You may have seen I recently posted a blog about what you SHOULDN’T do when trying to lose weight, so for today’s blog I thought I would follow up by talking about the ‘rules’ of losing weight. Now I say the term ‘rules’ loosely because as we know that everybody is different, and what works for you may not work for someone else. Rather than talking about how many hours you should spend in the gym or the exact diet you should follow, I want to highlight the other aspects of weight loss that many people seem to forget about. It’s not all about cutting out food groups, slaving away at the gym and following crazy regimes.
My 7 rules for weight loss are:
1. Always Eat Breakfast
This rule is non-negotiable in my books. Skipping breakfast may never help you lose weight because your body needs it to function throughout the day. Skipping meals may slow down your metabolism, which can impact everything you eat for the rest of the day, and may also put you at risk of overeating. Not only that but if you are exercising that day, you may find your energy levels lower than usual and no one wants to get half way through a workout and start feeling sick!
The type of breakfast you eat is important so make sure you are choosing wisely. Stick to complex (brown) carbohydrates and some form of protein as this can provide you with sustained energy and keep you full up until your next meal.
2. Set Weekly Goals
Losing weight can sometimes be overwhelming, daunting and hard. Let’s be honest – changing habits you have had for a while isn’t always the easiest task. My biggest rule when aiming for weight loss is to set yourself mini weekly goals. Breaking the big goal of ‘weight loss’ down into smaller ones will make it seem more achievable for you. It can also help you to stay accountable along the way.
These goals can be something simple like reducing the amount of junk food you eat or trying to get a workout in 3 times a week. Set goals that will help your overall goal, and make these realistic. That way if you have a bad week, you can move on and try harder the next one.
3. Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
Like I was saying above, losing weight is not always the easiest journey and it can be very easy to surrender to negative thoughts and give up. One of the best ways to be successful in your weight loss efforts is by having a positive mindset. Yes – the hard work, sweat, healthy eating and exercise will play a big role, but your mental health is even more important. What we tell ourselves and what we believe about ourselves shapes every single aspect of our lives.
If you have a bad week, don’t take it to heart. If you eat a bit too much chocolate or don’t get to do any of your workouts because you were busy or felt tired, it’s okay. Pick yourself up and keep going. Having nothing but positive thoughts will honestly take you so much further than negativity girls!
4. Stick With It
One of our biggest downfalls when it comes to losing weight is being impatient. How many times have you eaten healthy and exercised for 2 weeks and then complained to your friend that it doesn’t work and there must be something wrong with you? True weight loss doesn’t happen overnight, especially if you are doing it in a way that is maintainable!
Have faith girls and the results will come, sometimes when you least expect them. This is also why I encourage everyone to take progress pictures rather than stepping on the scales. You will be surprised by how much your body changes over time, and it can be hard to see this unless you have a picture to compare it to.
5. Mix Up Your Workouts
If you are new to working out or haven’t done so in a while, it can be good to have a routine and get comfortable with it. However if you stick to the same workout day in and out, not only will you get bored mentally, but your body will also get used to it too. To see the best results, try to mix up your workouts and your workout schedule.
Incorporating things such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) into your workouts can also really make a difference. Don’t be afraid to pick up the weights either! Try different gym classes and go out for hikes, get as creative as you like! You can incorporate these things as your weekly goals to help you stay on track.
6. Stop Seeing It As A ‘Diet’
As I mentioned before, your mindset is everything. If you start your weight loss goals by seeing it as a ‘diet’ it can automatically put you on the wrong foot before you have even begun. Unfortunately, the word diet has negative connotations such as depriving yourself, being miserable and ‘getting through it’ so you can see the results you want.
As I always say, the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to make it maintainable. Going on a ‘diet’ may work for the short term, but once you lose the weight and resume your normal eating habits, the weight may come back quicker than you know it.
Start by making small changes and slowly introducing new ways of eating and living into your life. Don’t deprive yourself and allow the occasional treat. It’s all about balance.
7. Watch Out For Emotional Eating
Many of us are emotional eaters without even realising it. This can contribute to a lot of unwanted weight gain, especially if you eat when you are stressed or bored. People also tend to reach for snacks when they are mildly hungry, which may not always be the best idea especially if the thing they are snacking on is processed and full of sugar.
Try to watch your behaviour and how you act next time you are stressed out or bored. Replace emotional eating with other activities such as going for a long walk or calling a friend – it may make all the difference!
Remember weight loss is a process girls and it will take time and patience. Do the right things by your body and it will reward you!