Weight loss is a relatively straightforward process, but that doesn’t make it easy. Add to the fact that there is so much contradicting information out there and you’ve got yourself the perfect recipe for confusion and frustration.
The fact is, there are a few basics you need to apply consistently to lose weight effectively. Here, we take a look at eight actionable ways to get to your goal and achieve results.
1. Bet on whole, nutritious foods
Processed foods are not inherently ‘bad’ or ‘fattening,’ but they are also not great for us either. They don’t provide our bodies with much-needed nutrients like slow-digesting carbs, healthy fats, high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
Because of that, it’s important to base the majority of your food choices on whole and minimally-processed foods:
- Unprocessed meats and grains
- Eggs and dairy
- Fresh potatoes
- Fatty fish and seafood in general
- Beans and other legumes
- Healthy oils – most notably olive, macadamia, coconut, and avocado oils
2. Do treat yourself sometimes
We’ve all got our guilty pleasures. No matter what your current goals are, it’s important to allow yourself some treats here and there. Of course, moderation is key. A cookie here and there won’t break your diet, and it will give you something much more important: overall satisfaction and the feeling of freedom that you can still enjoy your favourite foods in moderation and get your desired result.
3. Consume plenty of protein
Protein is a critical macronutrient for good health because it is involved in numerous biological processes and the creation of hormones, neurotransmitters, bodily tissues, and more. Protein is particularly important when trying to lose weight because it allows you to maintain your muscle mass and lose primarily fat.
Good sources include meats, fish, dairy, eggs, protein powder, nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils.
4. Use CrossFit and resistance training effectively
Love it or hate it, resistance training is essential for effective weight loss. Providing your muscles with a strong stimulus signals your body that the tissue is valuable and needs to stick around.
This creates an environment in which you burn fat while keeping your muscle around. That way, you end up looking lean, not simply ‘thin’ – you become stronger and more athletic. And you don’t have to do a lot of volume in the gym, either. Three to four sessions of 45 minutes each will be plenty for you to use resistance training effectively.
Are you sick and tired of endless minutes on the elliptical or treadmill trying to burn body fat? If you are, give CrossFit a try. Combining resistance training and bodyweight exercises is a great way to increase your caloric expenditure while improving your overall lean muscle mass.
Lean muscle mass helps to burn more calories at rest, which in turn will help to reduce overall body fat storage.
The most fundamental element in any fat loss plan is adherence to exercise, and Crossfit can help to break the monotony of traditional exercise routines.
5. Weight Loss – Do cardio sparingly
Many people put incredible importance on cardio for weight loss, but it’s not as essential for success as many imagine. The truth is, cardio is a tool. One that allows us to burn a few hundred extra calories and thus lose a bit more fat.
But even if you don’t do much (or any) cardio, you can still lose weight effectively. If you don’t do any, then a good recommendation is to start with 20 minutes every second day and slowly increase the volume over the weeks and months.
6. Don’t forget to drink water
Water is incredibly healthy for us because it is involved in numerous processes. But that’s not all: water is incredibly valuable during weight loss because it has appetite-suppressing qualities.
More often than not, we think we are hungry when we are really only thirsty. Rather than reach for a snack, drink a glass of water and see how you feel.
Use water strategically before, during, and after meals to increase satiety and aid digestion. Remember, accountability and discipline are vital.
7. Weight Loss – Find a knowledgeable coach
There are a lot of moving parts and plenty of things to consider. As a beginner, it would be very beneficial to find a knowledgeable personal trainer who can teach you the basics and give you the tools you need for success. You can most definitely succeed without one, but they make the journey much simpler and quicker.
Rather than waste money on ineffective strategies, you get the roadmap to success. All you need to do is follow your personal trainer’s advice, learn the lessons for later, and apply yourself to the process. Training in a class environment, as is the way with CrossFit, will hold you accountable for your actions and encourage you to stick to your new plans.
8. Most importantly, do things you can sustain
Let’s face it, we all want quick results. It’s human nature. But the harsh truth about quick results (and those who promise them) is that they are either short-lived or complete lies.
Weight Loss and crash diets
Crash diets help you lose a lot of weight quickly, sure, but most people gain all the weight back in a week or two. That’s because these diets are not sustainable and, worse, highly-restrictive.
Sure, you can push through for a bit, but once hunger and fatigue catch up, you sacrifice all the results by binge-eating for a few days — the common ‘yo-yo’ effect.
That’s why you need to do things at your own pace, in a sustainable way. Who cares if you don’t lose 20 pounds in two months? However many pounds you do lose will be lost for good because you will focus on sound strategies and good habits, rather than gimmicks and ‘tricks’.
- toes-to-bar: RX'd Photography
- quote card nutrition: BOXROX
- Healthy-Heart: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc / bhofack2
- healthy-food: studioM / Squats and Pixels
- healthy-foods-crossfit-open: RX'd Photography
- Swimmer: Stevie D Photography
- crossfit-class: Circuit+ CrossFit
- lauren-and-noah-six-pack-abs-1.png: CrossFit Inc