18 GENERIC WEIGHT LOSS TIPS YOU DON’T ALREADY KNOW ABOUT
Weight loss is simple – you just need to eat less calories than you expend on a daily basis over a long enough period of time, i.e. create a calorie deficit.
This doesn’t mean that weight loss is easy however, just knowing the science behind weight loss doesn’t help most people.
Most people – just like you – need practical, actionable tips they can take away and apply to their own busy, chaotic lives.
Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to acheive a calorie deficit, and most won’t impact too drastically on your lifestyle, in fact many of them might improve it.
1. WEIGH YOURSELF DAILY
This is my absolute favourite. Daily weigh-ins are hugely valuable in my opinion. A lot of people don’t weigh themselves because they’re scared of the number that’ll be staring back at them.
Just get on the scales and face it. It isn’t going to make you look any worse, and you’re far better off knowing than not.
Then do it the next day, and the day after.
Not only will this give you a bench mark to work from, it’ll also help prevent any ‘accidental’ future weight gain; if you see the scales going up for several consecutive days you’ll take it upon yourself to do something about it – trust me.
This creates self-imposed accountability.
There are very few disadvantages – this takes less than 30 seconds to do first thing in the morning.
Track it in the Fitbit or Apple Health app so you can see a graph of your weight over time.
2. THINK FAT, NOT WEIGHT
You don’t want to lose weight, you want to lose fat.
Holding onto muscle is really important for maintaining your ‘shape’.
In order to do this, make sure you keep your protein intake sufficient, and start working out with weights (if you don’t already).
3. TRACK EVERYTHING
Or at least weight, steps.
If you measure it, you manage it. That means that if you have raw figures staring back at you, you’re going to do something about it.
It also allows you to see how activity affects your weight if you can compare your steps and weight chart alongside each other.
If you’re happy doing so, you should also consider tracking your calories; this is a little trickier and more time consuming but it does give you another layer of data that you can manipulate to get the result you want.
4. GO FOR A WALK
You don’t need to do ten marathons a week to lose weight. In fact, walking is just as effective and far more sustainable.
Think about it – how often can you realistically do long, gruelling runs, especially in winter? Walking is far easier, it may burn fewer calories but you can easily do it on consistent basis without it impacting your life too much.
Don’t make burning extra calories difficult for yourself.
5. TRACK EVERYTHING
In Tip #3 I mentioned tracking calories.
You Don’t NEED to track calories to lose weight, but DO need to be a calorie deficit, and tracking calories can help you acheive that.
Even if you won’t want to track calories forever (no one should need to), I’d still recommend spending at least a month or two tracking because it’s such a big eye opener.
Have three cups of a tea day with milk and sugar?
That’s 180 calories – bet you didn’t know that.
Tracking will make you become more conscious about your food choices.
6. DON’T LISTEN TO MYTHS
There’s a LOT of at best unhelpful and at worst frankly misleading information out there about weight loss.
You be lead to believe that you need detox tea, or the keto diet to lose weight. It’s simply not true.
Remember that the people promoting the complex, costly ‘solutions’ will always have a motive – usually that they’re being paid to do so. Always be hyper critical about who and where you take advice from.
The main thing you need to know is that a calorie deficit (eating less calories than you expend each day) causes weight loss – how you chose to acheive that calorie deficit is up to you, or your weight loss coach.
Think about it like this – if you were plonked in the middle of the desert, with no food, you’d lose weight rapidly (and eventually die of starvation) – you wouldn’t need to be on the keto diet, you’d just lose weight because you weren’t eating anything.
That’s how dieting and weight loss works; it’s controlled starvation.
7. MAKE EASY SWAPS
Most people think that diets are tough because you have to stop eating your favourite foods.
Here are a few different ways you can approach your favourite meals;
- Carry on eating the, but eat smaller portions
- Eat them less frequently
- Make swaps to lower the calories
For example, let’s say you love sausage and mash. You can absolutely carry on eating it, but to lower the calories you could swap pork sausages for turkey sausages, and make the mash with less butter and skimmed milk instead of whole milk. Those two swaps alone will save a significant amount of calories.
8. OPT FOR FILLING FOODS
Something a lot of people struggle with on a diet is feeling hungry.
The good news is that there are tons of foods out there that will fill you up, without packing a ton of calories.
Obvious examples are fruit and veg, but low calorie or 0% fat yogurts are another great example.
9. EAT MORE PROTEIN
You really need to prioritise protein.
Not only does it have tons of vitamins and minerals (depending on the source), help you maintain or build muscle mass (which will make you look better), but it’s also more filling that predominantly carb or fat containing foods.
Make protein the main component of each meal and build the rest of the meal around it. It doesn’t always need to be meat either – eggs or Greek yogurt make great breakfast options.
10. PORTION OUT FOOD
Don’t take a huge bag of chips or crisps up to your desk, you’ll end up eating the whole bag.
Instead, put a portion in a bowl,and take that up instead.
Make it easy for yourself to stop eating.
11. UPGRADE YOUR SNACKS
Like with meal swaps, there are a ton of snack swaps out there you can make that mean you’re either eating less calories, eating more filling foods, or both.
Protein bars pack slightly fewer calories than your average chocolate bar, but contain a lot more protein (obvs) which will help you feel full and build o maintain more muscle mass (that’s good).
12. HAVE A DIET COKE BREAK
Diet Coke is a lifesaver when dieting (go figure), not only is it zero calorie, it’ll also satisfy a sweet tooth, and make you feel full because it’s carbonated.
If you don’t like Diet Coke, luckily there are now tons of other sodas on the market that come in at zero calories and don’t taste any worse than their full-calorie counterparts.
13. USE CAFFEINE WISELY
Dieting can make you feel low on energy, so a double espresso or Americano could give you that mental stimulus you need to keep going on the tough days.
- Try not to use caffeine so much that you depend on it. This can be slippery slope that can lead to poor sleep (see next tip)
- When you have coffee – ensure that you know how many calories you’re swigging down. There’s a big difference between a 0 calorie black coffee and a Mocha Frappuccino with all the cream and toppings. About 300-400 calories difference.
14. SLEEP PROPERLY
Poor sleep will affect all aspects of your life but most notably your hunger levels.
Studies have shown that poor sleep can suppress leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full) and increase ghrelin levels (the hunger hormone), this means sleeping leads to a desire to eat more.
Less sleep will also mean you’re less likely to train as hard (or train or exercise at all), meaning you’re also likely to burn less calories.
7-9 hours sleep per night is optimal.
15. PLAN AHEAD
It’s very easy to eat unplanned high calorie snacks.
None of us start the day intending to eat donuts, crisps, and that slice of cake your college kindly forced on you.
Eating these types of foods is always impulsive.
With that in mind, planning out filling meals throughout the day will stop this from happening.
If you leave the house with no breakfast, that cake will be too tempting to resist; if you have a high protein filling breakfast, the likelihood is you won’t even be tempted by it.
Plan out meals and stick to them.
16. BE PREDICTABLE
Further to the previous point, eating the same or similar meals each day will help you plan.
In fact, if you eat the same meals each day, you don’t even need to plan, you’ll just know instinctively what you’re going to eat.
This doesn’t necessarily mean eating the exact same meals day after day, but rather having the same breakfast and lunch on weekdays for example.
If you choose meals you like; they won’t get boring.
Want more tips on how to stave off lockdown weight gain? Check out this post.
Joe is an online coach and qualified personal trainer of 15 years who helps busy, professional men and women lose weight and build muscle.
Having a 9-5 desk-job, Joe understands the struggles of juggling a hectic life with trying to maintain a good physique.