Brian St. Pierre, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., is a member of the Men’s Health Advisory Board.
Weight loss can feel like a moving target. What works one month doesn’t seem to work another month and stepping on the scale can often feel like a game of roulette.
At Precision Nutrition, where I work as a Nutrition Director, I frequently see clients who are frustrated and, at times, mystified by why they’re not losing weight.
I often try to tell them that weight loss is way more complex than trendy diets lead you to believe. There are all sorts factors that contribute to losing weight that include, but are not limited to sleep, exercise, genes, body composition, age, gender, diet, hydration, stress, mindset, outlook, and probably 14 other things I’m currently forgetting.
But just because weight loss is complex doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. In fact, most of the work I do with clients involves them simplifying their approach to diet and exercise.
For instance, here are four examples of simple steps you can take to dramatically improve your odds of building the body you want.
1. Focus on Fullness
Feeling hungry and deprived is a significant challenge for most people on a diet. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it shouldn’t.
The best way to do that? Eat a diet rich in varied protein (eggs, fish, lean meats), vegetables and fruits, healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts), and quality carbohydrates (potatoes, sweet potatoes, whole grains, beans and legumes). This approach provides you with the nutrients you need to feel more satisfied from fewer calories.
Naturally, because you feel full, you’ll move away from highly-rewarding foods that don’t provide much satiety despite their high calorie content: pastries, donuts, pizza, fried foods, ice cream, etc.
2. Dismantle the Carb Pedestal
Research certainly supports the use of a well-thought-out, low-carb diet for fat loss. However, research also supports several other well-thought-out diets for fat loss (low-fat, Mediterranean, plant-based, etc.).
There isn’t anything inherently magical to low-carb. What is magical is finding an intake that you enjoy and can comfortably follow. Because what research shows, and what our experience coaching more than 100,000 people confirms, is that consistently being able to follow an eating style is the biggest factor in reaching your goals.
“Low-carb” is also a somewhat subjective statement. For keto purposes, “low” usually means less than 50 or even 30 grams of carbohydrates. For approaches that are a little less drastic, 130 grams is often the target number. Even then, what’s “low” for a 160-lb., relatively sedentary man will be different for what’s “low” for a highly active 230-pound man.
Generally, we prefer not to have your clients count grams or calories. If your goal is to aim for a more ketogenic intake, you would eliminate all starchy carbs (e.g. grains, potatoes, beans, etc.), all sugary items (e.g. juice, soda, sports drinks, etc.) and all fruit. If you’re aiming for that less-restrictive 130-gram target, you would still eliminate all sugary items, but allow for 2 to 3 total handfuls per day of starchy carbs and/or fruits.
3. Don’t Let Booze Sink You
Calories from alcohol play a significant role in weight management. There are about 110 to 150 calories in most standard servings of alcohol. But craft beers, which are ever more popular, can sometimes cross the 200-calorie-per-beer threshold. Toss back a few of those with dinner and you’ve added 400-plus calories to your meal.
The back way to cut back your intake is slowly. Dial it back by drink per day, or every other day. Do keep in mind, that for many people, alcohol is a way to unwind. So it also helps to work on other coping skills and stress management strategies—things like meditation, yoga, taking short walks, getting outside, playing with your pet, or whatever makes you happy. Building these skills often makes it significantly easier to decrease alcohol intake without feeling like you’re depriving yourself.
4. Have Some Fun in the Kitchen
Shopping and cooking for yourself and your family is one of the best things you can do for your overall health right now. If you hate cooking, try to problem-solve why.
Strategize ways to involve more fun. Incorporate the family. Aim for relatively simple meals. Put on some music. The key is to not overwhelm yourself, or to try to bite off more than you can chew. Find what you already do well and start there.
Then as your comfort level grows, look to push the boundaries of that comfort zone bit by bit, and slowly expand your knowledge and skills until you reach a point you are content with.
Have you lost your weight-loss motivation? Get back on track with these tips – TheHealthSite
The Best Weight-Loss Exercises You Can Do at Home – LIVESTRONG.COM
HOW TO DO IT: While in a high plank, perform a set of mountain climbers, bringing one knee up to the chest, and then switching (left, right, left, right). Then, jump your feet apart, toward the outside of your mat, and back together four times, like you’re doing a jumping jack on the floor. After performing the plank jacks, complete another set of mountain climbers.
Weight loss diet plan: This woman shed a staggering 8st by making this one simple change – Express
For those who are overweight and need to slim down there is a lot of information available about the best way for them to do this.
If unsure where to start, it can be reassuring for dieters to look to others who have been through their own weight loss transformations in order to get tips.
One woman shared her weight loss on Reddit after she lost an incredible 7st 9lb in just over a year.
The Reddit user “LDNurseMama” posted online about what she did to try and encourage others to make a similar change.
The woman shared she is 38-years-old, 5ft 9in and has slimmed down from a huge 20st 7lb to a much trimmer 12st 12lb.
She showed off her results by posting a picture of her before and after losing the weight and explained more about the changes she made to get slim.
“LDNurseMama” revealed she kicked off her weight loss journey by watching how many calories she ate and also by making an effort to move more.
She wrote: “I started with just tracking my calories closely with my fitness pal, weighing my food, and being really active.
“Then I went to an actual weight loss clinic to meet with nutritionists and doctors to help me plan for the long term weight loss and maintenance.”
This approach helped the slimmer understand how much she was eating and the best types of food to help her shape up.
The dieter revealed she had always been active so changing up her eating habits was one of the biggest changes for her.
She said: “The food portions were the hardest for me, tracking everything in my fitness pal really put things into perspective for me.
“I weighed my food for awhile too until I had a good grip on what my portions should be. It’s hard but worth it.
By closely tracking her calories using a fitness app, the user explained how it helped her understand what she was eating and her weight started to fall off at a steady rate of around 2lb a week.
Since losing the weight, the Reddit user revealed she does not need to track her food as closely as she understands better what she needs to eat.
“LDNurseMama” revealed: “Now I watch what I eat still, eat healthy foods in smaller portions and stay active.”
Dieters hoping to lose a few pounds can start to do this by making other small changes in their lives.
Research published in a report titled “Portion size me: plate-size induced consumption norms and win-win solutions for reducing food intake and waste” explained using smaller plates at meal times may help people eat less.
This trick can help slimmers learn more about portion control and make an effective change in their lives.
Some people losing weight may have a specific area they hope to burn fat from, such as slimming down the waistline.
According to Cecilia Harris, who is a personal trainer and co-founder of Results with Lucy, you must lose weight from the whole body in order to burn belly fat.
She said: “I don’t believe that you can spot train or lose fat in one particular place of your body.”
- "You're Just Peeing Out a Lot of Money." This Is the Real Way You're Flushing Your Retirement Savings Down the Drain – MONEY
- Don't Let These Problems Get in the Way of Healthy Eating – ConsumerReports.org
- FDA Sends Warning Letters on Dietary Supplements – Wall Street Journal
- 14 Simple Ways to Stick to a Healthy Diet – EcoWatch
- New Tool Alerts Public to Unlawfully Marketed Dietary Supplement Ingredients – The Cardiology Advisor
"You're Just Peeing Out a Lot of Money." This Is the Real Way You're Flushing Your Retirement Savings Down the Drain – MONEY
Don't Let These Problems Get in the Way of Healthy Eating – ConsumerReports.org
FDA Sends Warning Letters on Dietary Supplements – Wall Street Journal
14 Simple Ways to Stick to a Healthy Diet – EcoWatch
New Tool Alerts Public to Unlawfully Marketed Dietary Supplement Ingredients – The Cardiology Advisor
My Pregnant Body – 3 Fitness Influencers On The Reality of Working Out Until Birth – elle.com
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