Weight loss is a journey many of us face with great difficulty. Many succeed in losing weight only to pile it back on. Others simply can’t shed those stubborn pounds at all. It’s a journey plagued with frustration. The frustration is further compounded by the abundance of information (and misinformation) out there. So what are the top ways to lose weight?
Today, we will be answering the question by providing 10 changes you can make. These are tips which, once understood, can be applied throughout life to shed stubborn belly fat and keep it away!
- Why Do We Carry Excess Weight?
- Make Simple Life Changes To Lose Weight Long-Term.
- 10 Life Changes To Make.
- Slow and Steady Wins The Race!
- Weight Loss Is A Game Of Numbers- Tip Those Numbers!
Why Do We Carry Excess Weight?
First, it would help to understand why so many people today carry excess weight. This requires us to know why our bodies store fat.
Let’s begin by rewinding to 10,000 years B.C.
During this time, our caveman ancestors were known as hunter-gathers. If they got hungry, they would have to go out and find food. If they wanted meat, they would have to pick up their stick and kill a mammoth. If they wanted fruit, they would have to forage in the bushes.
Now, food was not always readily available. Maybe the mammoth herd decided to relocate away from the pesky humans. Or maybe a bad winter left the berry bushes high and dry.
For our ancestors to survive and proliferate as they did, they had to be able to consume large quantities of food during times of abundance. This food was stored as fat.
Fat is essentially an energy reserve. It is packed with calories which could be tapped into during periods of scarce resources. This allowed our ancestors to survive tough periods when food supplies became low.
Now let’s fast forward 2.5 million years, back to 2021.
2.5 million years sounds long, but it’s actually a short amount of time in terms of evolution. Our bodies still carry the same fat-storing mechanisms which helped our ancestors survive(1).
The issue is that in today’s world, food is so abundant. We have calorie-rich food readily available. In addition, we have become more sedentary (we no longer have to work for our food). Combined, these factors combined lead to a caloric surplus and weight gain.
Other external factors could also be at play. But for most people, we are simply eating too much and doing too little exercise!
Make Simple Life Changes To Lose Weight Long-Term
How can we combat excessive weight gain?
We can start by identifying unhealthy behaviours which stop us from losing weight.
Identifying these behaviours is essential for those who have struggled or are currently struggling to lose weight. Many of these behaviours have been standardised in the world we live in. But we may not realise they are preventing us from shedding those pounds!
By identifying and correcting these problematic behaviours, we are setting ourselves up for long-term weight-loss success.
Below, we explore 10 top tips we can all adopt to help us lose those pounds and keep them away for good!
10 Life Changes To Make
1. Don’t Skip Breakfast.
Breakfast is an essential meal which primes our body’s metabolism for the rest of the day. Studies have shown that consuming more calories earlier in the day can help us feel more satiated throughout the rest of the day. This will help combat snacking. Harvard scientists suggest breakfast should make up 25-30% of our daily caloric intake(2).
Try: Eating a healthy breakfast balanced with high protein, fibre, and slow-digesting carbs e.g. poached eggs and avocado on wholemeal bread.
2. Plan Regular Meals Throughout The Day (And Eat Slower!).
Meals should be regular and the calories should be portioned sensibly. Doing this will keep your metabolism burning throughout the day and help us lose weight(3). These means don’t skip lunch and make up for it with a giant dinner!
Try Plan a healthy breakfast, midday lunch, late afternoon lunch, and dinner. Each meal should contain ~400-600 calories (depending on your recommended daily caloric intake).
Ever wondered why Japanese people are generally very slim? Many believe one reason is that their meals are often served in small portions. This means they are also forced to consume food slower. Try eating your food slower!
3. Eat More Whole Foods.
If you are a culprit for binging on takeout and junk food, this will be a major life changer! Whole foods are ingredients which are fresh and as close to their natural state as possible. They are highly nutritious and unlikely to contain excess calories like processed foods. Eating more whole foods will naturally decrease our intake of junk and empty calories.
Try: Swap the oven pizza for a grilled lean steak and wholemeal bread sandwich. Or even better, use chicken breast! Snack on fruit rather than candy.
4. You Are What You Eat. Know What You Are Eating.
Another game-changer! Many people struggling to lose weight are simply unaware of the calories they are consuming. Many people severely underestimate the calories they consume(4). It’s a good habit to learn how to read the nutrition labels on your food. This allows us to create an effective diet plan which does not exceed our recommended daily caloric intake.
Try: Learn to calorie count the foods you consume. Many food calorie databases are also available for foods without labels. Google is a convenient one (try searching “chicken breast nutrition” on google and see for yourself). Watch out for hidden calories in sauces and dressings!
5. Find An Exercise You Enjoy!
Even if you have self-diagnosed “exercise-phobia”, chances are there will be a few physical activities you would enjoy doing. Exercise doesn’t just mean going to the gym or sweating on the treadmill. By combining a carefully planned diet with regular exercise, you will make significant progress in your weight loss.
Try: hiking, yoga, gardening, walking, heck why not give your local ultimate frisbee club a visit? Be creative. There will be something you will enjoy doing!
6. Get Those Zzzzzz’s!
For many reasons, many of us simply don’t get enough sleep. But when we become sleep deprived, our hormones become unbalanced. An example of this is increased Ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and decreased Leptin (the satiety hormone)(5). This will not help our weight loss efforts.
Try: Make slow steady changes to your sleep routine to increase the amount of Z’s you get every night. Most people require 8 hours of quality sleep. You may need less or more. But you should feel invigorated each morning. Learn to listen to your body!
7. Alcohol, I Love You, But We Need Some Time Apart!
Many people love a drink after work. So do I! But never underestimate the calories in the alcoholic beverages you consume. Just to give you an idea- a 330ml beer or 175ml glass of wine has ~145 calories. This may not seem much, but how often do we have just that one drink? Most experienced drinkers will also be familiar with what I like to call the “drunk munchies”…..
Try: Cut down on alcohol consumption or challenge yourself to go “dry” for a period. You will feel invigorated, and healthier, and hopefully, see that spare tyre get smaller! If it’s the BFFs birthday celebrations and you must drink, try low-calorie alternatives like low-calorie beer and vodka soda fresh lime.
8. Relax! (Woosah!)
Unlike our caveman ancestors, many of us today suffer from chronic stress (Mr Caveman didn’t have a corporate boss making his life miserable!). Chronic stress leads to hormone imbalance. The best characterised is Cortisol (a stress hormone). Excess cortisol not only promotes weight gain but also promotes fat deposit in the belly.
Try: Meditation, breathing exercises, keeping a stress journal, professional stress management, and exercise. Stress management is easier said than done, but those who actively find ways to reduce stress will reap results. Not just in weight loss, but life satisfaction in general.
9. Use Those Scales.
Most households will have a set of body scales and kitchen scales. If not, they can be purchased cheaply on Amazon. Use these! They are two lifesaving weapons in your battle against weight loss. Body scales allow us to objectively keep track of weight loss progress. Kitchen scales allow us to correctly portion ingredients and meals to ensure we don’t overconsume calories.
Try: Weigh yourself every day after you wake up and “er-hum” go to the lavatory. Record the numbers and aim for steady and consistent weight loss throughout your weight loss plan. Seeing your numbers decrease every week can be psychologically better than judging results based on the mirror (which can sometimes take time). If you see your numbers increasing, make more changes to your weight loss plan!
10. Top Up Your Probiotics.
Let’s end on a high! Probiotic drinks are those which contain a mixture of microorganisms which promote healthy gut flora. The general scientific consensus is that they help promote weight loss. Although it remains unclear as to exactly how they do this, it is suggested probiotic drinks positively affect our metabolism and nutrient absorption(7). Most of these drinks are also delicious!
Try: Add drinks like Yakult and Actimel to your shopping list. They are yummy!
Slow and Steady Wins The Race!
Some of the changes listed can be big changes to our lives (some more so than others). But this is NOT a list to implement overnight.
Rather, I recommend taking a slow and steady approach. Slowly work through the list. Once you have consistently accommodated one change into your life, move on to another. As you make more and more changes, you will see success come faster and easier. Weight loss should always be a marathon and not a sprint.
A slow approach is safer, more sustainable, and more enjoyable than going on a sudden lettuce diet, for example.
In fact, many who go on a “weight loss Bootcamp” will actually often find themselves binging afterwards, putting the weight back on, and going back to square one.
Slow and steady avoid this vicious cycle.
Be the turtle, not the hare!
Weight Loss Is A Game Of Numbers- Tip Those Numbers!
At its core, weight loss is simply a game of numbers.
Losing weight requires us to consume fewer calories than we expend and for our hormones to be in balance. This will result in the numbers on the scale falling.
Today, we have given 10 life changes which will tip the numbers more favourably towards us.
Everyone has the power to implement these changes and see their numbers fall. As we learn to implement these changes, we will not only lose weight but also be empowered to keep it away forever!
You can do it!
Thanks for reading guys!
At Kalibre Fitness, we provide you with the knowledge to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. We hope you can provide yourself with the deduction to implement our advice and smash your goals!
It would really help us if you could provide constructive feedback on how we could further help you. Have you got any questions? Is there anything you would like us to explore?
Please leave a comment below and I will get back to you!
- https://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article folder/stresscortisol.html.