Tips for Successful Weight Loss
- Identify what is holding you back.
We all know that losing body fat will improve your function, prevent disease, and help you look and feel better. But what is standing in your way? For most, it is the lack of time, not knowing what to do and how to do it, or having injuries and medical conditions that can make exercising painful. The sooner you figure out what is getting in your way, and how to address it, the sooner you will find an effective weight loss strategy that works for you.
- Track what you eat.
A nutrition log is the first step in improving your diet. Here’s how to do it: record what you eat, how much, and when you eat. You or a professional will be able to spot patterns and food choices that may need to be modified. If you’re looking into taking supplements to help you lose weight faster, check out
- Learn to identify proper food choices:
Fat, Carbs, or Protein are not “bad”. Rather, there are types of all three macronutrients that are good, and in fact essential for our health. The key to eating healthy is to distinguish what are the good macronutrients, and what are the ones to limit. Accordingly, you must read labels. Consider the following for example:
Macronutrients Eat more often Eat very limited amounts Protein Chicken and turkey breasts, egg whites, sea food, some plant sources, some dairy sources Most ground meats, marbleized red meats, bacon, sausage Carbs Fibrous Vegetables, fruit, some starches (sweet potatoes, long-grain brown rice, oatmeal) Most starchy carbs, foods and drinks with added sugar (avoid “high fructose corn syrup”) Fat Nuts (almonds, walnuts), flax seed, olive oil, cold water fish (salmon, cod), Animal fats (avoid “hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated anything)
- Eat Smaller Meals More Frequently:
Doing so will keep blood sugar levels from spiking, yielding more energy throughout the day. It will also curb appetite, and promote more calorie expenditure and less fat storage.
- Choose Whole foods versus liquid or processed options:
Eating more processed or liquid forms of food tends to limit the thermic effect of food. This refers to how much calorie expenditure occurs from simply breaking down the food you eat. In fact, an estimates 10-20% of the calories you burn each day are related to the thermic effect of food. So, if you choose whole foods, you will burn more calories just by eating!
- Combine Macronutrients:
Various foods are converted into a usable form by the body at a quicker rate than others. Simple carbs are an example. While this may be good right after a workout when your muscles are starving for energy, it is bad for the rest of the day, because if the immediate energy from the food isn’t needed, it gets stored- as fat! However, combining macronutrients by eating carbs with proteins and healthy fats tends to slow down the energy release, as well as make you feel more satisfied. So try to eat meals containing components of all macronutrients.
- Include resistance training.
Metabolism is directly related to the amount of muscle you have. The more muscle, the higher your metabolism, which means you will burn more calories. While an increase in muscle mass may be desired or necessary for some, for others it is essential that they maintain their muscle when trying to lose weight. This is especially important if you are reducing your caloric intake. Resistance training is the only way to build or maintain muscle. Those who perform resistance training are more effective in losing fat than those who do not.
- Limit isolation and machine resistance training.
The more muscle you use, the more calories you burn. You can use more muscle in less time while avoiding muscle imbalances by focusing on bodyweight, free weight, cable or band resistance with multi-joint compound movements for the best results.
- Do moderate amounts of aerobic training:
Excessive reliance on long duration, low intensity aerobics is one of the most common pitfalls weight loss seekers fall victim to. It takes too much time, is relatively ineffective, and is often responsible for overuse injuries, especially in beginners.
- Include high intensity interval training.
Alternating between periods of short, high intensity exercise and low intensity exercise has been shown to be superior for fat loss than aerobics or diet alone. In fact, it takes less time, is infinitely variable, and can cause a period of elevated calorie expenditure for 36 hours after exercise.
- Don’t be insane:
Albert Einstein defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. As far as exercise is concerned, I couldn’t agree more! You must change what you are doing over time to continue to progress. This means choosing different exercises, different weights, changing sets and reps, etc. Change, however, must be logically planned, not haphazard and chaotic, to be effective and avoid injury.
- Don’t neglect recovery.
Optimizing sleep, stress, and rest (between sets, exercises, or gym sessions) is critical to achieve weight loss success. Neglecting proper recovery will sabotage your hard work in the gym, and is one of the most common factors to address for those having difficulty losing weight.
- Take care of aches and pains.
It is hard to exercise when you are laid up with an injury! Be sure you learn proper exercise technique, exercise selection, and progression designed to address your unique needs.
- Seek Professional guidance.
You need a professional to strategically combine all the factors required for fat loss into a program designed just for you. Proper execution, accountability, and modification of the strategy as needed are the real secrets to real-world fat loss.
Be sure to sign up for our FREE, information packed newsletter, Expert Fitness Solutions. Feel free to contact Michael Stare DPT, CSCS to subscribe or for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-927-2065.
Michael is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He is the Director of Spectrum Fitness Consulting, and also practices Physical Therapy with Orthopaedics Plus. Both are located at 100 Cummings Center, Suite 121Q, in Beverly.