6 Escalating Strategies to Help You With Weight Loss.
There are plenty of tips, tricks, diet plans and detoxes out there this time of year to help (or that that be confuse?) you with your weight and fat loss goals for the year ahead.
My biggest bugbear with them though, is that they mostly feed into the short-term mindset of feeling guilty and needing to get a quick result to redeem yourself. Usually through an extremely restrictive nutrition plan or just plain starving you half to death.
Either way, none of them are designed with long-term success in mind, hence why the people who go for them this year, will be in exactly the same (or worse) position next year and will be falling for all the same BS yet again.
So what is the right path to choose for long-term success?
There are a couple of options when structuring your diet plan (something I will go into more detail with in a future article) that take into account calories consumed and food quality (the two most important factors for long-term success).
Having been a coach for 11 years now, I realise that not everyone is ready and willing to take on portion and food quality control head on. Maybe because of their relationship to food or maybe simply because of their current mindset with regards to themselves and their self-belief.
So, in a bid to keep myself useful I have gone for a different route and picked 5 strategies that you can add in one-by-one to help you feel better and start the path to better better health.
The classic tip that everyone groans at when they hear it. Yet the simplest and most effective one to start with.
Being better hydrated will help with energy levels, concentration and controlling appetite. In fact just feeling better and more level headed will make everything else in life easier. Just think how hard it is to motivate yourself to exercise or eat right when you are stressed and exhausted. Being dehydrated magnifies these feelings.
The easiest way to start is to buy yourself a reusable bottle (at least 750ml, can be plastic or stainless steal, which ever you prefer) and aim to fill and drink it empty twice during the course of the day.
Don’t stress if you struggle at first. The goal here is to build a daily habit that will build into long-term success.
2. Eat Slowly.
Again another classic piece of advice, but as with the water, a very effective habit to practice to help you control your appetite and overall food intake.
The basis behind this tip is that there is a delay in feedback, between the stomach and the brain, with the signal that lets you know when you have eaten enough.
Most people tend to eat distracted (looking at the TV or a tablet/phone) and also eat in a rushed manor. Eating regularly like this results in eating too quickly to receive the “I’m full” signal from the stomach and when it does arrive, chances are you are too distracted to notice it until you are absolutely bloated.
Start today by mindfully chewing your food and taking the time to enjoy it. Pay attention to what you are eating, how much and how fast.
3. Add Two Fist Sized Portions Of Fresh Veg To Lunch And Dinner.
Aim to make half your plate/bowl full of mixed vegetables. They add bulk and fibre to a meal, which in turns helps slow down your eating and helps you to feel satisfied and full sooner.
One of keys to successful, long-term weight and fat loss is to make it as easy as possible for yourself to succeed. Choosing foods that a lower in calorie content but fill you up is a superb way to start structuring our diet.
Don’t think of foods as good vs. bad. Simply foods that make weight loss easier vs. ones that make it a little harder.
4. Set a Regular Bed Routine
Adequate sleep is vital to long-term success. In part because when you feel exhausted, everything feels harder to do. Not a good state of mind to be in when you need to exercise regularly and follow a consistent diet.
Aim to go to bed and get up the following morning at the same times each day. 8 hours of sleep a night is ideal and by setting regular times, your body will find easier to regulate the hormones that help you sleep well and wake up feeling rested.
5. Schedule in Regular Exercise
The biggest mistake I see people make with exercise is not maintaining consistency with their training frequency.
Training frequency is the most important aspect in your exercise plan. Without it, you will struggle to achieve even small improvements, if any at all.
Schedule your exercise into your diary and respect it.
For general health I would go 3 hours a week (which can be split up into smaller, more frequent chucks – such as 6×30 mins for example)
For a dramatic change in physique, I would aim for 4-6 hours a week.
6. Be Progressive
The second biggest mistake I see, is trying to from 0-100 in terms of exercise levels in one go.
For example, doing no regular exercise to trying to run everyday. This is the path to misery and giving up long-before you even start to see results.
Be realistic about where you are starting from, but also be prepared to challenge yourself a little more each time.
For example, building a habit of 3 hour long walks a week, can then progress into 3 hours of gentle jogging for as long as possible followed by finishing the remaining time with walking. Eventually, baby steps as you go, you will be able to run for the whole hour.
The same applies to working out in the gym. Start with workouts focused on smaller, lighter movements designed to work out any imbalances or niggles you have, then build into more challenging workouts with more workload and bigger movements.
Your body’s greatest ability is that of adaptation. If you want your body to change, give something to adapt to and time enough to adapt to it.
Six strategies to get you on the right track. Think of them as habits and skills that need to be worked on until they become second nature.
Your body, health and mind are all products of your daily habits.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”