OK so we’ve all been there. You stop caring for a few months … a treat here or a few drinks there and suddenly you decide enough is enough! You realise that it’s getting uncomfortable, you need new pants and you just don’t feel great. How do you turn things around and lose 5kg?
I have had to do this a few times because I notice that my overall weight is not changing that much week by week but over time it adds up. I figure if I can drop 5kg pretty quickly then that will be motivating and get me back into a better zone that I can maintain. I generally pick 5kg as a target because that is not far off 5% of my body weight (92kg, male) and I absolutely have felt healthier at that lower range so I know … you might need different goals and you know you body.
This isn’t a “Crash Diet” or a “Quick Weight Loss Plan” and there is nothing to buy! Rather I am just sharing a few thoughts and ideas that could help. At the end of the day you need to design a set of things that you put in place to help you … things that work for you and that you actually don’t mind doing. I am not a professional so these are just what has worked for me. Before I begin though I want to share with you the 3 most important things that will help you succeed!
- Just Do It – the Nike slogan is the key from a mental strength perspective. Just say you are going to achieve this and make sure you do. It will take weeks or a month or more but the single most important factor is your brain … you have to want to do it and you have to determine that you are going to do it. You won’t give up and you will make the choices that you need to every day to get it done.
- Ask someone to help – this is a close second. You need to tell someone (not the whole internet!) who you trust about your goal and then you need to ask them to check in with you regularly. This is so crucial! It is easy to let yourself down if no one knows but if you ask someone to help and keep you accountable then its a lot more motivating to not let others down. The ultimate is to have a partner who has a similar goal so that you can provide mutual motivation and support.
- Start TODAY! Not tomorrow, not next week … see point 1! Make it start today … well not today because you need to get a baseline weight by jumping on the scales for a few days in a row but yes … start that today 🙂
So you want to do it? Great … here are some simple ideas to make it happen.
This is not the answer … but it is one of the answers. Your body uses energy to power its cells and so the more energy that you make it use, the more it has to find from what you eat or what it already has stored around the body. If you use up more, and don’t increase your calorie intake, then you body will have to find it from stored fat.
The other big benefits are that being active can help with your mental and emotional state. It actually helps you to be more motivated to achieve your goals and can rush more positive hormones around your body. Being active especially early in the day can help raise you metabolic rate which is how much energy your body uses doing nothing … so it keeps working after you finish exercising. It wakes you up, gets you body going for the day … you get the idea.
You don’t need to do too much either to get some benefits. Aim for at least 30 mins a day and I try to also make sure I do the incidental exercise. Always take the steps where practical, walk to the train/bus etc … it all helps.
Lastly, I wear a cheap fitness tracker just so I can tell if I have done a reasonable amount of walking or steps each day.
What You Eat
So the single best thing that you can do is reduce your energy intake in food and drink and the easiest way to do that is to eat what you usually do but just eat smaller serves. If you get hungry then add something to the meal that costs very little … carrot sticks, celery etc. The next easiest is to cut out a few treats (doesn’t have to be all) but I find if you stop eating between meals and especially the stuff you know is really full of sugar or fat, that is a HUGE drop in your intake for the day.
Overall, get some sugar out of your diet. Say no to most packages drinks and grab some water instead. Add some fruit or a drop of lime cordial or lemon juice to give it some flavour. Take a break from alcoholic drinks which are almost all full of sugar and which we often consume within 3-4 hours of sleeping. It might help you sleep too.
Coffee can be a killer too especially if you have a milk based one and add sugar. Try having less coffees and replacing a few with tea which has almost no energy in it but can still be delicious. You can drop the sugar in your drinks too … you get used to it pretty quickly.
Fasting too is popular but not for long … you would have to read up on that or ask your doctor.
This is the secret sauce for all of life and its harder than it sounds. Your body repairs itself and your brain clears out junk when you sleep. Discipline yourself to get to bed early and plan for a minimum 8 hours each night. There is growing evidence that this is helpful in healthy weight loss and maintaining your body systems. You can read more about it online … here is a link to start with – Web MD
So there are the basics … but you knew all that right?
Yes you did. At the end of the day most people know what to do but they just don’t do it. That brings me back to the first 3 keys … and here is what you need to do!
- Decide if you want to do it
- If you do what to, commit to it. Write down the goal and the timeline
- Tell a friend and ask then to keep you to it
- Write a plan of what you will do – exercise, smaller portions, less treats, no sugar drinks, more sleep
- Just Do It – then celebrate!
You know you want to!