The last two years have been the most difficult in terms of keeping the weight off. We’ve been thrown into numerous lockdowns and had an abundance of uncertainty and stress.
As a result, many of us are at our heaviest, unfittest and desperate to make a change.
I understand fully how difficult it’s been to maintain healthy habits but once the festivities are over it opens up an opportunity to finally start to make changes.
Here are seven tips to finally lose the weight, become healthier and increase your confidence.
Don’t strive for perfection
You start a diet, everything goes well for a few weeks then all of a sudden you have a treat whether it’s mcdonalds, cakes, sweets then you feel guilty and you say you’ll start again monday. This is exactly why so many people struggle to get into shape, they expect too much of themselves and have an all or nothing mentality. Instead of either being ‘’on it’’ or ‘’off it’’ you should allow yourself to have a small blip and continue as normal. One mistake in isolation won’t derail you massively. The one treat in isolation isn’t the problem, it’s how you react to it. Expect to not be perfect and aim to be 80% on plan rather than 100%
Use a calorie tracking app
If you’ve never tracked calories this is a super easy way to become aware of your calorie intake. To lose fat you have to reduce your calories, it’s impossible to lose fat if you don’t reduce calories. Download a fitness app called ‘’myfitnesspal’’ on your smartphone. If it’s completely new to you, watch a youtube video tutorial. Start to input the foods you eat and from there you’ll become more aware of the amount of calories you’re consuming. This is a great education tool and if you want to lose weight, nutrition and a reduction of calories is the most important factor by far.
Work out how many calories you should be eating
This works in tandem to the previous point. Once you know how to use the app you can start to target a set amount of calories. Rather than using a confusing online calculator, workout your starting calories by timesing your bodyweight in pounds by 11. I.e if you’re 180 pounds x 11 = calorie target of 1980. This is just a starting guide and isn’t definitive but it will give you a number to work towards. Now in the app you can start using this as a target.
Have a step target
Nowadays it’s easier than ever to be inactive. We can jump into cars for commutes, have items delivered to our households, if anything modern society promotes us to not move. However, what we can do is set a step target to promote purposeful movement. You can use a smart phone by downloading a step counter app, pedometer or smart watch. A simple step target would be to hit between 8 – 10 000 steps a day. This may require you to walk on your lunch break, park further away or walk instead of driving to the shops. But this ensures you’re active and burning calories!
Set a goal and timeframe
One thing that will allow you to finally get into shape is by having some urgency. For example if you don’t set a timeframe you have no reason to not delay or you’re not accountable to yourself. You’ll end up delaying your actions and before you know it weeks, months and even years later you’ve still not progressed. Establish how much weight you’d like to lose, what clothes sizes you’d like to be and from there how long you need to be dieting for. Generally I’d recommend a 12 – 20 weeks diet depending on your starting position. From there set a end date so you know if you’re on course and have urgency
Set nutrition non negotiables
Another point on nutrition because it’s so important! Without even counting calories you can create the deficit through simple improvements with your diet. Firstly try to include lean protein in each meal. This will help support hunger management and support muscle growth meaning you’re going to burn more calories. Examples of lean protein include chicken, white fish, 0% fat greek yogurt. As well as this, having veg,salad or fruit with every meal. This will promote you to be healthy providing essential nutrients and fibre. Again, similar to protein this will help control appetite and avoid constant fridge trips. So just to recap include protein and some veg, fruits or salad in every single meal
There are so many different types of training and you’re probably confused whether you should do weights, HIIT, cardio machines or running. And although enjoyment is a huge factor I’d highly recommend weight training 3-4 x per week. Weight training promotes muscle growth which helps maintain and build up your metabolism as well as changing your body shape. Focus on getting stronger whether it’s free weights at home or training at the gym focus on progressively getting stronger
I hope these tips are of value. Getting started is usually the hardest and an extra bonus tip is don’t overthink it. If you start off by simply making some small changes such as reducing takeaways, processed foods and moving a little more you’re well on your way to kickstart your transformation.
If you would like any further tips, guidance or if you’d like to reach out to me for some help feel free to follow me on my instagram @jimmyraycoaching https://www.instagram.com/jimmyraycoaching/