Are you one of those people who want to lose weight but can't succeed no matter what? Well, you may think you're doing it all right, but by the time you finish reading this article, you will be well aware of your mistakes.
"I am on a diet"
What you eat, and how much you eat is the most important thing when it comes to losing, or gaining weight. Many people decide to go on a "diet", which they come railing off of, only to end up indulging in a massive binge which hinders their hard-work and progress. While diets (like Keto, Paleo etc) might work for some people, they just aren't fitted for the majority. You may lose weight on a diet, sure, but you won't be able to keep those pounds off for long as eventually you will go back to your old habits of eating junk-food and being unhealthy overall. To avoid this, you need to make sure that you are eating foods and meals that you actually enjoy, this will enable you to keep going and allow this new style of eating and living to be consistent. Consistency is all that matters.
"But I don't like any healthy foods"
Many people bind the image of bland chicken and boring green veggies with the word "healthy", which is just not true. As mentioned above, you need to eat foods that you enjoy, otherwise you will become miserable...which defeats the point. Instead of having fried chicken every night for dinner, think about something healthier that you may enjoy, roasted chicken with baked potatoes perhaps? The options are endless. There are thousands of recipes on the internet, and youtubers like Greg Doucette, Will Tennyson, More Plates More Dates, and AthleanX, are just some of the many dudes who are educating the youth on fitness and providing us with tips and knowledge that could change our lives! When you think about being "healthy", think about being better than you are right now. If you're eating junk-food every meal of the day, think about having just 1 bad meal a day. Take it slowly, as it will take some time to get used to the changes, but over-time these changes will accumulate and eventually lead you to success.
Law of Conservation of Energy
If you've studied physics in the past, then you're probably well aware of the law of conservation of energy. The law basically states that energy can't be created or destroyed. How does this fit in with this topic? Think about the food you eat, that has calories. What are calories? To put it simply, a calorie is a unit of energy. Which means, when we eat something, we consume energy, and this energy allows our body to function and that's how we stay alive. Now, to understand how we can lose weight, we need to know that every single day, our body uses a number of calories, our energy, just to stay alive. Even if you stay in bed all day, not moving a single muscle, your body will still burn calories just to keep you alive. This is called our daily calorie expenditure (an estimate of this can be found by a simple google search by putting in your height and weight, but it's important to note that this may not be very accurate, yet it can help). When we eat more than our daily calorie expenditure is, we gain weight, this is because there is more energy staying inside our body than being used up. Also, your "maintenance calories" is the amount of energy that you need to stay at the same weight. For example, if the number on the scale for you has been the same for a while, it means that the number of calories you're consuming on a day-to-day basis is your maintenance.
Calories In Vs Calories Out
To actually lose weight, the basic, most important concept is the idea of consuming calories vs expending calories. A calorie deficit is when you're under your maintenance calories, and a calorie surplus is when you're above your maintenance calories. We've already established the law of conservation of energy, so in-order to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. It's important to make sure that you don't under-eat, and you're still having a healthy amount of calories. Around 200-300kcal less than your maintenance is about right. To have fewer calories, focus on nutrient dense foods; foods that are high in nutrients are generally less in calories, therefore if most of your meals are made up of these types of foods, you can have a-lot of volume of and feel very satiated while still being in a calorie deficit. You can track your calories using apps like MyFitnessPal, this can give you an idea of how much you're eating.
How Do I Burn More Calories?
Many people focus on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), or different types of cardio; there is a smarter way. Burning calories basically means using your body's energy. When it comes to spending your energy, it's best to take part in activities that you actually enjoy, so your lifestyle isn't boring and sorrowful. Do you like sports? Play football, basketball, tennis, whatever you enjoy. More of a loner? You may enjoy swimming or running, or bike-riding. Adventurous? Try rock-climbing. Anything that grasps your interest is worth doing, as you will be able to look at it as a fun activity rather than a chore that you just need to get done, and thus will be able to keep at it longer. It is important to note that you should start small; get used to the feeling, let the routine make itself consistent in your lifestyle. Slowly, with time, increase the intensity and the volume. Don't rush it.
How Many Cheat-Days Should You Have?
You shouldn't have cheat "days", but if you feel like you really want to have a McDonalds double cheese-burger, then go for it! But make sure that you have it within a "meal", and not a full day of eating trash. 1-2 cheat-meals a week should keep your cravings aside, and make you feel very satiated. If you have more than that, don't worry. It's not something to obsess over, don't feel like you ruined your 4 month long progress just because of an extra unplanned cheat-meal, just move on and keep making head-way towards your goals!
"It's been a week I can't see results"
The reality is that you won't lose weight over-night, it won't happen that fast, atleast not without causing harm to your body. The key is to have patience, and enjoy the journey...you will definitely get to your destination! What a-lot of people do is that they don't see the weight going down anymore, so they decide that a healthy life-style isn't worth it anymore, despite the progress they have made. Your weight can fluctuate by quite a-lot, so don't weigh yourself everyday. Make it a habit to record your weight every 2-3 weeks or so, this way you can actually see changes without obsessing over the scale. If you can't see any depletion even after a month, then make some changes; reduce the amount of calories you're consuming, or increase the volume of exercicse. Now that you have the knowledge, take control of your body and look the way you want to. The most important part? Have fun while doing it!