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  • Clem Duranseaud

10 Easy Weight Loss Strategies: Simple Tips for Healthy Living


We talked a lot about weight loss strategies and healthy tips during our costa rica retreat
Fitness retreat down in Costa Rica

Weight loss and weight management is frequently on our minds, in this article I'll share ten tips that I use myself and with my clients.


If your goal is to lose weight, pick one of these tips to focus on for the next few weeks, then start working on another one. Do not do all of them at once.


Table of contents



1. Have a clear why


Weight loss requires a certain amount of concessions on your part. You don't have to eliminate anything, but you may have the reduce the frequency or portions of certain foods and drinks.


This can be tough sometimes, especially with foods we enjoy eating.


Knowing exactly why your are trying to lose weight will help you stay disciplined during those times.


Your reason for losing weight should be personal, detailed and aligned with your values. Thinking "I want to lose 10 pounds to look better" is too superfluous.


"I will lose 10 pounds to be healthier and spend more time hiking which is what I love to do" has a more powerful effect.


A simple exercise you can do to find your "why" is to ask yourself that question three times in a row. You may need to give yourself enough time to answer, it might not be as simple as you think.


Example


Question: What is your goal

Answer: To lose 20 pounds


Question: Why?

Answer: To feel better in my body


Question: Why?

Answer: So I can be more comfortable when I go out


Question: Why?

Answer: So I can enjoy time spent outside my house and spend more time with my friends


This is just an example but you can see that each time you ask yourself why, the answer becomes more detailed. This will give you a stronger sense of control during your next nutrition decision.


2. Focus on protein


We've already seen in previous articles the benefits of protein in our diets. We've established that the recommended amount lies between 0.6-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight.


Eating more protein won't lead to weight loss in and out of itself. However, it will help you prioritize a food group that has tons of great benefits for you, making sure your muscles recover optimally which will then make your training better.


Eating a variety of protein sources is one of my favourite ways to achieve this. Fish, meats, legumes and eggs are my preferred choices.


3. Learn basic caloric values


Being able to understand basic caloric values will help you make smarter food choices which can drastically speed up your weight loss efforts.


You pick up a bag of chips and see that 100g has 200 calories. Is that a lot? Is that good?


Or you see that a steak you're about to eat has 300 calories per 100g. Is that a lot? The steak is healthier than chips but has more calories that the same amount of chip so should you eat it?

You can ask the internet or you can ask someone to give you a meal plan, but the best way to empower yourself is to know these things yourself.


Remember that the key to sustainable weight loss is not total elimination of certain foods, but choices that are aligned with your goals and values.


If you've been crushing the gym lately, have eaten in a calorie deficit and are out with friends, and you've calculated that it fits in your caloric budget, then yes, the bag a chip is totally ok. If that's something that will make you enjoy the moment better and have an amazing time with people you love, go for it.


These are the types of decision you will be able to make on the fly once you learn these basic caloric values. If you don't know where to start, read this article.


Then for the next few weeks keep a food log and try to calculate how much protein and calories you're ingesting.


It might not be fun at first, but this initial investment will pay huge dividends in the future.


4. Focus your effort on the right days


Whether you are counting calories or taking a more holistic approach, there are some days that are easier than others to reduce the amount of food you eat.


Week days, especially Monday through Thursday are typically less social days. It is easier to limit our food consumption simply because there are less opportunities to over eat.


Friday and Saturday evenings on the other hand are more prone to have social events or also just more time to enjoy delicious brunch and dinners alone or with loved ones.


During those days, it's ok to eat a little bit more and be more liberal with your food choices, as long as the rest of your week is aligned with it.


What you cannot do, is to be liberal with food choices on the weekend, and then not make the appropriate choices during the week.


Eating different amount of calories on different days can help you focus your weight loss efforts where it matters
You can be flexible during the week

5. Weight loss is not linear


Losing weight doesn't always happen continuously which is totally normal.


You may go days doing everything properly, shedding weight off like it's nothing and then one day wake to having gained a pound or two.


When this happens, the first thing to remember is that small weight fluctuations like this are A. normal. and B. not a big deal. They are often caused by what you ate the previous night, if you drank more water (or other stuff) than usual.


We've seen in the point above that having days in which we eat more and days we eat less can be a good thing. So our weight will naturally fluctuate during the week.


What we want, is the general direction of our weight loss to go down over a period of weeks, not days.


6. Using the scale to track weight loss, yes or no?


Tracking your weight on a scale can give you valuable data on how your weight loss efforts are going. It can also drive you crazy.


So should you do it?


Once again, this is entirely up to you. If you feel like you need to know, and more importantly if it helps you to know, then yes, go ahead an weight yourself.


What you want to do here is to pick the same day (or two) to weight yourself consistently. If you pick Tuesday and Sunday for example, stick to those days. It's best to weight yourself first thing in the morning before your breakfast for more consistent results.


If you don't want to weight yourself because you don't like it, there are tons of non-scale things you can track:

  • How you feel. Your diet has a huge influence on your mood. Noticing long lasting positive shifts in your mood is something you can track by keeping a journal.

  • How your clothes fit.

  • How energized you are. Once again, a healthy diet will make you feel more energized throughout the day. This will also be reflected in your workout performances.

  • How well you sleep.

  • How stressed or relaxed you are.

  • How many cravings you have. The healthier you eat, the less cravings you'll have.


These are all things you can track either with a journal and workout log.


7. Set up your environment for success


Nature vs nurture is a fun debate to get into, but there's no denying that our environment has an enormous influence on us.


Our home and our workplace are the two environment we frequent the most.


You can set them up in a way that supports your weight loss efforts seamlessly.


Having a full water bottle in plain site in each room can help you stay hydrated easily.


Displaying fruits and veggies in a large bowl in the middle of the table or an a counter is a great way to remind you to eat them more frequently.


I personally love eating fun foods such as ice cream, pizzas and sweats. My rule is to only have those outside my home. If I buy a pint of ice cream, it will last me one serving, usually five minutes after I walk into my house with it. So I told myself I wouldn't buy ice cream to eat at home.


Once again, that doesn't mean that I don't eat ice cream any more. But I only eat it when I'm out in a social setting which helps me limit my consumption of it.


Storing salads at eye level in the fridge instead of the bottom drawers can remind you to actually eat them. I personally have let so many salads die and rot in those bottom drawers and I don't think I'm the only one who does this.


Having your gym clothes ready the night before can also remind you to go to the gym. Or keeping a back up gym bag in your car can help you be more consistent with your workouts. As a trainer, I can tell you first hand that "I forgot my shorts/shoes/workout clothes" is a repeated reason why people miss a workout here and there.


Keeping your running shoes close to your door, in plain sight can remind you to go running.


The little things you can do to set up your environment for success are endless and unique to you. Take the time to think about what you could do at home and at your workplace to make losing weight easier.


8. Drink water


This is perhaps the easiest one of all. On top of the numerous benefits of proper hydration, drinking water can curb your hunger a little.


So next time you feel a little hungry, have some water first and then see how you feel.


This is not to say that drinking water will make you lose weight. But making sure you are never too thirsty, or focusing first on hydration rather than eating, can help you eat a little less.


9. Getting steps in to lose weight?


The reason you keep hearing about walking 10000 steps to help you lose weight is not for the sake of walking alone. It's to encourage you to spend more time being active on your feet to increase your NEAT. (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis).


If you haven't done so already, read this article in which we go over what NEAT is and how you can get those steps in every day.


The condensed version is that the goal isn't to get 10000 steps in a row. The goal is to get 10000 steps over the whole day.


Being active on our feet help us burn a lot more calories than just sitting or standing still.


Finding ways to be on our feet more often is what we want here. Can you walk to work? Can you spend more time on your feet at home? We go over 10 ways you can do this in the article mentioned about.


10. Do what you can, regardless how small


We mentioned the fitness flywheel in previous articles and this also applies to weight loss.


The goal isn't to be perfect every single day. Life is too exciting for that.


The goal is to do whatever we can each day to reach our goal. If you find yourself unable to workout today, can you do a shorter workout at home instead? Can you maybe bang out 3 sets of push ups before going to bed?


Doing 3 sets of push ups doesn't do much in an out of itself, but it does keep you on the right track.


What do you do if there's no food at home? Do you order in? Do you do a quick grocery run? Do you skip dinner? All these can be viable answers if they work for you and if they help you stay on track the next day as well.


I could never skip dinner because A. I would get a poor night's sleep and B. I would wake up famished and probably make poor nutrition decisions the next day.


Doing a quick grocery run works best for me because it allows me to at least make something healthy quickly at home when I get back.


What other tips help you stay fit and healthy? Let me know in the comments!


Clem



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