Ten Common Sense Tips To Lose Weight
1) Keep it simple. Weight loss is a multi billion dollar industry of competing diets, programs, hacks, tips and miracle foods. It’s probably not intentional but it has the result of making it seem harder than it actually is. The most effective way to lose weight hasn’t changed since the dawn of time: consume fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current size. The easiest way to do this is simply remove unnecessary calories from your diet, such as snack foods and sugary drinks and replace as many processed foods with simple, wholesome ones. A steak, steamed sweet potato and broccoli is simple, healthy and if cooked well, delicious.
2) Consistency beats variety. A varied diet is ideal but if your goal is to lose weight it’s harder to consistently control calories if you’re constantly changing what you eat. Pick a healthy and tasty breakfast and lunch and eat that as often as you can, particularly during the work week. If you look at professional body shape athletes like bodybuilders and bikini models they basically eat the same thing every day and it’s mostly because if every lunch time they need to figure out what to eat they’d risk making bad choices. Deciding what to eat when you’re hungry and short on time isn’t wise if you’re looking to lose weight. Note: this is a weight loss tip. Eating a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and grains is optimal but most people who do so don’t need weight loss tips.
3) Remember the calorie rule. You can deep dive in the details of a food’s GI, the optimal time to eat, the benefits of keto vs intermittent fasting but mostly it’s about how many calories you are consuming. A large reason we put on weight from ‘bad food’ is that it’s high in calories relative to how much it fills us up, so we consume more of it. It is also bad for our health because for every calorie worth of broccoli we put in our mouth we are getting lots of things that our body needs while every calorie worth of Pringles gives us basically nothing worthwhile and lots of things that may be harmful in high doses.
4) Reducing carbs is probably wise. If your goal is to lose weight you may find it easier if you reduce your carbohydrate intake. Think of carbohydrates as sugar, because that basically what it is, and our body loves converting extra sugar into fat.
5) Eat protein with every meal. There are lots of reasons to eat more protein but one reason is if you eat more protein you are likely to eat fewer carbs. If you stick to that rule you’ll find it difficult to eat food from vending machine, which is a good thing.
6) Real food is best. Most of the excess weight in the world comes from consuming too much processed food. It’s hard to eat more than one apple in one go but very easy to drink five apples worth of apple juice.
7) Drink water. It isn’t just because hydration is important but as mentioned above, there is so much sugar in most processed drinks that you can mainline glucose directly into your blood stream at incredible speed. For many people, simply removing soda, juice, iced tea and energy drinks from their diet will help them lose weight. Try sparkling water or herbal teas if plain old water isn’t stimulating enough.
8) Remove snacks. We often snack out of boredom or habit. Remove all processed snacks from your house. Literally throw them in the trash. Unless you can get your money back there’s no good reason to eat something you don’t need and may actually be saving money when you consider the cost of poor health.
9) Cardio helps. While it is much easier to reduce calories than burn them through exercise, cardio does help. Steady state cardio or high intensity training both work. Steady state cardio is getting your heart rate up and keeping it there for an extended period. Long, brisk walks or time on an elliptical work well and are great for listening to music, podcasts or just zoning out and getting into a rhythm. High intensity training is more like a spin class.
10) Build more muscle. Muscle is active tissue that consumes energy, while fat is passive stored energy. That’s why we lose muscle but gain fat when we don’t exercise. Our bodies are programmed for survival so if we aren’t using muscle it will shed it rather than try to feed it. In a way lifting weights is tricking your body into thinking it needs bigger muscles and that those muscles are worth feeding.