This is a guest post by Ashley Welter.
Losing weight and keeping it off is not an easy feat, but it’s 100% possible if you approach it the right way. There’s a vast amount of conflicting information out there, and we’re constantly bombarded with advertisements about new fad diets and quick fixes, so it’s hard to actually know what the right and what’s not. Well, to be honest, there’s not one single “right way” to lose weight because everyone’s body is different.
The fault in conventional diets lies in the fact that they are marketed towards everyone. However, weight loss depends on the individual and their specific goals. What’s right for one person may not be right for another. That’s the most important thing people need to know about losing weight and getting in shape. Weight loss is an individual journey and there is no one size fits all program, but there are certain tips that everyone can use to help reach their goals.
1. Be Realistic
Whatever your end goal is, you must understand and accept that it is not going to happen overnight. For healthy weight loss, you should lose a maximum of 2 pounds per week. If you aim for slow and steady weight loss, you can set mini-goals that are easily attainable. Following this process is also going to help you keep the weight off in the end.
2. Lose Fat, Not Water
You want to lose fat, and in order to lose one pound of fat, you must burn 3,500 calories. Once you realize this, you’ll understand why crash diets don’t work. Sure, you can lose 10 pounds in two days, but what’s lost is simply water weight. You’re not losing any actual fat — which is why you gain those 10 pounds (or more) back right away.
3. Ditch the Scale
Traditional scales are misleading because they only read your body weight and that number fluctuates daily. They don’t tell you how much of your weight is fat, muscle, bone, etc. A better way to track your progress is to have your body fat percentage taken.
This is the most accurate tool in losing weight because it tests your body composition and that’s what really matters. I weigh 150 pounds, and my body looks much better than it did when I weighed 140 pounds. Even though my weight increased, I ended up losing body fat.
4. Know Your Individual BMR
Your BMR is your Basal Metabolic Rate, which simply means the amount of calories an individual burns per day. BMR depends on many factors, such as height, weight, and activity level. If you don’t know your BMR, there’s no way to know how much you should be eating per day. There are many online resources that can help you determine your BMR, and once you have this start point, you can tailor your caloric intake based on your specific goals.
5. Don’t Go on a Diet
The word “diet” just has negative connotations. It’s not a positive word, and no one wants to have to constantly say they’re on a diet. A diet also implies something temporary, but in order to keep the weight off, you’ll have to change your eating habits permanently.
If you lose weight, and then go right back to poor eating, then the weight you worked so hard to lose will come right back. So be positive about your lifestyle change, and know that healthy eating will make you feel better inside and out.
6. Indulge a Little
Depriving yourself from certain food groups is the surest way to drive yourself crazy. The second you tell yourself that certain food groups are “off limits” or “not allowed,” you’ll start craving them. I once jumped on the no carb bandwagon, and all I could think about was bread, and I don’t even like bread that much! That’s just how the mind works, but if you keep everything in moderation, you’ll be less likely to have these wild cravings.
7. Exercise Won’t Cancel Out a Poor Eating
This is extremely important. A lot of people think they can eat whatever they want still lose weight as long as they exercise. Fitness depends on both eating habits and exercise. They both work together, and you can’t focus on one to cancel out the other.
No matter how much you exercise, you’re not going to see the results you want if you continue to eat poorly. If you have a strict diet and no exercise, you’ll lose muscle tone, which will decrease your BMR.
8. Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat
Healthy fats won’t make you fat. Conventional wisdom says to avoid fat, buy nonfat this or nonfat that, but your body needs dietary fat. Healthy fats like nuts, avocado and olive oil have many health benefits, and they can even help you lose weight because, like protein, they make you feel full longer. The only fat you should avoid like the plague is saturated fat.
9. If You’re Not Hungry, Don’t Eat
Many people eat when they think they’re supposed to eat. However, this could lead to overeating because what if you’re not really that hungry? This may sound unconventional, but if you’re not hungry — don’t eat. There aren’t any specific times of the day when you’re supposed to eat. Listen to your body’s hunger signals, and eat accordingly.
Use these unconventional tips to lose weight!
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