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Weight loss is one of the most confusing areas of fitness. Everywhere you look, there seems to be yet another diet, training plan, or supplements, each promising what we all want – sustained weight loss.
And while there is no shortage of tips, tricks, secrets, and gimmicks out there, achieving long-term weight loss comes down to understanding the basics.
Today, we’ll go over the most fundamental things you need to internalize.
Get Rid Of The Dieting Mentality
When most people go about losing weight, they typically look for a diet. And, as you probably know, there are hundreds, if not thousands of them out there.
As far as weight loss goes, most diets work. If you follow them diligently and consistently, you will achieve some weight loss. The problem is, diets imply a start and an end. You’re on a diet, but eventually, you get off it.
Sure, they work while you’re following them. But what happens once the diet is finished? In most cases, people go back to their old behaviors, regain all of the weight, and are back to square one.
And this, my dear reader, is why you should get away from the idea of, “Hm, I should hop on a diet – it seems effective.”
But, the question is, what should you do instead?
Start Small And Build From There
I know – this is hardly an exciting proposal. But, long-term weight loss requires long-term efforts. So long as you work toward weight loss, you will maintain it. But, make the mistake of going back to your old habits, and you’re going to lose your results.
But, instead of making huge and sudden changes, start small. Don’t put yourself on a diet – start with just one healthy meal every day. Don’t start a demanding training program – do three 30-minute training sessions per week. Don’t cut out all processed foods and alcohol right away – start by reducing your intake slightly.
Then, as you gain some momentum, start making small improvements to your behaviors. One healthy meal can turn into two. Three weekly sessions can go up to four. Half a pack of cigarettes per day can go down to 5-6.
Sure, results will come more slowly at first. But, you’ll be able to stick with it much better, and you will achieve, and, more importantly, sustain your results much better.
Focus On What Matters Most
Before we wrap up this post, here are some actionable things you should keep in mind:
1) Getting rid of ‘crappy’ foods is not enough – you also need to create a calorie deficit to lose weight. In other words, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn, thus forcing your body to start burning fat for energy.
2) Strength training two to four days per weeks is incredibly beneficial. It allows you to maintain your muscle mass better and burn mostly fat. This leads to improvements in body composition, and allows you to achieve your goals quicker. You get to spend less time in a calorie deficit because you have to lose less weight overall.
3) Keeping a daily step count goal is a fantastic way to keep yourself active and burn extra calories. You can start with a goal of 8,000 – 10,000 steps per day, and slowly work up to 15,000 if you wish. Alternatively, you can add one to two hours of cardio every week – treadmill running, riding the Elliptical, and similar.