Losing weight theoretically is easy and straight forward. Eat less calories at the end of the day than you burned...you lose weight.
Easier said than done!
There's that little thing called life that tends to make losing weight way more challenging than it is in theory. Fact of the matter is...losing weight is tough and it really takes a well thought out plan of action to succeed with it long term.
So you've probably seen the fat burning pills, "belly fat busting" exercise gimmicks, endless fad diets and fly by night trainers who don't know their you know what from their elbow.
I've been in this field for 11 years and have worked with hundreds of clients. There are a few things that I've seen successful people do to lose weight and keep it off - that actually work.
Here are my "top 3 tips" that will make a huge difference in your waistline:
1. Stop drinking your calories!
It's amazing how fast just a few 8 oz. glasses of juice, milk or soda adds up. Plus, fluid empties out of the stomach incredibly fast and doesn't satisfy hunger nearly as well as solid food does.
So instead, switch to water as the primary beverage to go with your meals and snacks. Fill up on lower calorie and fiber rich foods to fill up the stomach and prevent hunger.
2. Stop working out in the "Fat Burning Zone" on the treadmill
Guess what? You're burning fat while you sit there reading this blog post. Our bodies prefer to use fat for energy during low intensity prolonged activity. The problem with that is, most people don't have time to spend half of their day in the gym!
Instead: Work out a little harder...you could burn just as many calories in half the time by doing interval training at moderate and hard intensities.
Plus you will get the added benefit of increased metabolism in the hours following your workout. Unfortunately, within minutes of finishing your light intensity exercise, core temperature returns back to normal and metabolism stabilizes. It's quite the contrary after a more intense interval training workout.
Oh yea... one more tip. If you're not weight training for fat loss, you're missing a huge opportunity. Read all about it right here. Muscle is a calorie burning furnace!
3. Stop starving yourself to lose weight fast!
Yes, if you starve yourself for a week by cutting out carbs or following some crazy 7 day detox...you will lose weight. But, I'm sorry to inform you that the weight lost consisted primarily of water and the carbs that were stored in your muscles to fuel your activity.
Very little, if any of the weight lost during the so called "cleanse" was fat. In fact, as soon as you start eating normal food again...the weight comes right back!
Instead: Follow a sensible diet that incorporates all 3 key nutrients in the right amount to help you lose weight progressively. Healthy weight loss occurs at about 1-2 lbs. per week.
These are just a few tips to get you started the right way. Remember, weight loss is a process that ends with permanent lifestyle change. If that's not the first thing on your mind when starting a diet or fitness program...stop right now and save yourself from wasting time.
If this really worked with a "quick fix" more people would succeed with it. The reality is...it takes time, patience and the right guidance and support.
Brian Reynolds M.S., CSCS
Owner | Thunder Sports & Fitness