To emphasize my current beliefs:
- You should love your body and feel happy at any weight.
- The scale does not accurately depict worth nor fitness level.
However, if you’re overweight, you probably should- for health reasons- lose some weight (and by “weight” loss, we are assuming and aiming for *fat* loss). I personally am motivated because I want to fit better into my “normal” clothes. We all have our reasons, so if you’re interested in losing some fat, here are my tips!
- Consult a doctor first if you are pregnant, nursing, injured, have health problems, or are very thin to begin with (you don’t need to lose weight, and probably shouldn’t).
- Be mentally “ready.” You need to proceed with caution when dieting, especially for an extended amount of time. I don’t believe in super restrictive crash diets as they can cause extreme rebound, among other things.
- Choose your method and make a plan. There are various methods to weight loss. Some people like to eat 100% clean, eat Paleo, do Shakeology or whatever program that suits them. You may get results with those approaches. I prefer old school calories in vs calories out because it’s simple, it’s effective, and it’s the least restrictive.
- No matter what your approach is (and I will focus on and give tips mostly by my preferred method), you want to keep your protein adequately high to preserve your muscle and aid in satiety. For relatively lean individuals, I often recommend 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. For a general population of women, I would recommend at least 100g a day.
- Keep in mind that fibrous foods (fruits, veggies, complex carbs) will help keep you fuller which is a plus when you’re in a caloric deficit!
- Get moving! You probably need to increase the exercise you’re currently doing- whether it’s by time or by intensity. If you work out 2x a week, try 3 or 4 to increase caloric burn. Strength training is ideal in maintaining muscle and giving you the look and body composition you want.
- Drink lots of water!
- Supplement if needed. Multivitamins are important especially when you’re eating less overall food- you’re not getting as many micronutrients. BCAA’s are helpful to maintain lean muscle and aid in recovery. Caffeine can give you an extra boost of energy as needed.
- Record measurements. Take starting weight- first thing in the morning, after going to the bathroom, and without clothes on. Take circumference measurements so you can be aware of losing inches as you go. Also take starting pictures: front, back, and side. At least every couple weeks, you’ll want to check on everything to see how you’re progressing. Weight alone may not always reflect actual progress.
Now, if you choose to track macros/calories, I use My Fitness Pal (it’s free). I do not always like the goals it sets for you after inputting your information. In fact, I rarely go by those numbers for clients. This is a great calculator, however, to determine your needs for weight loss. You may even start higher than the recommended calories, and ease your way down if weight loss stalls. The biggest thing is to be CONSISTENT. You can’t eat well all week, then throw in the towel on the weekends and still expect to make progress.
Stay motivated! Set your goals, have a plan, and don’t give up! There will always be hard days, and slip-ups, but keep your eye on the prize!