I know there are 100 million other articles about weight-loss out there but I thought I would share a few tips that I've used over 15 years to keep my own weight maintained and gradually build muscle year after year and helped clients do the same.
If you are just starting out, have no fear, EVERYONE started from step one at some point in their life. Which brings me to one of my favorite quotes,
The internet is loaded with diet plans, quick weight loss plans, detox plans that all try to attract you into buying into the dream of easy and fast weight loss. Many of these plans will leave you in worse shape than you started out at, at least over the long term. Because most people will lose weight rapidly using some sort of unsustainable method/diet only to re-gain that weight once it has stopped.
Personally I do not care too much for the word diet. When you think of a diet you think of two points, a beginning point and an end point. Instead of diet I prefer to look at it as a lifestyle, which brings us to our first weight loss tip for 2021...
These 3 tips are not ''sexy'' at all and wont offer you any quick fixes but dammit they work and they work damn well. Usually the easy alluring ways of doing things don't work long term, it's always the simple things you know you should be doing but takes discipline long term.
Weight-loss Tip 1:
FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY
It's number 1 for a reason. Want to know the best diet for weight loss? This is the holy grail of all questions that has tormented humanity for centuries. The answer, however is much simpler than people make it out to be. The best diet for weight loss is the one you can stick to long term. Forget about putting your body through the torture of massive caloric deficits or fad diets like only drinking lemon water! These are not sustainable long term and even though you will drop weight while on these diets, you will definitely gain that weight back once you start to eat ''Normal'' again.
Find the foods that you enjoy that align with your macros and long term goals. In order to lose weight you will need to be in a caloric deficit. If you start eating foods you don't normally eat, how long do you think you will be able to maintain your caloric deficit?
Weight-loss Tip 2:
LEAVE THE CRAP FOOD AT THE STORE
I don't mean to demonize any foods here. Or macronutrients, carbs are great, fats and great and protein is great. All foods are great and they all have there place from time to time. However, if weight loss is a major goal for you in 2021 it's time to start auditing what you put in your mouth. By crap foods I mean calorie dense foods that are going to eat up your precious calorie budget. And make no mistake, it is exactly that, a budget. Let's say you have 1500 calories to ''spend'' (eat) daily. Would you want to waste half your budget on a bag of chips and a soda? Leave the crap food at the store.
Simple right? Not when you are a hungry zombie wandering aimlessly through the supermarket after work. These supermarkets are super sneaky at marketing and sales and will spare no cost at using all the psychological tricks to make you leave with that bag of chips. Next time you buy some crap food, think about why you bought it. Was it on sale? 2 for 1? Was it placed right in front of your eyes next to something else that you needed?
Be strong. Leave the crap at the store where it belongs. It will be there for a long time anyway because of all the crap ingredients used to preserve it. Generally stick to the outside perimeter of the store where the fresh produce, grains, dairy and meats are. Do not venture off into the middle aisles. You have been warned.
If it's not at home you wont eat it. It's fine from time to time though, improving dietary patterns over time is great way to lose weight and keep it off long term.
Weight-loss Tip 3:
Whether you want to build muscle or lose weight you will need to prioritize protein. What does this mean? It means to make sure you are having adequate amounts of protein to reach your daily nutrition goals. Protein is a macronutrient that contains 4 calories per gram, it is made of amino acids and our bodies require them to function properly.
Protein also has the highest TEF (Thermic Effect of Food) which means it takes more calories to digest your protein which will benefit your weight loss goals as well. Protein requirements will vary based on your weight, age, activity level and goal but usually will be in the ball park 1gram/pound of your bodyweight if you are in a training program and don't want to fall into a negative nitrogen balance, which means you will be more anabolic vs catabolic throughout the day. We'll get into protein a lot deeper in another post though. For now, one thing to remember is that protein will help you retain your LBM (lean body mass) while you are in a caloric deficit. This is important because the higher % of LBM you have, the higher amount of calories you will burn at rest throughout the day.
Calculate how much protein you require daily and split it up in meals and snacks throughout the day.
Here are some great sources, remember it is not necessary to eat certain foods to lose weight, but... It is necessary to be in caloric deficit to lose weight, so eating the foods you enjoy will help you sustain your diet long term.
Wish you all the best with your weight loss goals in 2021. Give these 3 tips a try and see how much they help you with your long term weight loss goal. They have worked for my clients and myself. They're not quick fixes, more lifestyle habits that you gradually change over time.