So, you have decided to start a new weight loss program and are probably thinking “I need to go on a diet”. This seems like the best way to lose weight, right?
The reality is most diets don’t work – long term. You may start losing all the weight you wanted, BUT once you are “done” dieting, you go back to your old eating habits. What’s going to happen? You will eventually gain all the weight back and possibly more. A great example of this is the Biggest Loser. You see some extreme cases of rapid weight loss, but what happens is a large majority of those people gain it all back. Part of the reason is that the program doesn’t work for them.
A lot of people focus on how fast they lose weight. You set a goal in your mind that you want to lose X number of pounds in X number of weeks, and that’s the only thing you focus on. The key is to focus on how long the weight should stay off and making this a lifestyle – which can be difficult for most people.
Here are a few tips to experience healthy weight loss:
1. Understand that there are four major requirements to both healthy weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.
12-20 minutes of cardio vascular activity where you are burning between 400-800 calories is required daily.
b. Resistance training
Resistance training is required to obtain enough lean body mass (aka muscle) to burn between 2000-4000 calories at rest everyday. Note: this is refered to as your resting metabolic rate.
c. Proper nutrition
Controlling the amount of calories you consume everyday, how often you are eating, and the proper combination of proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats will ensure your body is burning the calories it takes in everyday rather than storing them.
d. Adequate sleep + controlling stress
Not getting enough sleep (i.e. minimum of 6 hours per day) or exposing your body to excessive stress will cause the everyday bodily functions required to have a healthy metabolism to go out of whack. Managing this is essential to both achieving weight loss and maintaining your healthy weight.
2. Set the bar low to start to make goals easier to accomplish.
Your goal can be as simple as drink more water, or go to the gym once per week. It may not seem like much, but many small goals can make a big difference over a course of time.
3. Focus on one habit at a time.
One of the many reasons diets don’t work is because a lot of people want to change too much at once, which can be difficult to sustain. Changing more than 3 habits at once can have a success rate of 10% while changing one habit can result in 85% to 100% success.
3. Make sure the goals fit your lifestyle.
If you enjoy going out for dinner and drinks with your friends 2-3x per week, your goal shouldn’t be to stop going out and having fun. A good goal might be to have a few less drinks, or make a smarter meal choice – not “I can’t eat the pizza, I’m on a diet.” but more like “I’m only going to have one piece”
4. Make sure you are confident in your goal.
Ask yourself this question: “On a scale of 1-10, how confident am I in achieving this goal”? If it’s not a 9-10, then you should modify it. For example, if you are not currently exercising at all, a goal of working out twice a week would be more realistic than a goal of working out five times a week.
We are overwhelmed with a number of diets that promise us rapid weight loss and are obsessed with wanting things NOW. By setting small goals, you may not see drastic results at the beginning, which can make it very difficult to change your way of thinking. The key to a successful program that focusses on long-term healthy weight loss.
Let’s think about this – 12 months down the road, would you rather have changed 10-20 habits that work for YOU and YOUR LIFESTYLE and have seen terrific progress; or tried a few different diets and exercise programs, seen some successes and failures, but are right back to where you started?
Director of Fitness Services