Best Way to Lose Weight
The Best Way To Lose Weight – Tips and Advice
There are a vast number of weight loss programs and different advice available these days making it often confusing and difficult for dieters to stick to a plan and get the results they want. All this conflicting information often makes losing weight very difficult for most people and they give up in disgust. The truth is, it was never meant to be so difficult so if you can relate to this, keep on reading as we take a closer look at some great tips on the best ways to lose weight, right from planning your weight loss, goal setting, psychology, the best fat burning foods and exercise.
Back to Basics
Sometimes the basics might seem boring, but ignore them at your own risk. Following these strategies really is the best way to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable fashion.
No doubt it will come as no surprise that the best way to lose weight is to control the number of calories you’re consuming and balance this with the number of calories your body burns. However many folks struggle to do this so we’ll take a look why this is and some tips and tricks you can use to make this much easier and reach your weight loss goals. For those who are exercise averse the good news is that the best way to lose weight is through nutrition and “diet” with a little exercise thrown in for good health. You don’t have to start running marathons or be walk tens of miles each day.
First, Make a Plan
This is a crucial first step that most people looking to lose weight skip out on. It doesn’t matter how you choose to go about losing weight, but any diet plan that doesn’t spend a good deal of time developing a plan and goals with the participant is not worth following.
Losing weight is not something you just decide to do on a whim at some stage. Chances are the behaviours which have got you to the point where you need to lose weight have been continued for many months if not years and been reinforced by your habits and choices for a long time. You may have heard the saying “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This applies to anything in life you want to achieve be it to lose stomach fat or make a million dollars. Many studies of successful people show that those who plan and in particular commit their goals to paper are far more likely to meet them than those who do not. Please don’t skip this step out as regardless of any discussion on the best way to lose weight, you are more than halving your chances of success. Losing weight and keeping it off is a highly psychological game and it is harder to sabotage your success with a bullet proof plan in place. In most cases an individual’s failure to lose weight can be attributed to not defining goals properly and/or unrealistic expectations. Anyone can make a statement or resolution like “I want to lose weight” though when it comes to losing weight, the statement is meaningless. In order for your goal to be effective and properly defined it needs to be measureable (more about measuring your weight loss progress later), defined and have a specific result or outcome.
Set a goal of how many pounds or kilograms you would like to lose in 12 months, and then work backwards from there to where you need to be in 6 months, 3 months, 1 month etc. I suggest you break your progress down into 10 pound chunks as psychologically it’s easier to imagine losing 10 pounds rather than 50 or 100 pounds. Once you’ve reached your first 10 pound goal you feel like you’re getting somewhere. Start over again until you reach your final goal weight. Plan to lose your first 10 pounds over 10 weeks making a rate of 1 pound per week. Although this might not seem quick enough, losing weight faster reduces your chances of keeping it off in the long term. Make a wall planner or picture chart. Put it in the bathroom and on the fridge. Part of your planning for weight loss process should also involve finding pictures in magazines or the internet of people who are at a weight or body fat percentage you are aiming for. Read blogs by people who have achieved the same weight loss goals you have and use them as inspiration. Achieving any goal is challenging at first, but the longer you stick at it the more the required actions become habits and the easier it becomes.
Facing the Enemy
One of the best ways to lose weight and keep you honest with yourself is to get someone you trust to photograph you in your underwear or bathing costume from the front, side and behind and pin this picture to your weight loss goal chart, to the back of the bathroom door or anywhere you will see it at least daily. As well as keeping you motivated to change, these pictures will give you a great bench mark to compare your progress against.
Once you’ve set your goals and mapped out a path to success (complete with pictures of what success looks like for you), you need to work out what steps you’re going to take to get there and what you’re going to do differently tomorrow compared to what you did yesterday that will get you closer to your goal. More on the best weight loss foods and exercises later.
The Best Way to Lose Weight – Measuring Progress
It’s crucial that you measure your progress so you know if what you are doing is actually working. I recommend you photograph your progress every 6 weeks using the same front, back and profile pictures discussed above. There’s nothing more motivating that being able to compare pictures and see for yourself how your body is changing, and that all your discipline and hard work is not in vain.
There’s no best way to measure your weight loss but there are some things you should be aware of. Although we talk about the best way to “lose weight”, weight loss itself is probably not the most helpful thing to focus on. It can be a helpful measure, however for most people when they talk about wanting to lose weight, their real goal and focus is to lose fat and change the shape of their body. I have written in depth on this website about the perils of focusing on the number of pounds or kilograms lost and not the number of inches or centimeters in this article “losing inches but not weight” so I won’t write at length again here but just know that measuring the percentage of body fat you lose is actually more helpful than measuring the number of pounds you’ve lost. The most low tech way of doing this is to monitor how your clothes are fitting. If they’re getting looser, you’re losing fat. If you want to get more technical (and I recommend you do) measure your body fat percentage. The simplest, cheapest and a reasonably accurate way to do this is using a biometric impedance device such as the OMRON body fat analyser or similar device. Follow the instructions and use this once a week to track your progress. Your goal should be to achieve a healthy body fat percentage.
Don’t Do It On Your Own!
The best way to lose weight is by teaming up with a friend, partner or spouse for support and to keep you honest. If you live with anyone else it becomes very difficult to reach your weight loss goals if everyone around you is continuing on with the habits you’re so desperately trying to break. Make weight loss and a healthy lifestyle a family affair. Reaching your goals is also far more likely if you share them with a friend and give weekly updates on your progress. If you don’t have anyone do share your weight loss journey with, I strongly recommend you seek support and encouragement from other places. Join an online community where people share similar goals to your own or join an organization such as Weight Watchers. Alternatively join a walking group or employ the services of a personal trainer. Personal Trainers don’t come cheap, but they are invaluable when it comes to motivating you and keeping you true to yourself. Consider this for at least the first 3 or 4 months until you break your old habits and are starting to feel comfortable with your new lifestyle.