If you’re watching late night tv they make it seem so simple to lose weight and decrease your bodyfat percentage. They say all you need to do, is reduce your calorie consumption, and do a few walks around the neighborhood. While this is sort of correct and kind of an over-simplification of what needs to be done, I want to share some information that is a bit more detailed.
You probably already know that most diets fail, so this over-simplification “dieting” and reducing your calorie consumption can be misleading and isn’t really a good long-term solution to weight loss.
In this post, I’ll share with you some solid strategies that will help you decrease your bodyfat percentage so you can fit into your “skinny jeans” again.
Weight Loss vs Bodyfat Loss
The first thing I want to discuss is the difference between weight loss and bodyfat loss. The term weight loss is thrown around so much, that it’s often confused for what kind of weight reduction you should be looking to obtain.
Two people both weighing 125 pounds can look significantly different based on their bodyfat percentage. If one person is 15% bodyfat, while the other is 30% bodyfat, they both weigh the same but could be at different levels of health.
The person with a higher percentage of bodyfat could be at much more risk of serious health problems, while still only weighing 125 pounds. My point here is, the weight of a person should not mean nearly as much as the bodyfat percentage you carry around. So when talking about “losing weight” you really should be discussing reducing the amount of bodyfat.
Additionally, you probably already know that muscle weighs more than fat. So if you take female professional athletes, you’ll probably guess, they don’t really care about how much they weigh, but they probably do care about their bodyfat percentage. The number on the scale is generally not a clear representation of how healthy you are.
Weight Loss Solutions
Not all people are the same. What works for one person might not work for another. That being said, there are some general guidelines that work for most people, and it’s those guidelines that I want to discuss today.
As you hear on those late-night infomercials, it takes diet and exercise to help lose weight. Like I said earlier, this is true for the most part, but I’m going to discuss in greater detail about these two things, starting with exercise.
Yes, that horrible, frightening word “exercise.” Many people scoff at the word, and they fear it, but deep down inside they know that engaging in exercise daily or a few times a week will help them reduce their bodyfat. But before you go hide under a rock, and ignore the concept, let’s discuss what you can do to achieve some daily exercise.
One of the biggest reasons people give up on exercise is they choose something they don’t like doing on a consistent basis. If you hate running, then don’t try to start a daily running regiment, that you know you’ll eventually give up on. It might work in the short-term, but short-term weight loss shouldn’t be the goal. The up and down of weight loss can be hard on your body, so find something you enjoy and stick with it.
A proper exercise program should contain a bit of cardio and a bit of weight resistance. Some examples of cardio exercises that you could do are walking, cycling, swimming, rowing, dancing, aerobics, or just about any of the classes that might be offered at your local gym.
If you don’t belong to a gym, there are plenty of outdoor things you can do to elevate your heart. If you’re just getting started, do something that won’t stress your body too much, and keep it relatively short (20 minutes or less). As you progress, the amount of energy exerted and the time you spend doing the activity should increase, to a point.
Once you’ve selected a cardio exercise you enjoy, set a schedule to ensure you’re doing it repeatedly. Keep in mind, as you start out, your body may be a little sore as it adjusts. I would recommend warming up a bit and/or doing some stretches before each cardio session.
The other thing you should do is weight training.
Weight Training for Bodyfat Loss
While weight training can be concerning or confusing, especially to women, don’t let it deter you from participating. You don’t need to join a gym and hire a personal trainer to get fit. Proper weight training can burn calories even after you’re done. The benefits of weight training include:
- You can burn more calories
- Avoid injuries by maintaining muscles
- Improve your mood and generate feelings of self-worth
- Boost your self-esteem. When you look good, you feel good
- Decrease your risks of developing long-term health problems
Again if you’re just starting out, using your bodyweight is suffice. A few other things you want to keep in mind when starting a weight training program is to maintain proper form, give yourself rest days, and start slow with light weights. As you progress and your strength improves you can start to add weight and do more complex exercises.
And to address a big concern that women have, no, you won’t get bulky from lifting weights. Most women simply don’t have enough testosterone in their bodies to produce bulging muscles. If you’re in the gym day after day, lifting heavy weights, only then will you start to put on some muscle mass.
The next scary word I want to share with you is diet.
Again, this word doesn’t do wonders for me. When I think of diet, I think short-term starvation method designed to provide a temporary weight reduction. This shouldn’t be your goal. If you’re starving yourself or severely restricting your food intake, it’s only a matter of time before your discipline breaks down, and you fail. Instead of doing these crazy diets focus on these four things:
- Portion control is key to avoid over-eating
- Reduce your sugar consumption
- Get unhealthy foods out of the house
- Keep a food journal
When it comes to proper nutrition, start slow. and make little changes. Maybe in the first week, you cut out 90-100% of the sodas you drink, The next week you can reduce the number of desserts you consume. The following week, instead of opting for a cheeseburger or pizza, you go for a chicken sandwich, etc…The little changes will add up over time, and you’ll start to see and feel the weight falling off.
Intermittent fasting is another trick you can try. Again, intermittent fasting doesn’t work for everyone, but studies show that people who do intermittent fasting consume fewer calories, and can lose weight. I personally do a 16:8 schedule, meaning for 16 hours a day I don’t eat, but during my 8-hour eating window, I consume my normal foods.
A common misperception with intermittent fasting is, it’s a form of starvation. I and many professionals would disagree. I still eat about the same amount of food while intermittent fasting, it’s just that I change when I eat.
The third thing you need to do to successfully lose bodyfat is consistency. Sticking to a diet Monday-Thursday, only to gorge yourself on alcohol and fast-food on the weekends isn’t going to cut it. I’ve alluded to it before, but being consistent, only if it’s small changes will make or break your goals.
Below are some things you can do to help yourself be consistent:
- Tell a friend about your goals. When you know someone else is rooting for you, you’re more likely to stick to your goals.
- Indulge a little. Unless your end-goal is to be up on stage for a competition, or on the cover of a magazine, it’s okay to cheat a bit. A couple of slices of pizza aren’t going to make or break your goal.
- Meal prep for the week. This has multiple benefits. If you use part of your Sunday to prep your meals for the week, you’ll eat better, it will save you time, and it will save you money. If your lunch is already made for you, you’ll be less likely to splurge on going out to eat.
- Stick with it. Weight loss is not an overnight or even a couple day event. You have to trust the process and think long-term.
- Look to others that have succeeded. A lot of people find motivation through other weight loss stories or other weight loss articles. Here’s a link to thousand of people that have successfully lost weight and decreased their bodyfat.
Somehow being consistent might be the biggest secret to weight loss success. Grit and determination are what it takes to achieve anything in life, and the same goes for weight loss.
The final secret to getting the body you want is sleep
Get Plenty of Sleep
If you suffer from sleep deprivation or insomnia, you’re not alone. It’s amazing how many people go without getting the proper amount of sleep. A lack of sleep can cause weight gain, increase your chance of developing serious health issues, impair your memory, and much more. The most common symptoms of sleep deprivation include:
- Feeling tired or drowsy during the day
- Mood changes or abrupt mood swings
- Lack of concentration
- Physical effects like lack of energy, strength, or aches/pains
- Feelings of fatigue or lethargic
When we go to sleep, it’s the body’s way of repairing itself. Sleep allows your body and mind to recharge, and hopefully leave you feeling great the next morning. Healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases. Without enough sleep, your physical and mental game will be off. This can impair your abilities to concentrate, think clearly, and process memories.
Conclusion of Weight Loss Secrets
To some people, these healthy habits may be common sense, but it’s obvious that others don’t realize what it takes to achieve a healthy body. With obesity at the highest, it’s ever been, we need to follow the guides set above so that we can lead our best life. If getting that flat tummy or toning up those muscles is the ultimate goal, the aforementioned steps will get you there.
FAQ on Weight Loss Secrets
What is your biggest weight loss secret?
My biggest secret for weight loss is drinking plenty of tea and fluids. Feelings of hunger can be confused for thirst, so by drinking fluids first it can prevent over-eating.
What is your fat loss secret?
Quit drinking soda. Soda has so much sugar, that by quitting cold turkey, you’re almost guaranteed to reduce your bodyfat percentage.
Do weight loss supplements help?
A majority of weight loss supplements have studies that show they do in fact work. However, the list of stipulations or caveats can be numerous.
How do I lose weight fast?
Start exercising and eating only nutritious foods immediately.
What should everyone know about weight loss?
It will take time. Results will not be overnight, but they will come if you trust the process.