- Weigh yourself
- Exercise you love
- Purpose/Goal setting
1. Track your calories
Tracking your calories are extremely helpful as they help you stay on track with your diet and they can help ensure you stay accountable.
For more details check out my post here on the importance of our energy balance and how fat loss works.
By eating less than our body demands we are burning through the stored energy reserves (fat cells). Simply set your calorie target, or have an app or website estimate your calorie needs (TDEE.com), and simply eat to that amount each day. With Flexible dieting it makes dieting easy and manageable – no more missing social events, no more obsessing over fast food or demonising desserts.
Counting calories will require some commitment on your part, and the ability to read a food label, maybe buying a food scale. When eating out I would just guesstimate the calories of a meal (usually I would over shoot to be safe). Adjust calories on a, potentially, weekly basis if your progress starts to slow down or stagnate.
Calories set/estimated at 1800 Calories to lose 1lb of weight each week
Week 1: Eat an average of 1800 Calories per day
Result: If you do not lose 1lb of weight at the end of week 1 then adjust calories a little bit lower (i.e. 1600)
2. Track your steps
Steps or NEAT are super helpful for burning calories. If you think objectively about your steps and general activity, Steps and your daily moving patterns account for the majority of your calories burned.
Steps are easily tracked these days through Smart phones, Pedometers, or Smart watches. There really is no excuse to say “I can’t track my steps”.
No need to aim for 10’000 steps every day but ensure you are at least maintaining or improving from week to week. If we are increasing or maintaining steps we are ensuring that we control a large variable for fat loss.
If your steps drop significantly (per your weekly average) then you are potentially slowing down, or negatively affecting, your fat loss. 3000 steps less on average could mean 30minutes less activity every week.
Control this variable and ensure you get your steps in – otherwise you are leaving a large part of your weight loss all just chance
3. Weight average
WARNING – this isn’t for everyone! But that’s ok.
The reason I say measure yourself every day is because this will give you a truer estimate of your body weight. On a daily basis our weight can fluctuate as much as 9lbs (women menstruating as an example). So an average measure for the weight, alongside a controlled calorie allowance and regular step average, will ensure that we are consistent and accurate with our progress.
If you are not ready to measure yourself every day or you may feel this will negatively your state of mind that is completely fine, and it’s amazing that you realised what the scales can do to you. In this instant I would recommend at least one measure a week or use something like a piece of clothing to track your progress against the fit.
How to weigh yourself correctly? First thing in morning, before eating anything, after the toilet, and butt naked – keep it consistent like this and write it down. Home scales are notoriously inaccurate, however we can keep it as inaccurately accurate on that specific measure.
If you notice after 2 weeks that your average weight from one week to last is making progress, this is a good sign that you are heading in the right direction. If, however, progress stops or you are increasing in weight this may mean it is time to adjust the calories, or increase exercise and or steps.
You can lose weight without exercise – as long as you can control your steps and calorie intake. However, Exercise is so much more than a tool to lose fat.
Exercise will help improve your body composition (lose fat quicker, build muscle), improve overall body strength, improve bone density, benefit heart health, balance, coordination etc. etc.
For exercise I always tell my clients: Do what you love – don’t define exercise to one weight plan and running for 30minutes or 10k – find what you like and enjoy it.
Go for a run until you have had enough (no time limit or distance in mind), go off plan with a new workout, try a class, play your favourite sport more often, try something new etc.
Maintain exercise week to week. A gym session will roughly burn 100-400 Calories. High intensity sports like Ice hockey and Basketball or HIIT classes could burn significantly more per hour. Essentially the greater the effort the higher the calories burned.
Keep it consistent and find what’s going to keep you coming back.
Check out my post here for more info in the topic.
5. Most important – Your Purpose
I recently wrote about this in detail here. The lack of purpose, or target for your goals, creates a perpetual lack of motivation or lack of enthusiasm that prevents any specific improvements in your body, health, wellbeing or life. Simply, to maintain motivation you must define your purpose.
“If you don’t have anything to look up to, you don’t have anything to do. A lot of the meaning people find in their life is purpose driven and in order to put effort into something, to work toward something, you have to assume axiomatically that what you are working towards is better than what you have – or why else would you do it?… If you have nothing to aim up at, then you have nothing to aim at. You have no purpose.” – Jordan Peterson
If you do not have a goal to aim at then your efforts will lack the drive to improve your life – you will have no purpose. And a lack of purpose we can associate more closely with suffering, disheartenment, loss, and de-motivation. You can’t achieve your dream body if you just want to ‘look good’. Looking good is not an explicit purpose – you have to define your ‘good’ and be specific. You HAVE to be explicit on your goals, make them realistic and believable and you have to set forth a timeline for your target.
Be specific with your goal – nothing generic “I want to get abs”. Okay, but when do you want them by, how much effort will you need to put in, what changes will you need to make, how much time is it going to take, are you ready to make the gym trip even on a cold, rainy windy winter night?
If you have a purpose/goal you are giving yourself direction. You will work harder than you have ever before. You will prioritise yourself and your goals over anything else and make it work no matter what. Too many times I have seen false promises to lose weight with no drive.
I’ll leave this here: If you were to drive home and the main road was blocked off due to construction, would you just give up and sleep in your car until the road was clear? Or, would you drive an alternative route, maybe park the car out a bit further and walk home? Nothing would stop you getting home. When your goal is unstoppable you will do what it takes to make it.
Thanks for reading, hopefully you watched the video too (my first attempt at adding in a summary video). I’d love to hear your thoughts and any comments on this post. Please like and comment below. I’d love to hear from you.