I’ve received some emails asking about my best practices for achieving my weight loss goals so I decided to compile it into an article instead of responding individually to each email.
My top 15 tips is the strategy I’ve been using since the beginning of the year with excellent results:
Create a Schedule and Stick To It
I work out in the mornings and this is programmed into my phone calendar. When I wake up and look at my phone, time to work out is the first thing I see. My phone is also synched to my laptop so in case I pretend I can’t see the phone, the same reminder pops up when I open my laptop.
Use the Stairs
I live on the third floor of my building and always use the stairs unless I have huge groceries bags or something big with me. Additionally, when I go anywhere, if they have stairs, I try to use them as much as possible instead of the elevators. If you wear a FitBit, you’d be surprised how many calories you can lose climbing the stairs daily.
Love your Workout Regimen
If I try a work out regimen and I don’t like it, I find something else to replace it with. I don’t force myself to stick to a workout just because it’s trendy or what everybody else is doing. Exercise is a lot of work and it needs to be fun to make it easier to get through.
Start the Day with a Smoothie
I start the day with a huge smoothie cup after my workouts as well as on my days off. I have different variations I use and make sure it includes a lot of the good stuff that helps keep me full longer.
Don’t Count Calories
I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I’m not about that calorie and kilo counting life. I weigh myself at the beginning of a program and at the end of the program. I don’t believe in climbing scales everyday. You’ll start thinking you’re not doing enough, which could be counterproductive.
Keep in mind, if you’re weight training as well, you’re increasing muscle mass so you might not be weighing less per se. Just throw the scale away and use a tape like this ONE to measure your progress every few weeks.
I drink water like a boss, all day long, everyday. There’s always a bottle of water in my hand, handbag or car. Water keeps you full, hydrated and flushes your system effectively.
When I feel peckish during the day, I don’t reach for crisps, crackers or other unhealthy snacks. Instead, I reach for things like toasted pine nuts, walnuts, toasted almonds and rice cakes. They’re healthy and control the hunger till the next meal.
Eliminate Cheat Days
I don’t do cheat days. Denying myself something until a specific day of the week doesn’t feel natural and sounds like a recipe for disaster. If I feel like eating something, I eat it. However, I eat it in moderation.
Home Cooked Meals
I cook as much as possible at home. I can control what’s going into my food and the quantities so it’s better matched to my goals. Eating out doesn’t allow that luxury. This doesn’t mean I don’t eat out at all but when I do, I try to stay very close to what I would usually eat.
Weekly Meal Plan
I put together a food plan every Sunday. It’s easier to control what you’re eating this way rather than making it up as the week goes along. It’s actually kind of fun looking up my favourite sites and trying to decide what I’m going to try that week. You can put together something simple in excel but if you want something more structured, you can try this popular meal planner.
Arm yourself with a grocery list when you go shopping. You’re less likely to buy nonsense that way. Trust me. I’ve gone grocery shopping without a list several times and I always ended up picking random unhealthy things as I wondered aimlessly between the store shelves.
More Herbs & Veggies
More herbs and veggies. Eat as many herbs and vegetables as many times as possible during the week. This has worked absolute wonders. I expand on this in my comprehensive answer to the reader question HERE.
I started using smaller plates and bowls. It’s the smaller variation of my dinner set so I didn’t have to go out and buy new plates. I just switched to the smaller plates in the set. Smaller bowls and plates helps curtail your serving size without making you feel like you’re starving yourself.
No Sleep Deprivation
I don’t deny myself sleep. I sleep the standard 8 hours or more every night and I take naps during the day if my body asks for it. Sleep depravation hinders your body’s ability to recover from your work outs and could lead to injury.
Set achievable goals. Don’t try to imitate someone else. Everyone’s body is different and works differently. Make your fitness goals S.M.A.R.T, not super human. You’re less likely to give up that way, and when you achieve a small goal, celebrate yourself.
I keep it simple stupid (KISS) and focus on the kind of results I want for my body, not someone else’s results. This is what works for me. Take what you can and adapt to your needs.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.