Are you a serial dieter? Have you tried every diet under the sun losing weight here and here only to find that once the diet is up you pile the weight back on just as quickly as you lost it?

During my many years in the fitness industry, I have witnessed first-hand that diets don’t work. Sure, they offer a quick fix solution – but they are not sustainable in the long term and, more often than not, a diet will land you back where you started.

If you’re trying to lose weight, your body needs to burn more energy than it consumes, but this doesn’t mean you need to go on a restrictive diet. The good news is that you can achieve weight loss without starving yourself, or cutting entire food groups from your life.

You don’t have to ‘diet’ to lose weight, but you do need to eat healthily and move more.

When people talk about my 28 program, it is often referred to as a ‘diet program’, but I always politely correct them and say it’s a sustainable healthy eating plan. There is a significant difference between the two! Unlike a traditional diet, a healthy eating plan is designed to be sustainable and enjoyable so you never feel deprived.

Since consistency is the key to losing weight, the best way to lose weight is to find a healthy eating plan you will enjoy – so you’ll be able to stick to it!

8 small lifestyle changes you can make TODAY to set you on the path to big weight loss results

My program has helped over 150,000 people lose over 2 million kilos so, if you’re looking to lose weight in a healthy way – and keep it off for good – then I want you to ditch ‘the diet’ and follow this advice instead.

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The best way to lose weight in 8 steps

#1 Cut the crap

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When it comes to nutrition, my philosophy has always been as simple as this – just eat real food! When you keep it real and say goodbye to packaged and processed food and hello to whole foods and real ingredients, you naturally avoid the added sugars that are hidden in too many foods found on the supermarket shelf. Focusing on real food means you don’t have to count calories or worry about every single thing you put in your mouth. Instead, you can build a healthy relationship with food and love everything you eat. After all, food should be enjoyed, not counted!

As my 28ers already know, you can successfully lose weight without starving yourself or feeling deprived.

#2 Small changes = big results

Healthy weight loss is all about slowly but surely working those bad habits out of your routine and putting new, healthy ones in their place. So whether it’s replacing your daily 3pm choccie fix with a Greek yoghurt instead, leaving your car at home and walking to work or having two coffees a day instead of three remember that it’s the little changes that will lead to the biggest results.

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#3 Work in 28-day blocks

I’m a big believer that 28 is truly the magic number. It’s long enough to see results but also short enough that you won’t feel like the mountain is too high to climb or your goal is too far out of reach. So, try setting yourself a 28-day goal. Whether it’s to just get moving every day or to have 3 alcohol-free days a week – set a goal, tell your family and friends, write it down and put it on the fridge. When the 28 days is up, reward your efforts, hit reset and work towards a new 28-day goal. Yes, it really is that simple!

Set specific and achievable health & fitness goals in 28-day blocks – it will help you stay on track to achieving your ultimate weight loss goals.

#4 Get fit with HIIT

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the most effective and efficient ways to lose weight and stay in shape. HIIT involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise and low-intensity recovery periods and in my experience, it’s one of the very best ways to lose weight and torch those calories.

I always tell my clients that the key to weight loss is to just get moving every day – and while this is key – your results will come so much faster if you can add a few HIIT sessions into your week. Then on the other days of the week, make sure you do any of your favourite low-intensity alternatives like walking or going for a swim with the kids.

VIDEO: At-home HIIT workout for beginners

If you’re a beginner I definitely don’t expect you to smash a HIIT session each day. If you’re just getting started and dipping your toe in the HIIT waters, give this At Home Beginner Workout a try.

Beginner 28 Minute Workout : Absolute Power

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the most effective and efficient ways to lose weight and stay in shape.

#5 Make mindfulness matter

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Mindset is an important part of your weight loss journey

When we’re trying to lose weight, often we pay plenty of attention to our training and nutrition but we neglect one important part of the weight loss process: our mind! I’ll admit, this is something that I have been guilty of in the past, but now I’ve learnt when you get your head in the right place, your body will follow.

How mindfulness can help you lose weight

Research shows that mindful eating can help people control overeating or binge eating and can help us enjoy food because we are more in touch with the body’s internal hunger and satiety signals. To find out more about mindfulness and why it matters to our health, click here.

An exercise in mindful eating. Each time you sit down for a meal, pay particular attention to the taste, smell and texture of your food. And make sure you ditch the technological distractions, focus on the people around you, and notice how your body feels after eating. It’ll make a difference!

#6 Variety, intensity & consistency is key!

When it comes to training for weight loss, my proven philosophy is based around variety, intensity and consistency. I believe this beats volume every single time.

  • Mix up your weekly routine
  • Push yourself, and
  • Move every day

What I mean by this is that your workouts will be most effective when your weekly exercise routine includes a combination of HIIT, resistance training and active recovery sessions. You’ll also save a bucketload of time, rather than wasting hours at the gym sweating away on the treadmill. The HIIT and resistance workouts on my program are challenging – but they’re only 28 minutes long – because that’s all you need.


Check out my Beginner’s Guide to Resistance Training
There’s lots of HIIT & resistance-based workout videos you can try!


#7 Make sleep a priority

I am always amazed when I meet new clients who aren’t losing weight but they have been consistently training and eating well. The answer can usually be found when I take a closer look at their lifestyle. The #1 reason why people don’t get the results they should be seeing is usually because they aren’t getting enough sleep.

When you’re well-rested, you can bring the best version of you to everything you do. You’ll also find it’s much easier to smash all your goals… including your weight goals!

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Get more sleep, it helps your body shift those kilos naturally

When we consistently don’t get enough sleep, it slows down the process which the body converts calories to energy, AKA, our metabolism. When our metabolism isn’t working efficiently, the body can start to store unused energy as fat. Remember – you can’t pour from an empty cup! Prioritize getting at least 7.5 hours sleep by ditching technology, sticking to regular bedtimes and making your room a dark, cool environment.


Read more about the importance of sleep.


#8 Focus on the journey, not the destination

All too often when we get in a “diets’ frame of mind, we become overly focused on the destination of weight loss and a goal weight that we can easily lose sight of how to get there. I’m always telling my 28ers that the journey will be so much more enjoyable if you acknowledge the little wins that you have here and there that take you one step closer to your final destination.

Progress, not perfection wins every time

Never forget that when you’re striving to lose weight the healthy way it’s about progress, not perfection. Even the smallest healthy changes to your lifestyle will produce big results in the long run.

Trust me, if you focus on getting these things in check you can say goodbye to your yo-yo dieting and big weight fluctuations every year. You can lose weight the healthy way and keep it off… forever!


Are you ready for me to be the personal trainer in your pocket?

My program has helped 150,000 people lose more than 2 million kilos, so I know you will lose weight if you stick to my exercise and healthy eating philosophy.

LET’S DO THIS!

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Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change. Sam Wood has over 18 years experience in the health and fitness industry, and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators. He is also the founder and trainer at Australia’s number one online fitness and nutrition program, and owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed.