Weight loss is very simple. In fact, it’s so simple that absolutely anyone can take control of their weight at any point in their life. Your age, sex, financial situation – none of this matters. There are only two things that matter when it comes to weight loss (or anything in life, really) – knowledge and action.
Below are my 7 principles that will help you understand weight loss and implement this knowledge into action.
FACT: More than 1.9 billion adults were overweight in 2014. Around 600 million of them were obese.
FACT: More than 42 million preschool children were overweight in 2013.
FACT: Obesity is preventable and reversible.
1. Learn the basics
Our bodies are designed to metabolize food into energy, so we can use that energy to do all the amazing stuff humans generally do (breathing, thinking, pumping blood etc.).
One of the most incredible features of our body is the ability to store excess energy as fat. Basically, it’s a biological safety net, which our body starts using during extreme circumstances, which almost never happen, thankfully.
So how does weight loss work then? Simple. You put more energy than required into your body, it gets stored as fat. You put less energy, your body is forced to use that extra energy (a.k.a fat) to compensate for the deficit. Believe it or not, that is literally it.
“But how do you figure out how much energy I need to eat?” – you may ask. There are various ways, which have different formulas, but don’t worry, you don’t have to do the math. There are tools for this, which give you an estimate of how much energy your body requires based on your height, age and sex (and other factors as well).
They are called TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) calculators. So go there and figure out what your number is. Although, I highly recommend you choose sedentary, since it will give you the most accurate number.
But before you get all excited and stuff, you need to have realistic expectations and goals.
2. Set realistic expectations
What exactly can you expect when starting your personal weight loss journey? In my experience, losing around 2kg (5lbs) per week is very doable. Caloric deficit that is required to achieve that goal is sustainable, which minimizes the chances of throwing in the towel early.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you won’t be able to have a physique you see all the fitness YouTubers, bodybuilders, or any fitness trainers have. Simply because that unnatural physique is only achievable through the use of steroids and other illegal drugs.
3. Nutrition is king
Nutrition is the most important factor when it comes to weight loss. The reason is because with the advances in the food industry, it’s extremely easy to jam 1000 calories worth of food into a single drink, or a hamburger. So it’s incredibly easy to go over your daily calorie requirements many times over. Hence the weight gain.
FACT: Obesity is a result of an imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended.
Our food consists of three main macronutrients, which every healthy weight loss plan should consist of:
- Carbohydrates – main sources of energy and also the main reason of fat storage in our body.
- Protein – main building blocks of muscle fiber.
- Fat – serves many vital functions; transports vitamins, provides essential fatty acids, helps maintain healthy skin and tissue.
MYTH: Dietary fat does not equal body fat. You can eat foods that are high in fat and still maintain a healthy body weight.
80% of weight loss happens in the kitchen, the other 20% are due to exercise. If you don’t have it figured out in the kitchen, you won’t make it. Period.
4. Exercise is recommended
Exercise plays an important part in every successful weight loss story. It’s not because it burns a lot of calories, but because it creates a sense of achievement, self-worth, boosts self-esteem, promotes self-discipline and dramatically improves your health.
All of these things will motivate you to keep moving forward. That’s why I highly recommend you start doing a simple exercise routine, even if it consists of just walking for 30 minutes a day. You must start somewhere, right?
FACT: People who exercise just 15 minutes per day have a 14% lower mortality rate over those who do not exercise.
5. Supplements may help
Supplements are a tricky topic. I’ve noticed that the majority of people think that supplements are these miracle quick fixes to their weight problem, when they are absolutely not. The hint is in the name.
They are designed to supplement, not substitute, your efforts in achieving your target weight. So a lot of people become disappointed when the diet pill, tea, or book does not magically turn them into the next fitness model.
The only supplements I take are multivitamins. I explain in detail here: On a Diet? Here’s Why You Should Take Multivitamins.
But if you, for whatever reason, think that you should invest in a supplement, book, plan, or whatever else it may be, I highly suggest you do so. Because there are chances that it will help you achieve the goal. Even if it’s a placebo effect, it still counts.
FACT: Placebo still works, despite the fact, that you know it’s a placebo.
6. Stay motivated
There will be times when you will feel like not continuing your journey. Absolutely everyone goes through it. I’ve experienced it myself multiple times. And that’s the moment when you need to find something that will light up the spark again.
Motivational videos, personal stories, quotes, pictures – anything that will drive you forward. You need to have constant reminders at your home, at your job, on the fridge, in your phone and computer that you must not give in to all the thoughts, that are constantly telling you to quit. Especially when the journey becomes just a little bit harder than you’d like it to be.
FACT: The #1 reason people give up is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, instead of how far they’ve gotten.
7. Consistency is key
To lose weight is one thing, but to actually keep it off is another. That’s why in order to engrave your new eating and exercising habits into your daily routine, you have to be consistent.
The fact that you’re having a bad day, or that it’s raining outside, or someone told you that you’re fat – none of these distractions/excuses should have any impact on you moving forward towards reaching your desired goals. Period.
If you apply these 7 core weight loss principles day, after day, after day, I guarantee you will lose all of your weight. The only downside is that you’ll have to change all of your wardrobe. So what exactly are you waiting for? Go get your new body!