So you’re on your weight loss journey, right? Whether you’re just starting out or are some distance into it, there is a continuous process of learning, staying motivated and being productive in your endeavours.
We encourage you to joyfully participate in a weight loss program of your own. Try and do exercise regularly, and eat healthily. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t like your body shape. Do something positive to improve your situation, use any emotional pain you feel about your weight to take positive action. You are not your weight, you’re an extraordinary individual, we all are. You deserve to live a happy, healthy life. You can control your actions, what you eat and how active you are. Take responsibility by taking action and staying positive. Look at weight loss as a game to be enjoyed and conquered.
Losing weight is a process of taking in less calories than you burn off as energy, and we’ll be presenting actionable information to help do just that. This page is a weight loss resource page that will provide information for you to use throughout your weight loss journey, and we’ll continually be added and amending information over time, so keep it bookmarked for future reference. The page contains information and links to other resources that we hope you’ll find useful. If you have your own discoveries to share, please do so in the comments section at the bottom or by emailing us.
Before we go any further, let me show you why I’ve done this guide. I’ve done it because not so long ago, I was greatly overweight.
I’ve since dropped and am still dropping in weight. I fully intend to keep going. I’ve used the teachings of this guide to help me become thinner and healthier. I know how hard it can be and want to help and inspire others to succeed. Check out some of the healthy meals I’ve enjoyed during my weight loss journey
The page will focus on the following areas of weight loss:
Productivity and Motivation
Initial self questioning examples
Before you start, ask yourself why you want to lose weight, be honest with yourself and get down to understanding what is your drive. I have answered the questions from my perspective, but you can replace them with your own answers. Understanding the WHY? behind doing what we do, helps focus our mind, and ensure we have the drive to follow through.
#1 Q – Why do I want to lose weight?
A- To look better and enjoy walking more, which I am not able to do without suffering back pain. I am also at that age where I am at a greater risk of premature death if I am unable to get my weight under control.
#2 Q- Why are these important to me?
A – Looking better will help me feel better about myself and stop negative reaction from others. I love the countryside and love to walk in it, back pain stops me doing this to a large extent. We all want to live a healthier life for longer and I am no different.
#1 – Looking for (ready made) solutions to effortlessly lose weight
When it comes to getting results, as far as losing weight is concerned, there is no option to hire someone to do it for you. Only you can take the necessary action to fulfil your goals. You can enlist others to help you to some extent, such as with accountability buddies, or fitness coaches, but ultimately you have to be the one doing the actions that will lead to weight loss.
There are a number of so called easy options to weight loss, such as slimming pills which profess to allow you to eat fatty foods and will prevent your body absorbing that fat, allowing it to pass through your system, without adding extra fat to your waistline.
There are eating disorders such a Bulimia Nervosa which allow the sufferer to eat food, enjoy the taste and then vomit the food back up without absorbing the calories. Such eating disorders should be urgently treated by specialist professionals, because they can cause serious damage to health.
Although these options exist they really should be rejected as genuine options, and are certainly rejected from our discussion here, due to the harm that they could, and are likely to cause to your health.
Please don’t consider these types of things, you will get so much more from undertaking a healthy and sensible weight loss program, not just in terms of body shape, but also psychologically.
#2- Looking for information about how to lose weight (self help)
Our main focus for this page is to provide help and guidance with regards to self-help weight loss, which is the only genuinely safe way of doing it. We have grouped actions under either Productivity or Motivation.
Weight loss is about consuming less calories than we burn off as energy (there are some medical reasons for weight gain which should be dealt with by your doctor). But for the vast majority of people you are putting on weight because you’re eating more calories in your food than you’re burning off in energy. You can either eat less or burn more or a combination of both.
To find out how many calories you need to be consuming check out our BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) calculation post.
Consume less calories through diet
1.Consume less sugary drinks
Sugary drinks such as fizzy pops and even some fruit juices contain a lot of sugar and calories, try to replace these by drinking water instead. There are no calories and no sugars in water. If you don’t like or can’t drink tap water, buy bottled mineral water instead, add a small amount of naturally flavoured cordial if you need some taste adding. There are far fewer calories in diluted cordial, than in fizzy pop.
2.Eat less processed foods
Ready meals and processed foods are packed with sugars and salts as well of other preservatives. Opt for fresh food wherever possible. A recent WHO’s International Agency for research on Cancer has just uncovered evidence of a a link between eating processed meats such as bacon, ham and sausages, and getting some forms of Cancer.
3.Stay away from Trans Fatty acids
Trans fats otherwise known as trans fatty acids, are made through the chemical process of hydrogenation of oils. Hydrogenation solidifies liquid oils and increases the shelf life and the flavour stability of oils and foods that contain them. They have been linked to heart disease and a number of other rather nasty life shortening ailments.
4.Eat less at night
It’s common knowledge that eating late at night is generally not a good idea. Eating early in the day, gives your body a chance to digest and use the calories consumed in that food, during the day when you’re more likely to need the energy from it. Eating late at night, just before you go to sleep means that your body is using less of the calories up, and instead stores it as body fat.
5.Replace processed snacks with fresh fruit and vegetables
If you’re not a calorie counter, just know that fresh fruit and vegetables are less calorie dense than snacks such as chocolates and crisps, so you can eat more of them in the knowledge that your not significantly increasing you calorie intake count. You can eat approximately 4 carrots to every bag of crisps, and you will be able to see better in the dark 🙂
6.Stop eating when full
Eating to finish your plate is something that has been drilled into us as kids, but a healthier solution is to stop when we’re full. If you find you’re leaving a lot of food on your plate, start giving yourself smaller portions. Eating beyond your hunger means you’re stretching your stomach and sewing the seeds to consuming extra calories beyond those that you need to nourish your body.
7.Consume smaller meals
This follows on from the above point of stopping eating when full.
8.Only eat when you’re hungry
This one is somewhat controversial, but it is something I have found works okay for me. If I don’t feel hungry I don’t eat. I take in water throughout the day, but I don’t eat until I start feeling the hunger biting. Sometimes this means I only eat once per day. I feel I have plenty of energy and until I start feeling any different I intend to continue. I don’t feel any sense of abstinence or that I’m denying myself. I eat what I want and when, but not until I’m hungry. I believe I am taking in approx 1200 – 1800 calories per day. For a man of my age and size I should be burning approx 2300 calories a day, so that’s a deficit of 500 – 1100 calories a day. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
9.Keep busy – to avoid thinking about food out of boredom
If you’re totally absorbed in what you’re doing, you will be less susceptible to heading for the fridge to fill those periods of boredom
10.Drink more water to fill your stomach
Water is a great stomach filler. Drinking regularly is not just good for preventing dehydration it’s good to keep those hunger pains away.
11.Eat more vegetables during mealtimes
Vegetables are not very calorie dense, which means they are not just nutritionally good for you, they will fill your stomach and make you feel full, with minimal calorie intake, when compared to fast foods and ready meals.
12.Eat less red meat and more fish
Red meat has long since been linked to things like heart disease, fish on the other hand contains Omega 3 fatty acids which are proven to be good for you, making fish an healthier form of protein.
13.Don’t eat chicken skin
If you really like chicken and don’t want to cut it out of your diet altogether than opt for removing the skin, which is more densely packed with calories.
Burn more calories – increase your metabolism
1.Undertake more resistance exercise
Undertake more resistance exercise to keep muscle. As you lose weight your body will cannibalise your muscle, and having less muscle means you have a slower metabolism, which is counter-productive to weight loss.
So undertaking more resistance exercise will help maintain or build muscle, depending how intensely you participate. Cardio exercise is good for burning calories, and resistance for maintaining muscle. Do a combination of the two if possible.
Unless you’re training for the Olympics you don’t need to go mad. Even just a gentle walk will burn calories, albeit at a slower pace. If you walk every day you will be burning more calories and improving blood flow around your body, so if you can’t do more intense exercise, do something, rather than just sitting in front of the TV. It’s better to do something that you’re likely to do more regularly, even if it’s less intense.
2.Be more active through exercise
Participating in things like walking, cycling, doing more house work, even just going up and down the stairs.
When I’m working from home, once an hour (every hour) I go up and down stairs ten times, then return to working on my laptop, I do this approx 6 times a day, with 12 stairs this is 24 (up and down) x 10 x 6 = 1440 steps. These are 1440 steps I wouldn’t have taken had I not done this exercise. It takes me 3-4 minutes to do each hourly sequence.
3.High intensity exercise over short periods
Check out the example I have discussed above. If you don’t like the idea of spending hours going to the gym, opt for short high intensity bursts. If you’re out of breath when you finish each burst then you are working at a high enough intensity. Consult a doctor before undertaking any exercise activity.
4.Build up stamina and strength gradually
Don’t expect to be able to run a marathon straight away, build up your stamina and strength slowly. It’s no good going over the top and not being able to move for a week after. Start with a short exercise routine and build-it-up, over time
5.Low impact to prevent joint damage
Road running although good for your heart, is not so good for your joints, due to the impact stress on joints. Swimming is an ideal example of a low impact exercise, and is also good at preventing pulled muscles.
6.Warm up and down
Always do a warm up and down to prevent pulled muscles. You are still burning calories during these phases, so they aren’t wasted time. If you pull a muscle you could be out of action for weeks, so don’t take the risk.
7.Small regular meals
Eating throughout the day is supposed to keep your metabolic rate higher. However you need to make sure you don’t eat large meals each time you do eat, otherwise you will likely consume too many calories. Small meals are the secret to this approach
8.Lemon in warm water
Drinking half a fresh lemon in warm water is recommended by a number of nutritionists as being a good way to speed up your metabolic rate, which leads to increased calorie burn. Try it in the morning (using a straw) so you don’t cause teeth decay due to the acid from the lemon. It’s certainly worked in my weight loss endeavours.
Motivation is probably the most difficult aspect of weight loss. You need to take actions that will allow the realisation of your weight loss goals, without undertaking activities that are counter-productive to that goal. Eating fatty/unhealthy foods instead of healthy ones, and being sedentary instead of active are the main examples of the conflicts we are faced with.
1.Stop wanting to eat fatty foods
Fatty foods are often perceived as tasting better. Think of a Big Mac from McDonald’s (one of my weaknesses), our a delicious cream or chocolate cake. We want the taste of these foods, but not the huge amount of calories that come with them. Wanting the taste, but knowing that it’s bad for us (in terms of calorie intake), presents a conflict between WANT and SHOULD. You SHOULD be eating healthier alternatives, but you so badly WANT the taste of these calorie heavy foods.
Will-power becomes tested especially if you’re hungry when you walk past your local fast food restaurant. It’s so easy to give in to temptation in such circumstances. You can dampen this type of temptation by making sure you’re stomach is full when you’re likely to be passing such establishments. Fill up on those vegetables, it’s not sexy, but it is effective.
Also look to re-frame these types of foods in your mind, by imagining the fat that would need sucking out of your stomach if you were to give in to such temptations. Think of the extra hours you would need to spend on the treadmill just burn off those fatty calories.
Internalise what eating fatty food is really doing to you. Risk of premature death due to blocked arteries is the ultimate you will likely pay for being too fat. You don’t have to look like a super model, but know that maintaining a healthy weight is the name of the game.
2.Make healthy food sexier
Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. We will be posting links to great, nutritious meals over time, so keep checking back.
3.What you do in this moment..
This may be a little philosophical admittedly, but it is also a truth, so bare with me. We interact with life through the perpetual THIS MOMENT (NOW).
Tomorrow never actually arrives, it’s always a day away. Yesterday on the other hand is consigned to history, it’s a used-up this moment. We can’t effect it in anyway from where we are now. The only time we ever have is “THIS MOMENT“. Think about it for a second, really think about what I’m saying here!
What you do in this moment shapes all your tomorrows’. Approach life from a THIS MOMENT perspective, and take the first step, RIGHT NOW! If you don’t do it now, why do you think tomorrow will be any different. When it arrives, it will be exactly the same as this moment, it won’t feel any differently. Stop procrastinating, stop making excuses, stop waiting for a new day, a new month and new year. NOW is all you ever have.
4.Monitor and reflect on progress
Whether you’re measuring the number of steps you’ve walked or the distance you’ve run or cycled, or the weight you’ve lost, it’s important to take strength from your progress. Feeling good about yourself as you get slimmer becomes easier if you see that what you’re doing is making a difference. You won’t know what progress you’ve made unless you measure it. Make time for self reflection, and know if progress is lower than you had hoped, today is a fresh start, so don’t beat yourself up too much.
Keeping a weight loss diary can also offer motivation, as you chart your progress.
Get yourself a calendar, and each day you successfully maintain your healthier lower calorie routine, mark the calender with a large cross (X) your job is not to break the chain of X’s.
Use a calorie counting mobile phone app to keep tabs on what you’re eating, you might be surprised how those snacks add up.
5.Enjoy your exercise
Undertake exercise that you enjoy and are more likely to keep doing. I used to love playing football when I was younger, so would be playing it nearly all the time. I became very fit as a results, but that wasn’t why I was doing it, it was a positive side effect of doing something I loved. If you can find an activity you really enjoy, then the fitness becomes an added side benefit.
6.Make exercise a habit
Do a small amount every day until you do it automatically, then build it up gradually. Never do too much that it starts to put you off. If you think about doing an hours workout, you’re less likely to act, but if you’re doing something in the advert break of your favourite TV show, then you’re more likely to take action.
Having an accountability buddy is a great way to motivate yourself. Committing to an action and having someone checking your progress gives you that extra incentive to follow through. If you can’t find an accountability buddy then let me be your accountability buddy, just sign up and I’ll keep tabs on your progress.
Click here for more weight loss posts
Check out this interesting video, below, from Ruben Meerman about another way of thinking about weight loss..