For almost 9 years now, I have helped train, teach and educate 1000s of people on how to lose weight (primarily fat loss). But the problem for me has never been teaching people to lose it, as I am an expert in that field. The issue always comes from giving people sustainable ways on how to keep weight off permanently.
You see, far too often the majority of us are able to lose a lb or 2 over the course of our lives. In fact with the amount of FREE information readily on my Instagram, YouTube and Facebook it is difficult to not make positive changes. But sidestepping slightly from my cheeky plug, the internet is full of ways to lose fat. Agreed a lot of rubbish exists, but generally speaking losing fat can be easily done if you do the following:
- Restricting your caloric intake
- Increasing your daily activity
- Reducing your stress levels
- Improving your sleep quality
So knowing the above, the biggest problem that most people can agree with is how to keep weight off permanently. So how do you do it?
Well of course, you could just stick to the above 4 principles (on a macro level) and not over think it. But if it was this simple then I wouldn’t be writing this post. But before I give you the 5 things that can massively help you keep weight off permanently, I want to discuss why the above doesn’t always work.
Problem with calorie restrictions
Thermodynamics works. Even FAD diets operate on a caloric restriction basis, but there can be some huge problems with calorie restricting diets, especially if you are a foodie!
- They usually require to limit your favourite foods.
- A higher % of your foods will be more nutrient dense, as opposed to calorie dense.
- You may feel a lack of energy (which defeats the purpose, of a healthy lifestyle)
- It can make social events less fun (menu’s rarely care for the dieters)
- Prolonged calorie restricted diets, can cause binge / eating disorders. I am living proof of that. It can create a poor relationship for food. We start to have things called as “cheat meals” which is a blog for another day on why I disagree with cheat meals FULL STOP! (Or you could open in new tab and read after this)
Problem with increasing activity (more)
Now the irony is, I will advocate this to some degree, so please understand the context. The reason I have put more in brackets, is because an increase in activity from your starting lifestyle is fantastic. It will create an energy balance, leaning towards fat loss and improve your health in so many ways.
But the problem will occur when you take this too far. When you start to exercise, 2,3,4 hours a day and you’re not getting paid for it or you aren’t an athlete. This can if done consistently create chronic stress, which could negate a lot of your hard work. Also, if you are in a caloric deficit it could also lead to problems such as muscle loss, which again defeats the purpose of getting healthier.
So what do I recommend?
So knowing that continuously decreasing your calories and increasing your activity isn’t the most sustainable method to keeping weight off, there has to be easier alternatives out there. Well there is. Lucky for you, I have 5 simple habits that we can implement daily to help keep weight off and not evolve back into our old selves, and shapes!
Drum roll for some mind-blowing knowledge please…
1 Increase your fiber / fibre intake.
Now the spelling is irrelevant, but the intake isn’t! Fibre has it’s range of health benefits from:
Helping maintain bowel movements, lowering cholesterol, normalising blood sugar levels but the one we are concerned one for this post is helping you achieve a healthy weight.
Foods recommended by NHS that you should try to get in your diet, that contain fibre are: High fibre breakfast cereals, wholemeal or granery breads, potatoes, beans, lentils, chickpeas, vegetables and fruits. Now would you look at those foods. Healthy? Nutrient dense? Lower in calories (on the whole) and fibrous!
The beautiful thing with eating these over less fibrous foods is that they also have you feeling fuller for longer! This means less snacking, less worrying about your next meal and less weight fluctuations!
2 Drink more water
Water is your friend. There was a reason statistic I heard that 90% of us snack at night, not because we are greedy, fatties or hungry. But it is because we actually dehydrated. So often, I have managed to curb my hunger pains by downing a pint of water and waiting 5 minutes. As a result of doing this, I’ve limited pointless, excess calories, hydrated myself and kept my weight stable. Plus water, is pretty good for you!
3 Walk more
So we could argue this is activity, but realistically it is less likely to cause you fatigue or chronic stress. Walking is probably the best thing you can ever do for your health and wellness. Recent studies have also shown, 4/5 experts have stated that simply walking is enough exercise, if done consistently. I will add my yes to that too, making it 5/6 experts! Walking can also be done anywhere and at anytime, costing £0.
4. Sleep more, sleep better
I have advocated this book since it first came out: Sleep smarter. But for anyone who doesn’t have that many hours to spare, let me simplify it for you. Sleep adequate hours. Quality is also important. Do not “grind” and leave your sleep as a lesser priority. It is just as important as the stuff you put in your mouth and mind, and just as important as exercise. A lack of quality sleep is the quickest way to reduce years of your life. Even ahead of a poor diet, or lack of exercise. So get sleeping smarter!
5. Get busy!
This has to be the only thing that ever stops me from wanting to eat, thinking what to eat, or actually eating. When I am busy, strange things happen. I forget to eat. This is a beautiful thing for me. This means I have saved my calories for the whole day and I can enjoy them all at once! (Yes, I have my own food issues, but we aren’t here to talk about me)
So staying busy, whether its through deep work can massively help keep you occupied and reduce your snacking or overindulgence. Plus if you can sleep better the night before, hydrate yourself and maybe have a fibrous breakfast followed by a walk you are going to so win the day!
So although a lot of these tips and tricks may sound simple, I would like to ask how many do you actually do 7 days a week?
But if you can, prioritise these and maintain some level of activity and calorie conscious diet for the majority of your days you will be absolutely fine. You will not need anything more than this.
I hope this truly helps you. Have an awesome day!
P.s. If any of you do require a more sustainable approach to creating your own diet with a gym program than I have you covered there too.