If you want to lose weight, it boils down to calories in vs. calories out. I find that narrative is broadening, and I’m so happy about that. We are multi-faceted individuals with an array of unique life stressors, genetics, experiences, mindsets, and let’s not forget… microbiomes!
In health and fitness, I like to tune into the body’s intuition while respecting the science. The body is intelligent. It offers clues and speaks in signs and symptoms. Sadly, most of us are far too busy with daily stressors to tune into our body or plain out fail to pick up its clues. When it comes to weight loss, especially more than 20 pounds, I loathe the lackluster task of counting calories. The option is there if it works for you and there’s a variety of apps to help you do this. Sadly most overweight individuals that attain their weight loss goals end up gaining it back. It’s far more beneficial to focus on lifestyle modifications to reach and sustain your weight loss goals. If you don’t change self-sabotaging behaviors, they will lead you down a vicious circle that will pollute your health and exhaust your mind. The best route to sustainable weight loss is to learn how to maneuver around daily triggers. This is your health and wellness for the rest of your life.
This post will review a few tools and strategies to get you on that sustainable weight loss journey. It all begins with deep reflection and actionable steps that are simple enough to start implementing today. Taking those steps every day will build habits that will benefit you for a lifetime.
Check the Scene
Check the scene; It’s a phrase that I heard in a First Aid class and stuck in my mind. I’ve adapted it as a goal-setting guideline. It intends to reflect on the following:
Look around; what surrounds you? Is it conducive to the goals you’ve set forth? From the moment you step out of bed, have you set yourself up for success? Everyone’s weight-loss motivation is different, but here are critical things to consider.
- Prepare: If you’d like to workout in the morning, prepare your work out clothes and leave them ready to grab. Make a schedule, set reminders, and do not deviate unless you have a true emergency. Discipline supersedes motivation. We don’t always wake up motivated. If we stay disciplined and show up for that workout, we’ll come out of it more robust, invigorated, and with a clearer perspective. Exercise plays a pivotal role in our mood. It’s an effective way of decreasing depression, freeing us to make wiser choices that affect our nutrition and health.
- Cut Processed Foods: What’s in your cupboard? Are processed foods lurking within, tempting you every time you turn the corner? Change your environment to support your goal. If you know, you’ll end up eating the entire bag of Oreo cookies, then buy a single pack, thoroughly enjoy it, but keep it out of your home! The question you’re answering here is, does this support my goal?
- Opt For Smaller Portions: Why is this important? Consuming a large meal can signal a surge of insulin to transport glucose into cells, unfavorably disrupting blood glucose and insulin levels. Over time these surges in insulin lead to excess fat storage, putting you at risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. As part of the aging process, we lose muscle mass, making it easier to gain excess weight. Regularly choosing smaller portions is an effective habit to help control excess weight gain as we age. And I don’t mean so small as to starve yourself or go hungry.
- Keep a Food Diary: Why is this helpful? First, some foods make us feel strong and agile, and others affect our energy and mood. Keeping a food diary will help in pinpointing these occurrences. If you often experience bloating and gut issues after certain meals, this is a great place to start gathering answers. Secondly, it reveals how many times you are snacking during the day. Many times we miscalculate or discount a bite here and there. Be honest and write down everything for this to be effective. Third, are you getting a variety of nutrients from fruits and vegetables? I did not realize how one-sided I was in my vegetable and fruit consumption until I kept a food diary for two weeks. Keeping a food diary helps to pinpoint any gaps in nutrition. Consuming various foods will ensure we aren’t lacking in certain nutrients or getting too much of another.
- Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting has become a popular weight-loss strategy. It’s an eating pattern that involves eating and fasting cycles. Some methods include fasting for 16 hours daily or 24 hours two days a week. I aim to follow a 13-15 hour cycle, fasting from 7 pm-8 am daily. Notice I say aim, allow flexibility for social events to truly be able to live with it. Intermittent fasting is easy to incorporate into your lifestyle. Check out this link to learn more about intermittent fasting and its many benefits.
- Supportive Social Interactions: Are the people closest to you supporting your change to a healthier lifestyle? Do you bond over discovering ways to incorporate health and fitness into a lifestyle? Or do you connect over late-night binges, alcohol, and being sedentary? Examine your social interactions. Keep supportive people that respect your goals close. I’m not suggesting to get rid of your friends but to recognize those creating obstacles instead of bridges. Some friends are better suited for movies and snacks, while others get you motivated for that bike ride.
- Hire Health and Fitness Professionals: Alright, this one may not be as simple to get started. This one takes an investment in time and money, but it’s the best investment you will ever make. Within minutes you can find an online workout or diet program absolutely for free, but with no unique plan; what are you working towards exactly? Will you be learning specific skills and strategies to form sustainable habits? If you’ve been cycling through yo-yo dieting, I encourage you to set up a free virtual consultation, CLICK ON THIS LINK. Hiring a qualified trainer or registered dietician offers you personalized service, guidance, encouragement, and a systematic plan to help you achieve your goals, and keep them long-term. You will have support for your unique concerns. You will have a collaborative partner in your health and fitness. Now, how to find a qualified trainer? I’ve got you covered! Read my blog post on how to find a qualified trainer, follow this link.
Will you use any of the above strategies? Have you cycled through yo-yo dieting and finally found a plan that worked for you? If so, did it include any of the above strategies? If you are still on that journey and want to finally build sustainable habits and learn valuable insights about your body, I’ve got you covered! Send me a message.
I hope this has been useful to you. Please share it with your friends and family members that would appreciate the information.
Thanks for stopping by!
Stand tall, Breathe deep –
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
NYS Licensed Massage Therapist