For my faq: I want to lose weight, how do I get started?
Starting a weight loss journey: To some this will involve a complete lifestyle change, and that’s hard - focus on making the changes slowly, so you don’t get overwhelmed. Remember you are working on making a healthy lifestyle that you are able to follow for the rest of your life. This not about some quick fix that doesn’t really change anything.
There is so many things to say, I can’t possibly write them all here when it comes to weight loss, and it’s also important to know that everybody is different - so what works for somebody else might not work for you. By the end of this text I’ve put some links to various tags on my blog, because it’s impossible to mention everything there is to say about weight loss in one post.
- Be honest to yourself about what you eat. I don’t support any kind of restrictive diets, I’m all about moderation. Moderation means no food is off limits - because it’s impossible (or wrong) to mark food as either healthy/clean or unhealthy. No food is inherently bad for you, and no single meal can ruin your progress. You should, however, base your intake around a variety nutrient rich food, so you get all the calories, carbs, protein, fat, fiber and micronutrients you need. To some people it can be helpful to write down what they eat, so they can see how well they’re actually eating. Counting calories and macros is not a good tool for everybody, but if you want to try it out, you can use the calculator in iifym.com to get and estimate of what you should be eating. If you have a tendency to obsess over numbers, ‘intuitive eating' is a better alternative.
- Do proper weigh ins - and don’t use the scale as the only way to track your progress; mirror,measurements, pictures (but remember that lightning, posture, bloating, pumped muscle can change how you look drastically in a short time), how you feel, increased strength, endurance, flexibility and so on.
- Realise that there is a difference between between weight loss and fat loss (and that your weight can fluctuate with 4 lbs on a daily basis due to water weight):
- Weight loss: Losing muscle, fat and water. Causes decreased level of fitness, strength, poor performance, early ageing and reduced immunity.
- Fat loss: Losing stored bodyfat. Causes improved fitness, greater strength, peak performance, delayed ageing and reduced risk of diseases.
Don’t focus to much on the number on the scale. Know that when you start training, you likely will end up gaining some muscle mass (Read: Does muscle weigh more than fat?).
- Don’t use exercise as a punishment or see it as a chore. Find out what kind of workouts you enjoy - there is so many options, and there isn’t just one correct way to exercise. And it so much easier to keep working out in the long run if it’s something you enjoy. Sticking to a program is not only about discipline, it’s also about creating an optimal environment where you can reach your goals.
- Cardio or lifting? Both. Cardio can help you create a calorie deficit, which is necessary to lose weight, while lifting helps you build or at least not lose muscle mass (and if you do supersets, lifting can also be considered cardio). Muscle is more metabolically active than fat; meaning you will burn more calories, even at rest. The single best workout for burning calories is a HIIT workout; but this kind of exercise is very demanding, and not for everyone.
- Base your goals around behaviour, not outcome. Look at ‘I want to get down to a weight of 110lbs’ to ‘I want to exercise 4 times a week’. You can control how often you exercise; you can’t control how much weight you lose (at least not in a healthy way). It’s mostly problematic to have a specific goal weight if you already are close to a healthy weight, because your weight does not reflect your bodycompositon), or simply because your GW is unrealistically low. The outcome of exercising more (along with eating healthy) is likely to lead to weight loss anyway, and having a fixed number in mind can be destructive if you tend to obsess over numbers.
- Practice self love. Not only because you are wonderful and should feel good about yourself, but a study at the Technical University of Lisbon showed that women who were counseled to improve their body image lost a higher percentage of weight than those who weren’t. Weight loss won’t make your problems go away. You’ll still be the same person, just trapped inside a slightly different body. Tags: ‘body image’, ‘self love’
- Find a support group. For most people, support is important for long term progress - losing weight can be hard (life can be hard), and sometimes you need a little encouragement. Tumblr can be an excellent place to find support, everybody doesn’t have a supportive family or friends.
Tags: ‘Weight loss’, ‘water weight’, ‘moderation’, ‘beginner’, ‘weigh in’, ‘motivation’, ‘eating tips’, ‘exercise tips’, ‘tips’