In order to lose weight, you’re going to have to consume less calories than you burn.
Once you begin burning more calories than you take in through eating food, your body will compensate for the lack of calories by using your fat for energy. Because after all, fat is simply stored energy.
But in order to consume less calories than you burn, you’re going to have to make sure that you’re reducing the amount of calories you eat. Usually by about 500-1000 from how many you normally eat. If you currently have no idea how to do this, don't worry. We will cover that shortly.
The Beginning Of Your Weight Loss Journey
When you first begin your weight loss journey, it is likely that you will have no idea how many calories are in various foods that you eat. And that is okay. Using apps like Myfitnesspal will help you begin to learn how many calories are in the foods you eat, and will help you begin to understand how much food and the types of food you can eat on a daily basis that will allow you to lose weight.No matter what method of calorie reduction you choose, I would still recommend at least testing out myfitnesspal so you can learn to estimate roughly how many calories are in what you eat.
Some people will go the extra mile and measure out everything they are eating to the exact gram of weight, but that is only for people of certain personality types. For the average person who has no wish to compete in fitness competitions, simply estimating how many calories you’re eating and then adjusting as you go will be a great start to understanding how many calories you eat on a daily basis.
But, if you don’t want to use myfitnesspal and refuse to count calories by all means necessary, you do have more options for reducing your calories.
The Two Options For Easy Weight Loss
When it comes to losing weight, you have two options. Counting calories and not counting calories. If you decide to count calories, your progress may be quicker, but you also may experience "weight-loss neuroticism" depending on your personality type. This manifests in constantly thinking about how you're going to fit a certain number of calories into your day, and stressing over things like parties and gatherings because the foods included "are too many calories". But if you're more of the analytical type, by all means go for it.
Alternatively, if you don't want to count calories, here are 4 methods for reducing your calories without counting them that have been proven to work over and over again.
Eating healthier foods
One of the easiest ways to lose weight is to begin eating healthier foods. For the sake of this article, healthier is going to be defined as less calorically dense. This means replacing foods like sweets, pizza, pasta, chips, and other carbs with foods like meat, sweet potatoes, eggs, vegetables, etc. Losing weight this way will allow you to simply eat until you are satisfied without having to worry about eating access calories.
Eyeball and portion sizes
If switching up your foods and diet isn’t your style, a simple switch you can make to your diet to begin losing weight is simply reducing your portion sizes. In a nut shell, this means becoming aware of how much food your normally eat and then adjusting that amount by about 20% less. An easy way to do this is by only eating to about 80% of your usual fullness.
If you’re not into counting calories, intermittent fasting is a great way to begin losing weight without the need of counting every single calorie. Essentially, intermittent fasting is just going through periods of “mini fasts” and then feasting at certain times of the day. This means that instead of eating breakfast in the morning, you would sip on 0-calorie drinks (such as tea, coffee, or water) and eat your first meal 16 hours after you’ve eaten your last one. Many people stop eating at 9pm and then eat their next meal at 1pm. Condensing your calories into a small window like this has many health benefits beyond just losing weight.
It is recommended that you consult a professional before you begin attempting full-day fasts.
Full day fasts are a great tool to use if you want to lose weight. Basically, a full-day fast consists of eating no food for 24 hours. But this can include sleep hours as well.
Meaning, you can eat your last meal at 6pm, go to sleep, and then eat your next meal at 6pm the next day. Many people have lost large amounts of weight simply by doing full-day fasts 1 or 2 days a week. Full-day fasts are great because there is no calorie counting involved, and you can eat how you normally eat the remaining days of the week. The reason full-day fasts work is because the amount of calories you eat over the course of the week will be reduced by anywhere from 1000-2000 calories for each of the full-day fasts, depending on how much food you normally eat. This will allow you to plan out your fasts beforehand and make sure that you are fasting on days where you don’t have to exert yourself physically very much.
Exercise and Cardio
If you want to successfully lose weight, incorporating exercise into your daily routine will fastpass your weight loss tremendously. When you exercise, you burn more calories than your body normally would otherwise. These additional calories burned will cause your body (if you’re in a caloric deficit) to pull from your fat reserves to full your body, which means less fat for you.
Most people who begin working out approach it incorrectly. Some people either walk into the gym without a plan or end up going way too hard for way too long. And both ways will end up causing more harm than good.
Have a plan
Having a plan when you step into the gym is one of the most important aspects of a successful weight loss plan for many reasons. The first reason why creating and implementing a weight loss plan is so important is because it begins the process of you training yourself to create plans and execute them. To learn how to imagine a future reality and then actually turn that vision into a reality through focused persistence. The second reason having a plan is so important is because it allows you to track what you’re doing in the gym, allowing you to see growth and make adjustments.
Cardio or weights
Many people who begin their weight loss journey don’t know if they should be doing cardio or weights or both. The truth is, doing both cardio and weight training throughout the week is going to be the best formula to maximize weight loss. To avoid overtraining (feeling perpetually tired and or unmotivated), it is recommended that you do not do excessive amounts of cardio or lift the heaviest you possibly can every single day. Although there is no perfect workout formula, many people enjoy lifting 3x a week and doing cardio only the other two days.
Alternating the days you lift and do cardio will allow your body to recover sufficiently and avoid overtraining.
It is important to “accept where you are” when it comes to losing weight.
This means that although you do have a goal to weigh a certain amount or look a certain way, you must always remember to love yourself in the moment and keep your self-talk positive. Many times, people withhold love from themselves until certain conditions are met, like hitting a specific number on the scale. Meaning, until they hit that specific number on the scale, they will be feeling tired, unmotivated and sad because their thoughts are sapping all of their life’s energy from them.
Instead of withholding love from yourself because you don’t feel you are worthy of it until you attain a certain level of desired perfection, which robs you of your vitality and personal power in the moment, give yourself full, unconditional love and work towards your goals from a place of power and abundance. Doing this will help you avoid the “F it” mentality, which is where so many people slip up when it comes to losing weight
Avoiding the arch nemesis of weight loss: The "F it" mentality
The “f it” mentality is that state of mind when we feel like we have already made a few mistakes so why not make a few more. When it comes to dieting, the “f it” mentality manifests itself as binge eating and periods of eating insane amounts of food while disregarding the body’s fullness or caring about what one is putting into one’s body.
When people begin dieting, they may sometimes restrict their calories to a point that is simply unsustainable. When they do this, they will set extremely strict diet standards for themselves and if they end up slipping up just a little bit, they will say “f it” and eat everything in sight, because of the lack of nuance. This means that what would have been a smaller 500-1000 calorie mistake (something that will have virtually no impact on one’s body composition in the long run) turns into something like a 5000-6000 calorie mistake which will definitely cause a problem for your weight loss journey.
Keeping your calories low and staying consistent with your exercise are the keys to sustainable weight loss. Whether you're new to fitness or are a seasoned vet, these fundamental tips will be sure to boost your weight loss and improve the quality of your life.