Each person has a unique weight loss journey. We gathered some basic tips to support you on yours.
1. Be ready for a long-term journey
There’s no magic spell that gives you your target body in the blink of an eye. Losing weight requires effort, time, patience, and commitment. That’s why you should think about why you want to lose weight and construct yourself a sustainable plan to stay motivated. Even though this may sound challenging, don’t worry! Your effort and hard work will bring you the results you want.
2. Burn more calories than you consume
The basic rule of weight loss is that you must consume fewer calories than you burn. At this point, there are two options: eating fewer calories than you burn, or burning more calories than you eat.
3. Weight loss vs. fat loss
Weight loss doesn’t necessarily mean fat loss. Diet programs usually cause you to lose not only fat but also muscle. As your muscles play an essential role in your body’s function and movement, losing them can lead to health problems. In addition, increasing your muscle ratio boosts your metabolism, which promotes fat loss. So as well as thinking about your diet, make sure you’re scheduling exercise sessions to help you maintain your muscles and get in shape.
4. Ask your doctor
Consult your doctor to make sure you don’t have any hormonal imbalance which might affect your weight loss.
5. Avoid radical diets
Radical diets restrict either your daily calorie intake or certain types of foods to an extreme level. As they often promise to make you lose weight in a short time, they seem very attractive. However, when it faces extreme calorie restriction, the body starts to prepare for a potential famine and decreases the metabolism in order to survive. So these types of diets may actually cause you to gain more weight over the longer term.
In addition, limiting your calorie intake to extreme levels prevents your body from burning fat. Don’t forget that no food or calories are actually “bad”. Food provides fuel for your body, so it’s vital for life. How can you burn fat if you don’t have enough fuel to keep the fire going?
6. Be realistic
Know yourself and set realistic goals. Otherwise, if you don’t get the results you expected, you may become demotivated. For instance, losing 0.5 to 1 kg per week is optimal, which requires burning 500 calories more than you take in each day.
7. Increase your awareness
Awareness is key in losing weight. Look carefully at your eating habits. Track your hunger signals. Which are caused by real hunger, and which are related to your emotional needs? Understanding your hunger signals helps you overcome the harmful effect of cravings. You can also keep a food diary, to help work out which eating patterns are hampering your weight loss.
Note: Keeping a food diary may help many people, but it can be triggering for people with an eating disorder.
8. Be kind to yourself
Losing weight is not a linear process. You may follow your diet and exercise program completely some days, but you may feel demotivated and lose your commitment on other days. Always remember that this type of fluctuation is normal, because you’re only human! Instead of blaming yourself for breaking your usual routine, adapt a compassionate approach to yourself, and remember that it’s all part of the process – the journey.
10. Don’t skip cheat days
Surprisingly, having a cheat day isn’t breaking your diet, it’s actually diet-friendly. This is because your body gets used to a limited calorie intake and adjusts your metabolism in line with your new low-calorie eating habits. But cheat days surprise your body and boost your metabolism. In addition to being a metabolic booster, cheat days can help you stay motivated. Just make sure you don’t go totally overboard and consume so many calories on your cheat day that you undo a whole week’s effort!
11. Get sweaty
Exercise is an integral part of the weight loss process. Not only is it a great way to burn calories, it also makes you stronger, improves your skin and reduces stress. Although there are many exercise alternatives, aerobic workouts such as jumping rope, sprints, kickboxing, running, rowing, swimming, and HIIT are the best choices for weight loss. Kompanion is also a great tool for at-home bodyweight cardio workouts.
12. Eat clean
Adopting healthy eating behaviors is key for weight loss. The most important point is constructing a plan which you can follow consistently. Start with limiting processed foods and added sugar. An ideal diet should contain a lot of protein and veggies, good fats, and whole carbs.
13. Control your portions
You may have a healthy diet but still can’t lose weight. If so, your portion size may be the underlying reason. As we’ve mentioned above, it’s important to create a calorie deficit if you want to lose weight. Not only what you eat but also how much you eat matters, because larger portions increase your total calorie intake.
A handy tip: Try to use smaller plates. This helps your brain be satisfied with smaller portions.
13. Try out intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a popular eating model based on consuming food within a restricted time period. According to recent studies on nutrition, IF improves metabolism and thus provides optimal fat burning.
Note: It’s important to understand that IF isn’t suitable for everyone, so we suggest you ask your doctor’s opinion before you start.
14. Stay hydrated
Water is the best way to boost your metabolism.Studies also show that drinking water before meals reduces your calorie intake.
15. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol is a beverage with high calories. It’s also an enemy of your metabolism. Whether you want to stay healthy or get fit, you should restrict your alcohol consumption.
16. Get good quality sleep
Improved sleep hygiene isn’t as popular a solution as exercising and dieting when the issue is weight loss. However, it’s an essential foundation, as getting quality sleep improves your workout performance and decreases your appetite.
Losing weight isn’t easy – but it’s not impossible either. Having a balanced diet, doing regular exercise patiently and – most importantly – having self-compassion will be your best tools on this challenging journey.