. By developing a meditation or mind-body practice (such as yoga) you can sharpen this innate skill again.
When, what, and how much to eat should be guided by your internal cues. You body will tell you exactly what you need if you take the time to listen.
Ever experience a craving? That is your body signaling to you that it needs something. This could be sleep, water, good nutrition, or peace of mind.
Take time to learn how to listen to your internal cues again so you can rely less on external ones (like a diet) to guide you in nourishing and taking good care of your body.
Read more about how mindful eating can improve your health.,
2. Focus on Unprocessed Foods
In reviewing the research for the majority of chronic disease prevention diets there is one recommendation that stands out: make half you plate fruits and vegetables. You should be consuming 1.5-2 cups of fresh fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables per day. Believe or not, only 1 in 10 Americans are actually meeting these recommendations.(2)
The nutrient density and fiber content of produce helps to support the functions of your body while increasing satiety. This allows you to consume fewer calories and feel full thus leading to weight loss or the support of your healthy weight.
Eating foods that are close to the source and minimally processed will help you to consume less. According to a 2019 study published in Cell Metabolism eating highly processed foods (crackers, soda, cookies, chips, etc.) can encourage you to eat more calories compared to eating unprocessed options.(3)
To manage your weight, eat as close to the source as possible (lots of produce, whole grains, beans/legumes, and high quality lean protein sources) and listen to your body to help guide you on how much to eat.
3. Be Accountable
Staying accountable for your actions on a weekly basis will keep you on track towards achieving your goal! If you have someone checking in on you on a regular basis for the
the goals you have set they will stay at the top of mind. Those goal check-ins will also encourage you to take regular action towards achieving them.
In my one-on-one coaching and group coaching program, I built in accountability systems where we are checking in on a regular basis to ensure progress is being made towards your goals. If you are not meeting the action items you set for yourself, then we step back and assess what is going on and how to over come the challenges you are struggling with.
How are you keeping yourself accountable for your goals right now?
4. Move Throughout the Day
A great way to check in on this is to wear a fitness tracker or use a health app on your phone to see how many steps per day you are getting.
Did you know the average American is only walking 3000-4000 steps per day, about 1.5 to 2 miles. The recommended amount is 10,000 steps per day.
If you are hitting the American averages, start by adding 2000 steps per day in addition to what you are already doing. This can be done by taking a 10-15 minute walk break at work instead of reaching for another cup of coffee. Sometimes you just need to get moving to wake your body up!
You want to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity in each week. This means that you can talk throughout your bout of activity but not sing! As you likely know, this can be broken up anyway you like, just getting that activity in is the important part.
Strength train AND do cardio. When it comes to burning calories we quickly think cardio, but keep in mind that strength training is important to help build lean muscle mass, strengthen your bones and has a lovely after-burn. I am a firm believer that you need to focus on both to really get great benefits and continuously challenge your body.
The cross training between the two doubles up your calorie burn, keeps you lean and reduces your injury risk. Also, it help you to have more functional fitness so you can play a pick up game of soccer with the kids or go on a biking excursion on vacation!
5. Beauty Rest
More than just a saying! Your body shuts down at night and sleeps for very important reasons that go beyond what can be covered in a few paragraphs. From hormone regulation and increasing energy to improving cognitive function and providing rest for the digestive system, WE NEED TO SLEEP.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the amount and quality of sleep the average American gets has steadily decreased over the past decades. Allow for 7-8 hours of sleep each night and develop an evening routine to help you start to wind down at the same time each night. This will help your body get into a groove with its circadian rhythm.(4)
Try this meal plan to improve your sleep!
In the In-Balance Performance Program, we review each of these topics to help you not only achieve a healthy weight, but to optimize your health so you can perform your best in the gym, your career and in life’s adventures! Sign up today or contact us for more information.
Matarese, L., & Pories, W. (2014, October 07). Adult Weight Loss Diets. Retrieved January 07, 2021, from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0884533614550251
Only 1 in 10 Adults Get Enough Fruits or Vegetables. (2017, November 16). Retrieved January 07, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p1116-fruit-vegetable-consumption.html
Publishing, H. (n.d.). Stop counting calories. Retrieved January 07, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/stop-counting-calories
Why Is Sleep So Important to Weight Loss? (2020, December 11). Retrieved January 07, 2021, from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-health/weight-loss-and-sleep