Losing weight is often difficult to do, especially if you have tried in the past, maybe even shed a few pounds, but failed to keep the weight off. This feeling of failure makes it even harder to build up the motivation to give it another go.
I am here to quell some myths about weight loss, and to empower you with the knowledge you need to lose weight healthfully—and to keep it off!
Here are my 5 keys to understand how to lose weight
1. Calories in, calories out. For the most part, the only way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than you burn from exercise, daily life, sleep, and the thermic effects of food (i.e. calories burned while digesting). If you consume 500 calories less than you burn every day for a week, you will lose one pound. This might sound confusing, but there are apps that make this easy to track. You can download “Lose It” or “MyFitnessPal.” These apps allow you to keep a food journal and an activity journal that tell you how many calories you consume and burn. And, really, all you have to remember is to eat 500 fewer calories than you burn!
2. Exercise is your friend. While not necessary to lose weight, exercise will make your body burn more calories and therefore speed up the process. It’s just that simple. There are also numerous other health benefits associated with exercise, including reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and it increases bone and muscle strength. Stick around for workout ideas in later blog posts.
3. Watch what you put on your plate. There is no one-size-fits-all meal plan for every person, and we all have different dietary needs, based on age, sex, cultural/religious beliefs, activity level, and health history. But here are some tips that everyone can adopt as positive eating habits:
4. Drinking your calories is a no-no! This may be a tough one for a lot of us. Drinking sugary drinks like soda, Gatorade, and alcohol is a quick way to consume too many calories! In fact, did you know that one 20-oz. bottle of soda contains your maximum recommended sugar intake for 2.6 days?! Stick to water, low-fat milk, and coffee and tea without sugar to achieve fluid balance.
5. Don’t stress about it. Don’t try to do it all in the first day. Make incrementally healthy changes every week, and over time you will gain confidence and your hard work will begin to pay off.
If you are interested in a workout for beginners that you can do at home, check out my At Home Workout post. It has pictures and descriptions to make it easy to get started with exercise.
Certified Personal Trainer and Movement Training Specialist
River Valley Club