Most likely my good friend Google brought you to this page because you have asked the question, “How to start to lose weight?”. I am glad you are here, and you and I are going to answer that very question! The best part is that I will teach you the secret: sustainable methods equal sustainable results!
You look in the mirror and are unhappy with the unrecognizable person staring back at you. Did the circus come in and change out all your mirrors for the ones in the fun house over night?
Sure, the year 2020 has been a pure dumpster fire. No idea what I am talking about? Do NOT go and ask your parents for a history lesson on 2020. They will have a mental break down, and start crying.
Winded going up a flight of stairs that is only 10 steps and feel like your lungs have been put through a meat grinder?
Is it global warming’s fault? Maybe it’s allergies and I am short of breath. Flash back to 2020: Start sniffing everything in the house to make sure you have not also lost your sense of smell. Sorry, I should have said *trigger warning*.
You feel run down, as if little energy goblins have sucked the life out of you. I wonder if the creators of Monster Energy drinks created their brand based on these little pests?
You feel depressed. You go to your closet to put on an outfit, then realize that the dryer has, once again, shrunk everything that you own.
Enough is enough! Have I hit the nail on the head?
I have been all of these things (continuously)… You can read more about my story here.
Now What? The Daunting Task of Navigating it All!
Where do you even begin?
What do you need to start losing weight?
Do you need to take supplements?
Do you need a gym membership?
Heck, do you need a trainer (ahem… in the FRIENDS theme song way “I’ll be there for you…”)?
I will dissect these questions into digestible sections to bring back the memories of the frog you dissected in school.
Where Do You Begin? Ultimate Mind Control!
Create Your Ultimate Mindset.
In order to start to lose weight, you have to be ready to make changes. It all starts with the mind, and no two minds are the same. (Just like no two strides of life are the same).
You have to be willing to continuously create the change, for the long term. The reality is, you did not become overwhelmed and overweight over night. It took years of neglecting what your body needs to get you to the feelings I mentioned above.
Without the decision that changes need to be made, you cannot succeed for the long term. Sure, you can get some short term progress, but we are wanting long term results. Remember I am going to teach you that sustainable methods equal sustainable results.
- Write down your goals. Spend some time with pen and paper and write them down!
- Buy sticky notes, write down your goals in bold writing. Place them around the house, your work space, the refrigerator. In other words, wherever you can see them OFTEN.
- Plan your steps to make those goals happen. Sometimes those are little “mini” or micro goals to help you get to your BIG GOALS.
- Dream BIG and know that there is hardly anything that cannot be fixed. That includes your mindset.
- Another recommendation is to work on self development. One of the best books I have read is Eat. Lift. Thrive. by Sohee Lee. You can get it here (this is not an affiliate link).
Create Healthy Nutrition Habits Now.
In order to start to lose weight, you need to have proper nutrition. Proper Nutrition is the key to a healthy life. Food is most abused! The convenience of pre-packaged “on the go” snacks as well as an abundance of fast food options on every corner has cost us more than just a the total of the Taco Bell dollar menu.
You MUST add some mindset changes mentioned above to your nutrition to start to lose weight. Stop treating food as “good” or “bad”. Think about your goals and what will fuel your body to achieve those goals. Let me remind you that sustainable methods equals sustainable results.
“The Science in Nutrition”
In order to start to lose weight, you must have a basic knowledge of nutrition. I will break it down. The science has proven that all diets create the same common overall goal, a calorie deficit.
Nutrition science is continuously changing. However, the basics are the building blocks.
What exactly is a calorie?
Calories are not a weight but they are a measurement. A calorie is a unit of energy.
From now on when you look at calories in a nutrition label, I want you to see that calorie number as units of energy that your body could get from that serving.
Create a Calorie Deficit.
First, to start to lose weight you must create a calorie deficit. In simple terms, if calories are energy, you want to make sure you are burning more energy than you consume during the day to be in a calorie deficit. You may think that there is no way to do this when your fitness tracker tells you that you are burning 250 calories in a workout, yet your calorie goal is well over 1,400.
There are several ways that you continuously burn energy including your workouts. Eating burns calories, so does doing laundry, cleaning house and walking to the mailbox. These are all considered non exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT.
Let’s bring it way back and just state that you need to burn more calories than you consume. That is being in a calorie deficit.
Now, don’t read that sentence and think that to start to lose weight you have to spend hours on the treadmill to burn what you are eating. That is punishing yourself and goes back to creating a mindset that will negate that feeling. A sustainable method equals sustainable results.
How Many Calories Should I Eat?
It changes with each person you ask. Becky Sue may be eating 1,300 calories while Johnny may be eating 2,300 calories. Which is right for you to start losing weight?
Here is the calculation I want you to use. Feel free to bookmark this page to come back to in the future when your friends ask you how you are able to be continuously successful. Make sure to tell them that your sustainable method equals sustainable results!
Take your goal weight multiply it by 12 and that will give you a calorie goal. This calorie goal is the basic of the basic information. If this number seems to high or too low of a calorie goal, you can adjust your goal weight, but I would strongly encourage you to give the calorie goal a try before saying you need more or less. You may be surprised by the simplistic approach, but it continuously equals sustainable results in my clients weight loss.
Side Note – Do not add back in the calories that MyFitness Pal states you burned during your workouts. Fitness trackers (yes even the apple watch) will grossly over estimate the amount of calories that you burn. Adding back in the calories that MFP states you have burned may actually put you in a calorie surplus.
Are “Macros” just a hype?
There are so many fad (and bad) diets promoted heavily today, but I can tell you that counting “macros” (macronutrients) is not one of them. Counting macros is tracking the number of grams of protein, carbohydrate and fat a person eats in one day. Macronutrients are in all of the food you consume.
1 gram of protein contains 4 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories, and 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories.
Protein – increases the energy to digest food, and provides the full feeling (satiety). The RDA (recommended daily allowance) of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. Sufficient amounts of protein aid your body to start to lose weight and assists in recovery after workouts.
- Complete proteins come from meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. They are considered complete because they contain all of the essential amino acids (EAAs)
- Incomplete proteins mostly come from plant sources because they lack one or more of the EAAs.
Carbohydrate – where you get your energy (mostly anyway). Most importantly – they are not evil or from the devil. The more active you are, the more carbohydrate you should be eating. Breaking news – vegetables are carbohydrates too, and I am not just speaking of potatoes. If you are looking for a tangible measurement that you can take with you anywhere, it is roughly the size of your closed fist.
Fats – they are not packing on layers of fat in your body. They are actually necessary in a healthy diet. Fats help regulate your hormone function, improve your blood lipids, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
If you are looking to start counting macros I suggest an app to help you get started. Mike’s Macros is an app both on Andriod and iOs. I use it and love it more than MFP – however, either is a great start. It is all about what works for you and your preference.
But WHEN should you eat to start to lose weight? Never again wonder!
Here is a simple answer. It does not matter. When you are looking to start to lose weight, meal timing is not going to have any effect on your goals. If you were looking for being “competition ready” this article is not necessarily directed to you.
Eating after 6 PM – the myth most believe – “Your body stores everything as fat after 6”.
I am going to be transparent here and tell you that on a normal day – I may not even get into my house by 6 PM. The outlandish claims that you have to consume all of your food and water by 6 PM to start to lose weight is simply not true. It is used by people who are trying to sell you something, and make you think that their way is the only way.
Be mindful of the things you put in your body, drink enough water, and try to move your body more… are you sensing a trend here yet? The sustainable method equals sustainable results.
What do you NEED to start to lose weight? Hint – it’s inexpensive!
I used to be a sack of potatoes. A lazy bum if you will. The most activity that I would get in a day would walking around my office. Once I was home it was no better. So tired, I would sit on my couch and order a pizza.
I’m also going to venture out here and tell you to stop using my friend “Google” to tell you how to get toned in 30 days. Stop buying the magazine in the grocery aisle that states you can get ripped abs in 7 days.
You will wind up being discouraged with your reflection when you do not get their promised results in their time frame. It all comes down to what you can do consistently.
Walk it out! The value in walking is undeniable.
Walking is the most under valued and underutilized form of exercise. Walking uses your whole body.
Start with walking, and not the kind I mentioned above. Intentional walking. Setting a small goal to start.
If you have not moved in years, start with a walk to the mailbox every day instead of taking your car. Then increase it as you go. Consistently walking day after day has not only physical benefits but mental benefits as well.
In a previous article I spoke about stress and what it does to create a chemical imbalance in your brain. Exercise, including going for a walk, has been proven to combat some of that energy so your body does not absorb it. You can read that article here. Consistently releasing that energy will help you begin to lose weight.
Do You NEED to Supplements?
“Supps” as the guru’s on the internet call them.
Short and sweet here – no.
If you are looking to begin to lose weight, do me a favor and stop looking at what the IG models that were blessed with good genetics are trying to sell you to “look like them”. To begin to lose weight you only need your body and to fuel your body efficiently, while being in a calorie deficit. Now I do think you should be taking a multi vitamin and maybe an essential fatty acid – but do not fall into the carb blocker, diarrhea pills…
Repeat after me, “I will not buy unnecessary things that promote fast weight loss!” You are wasting your money. If you are willing to throw money awayfor a quick fix – You can adopt me at the ripe age of 37 and throw your money at me. I need some more bumper plates. No? Too far? Ok then, just promise me you won’t do it.
Do you NEED a gym membership?
To start to lose weight, no. Consistently using your bodyweight for movement and exercise is perfect to start. You could use a gym membership as a motivator for you to reach one of your goals. If you sustain working out consistently for a certain amount of time, or reach a certain goal weigh – you could then sign up for a gym membership.
I did this exact method back in 2013. I told myself that if I worked out at home consistently for 12 weeks without deviation, I could get a gym membership. It helped me push myself, and gave me the confidence to continue my health and fitness journey. It was also a mental commitment. If I stuck with it for 12 weeks, then I would use my gym membership consistently because I had already made the habit of working out. It was a reward for myself.
Do you NEED a personal trainer?
As much as you may think you know my answer on this one, it may surprise you.
NO. You do not NEED a personal trainer to start to lose weight.
However an educated personal trainer, such as myself, CAN help you navigate the confusion of what the internet and social media “influencer” goblins are putting out there.
Another reason that educated personal trainers are able to help you to start to lose weight is because it is someone to show up for. What I mean by that is, you have an appointment to check-in with them, and update your progress. This is often a motivation for you to show up consistently because you don’t want to let your trainer down.
A final reason, and honest truth, behind hiring a personal trainer to help you to begin to lose weight is that you will have to put your money where you mouth is. It is a monetary investment in yourself. You don’t want to waste money, so you work hard to prove that you can achieve the goal that you are paying to achieve.
Here’s a recap to tie it all back together.
- To start to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. Start tracking everything that you are eating consistently. Take the time to research how many calories are in the food that you are eating and set a calorie goal to eat daily.
- Track your calories using an app like Mike’s Macros or MyFitness Pal to track your daily calorie goal progress. Do not add back in the calories burned from exercise.
- Start going on walks. Your body will continuously thank you.
- You do not need supplements to start to lose weight. Take a multi-vitamin and maybe an EFA.
- You do not need a gym membership to start to lose weight. Use the weight of your body first. By all means if you WANT to get a gym membership – I cheer you on to do so!
- You do not need a personal trainer, but it can help to have me in your corner giving you those pep talks when you want to quit, or reminding you that there is no bad food. If you want more information, fill out the information below and I will get back with you within 24 hours!
- Most importantly… a sustainable method equals sustainable results.
XOXO Trainer Meggs