Whether long term weight loss or just trying to get rid of those last few wobbly bits, dieting can seem daunting and it is definitely the last thing most people want to do. Here are my own tips on dieting for weight loss.
Stop calling it a diet.
I don’t really like the word diet. It makes me feel as if i’m somehow depriving myself of something, or that this is temporary. For me that’s not how it is. So my first tip when starting any ‘diet’ would be to throw that word straight in the bin along with all of your processed or refined foods. Instead of a diet think of it as nutrition, a lifestyle choice, healthy eating. It’s a lot easier on the brain to think of it in a positive way like this. Instead of thinking it as a ‘diet’ where you are depriving yourself of your favourite foods, think of it as healthy eating where you are GIVING YOURSELF good health, weight loss, confidence.
Keep a food diary.
My next bit of advice would be to keep a food diary. This is a great way to keep a track of how your eating habits are effecting your weight loss. For example, you might notice that during one week you lost more weight than other weeks, you can then look back in your diary and see exactly what foods you ate that week and try to add them in to your meal plans more in future. The same can go for if you don’t seem to lose any weight one week and you don’t know why, looking over your diary you might see actually i ate a lot more carbs than usual this week so maybe that’s why, and so you can change this for next week. A food diary really is the best way to keep a record and find out what is working best for you.
Eat real food.
The thing that will make the biggest difference in terms of what you are eating is cutting out all of the sugar and all of the refined or processed foods. Basically eat food that was grown on a farm and not made in a factory. Not only will this contribute massively to your weight loss but your health will improve by milestones. Eat fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, grains, seeds, beans, legumes. Also NATURAL sugars are okay in moderation, but refined sugar is a big no no.
Plan your own meals.
The fastest way to fail on your diet is by not planning your meals. If you don’t plan your meal and you get home and your starving if your anything like me your just going to grab whatever you can cook fastest and easiest. Plan your meals in advance, make sure you have all of the ingredients necessary so when you get home from work you have no excuses not to cook yourself something nice. This will also help you control how many calories you are going to be eating and how much protein/carbs/fat you will be eating.
Cook your own meals.
Meal prep! Cook and prepare all of your meals in advance so you always have something there ready when you are hungry, you will never end up picking at stuff or buying an unhealthy sandwich from the shop or ordering a take away because you will always have food there ready. This is also the best way to control exactly what is in your food, when you cook them yourself you know exactly what ingredients were used and where they came from. I always cook all of my meals for the week in advance (usually on a sunday) and put them in the fridge and freezer for the rest of the week.
Cut the carbs.
I know, i know. Sheds a tear. Nobody wants to cut carbs because.. well.. bread! But if your really serious about losing weight cutting carbs is the most effective way. Usually carbs should be around 60% of your daily caloric intake. So for example, for a 3000 calorie total daily intake, 1800 of those calories should be carbohydrates. For weight loss your carbs should be between 25-40% of your daily caloric intake.
Count your macros.
Your ‘macros’ are the macro nutrients needed by your body in order to function properly. They are carbohydrates, protein, fat & water. On a normal diet your daily intake should look like this – 60% carbs, 25% protein, 15% fat. On a weight loss diet of 40% carbs your macros should look like this 40% carbs, 30%protein, 30% fat.
I would not recommend lowering your carbs to less than 25% unless you are ‘cutting’ and are already knowledgeable about nutrition as when your carb intake is extremely low your body goes into what is called ketosis, which although this is very effective for weight loss if it is not done properly it can cause problems. For consistent weight loss i recommend around a 30 – 40% daily carb intake.
An example of my own easy to follow 3 day meal plan for weight loss to give you an idea.
It really is getting started that’s the hard part, after the first few days when you see how easy it is and how nourished you feel after eating these healthy and tasty foods you won’t even want to look back! Good luck with your weight loss & feel free to leave and comments or drop me a message if you have any questions i’d love to help.